Close Menu
Boca Raton Personal Injury Lawyer
Call for a Free Consultation!
Boca Raton Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Serious Injury > What’s the Difference Between a Serious Injury and a Catastrophic Injury?

What’s the Difference Between a Serious Injury and a Catastrophic Injury?


Injuries can be life-altering and can leave victims struggling to cope with the aftermath. The term “injury” can encompass a wide range of conditions, but the law usually distinguishes between “serious injuries” and “catastrophic injuries.”

If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury in Florida, it is crucial to understand the difference between the two. Our Boynton Beach serious injury lawyers at Leifer & Ramirez can help you categorize your injury and explain the legal options available to you. We represent accident victims who suffered all types of injuries, ranging from minor to serious and catastrophic.

What Is a Serious Injury Under Florida Law?

Florida statutes define a serious injury as an injury involving a serious disfigurement, a permanent loss of bodily function, or permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability. In Florida personal injury cases, a serious injury is a threshold requirement that must be met before the victim can pursue a claim for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional distress.

The Serious Injury Threshold in Florida’s Personal Injury Cases

In Florida personal injury cases, victims must meet a “serious injury” threshold to sue for non-economic damages pursuant to Florida Statutes § 316.027. The threshold law means that if your injury does not meet the definition of a serious injury, you cannot recover for non-economic damages. You may only pursue a claim for economic damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.

What Is a Catastrophic Injury?

The term “catastrophic injury” is not specifically defined under Florida law. Generally, a catastrophic injury is one in which the victim’s injuries are severe, permanent, and long-term. A catastrophic injury may include injuries such as traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, severe burn injury, and amputation.

The Difference Between a Serious Injury and a Catastrophic Injury

While both types of injuries are significant, there are key differences between a serious injury and a catastrophic injury.

  • The overall amount of damages. Catastrophic injuries generally result in higher damages compared to serious injuries.
  • The extent/severity of the injuries. Catastrophic injuries are typically more severe than serious injuries, requiring longer and more extensive medical treatment.
  • The effects on the victim’s earning capacity and quality of life. Catastrophic injuries often result in permanent disability, affecting the victim’s ability to work and enjoy life.

If you or your loved one suffered injuries due to someone else’s fault but you do not understand if the injuries fall under the category of “serious” or “catastrophic,” consider speaking with a lawyer to help you distinguish between the two.

Seek Legal Representation

While both serious and catastrophic injuries can have significant impacts on a person’s life, there are differences between the two. If you suffered injuries, a lawyer at Leifer & Ramirez can advise you on your rights and legal options. Seek legal representation as soon as possible to ensure the best possible outcome for your case. Get a free case evaluation by calling 561-660-9421.

We serve clients throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Pompano Beach, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.


Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Free Consultation

By submitting this form I acknowledge that contacting Leifer & Ramirez through this website does not create an attorney-client relationship, and any information I send is not protected by attorney-client privilege.

protected by reCAPTCHA Privacy - Terms

© 2022 - 2024 Leifer & Ramirez - Boca Raton Personal Injury Lawyers. All rights reserved.