The number of injuries in America is on the rise and, according to the National Safety Council, they occur once every second nationwide. While the causes of these accidents tend to vary widely, from car wrecks to slip-and-fall incidents, the aftermath may affect you for the rest of your life. 

A catastrophic injury is especially debilitating, as it may leave you unable to work or care for your family. If negligence by another caused your accident, understanding what defines this type of injury may be useful if you decide to file a lawsuit. 

Paralysis  

Falling, slipping or being struck by a heavy object may cause partial or complete paralysis due to spinal injury. Fractures of the vertebrae or the spine itself may permanently confine you to a wheelchair and leave you unable to return to your job. This type of injury is often permanent. 

Loss of a limb  

A car or pedestrian accident may cause the loss of an arm or a leg, which can be traumatizing and have a serious effect on your physical abilities. Driving, traveling and even everyday household tasks can become difficult. 

Serious burns  

Burn wounds can damage the appearance and texture of the skin, and these injuries are often difficult to heal. Some deep burns are prone to infection, which could cause sepsis over time if it is not properly treated. If burns are serious enough, they may even cause neurological damage. 

Catastrophic personal injuries can change the course of your future and cause medical expenses to skyrocket. Knowing what defines this type of injury may be useful as accidental injury cases increase.