Atlanta Paralysis Injury Lawyers
A bundle of nerves down our spines controls our ability to touch, move, and feel. Those nerves are rarely considered until after a tragic accident. When damage to the spine is severe enough, a person can be permanently paralyzed. In many cases, paralysis lasts a lifetime, forever changing the way a person lives and works.
When a person can point to another person’s negligence or recklessness as the cause of their paralysis injuries, they may be eligible for compensation. An Atlanta paralysis injury lawyer can help victims understand their legal rights and pursue the justice they deserve. If you or a loved one has suffered a paralysis injury, reach out to a compassionate catastrophic injury attorney today.
Different Types of Paralysis
Spinal cord injuries often happen when people least expect them. Car accidents, workplace incidents, and slip and falls are a few of the most common causes of paralysis injuries. When such accidents occur, victims face an uphill climb in their recovery process. In many cases, paralysis will impact them for the rest of their life.
Paralysis affects people in two main ways. Depending upon how a person sustains an injury, they may suffer either quadriplegia or paraplegia. Quadriplegia occurs when a person sustains an injury high on their spinal cord or neck. People suffering from quadriplegia cannot move their legs or arms, and in some severe cases, cannot move their head or neck, as well.
Those with paraplegia have usually sustained injuries lower on their spinal cord, near their waist or lower back. Paraplegia victims often cannot move their legs and require the use of a wheelchair. They can, however, usually use their arms and torso.
Common Fact Patterns in Atlanta Paralysis Cases
Every case of paralysis is unique, and everyone who suffers from it will likely have a different reaction. Yet there are some common fact patterns when it comes to paralysis cases in Atlanta. If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with paralysis after an accident, a compassionate lawyer could help you file a claim to recover damages. Discuss your options with a diligent Atlanta paralysis injury lawyer in your community.
Common Causes of Paralysis
Paralysis can be caused by any number of serious events, including car wrecks, acts of violence due to negligent security on the premises, or from surgery complications.
Work-related injuries can also frequently cause paralysis, especially for physical jobs such as construction work. Any job that has a risk of falling, or involves high speeds, will have the potential for paralysis. This includes a number of sports or other jobs that involve athletic body movements.
What Are Some Common Types of Paralysis?
Paralysis is the loss of muscle function in part of a person’s body that occurs when the nerve connections between the brain and muscles no longer works. Paralysis can be complete or partial, and can occur on one or both sides of the body, or in just one area of the body.
The most common types of paralysis are paraplegia, which is paralysis of the lower half of a person’s body including both legs, and quadriplegia, which is paralysis of both the arms and legs. Different types of paralysis are caused by injuries at different levels of the spine. Paraplegia is caused by an injury lower down on the spine that only affects the legs. Quadriplegia is caused by an injury higher up in the spine, often in the cervical spine or neck. This will affect more areas of the body, including the arms and legs.
How Paralysis Affects the Body
Although paralysis is a neurological condition that affects the nerves, it commonly manifests itself physically because the nerves are no longer able to carry signal to the brain. A person with paraplegia will be unable to move their legs while a person with quadriplegia will be unable to move both their arms and their legs. In the case of other types of paralysis, such as those resulting from a stroke, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, or Bell’s Palsy, they may be unable to move muscles in the face.
Bringing a Claim After Paralysis
A person can sue for paralysis if it was caused by another person’s or company’s negligence. However, paralysis can also have multiple causes that do not necessarily have a faulty party such as a stroke, spinal cord injury, or a broken neck. Paralysis can also be caused by nerve diseases such as ALS, or autoimmune diseases such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Bell’s Palsy, which affects the muscles in the face, is another potential cause.
When paralysis is the result of an accident that was caused by the negligence of another person, the victim may be able to bring a claim. Paralysis caused by an illness is more difficult to bring a case for. Sometimes paralysis can be a complication of surgery, whether it is a mistake that the treating doctor makes or is a complication that resulted from that surgery.
What Are Some Coping Mechanisms?
In addition to physical changes, those who have sustained a paralyzing injury may also have to deal with severe mental trauma such as post-traumatic stress disorder or depression. They might need to engage in some form of therapy through a psychiatrist or psychologist who can help them understand their injuries and how to cope with their new way of life. They could also join a group of people who are suffering from the same ailment so they can learn how to adapt and not feel so alone. Family members of the injured person can sometimes attend so they also can learn to cope.
Compensation for Paralysis Victims in Atlanta
Victims of paralysis have options to recover the financial damages they incurred in their accidents. Medical bills are frequently included in settlements, including future treatment costs associated with their injuries. Wages they missed while taking time off work to recover can also be factored into a settlement, as can the lost earning capacity of a paralyzed person who can no longer work. An Atlanta paralysis injury lawyer could help someone calculate damages when filing a claim.
