Hearing the words paralysis injury or paralyzed can undoubtedly cause panic, fear, and frustration. Suffering a catastrophic accident that leaves you with a paralysis injury can be scary and life-altering.
Some paralysis injuries can be minor and temporary, while others are severe and permanent. However, they can all impact your life substantially, leaving you with physical, emotional, and financial repercussions.
Given the serious nature of spinal cord injuries, it is important to consult an experienced paralysis accident lawyer to seek all sources of liability and compensation.
We invite you to call 1-866-293-9364 or email email@example.com to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney at GJEL if you or a loved one has been paralyzed.
We provide free consultations, and we’re paid only when we win your claim. You’ll pay no fees if we don’t obtain a verdict or settlement for you.
Proving a Paralysis Injury Claim
Most paralysis injuries result from someone’s negligence, and if you file a lawsuit for damages, you will need to prove the four essential elements of your negligence claim.
Specifically, a plaintiff in a negligence lawsuit must prove the following:
- Duty of care—the plaintiff must first establish the defendant owed them a duty of care or legal responsibility to act reasonably under the circumstances;
- Breach of duty—the plaintiff must prove the defendant breached their duty, meaning the defendant deviated from the expected and reasonable standard of care and failed to fulfill their legal responsibility toward the plaintiff;
- Causation—the plaintiff must prove the defendant’s breach through their actions or inaction directly led to the plaintiff’s injury; and
- Damages—the plaintiff must show they experienced losses due to their injury.
Proving your case can be more complex than you might initially think and often requires the use of experts, extensive discovery, and significant litigation. We can help.
Damages Recoverable in a Paralysis Injury Lawsuit
In California and many other states, a plaintiff in a paralysis injury lawsuit can seek damages incurred from their injury. Generally, three categories of damages might be available to a successful plaintiff.
Economic damages represent your actual losses after your accident and paralysis injury. Typically, they are the easiest to prove and calculate with supporting evidence, such as bills, receipts, and records. Economic damages can include:
- Medical expenses, including future medical costs;
- Lost wages; and
- Loss of potential future earnings
Your lawyer will help you compile all necessary documentation to prove your financial losses.
Surviving an accident with a paralysis injury is catastrophic and life-altering. In addition to tangible financial losses, accident victims can often recover noneconomic damages. These are intangible losses that are subjective and personal to the individual. Noneconomic damages can include compensation for:
- Pain and suffering,
- Loss of enjoyment in life,
- Emotional distress, and
- Loss of consortium.
Noneconomic damages can be more challenging to prove since there are no receipts or bills evidencing your loss. However, they are nonetheless pivotal to showing your actual physical, emotional, and financial damages.
A successful plaintiff may be entitled to exemplary damages. However, unlike economic and noneconomic damages, exemplary damages are not meant to compensate a victim for their losses; rather, exemplary damages, also known as punitive damages, exist to punish a defendant for particularly horrific conduct. Exemplary damages are also meant to discourage others from engaging in similar intentional or egregious acts.
Remember, the specific amount of damages that you will be able to recover depends on the extent of your losses.
Why Do I Need a Paralysis Lawyer in California?
Accidents resulting in a paralysis injury are some of the most severe. Paralysis injuries can be life-shattering with significant financial consequences. People living with paralysis deserve maximum compensation, and the best way to seek the justice and economic recovery you or your loved one deserves is to have an experienced attorney advocating for you.
Navigating the legal process while recovering and adjusting to a new way of life can feel overwhelming and impossible. Hiring our trusted California paralysis injury firm can enhance the protection of your rights and your chance of success. Our paralysis lawyers can help in many ways.
Experience in Paralysis Injury Cases
Paralysis claims are complex and often require attorneys and medical professionals to work closely to prove your injuries and their impact on your life. At GJEL, we have experience representing individuals in complex, severe injury cases. Our attorneys know the applicable California laws and statutes governing personal injury cases. We are also familiar with the courts and procedures.
Negotiating an Ideal Settlement
Most personal injury claims settle outside court and do not go to trial. Reaching a fair and reasonable settlement requires negotiations with insurance companies, defendants, and opposing counsel. Insurance companies aim to pay as little as possible to accident victims and will often pressure a plaintiff into accepting a lowball settlement. Having a seasoned attorney negotiating on your behalf evens the playing field. Our team will handle all communication with the defendant and insurance companies so that you can focus on rebuilding your life. Our goal is to maximize your spine injury settlement amounts.
While most personal injury cases result in a settlement, some proceed to trial. We will not hesitate to take your case before a jury if we cannot reach an acceptable settlement. At GJEL, we are seasoned trial attorneys ready to prove your case.
What to Do Following a Paralysis Injury in California
The moments, days, and even months following a paralysis injury can be terrifying. It is important to take essential steps to protect your health, overall well-being, and legal rights.
Seek Medical Care
Most paralysis injuries require immediate medical attention, including emergency room care, lengthy inpatient hospital stays, prompt surgery, and significant rehabilitation. However, aside from any initial care you receive, seeing all necessary healthcare providers as scheduled and following their medical advice is imperative.
Gather Evidence and Document Everything
Gathering evidence, including photos and witness statements at the accident scene, can be beneficial later. We recognize this is not always possible with paralysis injuries, and our team can help you collect evidence even at a much later time. You should also keep clear and organized copies of all medical records, receipts, and expenses incurred.
Contact Our Paralysis Lawyers
Focus on your rehabilitation and contact our personal injury lawyers to care for the rest. We will investigate the accident, negotiate on your behalf, and strategize your case.
