Any personal injury can be devastating or debilitating, but paralysis injuries are especially severe and may lead to lifetime disability, exorbitant medical funds, loss of employment, and much more. Victims of auto or other serious accidents must know what they can expect from paralysis injury lawsuits so they can acquire the compensation they need to recover and pay for their medical bills and living expenses.
What is a Paralysis Injury?
A paralysis injury is any personal injury that leads to paralysis, temporary or permanent, of one or more body parts or areas. The majority of paralysis injuries are caused due to catastrophic injury to the spinal cord, which is the center of the nervous system along with the brain.
Most types of paralysis occur when spinal damage causes one of the following reactions:
- The brain is unable to send signals to an area of the body due to injuries to itself.
- The brain is unable to send signals to an area because of local injuries to that area.
In most cases, that’s because the spinal cord itself has been damaged due to an auto accident, personal injury, assault, or some other reason. It’s generally less common for injuries to specific areas other than the spine, such as the arms or legs, to lead to paralysis.
However, this is not always the case. As an example, nerve damage may cause nerves in the feet or other areas to cease functioning. This is a form of partial paralysis, as the affected individual is still able to move somewhat, but may have little to no sensation in the affected areas.
Are All Paralysis Injuries Total?
No. Paralysis or spinal injuries can vary heavily from person to person, and the severity or extent of the injuries is highly contingent on where the injury took place and other factors.
For example, some spinal cord injuries result in total paralysis of one or more body parts or areas. Other injuries may only lead to partial or temporary paralysis. In these cases, the victim may be able to recover sensation or mobility in the areas with dedicated treatments and physical therapy.
Types of Paralysis Injuries
Broadly speaking, there are four types of paralysis injuries that may affect the victims of auto accidents or other personal injuries. But it’s important to note that paralysis affects everyone differently and there are innumerable ways in which a person can be injured and/or paralyzed to some extent.
Over 1.2 million Americans currently live with paralysis of some type.
Monoplegia is the paralysis of a single area of the body. Usually, this is a single limb, such as the right arm or left leg. Individuals with monoplegia usually have control over the other parts of their body but they may not be able to move or feel sensations in the affected areas.
Hemiplegia is a paralysis injury that affects one side of the body, such as an arm and leg on the same side. It takes its name from the root "hemi", which means half. Individuals with hemiplegia may experience paralysis to different degrees and hemiplegia’s effects can vary over time.
In many victims, hemiplegia starts with a “pins and needles” sensation, but gradually progresses to muscle weakness and/or total paralysis.
Paraplegia is paralysis below the waist. Although the exact effects can vary from person to person, paraplegia usually affects both of the victim's legs along with their hips, genitals, and other functions or body parts.
In addition, although many believe that paraplegics can’t feel anything below the waist or can’t walk, this is not strictly true; some paraplegics can walk or maintain limited mobility while others are unable to walk whatsoever. They may be confined to wheelchairs or require other mobility assistants.
Quadriplegia, also called tetraplegia, is paralysis of all body parts and sensations below the neck. It typically affects all four limbs and the torso. As with other types of paralysis injuries, the extent of this effect can vary significantly.
Some quadriplegics are able to regain some of their body’s functionality, while others are not able to do so at all. Regardless, such paralysis is obviously a life-changing injury.
Causes of Paralysis Injuries
Paralysis injuries can be caused by a wide range of accidents or other events. These include:
- Auto or motor vehicle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Cerebral palsy
- TBIs or traumatic brain injuries
- Motorcycle accidents
- Brain damage
- And more
As described earlier, all forms of paralysis are due to damage to the nervous system, usually centered around the spinal cord and/or the brain. Because paralysis injuries affect these very sensitive, critical areas, the medical bills for treating paralysis are usually quite expensive.
In addition, the nature of many paralytic injuries means that victims aren’t always able to regain full functionality of affected parts or areas of the body. In this way, paralysis victims are often unable to return to work or move around to the same degree as they did before.
In some cases, a paralysis injury can incur costly medical bills, then also cause a victim to lose their job if they are unable to continue their duties after recovery. With so much financial burden added on top of the medical struggles, it’s more important than ever for paralysis victims to understand that they may be able to receive financial compensation by means of a paralysis injury lawsuit.
What to Do After a Paralysis Injury?
Paralysis injuries are usually very severe and often occur due to catastrophic accidents. If you or someone you know has suffered a paralysis injury, keep the following steps in mind:
Get Medical Attention
First, be sure to seek medical attention ASAP. Some paralysis injuries may become worse or more severe if they are not treated immediately. Medical attention also allows you and any other individuals involved in the accident or incident to be treated for other ailments or injuries quickly.