The non-economic damages of paralysis injury can also be a consideration. Nothing can undo the pain and suffering the person must endure, but compensation can help secure the easiest future possible for them.
The psychological impact of paralysis is often incredibly difficult as well, and a settlement can help the individual receive the mental health treatment they need. There is also the overall quality of life to factor into the non-economic damages of paralysis. Finally, with paralysis injuries, there is almost always losses in enjoyment and quality of life. Those damages should absolutely be factored into a settlement as well.
Steps in an Atlanta Paralysis Injury Case
Pursuing a case for damages after a paralysis injury can be difficult and time-consuming. In addition to the usual intricacies of the legal system, the plaintiff may not be in any physical or mental condition to go through the process alone. It is wise to hire an experienced paralysis attorney who could help with every aspect of a catastrophic injury case. Call to learn about the various steps in an Atlanta paralysis injury case and handle the day-to-day tasks associated with a claim.
Preparing for a Case
Following a severe accident, it is wise to retain the services of an experienced attorney. A lawyer must first understand how the accident happened by obtaining evidence such as photos, documents, or videos of how the injury occurred. For example, in a car wreck case, a lawyer should seek out the police report, any dash camera or body camera footage from the police, and footage from any surveillance cameras that may have captured the accident. The attorney might send out letters asking anyone who witnessed the injury or who may have caused the injury to preserve evidence.
In cases involving premises liability and inadequate security at an apartment complex or other business, a lawyer could obtain evidence about how the injury occurred from witness statements and surveillance video.
Once an attorney is able to determine that the paralysis was caused by the negligence of another individual or entity, they could proceed to obtain medical evidence about the injury itself, including whether lifelong treatment will be required. That evidence could also include testimony from friends and family members to explain how the injury has affected the plaintiff’s daily life. Testimony from a treating physician or other medical expert might be used in order to demonstrate that the paralysis is incurable and may require lifelong treatment.
The Role of the Plaintiff
The injured person could help gather evidence by explaining to their lawyer how the injury happened and where they received their medical treatment. They must also be able to explain how their injury has affected them on a day-to-day basis. If the injured person cannot explain what happened, friends, family members, or witnesses may be able to provide that information instead. By providing as much information as possible regarding their condition, it could allow their lawyer to move forward in collecting evidence that might show what happened and prove that it was caused by the negligence of another person. The plaintiff might also testify in a deposition in order for the court to fully comprehend the extent of how the paralysis has affected them.
Determining Liability Following an Accident
In order to establish liability, the attorney must use evidence to show how the injury occurred. Common evidence used to establish liability includes photos and video, witness testimony, police reports, and medical records.
There are cases in which an injury does not immediately cause paralysis. For example, an injury to an ankle might result in surgery where the patient contracts Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which could eventually lead to paralysis. The person who caused the ankle injury might then be held liable for the paralysis. A local lawyer could help the plaintiff assess where liability should be placed.
Could the Injured Party Be Held Liable?
Georgia uses a comparative fault system, meaning liability can be placed upon the injured party under certain circumstances. If the plaintiff is found to be partially at fault, their compensation award may be reduced. In Atlanta, the injured party cannot recover compensation if they are found to be 50 percent or more responsible for their injury. If their share of liability is less than 50 percent, they can still recover compensation but it will be reduced by the percentage of fault they are assigned.
Obtaining Life Insurance for a Paralysis Injury
A lawyer could help a paralyzed person obtain a long-term life insurance plan to pay for expenses. Additionally, the injured person may not be able to work, adding further financial strain. An attorney might be able to obtain a life care plan that will show the expected cost of treatment and inability to work over time. This could be presented in an injury case to allow the paralyzed person to recover enough funds to sustain treatment into the future.
In some cases, it is also possible to obtain a life insurance plan that could pay long-term care benefits and cover the cost of treatments. Some insurance companies will avoid providing long-term care or life insurance to someone who has suffered paralysis paralyzing injury. However, lawyers could potentially have connections that can help find an insurance company who will provide that type of coverage.
Let an Atlanta Paralysis Injury Lawyer Help
If you or a loved one suffered a paralysis injury because of the negligence or recklessness of another person, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact our Atlanta personal injury lawyers as soon as possible to take legal action.
Consultations are free of charge and require no commitment, so individuals can explore their options without fear of obligation. Such appointments can provide unique insight into your options and offer a compassionate look into the possibilities your future could hold.