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What Qualifies An Injury As “Catastrophic”

Cases We Handle / Personal Injury / What Qualifies An Injury As “Catastrophic”

Get Legal Help with Catastrophic and Serious Injuries

Families face tremendous physical, emotional and financial hardships when a loved one suffers a severe injury. Medical costs, the need for assistive care and lost income can take their toll. The injustice of a loved one suffering because of someone else’s wrongful act or negligence is also difficult to bear. At the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm in Nashville, Tennessee our injury lawyers understand and have compassion your situation. We have years of experience protecting our clients’ rights and can help you recover vitally needed compensation.

What is a catastrophic injury?

A catastrophic injury is a serious injury to the spine, spinal cord or brain. It can also involve fractures to the spine or skull. The consequences of these type of serious injuries prevent individuals from returning to useful and gainful employment and leading a normal life like they led before.

A catastrophic injury case is a unique sub-set of personal injury. It requires a skilled lawyer to adequately prepare and present the true harms and losses of a catastrophic injury case. Experts have to be hired in order to present all the evidence. You’re going to have to have a lawyer with the financial resources to match the insurance company toe for toe. Typically, in these catastrophic injury cases we hire experts, including vocational rehabilitation experts, economists, life-care planners, accident reconstructionists, neurologists and other medical experts.

It’s critical that the case be handled as a catastrophic injury case with the most importance from the very beginning of the case. Oftentimes we use video proof and video testimony to show the jury and the insurance representatives the true harm and the true loss that such a devastating injury can bring to not only you but your family.

If you or a loved one have suffered a catastrophic injury, put us to the test. Allow us to help your family obtain the recovery you deserve. If you reach out to me personally at 615 425-2500, or reach us at We maintain offices in Nashville, Hendersonville and Knoxville, for your convenience.

What types of injuries are catastrophic?

The U.S. code defines a catastrophic injury as “consequences of an injury that permanently prevent an individual from performing any gainful work.” At the very least, this type of injury involves permanent disability. However, some injuries are so severe that people can no longer take care of themselves, making it impossible to handle the daily activities that most of us take for granted — such as eating, bathing, dressing or handling bathroom activities — without assistance. Brain injury, neck, back and spine trauma or extensive nerve damage are often catastrophic injuries.

Serious neck, back and spinal cord injuries

Serious injuries often include the following:

  • Herniated disc. A herniated or bulging disc can be intensely painful if pushing on a nerve. Often, medication, physical therapy or surgery is necessary.
  • Stenosis. Stenosis is pressure on nerve tissue inside the vertebrae. It can cause pain, muscle weakness, numbness and, if severe enough, loss of bladder, bowel and/or sexual function.
  • Dislocation. An impact injury can force vertebrae out of their correct position, resulting in pain and impaired mobility.
  • Fracture. A fracture or break in the vertebrae is often accompanied by other injuries, such as damaged muscles, ligaments or dislocated vertebrae.
  • Spinal cord injury. Partial or complete damage to the spinal cord paralyzes the area below the injury, disrupts bodily functions and can be fatal.

A Nashville injury lawyer can evaluate the extent of your injuries and determine what compensation you are entitled to receive under Tennessee law. Our attorneys always work to maximize our client’s recovery so they can receive the quality care they deserve.

Catastrophic injuries in Tennessee

Put Rocky in your corner

Call Rocky at 615-425-2500 or contact the firm online to schedule a free initial consultation. From our offices on world famous Music Row in Nashville, the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm represents clients throughout the state of Tennessee, including Knoxville, Memphis, Hendersonville, Columbia, Murfreesboro, Chattanooga and Kingsport.