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Houston Catastrophic Injury Lawyers

Have you been severely injured in a Houston accident by another person or entity? Whether you have a brain injury, organ damage, damaged spinal cord, severe burns, amputated limbs, or blindness, you could be entitled to compensation for your losses.

Our Houston catastrophic injury lawyers at Nix Patterson will review your case at no charge today. We could help you receive the medical care and lifelong support you need to recover successfully.

What Is Considered a Catastrophic Injury in Houston?

The Public Health and Welfare Code states that a Houston catastrophic injury involves consequences that prevent you from working. The injury is so severe that you are usually saddled with a long-term disability. You also could have deformities and mental and physical losses of capacity. Your injury may require many hospital stays, surgery, and months or years of care.

Still, after a Houston accident, you may wonder if you have a catastrophic injury. What are the factors that make an injury catastrophic? In Texas, you have suffered a devastating injury if these statements are factual:

  • The injury created a severe risk of death.
  • You have a severe and permanent disfigurement.
  • You have a long-term or permanent loss or impairment of a body part, limb, or organ.

Also, a catastrophic injury means something significant enough that will significantly alter your life for years or permanently. Such a severe injury will leave you with a disability, reduced life expectancy, reduced quality of life, and the need for regular medical treatment. If you have a catastrophic accident, such as a spinal injury, you could need care for the rest of your life and be unable to work. How could you afford medical bills and the regular life costs?

After a disabling injury due to another person’s negligence, always speak to an experienced Houston catastrophic injury attorney. They can tell you if there is sufficient evidence to hold another party liable for your injuries. A catastrophic injury attorney is paid from any settlement or verdict award you receive. This means there are no out-of-pocket legal costs, as in most cases.

Types of Catastrophic Injury Claims We Most Commonly See

Almost any Houston accident can be the basis of a catastrophic injury claim. Negligence is often to blame, but so can intentional conduct sometimes. Some catastrophic injuries can be due to an attack, such as from a gun or knife, or without a hazardous weapon. The following injuries are often severe or catastrophic, and our attorneys have extensive experience:

Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury or TBI happens when something strikes your head or you are involved in an accident that involves a severe jolt. A severe TBI can cause difficulty with thinking or moving, coma, inability to speak or understand speech, paralysis, and long-term disability.

Some traumatic brain injury victims can recover to lead somewhat everyday lives, but others could require years of care. You need a catastrophic injury attorney working closely with you or your family to understand the full value of this severe injury case.

Spinal Cord Injuries

A spinal cord injury can lead to paralysis, which could be temporary or permanent. People with paralysis after an accident also may have many other health problems affecting the skin, digestive, and respiratory systems. Life expectancy is less with these severe spinal injuries. Your attorney must carefully determine your life-long costs and demand fair compensation from the insurance company.

Severe Burns

Burns from auto accidents, chemical exposure, or explosions can be catastrophic if severe enough. The pain and psychological suffering from severe burns can be overwhelming, and some of the pain and disability may be initially unknown to the victim. For example, burns that have healed around your joints can make moving harder, and motion can be excruciating. Also, facial disfiguration can cause severe depression and psychological trauma.

Internal Injuries

A severe impact or fall can cause organ damage or internal bleeding that can cause a catastrophic or fatal injury. For example, a car accident could severely injure or even destroy your liver or another abdominal organ, potentially requiring a transplant.


Losing a body part in an accident can be horrifying and devastating. It is common for auto accident victims to lose arms, legs, hands, or feet in severe accidents. Some injury victims may lose their sight or hearing in various types of accidents from a blow to the head.

Common Causes of Catastrophic Injuries

There are several causes of most catastrophic injuries in Houston. If you think you or a loved one has been severely injured, talk to a catastrophic injury attorney today:

Auto Accidents

Houston is a vast, growing city, and traffic worsens daily. The most catastrophic injury cases in the city involve auto accidents. Some of the most common dangerous intersections and roads that are the scene of many severe accidents are:

  • Sam Houston Parkway and Bissonnet Street
  • Greens Road and I-45
  • Main Street at Sam Houston Parkway
  • Beechnut Street at Sam Houston Parkway
  • Main Street at South Loop

You could be severely injured in many types of Houston car accidents, such as rear-end crashes, T-bone accidents, wrong-way accidents, etc.

Truck Accidents

Truck accidents deserve their own category for Houston catastrophic injury cases. Commercial trucks are huge and heavy, and when one slams into a car, the occupants can be severely injured or killed. Many passenger vehicle victims of truck crashes are severely burned and have internal injuries, multiple broken bones, head injuries, or spinal cord damage.

Truck accidents are unique because multiple parties often could be at fault for an accident. A carrier employs most truckers. If the truck driver worked for a carrier at the time, his employer could be vicariously liable for your injuries. This means the employer is responsible for the damages that their employee caused you. Additional insurance policies could be available in this type of accident that could pay damages to you.

