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Paralysis Attorneys in California Helping Victims Recover Compensation
While every accident is unsettling, some can alter your life forever. The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation reports that about 5.4 million Americans (or one in fifty U.S. residents) are living with paralysis. Paralysis victims and their loved ones are forced to change their lives after a devastating injury. The greater the losses, the greater your legal right to compensation. This fact is why it is essential to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer after any accident. Whether your injuries are temporary or permanent, minor or severe, you have the legal right to be compensated by the person whose negligence caused your accident.
Call (888) 488-1391 to schedule your free consultation. We fight hard for accident victims.
At Arash Law, our skilled attorneys have over twenty years of experience and have collected over 200 million dollars for our clients. Our experienced paralysis injury lawyers have helped paralyzed accident victims in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Riverside, San Jose, San Diego, Sacramento, Sherman Oaks, Orange County, and throughout California. Call us: (888) 488-1391
Types of Paralysis Caused by Accidents
Paralysis is the loss of sensation and movement in a particular part of the body typically caused by injuries or an illness. It occurs when the nerves of the spinal cord are prevented from operating normally. Sometimes this is the result of a medical condition, such as a stroke. Often it is the result of an injury to your spinal cord. The location and severity of the injury will determine the extent of your paralysis.
Some paralysis is temporary. Once the victim recovers from the severe initial injuries, the paralysis might resolve on its own, or with the assistance of physical or occupational therapy. But in the case of a severe spinal cord injury, paralysis is likely to be permanent. The higher on the spinal cord an injury occurs, the more body parts will be affected. This determines what type of paralysis you will experience:
- Monoplegia: paralysis of one arm or leg
- Hemiplegia: paralysis of one arm and one leg on the same side of a person’s body
- Paraplegia: paralysis of both legs
- Quadriplegia (also known as “tetraplegia”): paralysis of all four limbs and the torso
Common Injuries That Cause Paralysis
Paralysis can be caused by medical conditions (such as a stroke) or chemical changes to the body (such as poisoning). According to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, strokes are the most common cause of paralysis, responsible for about 33.7 percent of cases. Spinal cord injuries were the next most common cause (responsible for about 27.3 percent of paralysis cases). There are many ways to sustain a spinal cord injury:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
The Centers for Disease Control reports that over 32,000 Americans are killed every year (and an additional two million are injured) in auto accidents. Motor vehicle accidents are simply a part of life – especially in California, where heavy traffic has become the norm. Auto accidents are so common that California (like other states) requires all drivers to carry liability insurance with minimum coverage amounts.
This insurance covers personal injuries and property damage that a negligent driver causes to other people. It is essential to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after an auto accident. Negligent drivers have a legal obligation to compensate their victims, and their insurance carriers are contractually obligated to pay personal injury claims. Learn more about how our attorneys handle cases involving car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents.
Plane or Train Crashes
Plane and train crashes are less frequent than motor vehicle accidents, but the consequences can be just as devastating. Injury victims often have a legal claim against the airline or railway. These service providers are considered “common carriers,” and they have special obligations under California law. When they violate the duty of care to their passengers, they are obligated to compensate all victims for their injuries.
This is why these service providers carry sizeable commercial insurance policies with high coverage limits. Unfortunately, even a high coverage limit is not always enough to compensate the many victims of a plane or train crash. There are dozens – sometimes hundreds – of victims with legitimate claims, all trying to access the same limited insurance policy. This is why it is crucial to get your own attorney and file a claim as soon as possible. This is the best way to protect your legal right to compensation in accidents where limited insurance coverage is available.
California Workplace Accidents
Workplace accidents can occur, no matter what job you have. They are, however, especially prevalent in the construction industry. Heavy machinery, unsecured scaffolding, and above ground level all contribute to a higher number of accidents in the construction industry than in other fields of work. Even doing road work can be dangerous: many drivers ignore the work zone signs and do not slow down.
Every year, construction workers are killed by negligent drivers in work zones. Workers who are paralyzed on the job have the right to workers’ compensation benefits.
These benefits do not, however, cover all of your losses. Pain and suffering are not compensated, and lost wages are usually capped based upon a formula.
This is why it is important to consult with an attorney and determine whether you also have a personal injury claim.
For example, the road worker who is struck by a negligent driver in a work zone will have the right to workers’ compensation benefits, but she will also have a personal injury claim against the negligent driver. This claim will cover all medical bills and projected future medical expenses, all equipment and in-home care related to the injuries, and any decreases in her future earning potential that occur as a result of the injury.
As you can see, a personal injury award is often much more extensive than workers’ compensation benefits. It is absolutely vital for paralysis victims to explore all their legal options. The lifetime costs of paralysis can quickly run into millions of dollars. You should not have to pay these expenses when someone else is legally responsible for causing your injuries.
Sports injuries have caused some of the most well-known cases of paralysis. Actor Christopher Reeve became a quadriplegic after being thrown from a horse during an equestrian sporting event in 1995. He lived in a wheelchair for nine years before passing away in 2004. Today, his legacy lives on through the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. Forbes reports that over a hundred thousand families have received assistance through the Foundation’s Paralysis Research Center.
