The adjective disabling describes something that's devastating in some way, usually physically. When an accident is disabling, it's a terrible one, resulting in someone being badly injured.

A disabling car crash isn't one in which the passengers walk away unharmed, and if a person is diagnosed with a disabling disease, she can expect it to dramatically affect her life. People affected by a disabling event are often left incapacitated — unable to walk, for example. Disabling comes from disable, with its roots of dis, or "do the opposite of," and ablen, "to make fit."

Definitions of disabling
  1. adjective
    that cripples or disables or incapacitates
    synonyms: crippling, incapacitating
    detrimental to good health
  2. adjective
    depriving of legal right; rendering legally disqualified
    “certain disabling restrictions disqualified him for citizenship”
    synonyms: disqualifying
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    providing legal power or sanction
    granting a privilege or permission or power to do or not do something
    sanctionative, sanctioning
    implying sanction or serving to sanction
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