Job-Related Accidents

From slip and fall accidents to hazardous chemical exposure, job-related accidents can cause catastrophic injuries in Houston. Most injured workers use the workers’ compensation system to cover their medical bills and lost wages. With limited exceptions, it is usually difficult to file a lawsuit against your employer for a job-related accident.

However, if a third party’s negligence causes your catastrophic injuries, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit. For instance, if you lose your hands in a piece of machinery on an assembly line, you could file for workers’ compensation without proving fault. You could also file a lawsuit if a third-party company made the machine defective.

Product Defects

Consumer products sold in the United States are supposed to be extensively tested to ensure that they do not cause a severe or fatal injury. However, many defective products cause devastating injuries every year. Some of the most common defective products that cause severe injuries are medical devices, pharmaceuticals, motor vehicles, toys, and lawn equipment. 

Slip-and-Fall Injuries

Property owners must keep their Houston properties free of hazards that may injure visitors and guests. But people slip and fall often in business places and other people’s residences. For example, if you slip and fall in a puddle at a grocery store and have a severe brain injury, the store owner could be liable for your injuries.

Medical Malpractice

Houston medical professionals usually offer excellent care, but doctors, nurses, and medical facilities can make mistakes that severely injure patients. Common sources of medical malpractice claims with severe injuries may relate to surgical errors, missed diagnoses, and prescription drug errors.

Catastrophic Injury Damages

Our attorneys understand assigning a dollar figure to a catastrophic injury is difficult. For instance, if you lost your sight in a tractor-trailer accident from flying glass, how do you even begin to express what that devastating loss is worth?

Our Houston catastrophic injury attorneys have the legal skills, experience, and resources you need to detail your economic and non-economic losses for the insurance company or jury. Based on how your severe injury affects you and your family, the damages our lawyers could pursue may include:

  • Past medical costs
  • Future medical costs
  • Loss of past earnings
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Physical impairment
  • Loss of ability to enjoy life

Catastrophic injury damages can vary by case, and how much you could receive depends on several factors mentioned below:

  • The severity of your injury. All catastrophic injuries are severe, but some are worse than others. If you were partially paralyzed in a Houston car crash, that is a significant injury, but if you were fully paralyzed from the neck down, the case could have a higher value. It is estimated that the average lifetime cost of a spinal cord injury is between $1.2 million and $5.1 million, depending on the injury and the victim’s age.
  • The amount of past and future medical care. Medical bills comprise a large portion of a catastrophic injury claim. If you need constant medical care for life because of paralysis, the claim will probably have a higher value than an amputation injury that may not require extensive care after time passes.
  • Your degree of pain and suffering. The more pain and suffering your injury causes and is proven, the higher the case value. Severe burns are excruciating, as are the treatments. This type of injury may be worth more than a less catastrophic injury.

Texas Comparative Negligence For Catastrophic Injuries

Texas has a modified comparative fault rule and has a 51% bar to financial recovery. This means you cannot receive compensation for a catastrophic injury if you were 51% or more at fault. But you may still be compensated if you were less than 51% at fault.

So, if you have a catastrophic injury worth $1 million and were 40% at fault for the car accident, your compensation would be reduced by $400,000. Your attorney understands that being found partially at fault could reduce your compensation. So, they will look closely at how the accident happened and, if appropriate, will argue for you to receive less blame for the accident. Insurance companies like to blame the victim because it can reduce your payout. An experienced attorney can prevent this from happening.

Who Pays for Catastrophic Injury Damages in Houston?

If you caused the accident, you will probably have to pay out of pocket or through your insurance coverage. But if someone caused the accident, your attorney must determine who can be held liable for your damages. You have two choices: settle with the insurance company or file a lawsuit in court.

Because catastrophic injuries have such high expenses and damages, even if the other has insurance, their insurance limits may not cover all of your bills. For instance, if you have a spinal cord injury from a car crash, the driver’s insurance may cover $30,000 per person for bodily injury. But your first-year costs for care could easily exceed $500,000. It’s possible that you could only receive the maximum insurance coverage in a settlement.

However, if your attorney discovers the defendant has substantial assets, it may be worthwhile to sue for the rest of your damages. If the jury finds in your favor, you could receive considerably more to cover your other damages.

The insurance company could also offer a far too low settlement for catastrophic injury damages. If you can get more from a jury, your attorney may advise filing a lawsuit.

What Is the Texas Statute of Limitations?

You have only two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury claim. Unless a rare exception applies, you need to act quickly after the accident to potentially receive compensation in a lawsuit.

Contact Nix Patterson’s Catastrophic Injury Attorneys Today

Being severely injured in an accident through no fault of your own is devastating. You could have head trauma, an amputated limb, severe burns, or a spinal cord injury. Medical bills could be in the hundreds of thousands or millions. How will you get the medical care you need and care for yourself?

Nix Patterson catastrophic injury attorneys in Houston understand. Our compassionate, experienced personal injury attorneys have successfully handled many catastrophic injury cases. If it can be proven that another party is responsible, we will fight for the most compensation for your losses. We aren’t paid unless we win, so contact Nix Patterson’s Houston catastrophic injury attorneys for a complimentary legal consultation.


Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below. 

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