Seek Treatment for the Injury
All paralysis injuries require treatment by trained medical professionals. Even if paralysis is not preventable, rapid and effective medical treatment may be able to limit the effects of the injury or prevent other injuries from being sustained.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Only after a victim is stabilized and he or she has received treatment for paralysis injuries should you consider a lawsuit. If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious accident and experienced a paralysis injury as a result, you may wish to contact an experienced paralysis attorney/personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to determine your rights.
When Do You Need a Paralysis Injury Lawyer?
Simply put, paralysis injury lawyers like The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP may be able to help victims of major injuries or accidents acquire the compensation they need to recover fully from their traumatic events.
Most paralysis injuries are very severe and could incur exorbitant medical bills. The medical costs for paralysis injuries can include:
- Costs for staying at the hospital or medical care
- Cost for surgery
- Cost for medication and ongoing treatment
- Cost for treatment outside the hospital or at-home care
- And more
On top of that, victims of paralysis injuries are not always able to return to work. Some victims are unable to return to work permanently due to the nature of their injuries. Because of this, paralysis injuries may also lead to loss of employment, loss of quality of life, and other financial hardships.
A paralysis injury lawsuit may allow victims to obtain enough compensation to cover all of these expenses and more. In addition, compensation awards from paralysis injury lawsuits often include additional damages for some of the following but not limited to:
- Pain and suffering, intended to compensate the victim for the physical discomfort and pain that may have suffered as a result of the injuries.
- Loss of ability, intended to compensate the victim for the loss of mobility or other physical movements due to their new paralysis.
- Loss of income, which may compensate individuals for the income they may lose due to being unable to work.
- Loss of companionship, if the accident also led to the wrongful death of a loved one or the ability of one’s loved one to offer companionship due to his or her injury.
- And more.
One must note, however, that even the most apparently open and shut cases may not be so simple come court date or settlement negotiations.
What’s Involved in a Paralysis Injury Lawsuit?
Any successful paralysis injury lawsuit verdict or settlement is contingent on proving the negligence of an at-fault party for an accident. Insurance companies often require a lot of evidence before they'll pay compensation in paralysis cases.
For example, a paralysis injury victim may have been involved in a car accident in which the other driver was clearly at fault for the collision and the injuries sustained by the victim. But the victim and their legal team must be able to prove negligence or fault in order to acquire compensation from the at-fault party or organization.
A skilled legal team like The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP may be able to help paralysis injury victims by proving:
- That the responsible party’s negligence directly led to the accident or incident implicated in paralysis injuries;
- That the injuries sustained by the victim were sustained as a direct result of the actions of the responsible party.
Furthermore, paralysis injury attorneys can help accident victims recover evidence and gather all necessary documentation needed to prepare a strong case. All paralysis injury lawsuits, like other personal injury lawsuits, have a statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations prevents lawsuits for an injury or incident from being brought forward after a certain date. The statute of limitations for paralysis injury lawsuits is different in various states and under different circumstances. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible as paralysis injury victims need to file their lawsuits before the statute of limitations expires.
In short, legal teams like The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP can maximize a victim’s chances of getting the compensation they need to financially and medically recover from their injuries as much as possible.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
In some cases, paralysis victims may become paralyzed or suffer paralysis injuries because of the medical negligence or malpractice of a physician or surgeon.
For example, an accident victim may be taken to a hospital to receive immediate treatment after a car crash with broken bones, or other injuries. If the medical team treating the patient is not fully staffed, is not fully trained or otherwise unprepared for the procedure, however, they may inadvertently cause additional injuries to the victim under their charge.
In such cases, these medical practitioners or the medical facility would be at fault for any paralysis injuries that resulted. They may be liable for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Once again, legal professionals like The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP can assist paralysis victims gather the evidence they require to ensure a successful outcome for their personal injury claims and acquire maximum compensation to pay for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.
Are All Paralysis Injuries Qualified for a Lawsuit?
No. The only paralysis injuries that may qualify for legal compensation are those that are caused through the direct negligent actions of another party or person.
But it’s not always clear whether another party is at fault for a paralysis injury or if the injury may be attributable to another cause. This is just one more reason why paralysis victims should contact a lawyer before filing a paralysis lawsuit.
Contact The Rothenberg Law Firm for a Free Consultation
Paralysis injuries are very difficult to endure no matter their extent or source. But you don’t have to take on the legal challenges of preparing and presenting your paralysis injury lawsuit alone. The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP is ready and waiting for your call and we offer a free consultation and free case evaluation for all clients.
That’s not all. We’re so dedicated to helping you in your paralysis injury case that we do not charge you anything until you’ve won your case. That’s right – if you don’t win, we don’t win.
Contact The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP today for more information and to learn about your legal options.