Nearly any kind of accident can have catastrophic results. One of the worst is permanent paralysis. This injury robs a victim of their quality of life and can have other physical and emotional impacts.
If this has happened to you or someone close to you, please get in touch with the Jones Law Group as soon as possible. We’ll do all we can to hold those responsible for your suffering accountable for their negligence. Please contact us online or call (727) 571-1333 for a free consultation.
What is a Catastrophic Injury?
A catastrophic injury refers to a severe and debilitating injury that causes long-term or permanent disability, often resulting in a significant impact on the injured person’s quality of life. These injuries typically involve damage to the brain, spinal cord, or other vital organs. Catastrophic injuries often have profound and lasting effects, such as paralysis, loss of sensory function, cognitive impairment, or severe disfigurement.
Causes of Catastrophic Injuries
Again, just about any accident, such as a slip-and-fall, can result in a catastrophic injury. These are some of the more common causes.
- Motor vehicle accidents: Collisions involving cars, motorcycles, or commercial vehicles can result in catastrophic injuries due to the force of impact.
- Workplace accidents: Construction site accidents, falls from heights, or exposure to hazardous materials can lead to severe injuries with long-term consequences.
- Medical malpractice: Errors during surgery, misdiagnosis, or birth injuries can cause catastrophic harm, including paralysis.
Types of Catastrophic Injuries that May Cause Paralysis
Paralysis is a devastating consequence of some catastrophic injuries. The following types of injuries commonly lead to paralysis:
- Spinal cord injuries: Damage to the spinal cord often results in paralysis below the level of the injury. Paraplegia affects the lower body, while quadriplegia (or tetraplegia) affects the arms, legs, and trunk.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): Severe TBIs can cause paralysis if they impact the motor cortex or disrupt the brain’s ability to send signals to the muscles.
- Neck injuries: Severe trauma to the neck, such as a fractured vertebra, can result in paralysis, depending on the level of the injury.
- Nerve injuries: Damage to major nerves, such as the brachial plexus or peripheral nerves, can lead to paralysis or loss of muscle control.
Living with Paralysis After an Accident
Individuals who experience paralysis often face physical, emotional, and practical challenges. These are just a few of the key aspects of living with paralysis.
Paralysis can result in the loss of mobility and independence, requiring assistance with daily activities like dressing, eating, and bathing. Wheelchair use and adaptive equipment may be necessary for mobility.
The emotional toll of paralysis can be overwhelming. Feelings of grief, frustration, and depression are common as individuals adjust to their new reality. Support from loved ones, counseling, and participation in support groups can be beneficial.
Rehabilitation and Therapy
Rehabilitation programs, physical therapy, and occupational therapy are crucial in helping individuals adapt to their new circumstances. These therapies aim to maximize independence, improve strength, and develop strategies for managing daily tasks.
The Cost of Paralysis
Paralysis after a catastrophic injury can result in substantial financial burdens. The expenses associated with paralysis may include the following:
Paralysis often requires ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, and specialized equipment. Costs can include hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, assistive devices, and modifications to living spaces.
Lost Income and Earning Capacity
Many individuals with paralysis are unable to return to work or may experience a significant reduction in earning capacity. This loss of income can have a long-term impact on their financial stability. Victims may no longer be able to support themselves and their families.
Adapting the living environment to accommodate paralysis may involve significant home modifications, such as installing ramps, widening doorways, or constructing accessible bathrooms. These modifications can incur substantial costs.
Personal Care and Assistance
Individuals with paralysis often require ongoing personal care and assistance with daily activities. The cost of hiring caregivers or utilizing home health services can add to the financial burden.
Recovering Your Damages
If you or a loved one has experienced paralysis due to a catastrophic injury, it is essential to understand your rights to seek compensation for your damages. Recoverable damages in a catastrophic injury case may include the following:
- Medical expenses: You may be entitled to compensation for past, current, and future medical expenses related to your paralysis, including treatments, therapies, medications, and assistive devices.
- Lost wages and earning capacity: Damages can include compensation for the income lost due to the inability to work or a reduced earning capacity caused by paralysis.
- Pain and suffering: Paralysis can cause significant physical and emotional pain and suffering. Compensation may be available to address the emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-economic damages.
Filing a Catastrophic Injury Lawsuit
To pursue compensation for paralysis resulting from a catastrophic injury, speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney specializing in catastrophic injury cases is crucial. The attorney can guide you through the legal process, which typically involves the following steps:
- Case evaluation: The attorney will review the details of your case, assess the strength of your claim, and determine the potential damages you may be entitled to.
- Investigation: Your lawyer will work to gather evidence, such as medical records, accident reports, and expert opinions, to build a solid case on your behalf.
- Negotiation and settlement: Your attorney will negotiate with the responsible parties or their insurance companies to settle the case so you can obtain the money you deserve.
- Litigation, if necessary: If the other side refuses to settle, your attorney will file a lawsuit and represent you in court. They will present your case and advocate for fair compensation.
Contact Jones Law Group to Schedule a Free Consultation
The skilled attorneys with the Jones Law Group understand the complexities of catastrophic injury cases. They can provide you with the help you need to have the best chance of obtaining maximum compensation. Use our online contact form or call (727) 571-1333 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your legal options.