Difference Between a Personal Injury and a Catastrophic Injury

June 8, 2020 | Ed Bernstein
Difference Between a Personal Injury and a Catastrophic Injury A personal injury case can involve many different types of accidents and injuries, for the victim and their families. However, understanding the difference between a personal injury and a catastrophic injury is important, especially since many lawyers differentiate the most serious cases from other cases. A personal injury can be difficult to deal with, but a catastrophic injury can change the trajectory of a person’s entire life. Our experienced team at Edward M. Bernstein & Associates can assist you with your case. We are here to help by phone for a free consultation at  702-240-0000. What Makes An Injury Catastrophic? A catastrophic injury is an injury that completely disrupts the life of the victim and their families. For instance, somebody who suffers from paralysis as the result of an injury will need to be cared for and will no longer be able to live independently like they once did. An attorney will take into account the damages suffered by victims and their loved ones, the potential for complications, and the greater need to secure future financial compensation. A list of injuries that are likely to be labeled as ‘catastrophic’ may include:
  • Amputation or a loss of limb
  • Brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • Paraplegia 
  • Severe burn injuries 
  • Severe nerve or ligament damage 
  • Multiple broken bones 
Catastrophic injuries carry with them a greater potential for lifelong repercussions. It may result in a permanent disability, painful recovery, and life-altering impairment. The damage suffered will be different in every case, but every catastrophic injury will result in financial, emotional, and physical losses. Many things will need to be considered when looking at how much compensation the injured party will receive, including:
  • Medical care
  • Future medical needs
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of future income
  • Financial losses incurred by families, e.g. those who had to take time off work to care for the injured party 
There are, of course, non-economic losses to consider. There may be severe emotional suffering, and a loss of quality or enjoyment of life, requiring counseling or emotional support. Many people will no longer be able to take part in the activities that they once enjoyed.  Evaluating the nature of these injuries and their long-term or life-long impact on victims is crucial in calculating an accurate assessment of damages. Medical experts will need to be consulted, as well as economic experts, who can calculate expenses for needs reasonably expected in the future.  There will likely also be more challenges for somebody with a catastrophic injury when it comes to getting justice, such as disputes from defendants, like insurance companies and corporations.  What Is A Personal Injury?  A personal injury differs in that it is not as severe as a catastrophic injury, and tends not to have as many lasting repercussions. Automobile accidents are one common example of a personal injury.  Personal injury rules apply in situations where someone acts in a negligent manner, and that carelessness causes harm to another person. Examples include car accidents, slip and fall incidents, and medical malpractice, among other types of cases. Personal injury laws also apply in situations where a defendant’s intentional conduct causes harm to another person. If you’re unsure whether your injury is classified as personal or catastrophic, you can contact our law offices in Las Vegas to get a better idea of what sort of case to expect and what sort of compensation should be available to you. Receiving full and fair compensation is crucial, as this will cover your damages, medical expenses, lost earnings, emotional distress, and more. This is why working with a team with experience will be crucial. At Edward M. Bernstein and Associates, we are here to help! Putting together a case as soon as possible is critical, as you only have two years after the date of the accident to make a claim. By gathering as much evidence and documentation as you can early on, such as photographs, witness statements, and medical reports, you will be able to ensure your case is dealt with quickly, resulting in the optimal result for you.  Contact Ed Bernstein Today To Learn More  If you have suffered an injury, whether personal or catastrophic, get in touch with Edward M. Bernstein & Associates in Las Vegas today for your free consultation by calling 702-240-0000. The legal team at Edward M. Bernstein & Associates look forward to helping you receive full and fair compensation. 


Ed Bernstein

Edward M. Bernstein, Esq. is the owner and founding partner of Edward M. Bernstein & Associates, and one of the most recognizable figures in Nevada. Ed is one of state’s premier personal injury attorneys and has hosted The Ed Bernstein Show for over 31 years. He has served the Las Vegas community for decades with dozens of community appointments and terms of service. In the year 2000, he was Nevada’s Democratic nominee for the United States Senate.

Ed received his B.A. from Long Island University in 1971 and his J.D. from Widener University in 1975. Since then, Ed’s professional accolades include numerous publications, honors and awards, court appointments, and has been named one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.