Paralysis Injury Attorneys in California
Paralysis is the loss of any mobility or movement in a part of your body and includes paraplegia and quadriplegia. The level of the paralysis will always depend on the severity and location of the injury.
Put simply, the injury to your spinal cord is so severe that paralysis in one or more limbs occurs. In California, paralysis falls under the catastrophic injury category, which are injuries that have consequences that could permanently prevent you from performing any profitable work.
Paralysis and the loss of sensation can be partial or temporary, but also could be the more severe permanent injury. Generally, if bodily mobility has not recovered after a few months, then there is a greater chance the injury is permanent.
Permanent paralysis normally means there are damages to the spinal cord or nerve pathways. Victims are restricted to a wheelchair and will need long-term medical care and assistance with daily life activities.
Paraplegia or quadriplegia of two or four limbs is the most severe catastrophic personal injury that anyone can face. The medical cost alone can be overwhelming for accident victims.
Medical providers frequently use imaging tools such as CTs, X-Rays, and MRIs to confirm the causes of paralysis.
There are situations where someone else was at fault for a catastrophic injury causing paralysis.
If you were injured due to the negligence of another party, then you should retain legal representation from a personal injury attorney with experience dealing with paraplegia and quadriplegia injuries.
If you or a family member has become paralyzed due to someone else's negligence, you may be eligible for reimbursement for medical bills, rehabilitation services, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, a life care plan, and punitive damages.
For more detailed information, our Los Angeles personal injury lawyers are reviewing the details below.
What are the Common Types of Paralysis?
Paralysis is defined as the loss of strength or mobility in a part of the body. Put simply, it's the loss of muscle function in a part of your body, which occurs when there is nerve damage and communication between your brain and muscles is not functioning properly.
The paralysis may be partial or total, temporary or permanent; its severity depends on the location of the injury.
- Monoplegia: a small part of the body is paralyzed and has no sensation. Usually, these individuals regain feeling in most of their bodies except for that one part;
- Hemiplegia: one side of a person's body is partially or paralyzed. Generally, this type of paralysis occurs after a stroke, which can be aggravated by an injury;
- Paraplegia: this type affects the entire lower body – the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs. Many individuals involved in accidents that cause spinal cord injuries will have this type of paralysis. It can be temporary, but usually, it will become permanent if the individual has not regained some mobility or function after a few months;
- Quadriplegia: here, an individual is paralyzed from the neck down – their arms, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs are all paralyzed;
- Partial paralysis: this is where you have some partial feeling in your body parts and possible control over the paralyzed muscles;
- Diplegia: this describes the paralysis of the same areas on both sides, such as both arms or both legs;
- Complete paralysis: this describes the complete inability to move or control muscles, and there is also any lack of feeling in the muscles.
Paraplegia vs Quadriplegia
Paraplegia is paralysis of the lower half of your body, normally below the pelvic area causing a lack of mobility of the feet and legs. Paraplegia is the impairment in the motor or sensory functions in the lower extremities.
Quadriplegia describes when all four limbs are paralyzed, including both arms and both legs, along with some specific organs. Quadriplegia is the impairment in the motor or sensory functions in both the upper and lower extremities.
Thus, the difference between the two is that paraplegia does not affect the upper body extremities.
What Are the Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?
The vast majority of paralysis injuries are due to a spinal cord injury or a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Thus, some of the most common causes of injuries resulting in paralysis include the following:
- Motor vehicle accident,
- Truck accident,
- Motorcycle accident,
- Bicycle accident,
- Bicycle dooring,
- Sports injury,
- Workplace accident,
- Construction accident,
- Swimming pool accident,
- Fall from heights,
- Violent acts,
- Medical malpractice.
There are some injuries to the spinal cord that are not the result of a traumatic event but cause paralysis.
For example, strokes, genetic disorders, oxygen deprivation from choking, infections in the spinal cord or brain, cancer, among others.
However, motor vehicle traffic crashes are the leading cause of paralyzing injuries to a victim in the United States. Typically, paralysis injuries occur in an automobile accident or a motorcycle accident.
Who is Liable for Paralysis Injuries?
In California, there can be more than one party liable for a paralysis injury.
For instance, if an employee's negligence leads to your injury, their employer, parent company, or even insurance company may be liable as well.
Additionally, even if you are partially at fault for the injury, you are still eligible for compensation under California's comparative negligence law.
This law states that you may recover the percentage of damages that the other party is responsible for.
So if you are 30% at fault for the accident, the defendant will have to pay you 70% of the damages you would have received if they were totally at fault.
A jury will determine this percentage of fault after both attorneys present their cases and the facts surrounding the incident.
What are the Symptoms of Paralysis After an Accident?
After an accident, it is crucial to see a health care provider. For one thing, if you choose to sue the negligent individual, having a paper trail of your injuries is critical to the outcome of your case.
Secondly, and more importantly, there are some instances where paralysis does not occur at the accident scene. It can take some time for the injury to manifest. Many patients experience changes in their symptoms over time.
Some paralysis patients will see improvement dramatically, while other patients might not see any improvement, even with proper medical treatment.
Most paraplegics and quadriplegics will continue their physical therapy in an attempt to improve their situation. Here are some signs and symptoms that paralysis is occurring:
- Loss of movement in a part of the body;
- Loss of sensation or altered sensation;
- Loss of control of bowel or bladder;
- Inability to move limbs below the injury;
- Exaggerated reflexes or spasms;
- Spasticity of muscles causing uncontrolled movements;
- Pain or stinging sensation;
- Breathing problems;
- Coughing up lung secretions;
- Respiratory infections;
- Extreme back pain or pressure in the neck, head, back;
- Numbness in fingers, hands, toes, or feet;
- Difficulty balancing or walking;
The amount of time between the accident and treatment can have a strong impact on the severity of your injury. In some instances, paralysis can be staved off or lessened if treatment is sought in time.
What Type of Equipment Helps Victims Adapt to Paralysis?
The array of adaptive equipment to help paralysis patients cope with their injuries is extensive and expensive. Examples include:
- Mobility devices (wheelchairs, crutches, vehicle modifications);
- Hospital beds;
- Transfer equipment;
- Positioning devices;
- Respiratory equipment;
- Home modifications;
- Environmental control devices;
- Self-care tools;
- Special exercise/therapy equipment;
- Special culinary tools;
What Damages Can Be Recovered?
Catastrophic injuries resulting in paralysis are frequently caused by avoidable accidents.
If another party was negligent and caused the event leading to your paralysis, then our personal injury law firm can establish liability and help you recover financial compensation.
Awards for damages for paralysis victims include two forms of compensatory damages. Economic damages cover financial losses like medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic damages cover subjective losses like pain and suffering.
Thus, the compensation that is available for paralysis injuries in the state of California includes:
- Medical bills and expenses,
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation,
- Lost wages and benefits,
- Loss of earning capacity,
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of consortium,
- Loss of enjoying life.
How Can a California Paralysis Attorney Help You?
If you have suffered a catastrophic injury leading that led to paralysis, an experienced injury attorney can ensure you are properly compensated.
Paralysis will change every part of your life and can last a lifetime. The enormous cost of long-term medical care, therapy, and equipment can be completely overwhelming.
Put simply, anyone who is forced to live with paralysis has to receive adequate compensation to cover the cost of daily living.
At Injury Justice Law Firm, our skilled paralysis lawyers have the knowledge and resources to obtain maximum compensation for victims and their families.
We need to first review the details of your case before beginning the process of filing a claim for a paralysis injury.
We have two office locations in Los Angeles County. Contact our law firm for a free case evaluation at (818) 781-1570 or fill out our contact form.