Defending Catastrophic Injury Cases

Catastrophic injuries are life-altering events that have a profound impact on the individuals involved, as well as the legal landscape surrounding these cases. This does not only affect finances but also negatively affect emotions and the number of people involve in the incident. Plaintiffs may often seek substantial damages by presenting worst-case scenarios for lifetime care expenses. Additionally, victims of catastrophic injuries are often viewed sympathetically due to the severity of their injuries.

In this blog, we will delve into potential charges related to catastrophic injuries and discuss strategies for defending yourself or your loved ones if faced with such charges.

Catastrophic Injuries According to the Law

Under federal law, a “catastrophic injury” means an injury that right away stops a person from working long term or permanently. In simpler words, it’s a severe and lasting injury.

In Texas law, there’s no exact definition for catastrophic injury, but they describe “serious bodily injury” as an injury that can lead to:

  • Severe and lasting disfigurement
  • A long-lasting problem with a body part
  • A big chance of dying
  • Actual death

Common Catastrophic Injuries

In the legal context, catastrophic injuries are when you’re seriously hurt and can’t work for a long time, or maybe never. It’s not about pain, but how it affects your job. Common examples include:

  1. Spinal cord, neck, and back injuries can make moving and feeling things tough. People with these injuries might need lifelong medical care, rehab, and special devices to help them move.
  2. A hit to the head can cause traumatic brain injuries (TBI). These can vary from a small bump to serious brain damage, messing with thinking, memory, and movement.
  3. Exposure to harmful stuff can lead to blood issues, cancer, brain damage, lung and heart problems, and nerve trouble, among other things.
  4. Losing a body part, like an arm or leg, makes everyday tasks really challenging.
  5. Severe burns hurt a lot and need many surgeries, skin treatments, and rehab to get better. They can also cause a lot of mental pain and emotional suffering.

How do Catastrophic Injuries Happen?

The following are some instances where catastrophic injury lawsuits are successful:

  • Car accidents: High-speed crashes can cause severe injuries like spinal cord and head injuries.
  • Workplace accidents: Risky jobs like construction can lead to accidents with heavy machines, falls from heights, or exposure to harmful substances.
  • Medical mistakes: Doctors’ errors during surgery, misdiagnoses, or wrong medications can result in traumatic injuries.
  • Defective products: Companies can be blamed for harm caused by faulty items, like dangerous cars, unsafe products, or harmful drugs.

Is A Catastrophic Injury A Civil or Criminal Matter?

Catastrophic injury itself is not a charge; it is a type of injury that can result in legal actions, which can be either civil or criminal, depending on the circumstances. In Texas, if someone stands accused of causing a catastrophic injury, they may face both civil lawsuits and criminal charges. Civil lawsuits generally seek compensation for damages, while criminal charges, brought by the government, can lead to penalties like fines or imprisonment.

Possible Criminal Charges Related to Catastrophic Injury

Aggravated Assault

If you are accused of causing a catastrophic injury intentionally or recklessly, you may be charged with aggravated assault, which is a felony in Texas.

Intoxication Assault

If the injury resulted from a DUI/DWI incident, you may be charged with intoxication assault, which is also a felony in Texas.


In cases where a catastrophic injury leads to the death of a person, you may be charged with manslaughter or even murder, depending on the circumstances.

Negligence or Recklessness Charges

If the injury resulted from negligence or reckless behavior, you may face charges such as criminal negligence or reckless endangerment.

Dealing With Civil Lawsuits

In addition to criminal charges, you may also face civil lawsuits from the victim or their family seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other costs resulting from the catastrophic injury.

Best Defenses To Use if Facing Catastrophic Injury Charges

If charged with a catastrophic injury case, a tailored defense strategy is crucial. Here’s a basic outline of how such a defense might work:

  1. Investigation and Evidence Collection: Gathering all the facts and evidence about the incident to understand how the injury occurred.
  2. Challenging the Case: Reviewing the evidence against you and challenging it if it’s not convincing or if there are doubts about intent or recklessness.
  3. Showing Lack of Intent or Recklessness: Demonstrating that you didn’t mean to harm anyone or act recklessly, could help reduce the severity of the charges.
  4. Considering Other Explanations: Exploring other possible reasons for the injury, such as a faulty product or another party’s actions, to shift blame away from you.
  5. Building a Strong Team: Assembling a strong defense team, including lawyers and experts, to work together to present the best defense possible.

Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!

A skilled criminal defense attorney can make a significant difference if you’re similar charges related to catastrophic injuries in Texas. At the Texas Criminal Defense Group, we commit to providing strong legal support for your case.

Navigating the legal system is complex, particularly when facing the possibility of imprisonment. A good lawyer not only aims to win but also puts in the effort to provide the strongest possible defense, using their legal knowledge to fight the charges against you.