As one of South Florida’s premier personal injury law firms, we know well the emotional devastation, physical pain and financial hardship wrought by injuries resulting in paralysis.
Such injuries affect a person’s ability to work, be an active member of the family and community and provide for themselves and their loved ones.
The personal injury lawyers at Freeman Injury Law recognize an award of damages will in many cases never be adequate compensation for pain and loss. However, a damage award can provide the necessary support and stability to achieve a good quality of life for you and those you love. Additionally, when wrongdoers are held accountable, it helps to ensure the same kinds of accidents will be less likely to harm someone else in the future.
While there are several different types of paralysis, it is generally defined as the loss of muscle function in part of the body. Although it can occur incrementally over time, it is most often the result of some sudden, traumatic injury to the brain and/or central nervous system. The result is a disconnect in the way messages are passed between the brain and muscles.
Spinal cord injuries are classified as either incomplete or complete. Someone with an incomplete spinal cord injury may retain some motor function below the area of injury, as there is not a complete separation between the brain and extremities. However, someone with a complete spinal cord injury would experience a total lack of sensory and motor function below the level of injury.
Usually, complete spinal cord injuries result in either paraplegia (can still control upper extremities) and quadriplegia (loss of at least partial control in all four limbs).
Some of the most common incidents resulting in paralysis include:
- Motor vehicle accidents. Traffic accidents account for approximately 20 percent of all traumatic brain injuries and 50 percent of all spinal cord accidents.
- Fall accidents. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls cause nearly one-third of all brain injuries and 20 percent of all spinal cord injuries.
- Striking or being struck by an object. This would include things like a sports collision, a falling object or construction accidents. These account for roughly 20 percent of all traumatic brain injuries and 14 percent of spinal cord injuries in the U.S.
- Acts of violence. Assault and battery accounts for approximately 11 percent of traumatic brain injury cases. It’s also one of the top causes of deaths related to traumatic brain injuries. Violence is also cited in 15 percent of spinal cord injury diagnoses.
- Medical errors. When a doctor or other health care provider fails to administer care in line with the applicable standard of care, those errors or omissions can result in lifelong consequences – including paralysis – for the patient.
If immediate attention and high-quality treatment are provided, it may help to improve the injured person’s condition following a serious injury. While recovery from paralysis is sometimes possible in cases of incomplete spinal cord injuries, often the victim will still suffer the effects the rest of his or her life.
The physical trauma is just one aspect. Coming to terms with this on an emotional level is something for which few are prepared. Not many people realize this too is considered something for which you may receive compensation. Specifically, the damages are for “pain and suffering” – and that includes lasting emotional pain.
Other types of compensation in these cases may include:
- Medical bills. These would include coverage of hospital bills, prescription drugs, doctor visits, therapy, rehabilitation and any other future expenses related to medical care.
- Lost wages. This includes not only what you lost as a result of not being able to return to work, but also your loss of future earning capacity.
- Wrongful death. Such damages could be pursued even when the victim did not die immediately. A person may suffer for months or years before succumbing to his or her injuries. These cases may still qualify for wrongful death compensation.
Our experienced injury attorneys have the resources and knowledge required to successfully pursue all aspects of compensation and recovery in such cases. Because the effects of such an injury are so far-reaching, it’s important you only trust your case to a firm both prepared and equipped to negotiate aggressively with insurers and, if necessary, take the matter to trial.
Contact Freeman Injury Law at 1-800-561-7777 for a free consultation and review of your claim. You may also email attorney Dean Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org.