When you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it can be a confusing and overwhelming time. While some injuries may seem catastrophic, they must meet the legal definition of a “severe” injury to be considered for higher compensation than other types of personal injuries. As such, you may be wondering about the legal implications of your situation and what your rights are under California law. 

At Setareh Law, we understand how important it is to be able to recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. Our team of experienced personal injury lawyers is here to provide you with the legal guidance and support you need. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between catastrophic and personal injury claims, and how understanding these distinctions can be crucial for your case.

Personal Injury Claims in California

In California, personal injury claims generally involve situations where a person has suffered harm due to the negligence or wrongful conduct of another individual or entity. These injuries can occur in a variety of circumstances, such as motor vehicle accidents, slips and falls, dog bites, and more. 

To establish a personal injury claim in California, the injured party must prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care, that the defendant breached that duty, and that the breach caused the injury. 

Additionally, the injured party must also establish the extent of their damages. This process often involves complex legal arguments and the gathering of substantial evidence, which is why it is essential to work with a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer.

Catastrophic Injury Claims in California

While personal injury claims can cover a wide range of situations, catastrophic injury claims are a specific subset of these cases. Catastrophic injuries are generally defined as those that result in severe and long-lasting consequences. These types of injuries often require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and long-term care.

Catastrophic injury claims differ from standard personal injury claims in several ways. Firstly, the damages involved are typically much higher, as the injured party will often require significant financial support to cover their medical expenses and long-term care needs. 

Secondly, the legal process for pursuing a catastrophic injury claim can be more complex, as it often requires the involvement of medical experts, life care planners, and other specialists to accurately determine the extent of the injured party’s needs and the costs associated with them.

The most common types of catastrophic injuries include:

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

These injuries can result from car accidents, falls, or other incidents that cause a severe blow to the head. TBIs can lead to long-term cognitive, emotional, and physical impairments.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Damage to the spinal cord can lead to paralysis, loss of sensation, and chronic pain. These life-altering injuries often require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, and lifelong care.

Severe Burns

Third-degree burns and higher can cause extreme pain, disfigurement, and long-term physical and emotional scars. Severe burns may necessitate skin grafts, reconstructive surgery, and ongoing medical care, all of which are extremely costly procedures.


The loss of a limb can be a life-changing event, often requiring prosthetics, ongoing therapy, and adjustments to daily living.

While this list is not exhaustive, it demonstrates the wide range of injuries that can fall under the umbrella of catastrophic injury claims. Regardless of the type of injury you have sustained, it’s essential to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you navigate the legal process and obtain the compensation you need to recover and rebuild your life.

Speak With Setareh Law About Your Catastrophic or Personal Injury Today

While catastrophic injuries can be devastating, understanding the legal distinctions between these cases and common personal injury claims can be essential for achieving the compensation you deserve. As you and your loved ones navigate this challenging time, contact us at Setareh Law for dedicated legal representation and support. 

We are passionate about advocating for justice for injury victims and fighting for their rights under California law. We are dedicated to helping you obtain the compensation you need to recover and rebuild your life. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at (310) 659-1826 today to discuss your case and explore your legal options. Our team also speaks both English and Spanish.