Background Priority setting, identification of unmet and changing healthcare needs, service and policy planning, and the capacity to evaluate the impact of health interventions requires valid and reliable methods for quantifying disease and injury burden. The methodology developed for the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) studies has been adopted to estimate the burden of disease in national, regional and global projects. However, there has been little validation of the methods for estimating injury burden using empirical data. Objective To provide valid estimates of the burden of non-fatal injury using empirical data. Setting Data from prospective cohort studies of injury outcomes undertaken in the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand and The Netherlands. Design and participants Meta-analysis of deidentified, patient-level data from over 40 000 injured participants in six prospective cohort studies: Victorian State Trauma Registry, Victorian Orthopaedic Trauma Outcomes Registry, UK Burden of Injury study, Prospective Outcomes of Injury study, National Study on Costs and Outcomes of Trauma and the Dutch Injury Patient Survey. Analysis Data will be systematically analysed to evaluate and refine injury classification, development of disability weights, establishing the duration of disability and handling of cases with more than one injury in burden estimates. Developed methods will be applied to incidence data to compare and contrast various methods for estimating non-fatal injury burden. Contribution to the field The findings of this international collaboration have the capacity to drive how injury burden is measured for future GBD estimates and for individual country or region-specific studies.