An accident can leave you with nothing worse than a few bumps and bruises — or it can cause catastrophic injuries.

What exactly makes an injury “catastrophic” in nature? Catastrophic injuries are the kind from which you never fully recover. To a certain extent, you can heal, but your life won’t be the same as it was before you were injured.

Some of the most common catastrophic injuries include:

  • Burns, which can cause disfigurements, the loss of limbs, chronic infections and permanent disability
  • Spinal cord damage, like the kind that can happen after a fall from a ladder or a bad tumble on a gym mat, leaving the victim paralyzed
  • Traumatic brain injuries, including those from car accidents or the kind incurred during a rough game of football
  • Amputation, whether due to the accident itself or as a result of infection caused by someone’s negligence
  • Birth injuries, caused by negligent medical care during pregnancy or delivery that can leave a child unable to develop normally

There are other types of catastrophic injuries, but these are some of the most familiar to people. All of them share one thing in common: They create a lifelong disability for the victim.

Any catastrophic injury is going to be expensive. Aside from the initial period of hospitalization, some of the usual expenses you can expect include:

  • Visiting nurses
  • Medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Counseling and psychiatric care
  • Adaptive medical equipment (beds, walkers, etc.)
  • Adaptions to the home and car for ease of use or access
  • Nursing home care

The expenses can be hard to imagine when you first start adding things up. For example, if a 25-year-old accident victim is left paralyzed, it’s estimated that he or she will experience more than $2 million in lifetime costs associated with his or her condition. More than $500,000 will be incurred within the first year.

This is why it is so important to work with an attorney who understands the needs and long-term struggles of catastrophic injury victims as you seek compensation for your losses.