Suffering a paralyzing injury after an accident can bring emotional, physical, and financial challenges that others can’t comprehend. This terrible injury happens to about 18,000 people in the U.S. yearly. Those responsible for this suffering must pay dearly for the misery they’ve caused.
If someone’s negligence caused an accident resulting in paralysis, please contact The Eberst Law Firm as soon as possible. We’ll not only ensure you know your rights, but we’ll also fight for them. Our attorneys will do everything they can to help you obtain every dollar of compensation you deserve. You can schedule a free consultation by calling 1-888-CALL-JON or contacting us online.
What is Paralysis, and How Can Personal Injury Accidents Cause it?
Paralysis is a medical condition characterized by losing muscle function in one or more body parts. This loss of function often stems from damage to the nervous system, which serves as the body’s communication network. There are several types of paralysis, but two of the most common arising from personal injury accidents are paraplegia and quadriplegia.
Paraplegia is a form of paralysis that affects the lower half of the body, typically involving both legs and sometimes parts of the lower trunk. It often results from spinal cord injuries in the lower back region, such as those caused by traumatic events like car accidents or falls.
Quadriplegia, on the other hand, involves the paralysis of the arms and legs and various trunk muscles. It typically results from spinal cord injuries higher up the spine, often in the neck area, and can occur due to severe trauma, such as high-impact accidents or falls.
About 40% of paralysis victims suffer from paraplegia, while the other 60% experience quadriplegia.
Common Causes of Paralysis
Personal injury accidents can lead to paralysis due to the traumatic nature of these events. Here are some common scenarios:
- Car crashes: High-speed collisions can result in severe spinal cord injuries, leading to paraplegia or quadriplegia. The abrupt deceleration and impact forces can damage the spine, causing permanent nerve damage.
- Falls: Falls from heights or on hard surfaces can lead to spinal cord injuries. This is especially true for elderly individuals more susceptible to fractures and spinal cord damage from falls.
- Medical malpractice: In some cases, medical procedures or surgeries can result in complications that lead to paralysis. Errors during surgery or improper medical care can damage the nervous system.
- Workplace accidents: Certain workplace accidents, particularly in heavy machinery or construction industries, can result in spinal cord injuries and paralysis.
The Emotional and Physical Impact
Experiencing paralysis is not just a physical challenge. It’s also a profound emotional journey. The emotional impact can be overwhelming; individuals often go through stages of grief, depression, and anxiety. The sudden loss of mobility and independence can be incredibly challenging to process.
Physically, adapting to life with paralysis is arduous. It involves extensive rehabilitation and therapy to regain as much function as possible. This process is physically demanding and emotionally draining, as it requires immense patience and resilience.
A robust support system comprising family, friends, therapists, and support groups is vital in helping individuals with paralysis cope with these emotional and physical challenges.
Financial Implications for Victims of Paralysis
Paralysis brings substantial financial burdens, which can compound the emotional and physical challenges. These financial implications include:
- Medical expenses: Immediate medical care, surgeries, and ongoing treatments can be expensive. Paraplegia victims often face medical expenses of more than $500,000 during the first year after their injury.
- Lost wages: Many individuals with paralysis can’t work. They face the loss of current wages and potential future earnings.
- Home modifications: Adapting the home environment to accommodate the needs of someone with paralysis can be costly. These accommodations may involve ramps, widened doorways, accessible bathrooms, and more.
- Assistive devices: Wheelchairs, mobility aids, communication devices, and other assistive technology can come with a significant price tag.
- Hidden costs: Personal care, therapy, transportation to medical appointments, and other daily living expenses can also add up over time.
Understanding Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Navigating these financial challenges often requires legal action to seek compensation from those responsible for the accident that caused the paralysis. In a personal injury case resulting in paralysis, the victim can seek compensation for their damages or financial losses from the accident. These damages include the following:
- Medical expenses: These include all costs associated with medical treatment, rehabilitation, assistive devices, and ongoing care.
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity: Victims can seek compensation for the income they have lost due to their injury and the potential future earnings they will never realize due to their condition.
- Pain and suffering: This category of damages compensates victims for the physical and emotional pain they’ve endured – and will continue to endure – due to their paralysis.
- Loss of consortium and companionship: In cases where the injury affects personal relationships, spouses or family members may be entitled to compensation for the loss of companionship and support.
A jury may award punitive damages in cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious, reckless, or intentional. These damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior in the future. However, it’s important to note that victims rarely receive punitive damages.
Determining Liability After a Personal Injury Accident Causes Paralysis
Several factors come into play when establishing fault and holding the responsible parties accountable. First, you must have solid evidence to show you weren’t at fault for the accident. This evidence typically includes accident reports, medical records, witness statements, and expert testimony is crucial in proving negligence.
In addition, eyewitnesses who can provide firsthand accounts of the accident and its causes are often invaluable in building a case. Your attorney may also call upon medical experts and accident reconstruction specialists to provide professional assessments and opinions regarding the incident.
Depending on the circumstances, potential defendants may include individuals, companies, government entities, or a combination of these, and their liability can vary widely.
Finding the Best Personal Injury Lawyer for Paralysis Claims
Given the complexity of paralysis cases, choosing a personal injury lawyer with the expertise needed to win your case is essential. When seeking legal representation, don’t hesitate to ask the following questions:
- What’s your experience with paralysis cases? Look for a lawyer who has a proven track record of handling paralysis cases and understands the unique challenges involved.
- What’s your track record of obtaining settlements and favorable verdicts? An attorney’s success in securing fair compensation for their clients strongly indicates their competence.
- What’s your approach to client communication and case management? Effective communication and a well-organized approach to handling your case are crucial for a positive legal experience.
Also, reading testimonials and reviews from previous clients can provide insight into the lawyer’s reputation and client satisfaction.
Understanding Legal Fees
Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means they only receive payment if they successfully recover your compensation.
This fee structure helps make legal representation accessible to individuals facing paralysis without adding to their financial burden. It ensures that lawyers are motivated to secure the best possible outcome for their clients, as their fee is contingent on winning the case.
The attorneys with The Eberst Law Firm will be here to answer all of your questions. We’ll also work to help you obtain maximum compensation. Schedule a free case evaluation by using our online contact form or calling 1-888-CALL-JON.