Horseback riding can be dangerous, but it is certainly not the only sport that can lead to injuries that cause paralysis. Football is known to cause brain injuries. The nearby spinal cord can be affected by this brain damage, and the neck is left unprotected by football helmets. Soccer players have little – if any – protective equipment to shield them from the force of an impact. Hockey players have lots of padding and protection, but they are also exposed to constant blows and forceful impacts. These and many other sports can cause devastating injuries that lead to permanent paralysis.
Sports injuries present particular legal challenges. In some cases, a player is deemed to have “assumed the risk” of harm, because he or she understood the risks of injury and chose to play the game anyway. Some personal injury claims have been dismissed entirely based upon this theory.
This does not mean that your sports injury case cannot go forward. It is vital to have an honest discussion with an experienced lawyer about the strengths and weaknesses of your case. It is also essential to allow your attorney to explore all potential causes of your injury. For example: if you are unable to sue the player who struck you, you might still have a product liability claim against the manufacturer of your defective helmet. There are many possibilities. Only an experienced paralysis lawyer can accurately assess your case.
Medical Malpractice and Birth Injuries
Sadly, paralysis can be caused by the very medical professionals who are supposed to help you. For example, paramedics are trained to move patients with suspected spinal cord injuries carefully.
If they do not follow these protocols, the injury can be aggravated, and a minor injury could result in permanent paralysis. Or perhaps a surgeon makes an error during a delicate procedure. Maybe a nurse accidentally administers a toxic amount of the wrong medication. These and many other medical errors can cause paralysis.
When they do, the victim has a medical malpractice case against the negligent provider and can file a claim with the provider’s malpractice insurance carrier. Birth injuries are another form of medical malpractice.
Babies have delicate bodies that are still forming, and the birth process can cause physical trauma. Negligent obstetricians and midwives can cause injuries to the baby – including paralysis – if they are not careful during the delivery. There are many different forms of paralysis that can occur during labor and delivery. Bell’s palsy, for example, is a limited form of paralysis that affects the face. The victim is left with drooping muscles and facial twitches that are the result of paralyzed facial nerves. Whatever the extent of a baby’s paralysis, parents have the legal right to sue a negligent medical provider for causing birth injuries.
Negligence at a Nursing Home or Other Care Facility
Nursing home staff are yet another category of medical professionals who can cause paralysis to the very patients they are supposed to protect. Nursing home patients almost always have physical limitations – this is what 89xedfs34lead them to seek assistance in the first place. These limitations make them especially vulnerable to injury. This also means that their injuries tend to be more severe.
(This is why falls are so dangerous among the elderly but cause almost no medical complications in young, healthy patients.) If you or a loved one sustained an injury while in the care of an assisted living facility, you might have a personal injury claim against the facility and its providers.
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What Damages Can Be Recovered in Paralysis Injury Cases?
For most injury victims, the most crucial question is how much they will recover in a personal injury lawsuit. This depends on the amount of the personal losses you have suffered. Here are some of the most common losses for which paralysis victims are compensated:
Medical expenses, equipment, and in-home care – Medical expenses include all your past medical bills and all the projected future medical expenses you are likely to incur as a result of your injuries. Paralysis requires lifelong care. These projected future medical expenses can be significant. Victims are also entitled to compensation for their medical equipment (such as wheelchairs and breathing machines), as well as any in-home care that is required.
Modifications to the home – Many paralysis victims must add ramps or lifts to their homes in order to accommodate their wheelchairs. You might also have to widen hallways, add grab bars, and make other costly renovations to your home. You might also need a modified vehicle or special transportation arrangements.
Psychological counseling – A permanent injury can be devastating. The loss of normal physical functions affects every aspect of your life. Many victims need help to adjust to the changes in their work, marriage, relationships, hobbies, and identity. This is a compensable cost that is related to your injury.
Rehabilitation – Almost all paralysis victims will need some type of rehabilitation in order to adjust to their new physical restrictions. Occupational therapy can help rebuild skills for various tasks such as eating and writing. Physical therapy can restore strength and help you use other muscles to improve your mobility. Vocational rehabilitation can help you learn new skills and find work that is compatible with whatever needs you have. These, too, are costly services that are related to your injury.
Other medical complications – Many paralysis victims suffer from a series of secondary medical complications. Bowel disorders, loss of bladder control, circulatory disorders, sexual disorders, chronic pain, and depression are just a few examples. Sadly, these complications also mean that many paralysis victims have a shortened life expectancy. You are entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering associated with your medical complications. You can also be compensated for your reduced life expectancy. While this is a difficult loss to prove, it is also a powerful claim to present to a jury.
Call Us to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a California Injury Lawyer
Paralysis is a devastating injury that will affect you and your loved ones for the rest of your life. Victims have the right to extensive compensation for the many dramatic losses they will suffer. It is important to work with an experienced paralysis lawyer who can help pursue every source of compensation that is available to you.
Our paralysis injury lawyers serve all of California, including Bakersfield, Fresno, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto, Palm Springs, Monterey, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Chico, Redding, San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose to name a few.
Call (888) 488-1391 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation at Arash Law. Our experienced California personal injury lawyers have helped many paralysis victims protect their legal rights. We will fight hard for you, too.