Paralysis is a condition that affects a bundle of nerves in the body, typically along the spine. When those nerves are damaged, the injured victim can no longer use the muscles that group of nerves controls, typically the limbs. Paralysis can be partial (paraplegia) or total (quadriplegia) and either temporary or permanent, potentially detracting from your quality of life and having a substantial impact on your future.
Paralysis injuries can be very difficult to recover from, both physically and emotionally, even with a skilled personal injury attorney’s help. When the accident that caused the paralysis is the fault of someone else, it can be even more difficult to manage. In these cases, anyone suffering from a paralysis injury should speak to a Chicago paralysis injury lawyer who could help them seek compensation to ease the financial burden associated with their injury.
In order for paralyzed accident victims to claim compensation for their injuries, someone else needs to be fault for the accident. This is known as the concept of negligence, and most Chicago personal injury cases are based on this concept.
Negligence is defined as a failure to act with a level of care that another reasonable person would have under the same circumstances. When a person does not maintain this appropriate level of care and someone gets hurt as a result, the injured individual may file a lawsuit against them in order to claim damages.
Determining negligence is not always a simple process, particularly in paralysis injury cases where the injuries are so severe. A paralysis injury lawyer in Chicago could know the steps to take to determine who was actually negligent—and should therefore be held liable—in an accident.
When an accident victim wishes to file a lawsuit to claim compensation for their injuries, they often want to know how much compensation they can receive. Generally speaking, there are three types of damages a paralyzed accident victim may receive.
The first type of compensation is known as economic damages. This type of compensation has an actual dollar amount and is meant to replace any costs the accident victim paid—or will pay in the future—for their injuries. These damages can include lost wages and earning potential, medical bills, medication, ongoing rehabilitation, medical devices, equipment, and more.
Conversely, non-economic damages may not have a dollar value but are losses all the same. Pain and suffering is a common example of this kind of damage, as is emotional distress. In the case of a paralysis injury, loss of consortium may also be awarded as compensation. This is the deprivation of a family relationship due to the injuries, such as a husband that is no longer able to care for his children.
Finally, in cases where the defendant’s actions went beyond simple negligence or oversight, the court may also award punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish the defendant and prevent them from acting in such a way in the future. The court determines whether punitive damages will apply, though, so they cannot be claimed in a lawsuit.
Filing a lawsuit for a paralysis injury can become very complicated. Negligence must be determined, and then the case may need to be fought in court in order for you to receive full compensation. This can be difficult for anyone, but especially hard for paralysis victims trying to deal with their injuries and move forward from them.
Hiring an attorney should be your first step after an accident, even before speaking to any insurance company that may be involved. If you suffered a paralysis injury after an accident and you believe it was the fault of someone else, call a Chicago paralysis injury lawyer today who could fight for your rights and help you pursue compensation for all your damages and losses.