Types of Paralysis
Nobody expects to get hurt in an accident and to require weeks, months, and sometimes even years of medical treatment and therapies. However, a serious spinal cord injury (SCI) or traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in different types of paralysis. According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, currently, about 1 out of every 50 people in the country are living with some form of paralysis, which comes out to around 5.4 million people. To put that number in perspective, according to the Foundation, “that’s the same number of people as the combined populations of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.”
The Mayo Clinic provides detailed information about paralysis and the types of injuries that can leave a person paralyzed. Generally speaking, there are four different types of paralysis:
- Monoplegia is a type of paralysis that only affects one typically smaller part of the body, such as a limb. In many cases, patients who suffer from monoplegia regain feeling in most of their body but do not have feeling that returns to one part of the body, such as an arm. While certain diseases can cause monoplegia, brain injuries and nerve damage can also result in monoplegia.
- Hemiplegia is a type of paralysis that often is linked to stroke or cerebral palsy. It affects only one side of a person’s body, with paralysis of the arm and the leg on that side of the body.
- Paraplegia is a type of paralysis that affects the entire lower body, or “all or part of the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs.” It often results from spinal cord injuries in accidents, and it leaves patients unable to walk or to use their legs or lower bodies in any capacity.
- Quadriplegia is a type of paralysis that is also known as Tetraplegia, and it refers to paralysis of the arms, legs, and trunk due to a spinal cord injury. This condition means that the arms, hands, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs are all affected.
People who are weak or paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury are also at risk of developing other health problems, such as bedsores, urinary tract infections, and pneumonia. Paralysis symptoms and consequences will vary widely depending on the type and severity of the paralysis.
Signs of a Spinal Cord Injury That Could Result in Paralysis
It is extremely important to see a healthcare provider after you suffer an injury that could result in paralysis of any type. While many injuries that lead to paralysis immediately leave a person paralyzed, some injuries can lead to paralysis later on. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are many signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury that could result in paralysis, including but not limited to the following:
- Loss of movement in part of the body;
- Loss of sensation, or altered sensation, which can include feeling heat, cold, or touch more generally;
- Loss of control of the bowel or bladder;
- Exaggerated reflexes or spasms;
- Changes in a person’s sexual function or fertility;
- Changes in a person’s sexual sensitivity;
- Pain or stinging sensation;
- Breathing problems;
- Coughing up or clearing lung secretions;
- Extreme back pain;
- Pressure in the neck, head, or back;
- Weakness or lack of coordination in any part of the body;
- Numbness in a person’s hands, fingers, feet, or toes;
- Difficulty walking or balancing; and
- Oddly positioned neck or back.
If you experience what the Mayo Clinic describes as a “significant trauma” to your head or your neck, you need to be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible. Indeed, “paralysis may occur immediately or come on gradually as bleeding or swelling occurs in or around the spinal cord.” And the amount of time between your injury and seeking treatment can affect the possibility of your recovery.
Causes of Paralysis from Spinal Cord Injuries and Traumatic Brain Injuries
What are some of the most common causes of injuries resulting in paralysis? We have compiled some of the most frequent accidents and incidents causing paralysis from the Mayo Clinic and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation:
- Motor vehicle crashes,
- Slips and falls,
- Falls from heights,
- Sports injuries,
- Recreation injuries,
- Alcohol use,
- Acts of violence, and
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of paralyzing injuries in the United States, including automobile accidents and motorcycle accidents.
After a car accident, the trauma can be so intense that it affects the spinal cord, leading to temporary paralysis among other potential outcomes.
To be sure, motor vehicle collisions result in about 50 percent of all new spinal cord injury cases every year, many of which result in paralysis. Falls result in about 15 percent of all SCI cases and paralysis injuries, closely followed by acts of violence, sports injuries, and recreation injuries.
The causes of a spinal cord injury are numerous. No matter the cause, they require substantial medical care and swift legal representation.
Talk to GJEL If You’ve Been Injured
When you or a loved one has experienced a life-altering paralysis injury, the guidance of a seasoned paralysis attorney becomes not just helpful, but essential. GJEL Accident Attorneys stand as a leading paralysis law firm, offering specialized legal representation to those facing the daunting challenges that come with paralysis. Our paralysis injury attorneys are deeply committed to providing the compassionate advocacy and comprehensive support that is crucial during such a difficult time.
Our team at GJEL is composed of expert paralysis attorneys who understand the intricacies of paralysis cases. We are dedicated to securing the justice and compensation you deserve, ensuring that your needs are met both now and in the future. With extensive experience, our paralysis law firms have a proven track record of achieving favorable outcomes for our clients.
The aftermath of a paralysis accident is often overwhelming, but you do not have to navigate it alone. At GJEL, we combine expert legal counsel with a personal commitment to each client. We strive to be more than just your attorneys; we aim to be your steadfast allies, guiding you through every legal, medical, and financial challenge that arises. Reach out to us to discover how our expertise can make a significant difference in your journey to justice and recovery.
Contact an Experienced California Personal Injury Attorney
Suffering a spinal cord injury or another type of injury that leaves you paralyzed is debilitating and devastating for anyone. After becoming paralyzed, your entire life changes as an injury victim, and you typically will need significant medical attention—costing a substantial amount of money—for the rest of your life. If another party’s careless or negligent behavior resulted in your paralysis injury, you should learn more about filing a claim for compensation by speaking with one of our California paralysis injury lawyers.
The aggressive California personal injury attorneys at our firm can analyze the facts of your case today and can help you to begin the process of filing a claim for your paralysis injury. Contact GJEL Accident Attorneys for more information about how we can assist with your case.