If you’ve suffered an injury that left you paralyzed, you’re likely dealing with difficult emotions and concerns about your future. Serious spinal cord injuries that lead to paralysis can come with substantial medical bills and also limits your ability to do certain types of work. If someone else’s negligence or illegal behavior caused your injury, you may be able to file a claim. A successful lawsuit can result in compensation that will help you move forward.
Depending on your situation, the damages you receive could cover lost income, medical bills, future income, ongoing medical care, and emotional suffering. Receiving compensation can ease your financial worries so that you can focus on your health. The circumstances of the injury that caused your paralysis will determine which type of lawsuit you need to file. An attorney can help you follow the right procedures so that you can increase your chances of securing compensation and focusing on recovering as much as possible.
Suing After Paralysis: After an Accident
Spinal cord injury is the most common cause of paralysis. Nearly 80% of spinal cord injuries are caused by falls, car accidents, or sports. Sometimes an accident is simply an accident, but in many cases, someone’s negligence was a factor. Most personal injury lawsuits, including those for paralysis, are based on negligence. To prove negligence, you’ll need to establish that the other person had a duty to act a certain way and didn’t do so and that this led to your injury.
For example, drivers have a duty to follow the rules of the road and observe reasonable safety precautions. If someone was distracted because they were texting while driving and caused the crash that paralyzed you, you and your lawyer can argue that they were negligent. If you slipped and fell because a property owner didn’t maintain their property properly, you may have a negligence claim as well.
Sports injuries are less straightforward. Most injuries that happen during a sporting event are accidents that no one is responsible for, but there are some exceptions. If another player makes a tackle or hit knowing that the move is against the rules of the game and carries a risk of injury, filing a claim can be an option. A more likely scenario is if the organization running the sporting event, like a company or school district, didn’t provide appropriate and well-maintained safety equipment, it could be negligent and responsible for your paralysis.
Suing After Paralysis: Intentional Injury
Around 15% of spinal cord injuries are caused by violence, specifically gunshot wounds. If you’re the victim of a crime, you have the option to file an intentional tort lawsuit to pursue financial compensation. This is separate from a criminal trial, where the state will file charges and seek penalties like prison time. If you file a lawsuit because of an intentional injury, you’ll need to prove that the other person acted deliberately.
In an intentional tort case, you’re more likely to receive punitive damages than in a negligence-based case. Unlike compensatory damages, which are intended to pay for your medical bills and other expenses, these are designed to punish the person who harmed you.
Talk to a Lawyer About Suing After Paralysis Today
An injury that causes paralysis is both frightening and overwhelming. No matter the scope, long-term or permanent paralysis can mean you need to deal with ongoing healthcare costs or reevaluate your career plans. The medical bills can be substantial, and you may need to spend a long time out of work or change jobs entirely. All of this can create a major financial burden in addition to the emotional challenges you’re dealing with.
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