Se Habla Español

Get your free Consultation
Current wait time: 10 seconds

What Is a Catastrophic Injury in Texas?

Home » FAQs » What Is a Catastrophic Injury in Texas?


According to the Attorney General of Texas, a catastrophic injury in Texas must be severe enough to “result in a total and permanent disability,” such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI), amputation, or spinal cord injury.

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident in Texas, you may qualify to pursue compensation for your personal injuries and damages. Those who suffer catastrophic injuries may be eligible for certain damages, such as permanent disability or diminished quality of life, which can affect your compensation. Our legal team can review your case for free and have one of our personal injury lawyers fight to win you all of the money you deserve.

Defining a Catastrophic Injury in Texas

Several different definitions exist for catastrophic injuries. For example, 37 USC § 439 defines a catastrophic injury as “a permanent, severely disabling injury, disorder, or illness that … compromises the ability of the afflicted person to carry out the activities of daily living to such a degree that the person requires personal or mechanical assistance to leave home or bed or constant supervision to avoid physical harm to self or others.”

Additionally, Texas Administrative Code § 4.51 defines a catastrophic illness or injury as any severe condition or a combination of conditions that affect the victim’s physical or mental health and requires them to receive prolonged health care services as treatment.

What Types of Injuries Can Be Considered Catastrophic in Texas?

The following types of injuries or conditions may be considered catastrophic injuries in Texas:

  • Serious fractures resulting in surgery
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Amputation or loss of limb
  • Loss of bodily function, such as vision or hearing
  • Third-degree burns
  • Severe psychological conditions or illness, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or suicidal ideations

If you are unsure whether your injuries are catastrophic, our legal team can look into your case and confirm via expert medical opinion.

Accident Victims Can Demand Compensation for Their Catastrophic Injuries

As mentioned, accident victims who suffer catastrophic injuries may pursue compensation for their unique damages to recover practical costs. Each personal injury case will be unique to the individual demanding compensation. Variables may include how their injuries affect their ability to work or enjoy basic aspects of living.

Some of the key categories of compensable damages include:

Financial Losses Related to Catastrophic Injuries

Living with a debilitating or disabling injury or illness can result in financial damages, such as:

  • Medical expenses, including costs for emergency room care, hospitalization, surgeries, and doctor’s appointments
  • Out-of-pocket medical costs, such as prescription medications or medical aid equipment
  • Income loss, including benefits (e.g., paid time off or sick leave) and pensions
  • Reduced earning potential if your injuries prevent you from returning to the job you had before the accident
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Psychiatric treatment costs

Other financial damages may relate to the accident that caused your catastrophic injuries. For example, if you were in a car accident in Texas, you may pursue compensation for property damage you suffered to your vehicle. Those damages might include vehicle repair costs or the actual cash value of your vehicle if it is beyond repair.

Non-Financial Losses Related to Catastrophic Injuries

While many people file personal injury cases to recover monetary losses, victims also suffer plenty of physical, mental, and emotional damages when coping with a catastrophic injury. You may qualify to demand compensation for non-economic damages, which can include:

  • Pain and suffering and inconvenience
  • Emotional distress, including psychological trauma caused by the accident
  • Losses related to having a permanent disability, such as loss of independence or being able to enjoy activities and hobbies you loved before your injury
  • Loss of consortium and other consequences your injury had on your marriage
  • Diminished quality of life

When Catastrophic Injuries Lead to Wrongful Death

Unfortunately, some accident victims do not survive their injuries. When a person’s negligence leads to someone’s untimely death, the surviving family of the deceased individual can take legal action through a wrongful death claim or lawsuit.

Similar to a personal injury action, a wrongful death case allows you to pursue compensation for damages caused by the accident and your loved one’s unexpected passing, such as:

  • Funeral expenses, including cremation or burial service costs
  • Loss of financial support from your loved one
  • Emotional losses, such as grief, loss of love and affection, or depression
  • Loss of parental guidance for the surviving child(ren)
  • Loss of companionship for the surviving spouse
  • Medical debts left behind that the surviving family must cover

Our legal team can manage your case while you handle immediate family matters. If you experience additional damages while we prepare your case, please report them to our firm.

A Personal Injury Lawyer from Our Firm in Texas Can Represent You

If you hire a personal injury attorney from our firm to represent you in Texas, we will:

  • Investigate your accident and gather evidence to support your claims
  • Fill out paperwork and submit your lawsuit within the statute of limitations found in Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003
  • Handle all communications should an insurance company or defense attorney reach out to you for a statement
  • Attend legal meetings to advocate for your interests, which could lead to negotiating a settlement agreement for you
  • Prepare your case for trial and present your arguments in front of a jury if necessary
  • Provide legal counsel whenever you have questions or concerns about your case

Our Legal Team Has Received Recognition for Our Settlement Achievements

At Domingo Garcia, we fight for compensation awards that fairly cover our clients’ damages and current living situations. Some of the past settlement awards we’ve won have included:

  • A $3.2 million settlement for a client who lost their hand in an oil field accident involving faulty equipment
  • A $5 million settlement for a client who developed paraplegia due to a scaffolding accident on a construction site
  • A $5.5 million settlement for a client who developed paraplegia due to a work accident where the negligent party failed to cover a roof opening
  • A $9,000,000 settlement for a traumatic brain injury victim after a commercial vehicle accident
  • A $12,500,000 recovery for a child that suffered serious burns after a natural gas explosion

Call Domingo Garcia Today to Get a Free Consultation with Our Team

If you or a loved one suffered a catastrophic injury in Texas, our legal team at Domingo Garcia wants to listen to your case. Depending on how the accident occurred, you may have grounds to sue a liable party for damages and recover practical costs for your injuries. A personal injury attorney from one of our law offices in Texas can represent your case and advocate for your right to compensation.

When you call our firm, we’ll offer the first consultation for free to discuss your case and review your legal options. Once you understand the actions you can take, we can begin serving you straight away. Call now to get started.

    Free Consultation


    What Happened?

    By submitting you agree to our Privacy Policy

    Find An Experienced Lawyer Near You!

    Dallas Office

    Houston Office

    Tyler Office

    Odessa Office

    Fort Worth Office

    Arlington Office

    Meet Domingo

    Attorney Domingo Garcia has led an active civic, legal and political career. He was born in Midland, Texas and grew up in Dallas, Texas. He received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Texas in 1980.

    Continue Reading…