How a personal injury lawyer can help with a paralysis injury case

Paralysis injury cases can be the most complicated types of personal injury cases. A person suffering paralysis generally require extensive ongoing medical treatment, assistance with daily living, adaptive equipment, adapted living quarters and other needs.

Here’s how hiring an experienced lawyer can help create a better and more secure future for a paralyzed person.

Investigating the injury incident

The paralysis injury cases that we see in our office are usually secondary to a serious motor vehicle crash or a job site incident. In these situations, the direct cause of the spinal cord damage may not be as important as the indirect cause. For example, the direct cause of spinal cord injury may be a motorcycle crash, and the indirect cause may be a semi-truck driver running a red light.

In any significant injury case, the personal injury lawyer should do a full and thorough investigation—even if the causes seem obvious. Here’s how we start an investigation.

  • Find any existing investigations conducted by law enforcement, insurance companies, or any private parties connected to the incident.
  • Request all of the records related to the event and the paralysis injury, including medical records and bills.
  • Go to the scene of the injury event, if possible; document the location.
  • Preserve evidence, and file official legal requests to keep others from destroying evidence.
  • Interview witnesses and look for video and photos of the incident.

Preparing a strong lawsuit

A good investigation can determine if the paralysis injury was caused by the actions or negligence of another person or company. Determining if someone is fault for the incident that caused the injuries, and if they are liable (responsible for the damages) is a crucial step.

If so, you may be able to pursue money damages to cover medical bills and lost income, as well as, damages for physical and emotional pain and suffering. Damages fall into one of three categories:

  • Economic damages: direct costs of things like medical bills and supplies, home assistance, lost income. These hard costs give us a starting point for understanding the value of the injury claim.
  • Non-economic damages: intangible costs of things like loss of enjoyment, pain and suffering—these are very important in quadriplegia or tetraplegia.
  • Punitive damages: punitive means to punish, and these damages are when the person or company that caused the paralytic injury was doing something extremely dangerous or likely to cause harm.

Depending on when you contact an attorney, they may recommend filing a lawsuit. That does not mean that the case will necessarily go to trial, but that the injured person’s rights will be protected.

There are many steps to preparing a strong lawsuit: at our law firm, we contact expert witnesses in order to get a full and complete picture of the damages.

Hiring paralysis injury experts

One of the benefits of hiring an attorney to help with a injury claim is accessing a network of experts who can help with the investigation, identify the best possible medical care—and create a life care plan.

What is an “expert witness” in a personal injury case?

A life care plan is an incredibly useful tool for a person with paralysis, and for preparing for other complications from a spinal cord injury or brain injury.

A professional life care plan should outline the recommended and necessary medical treatment, therapy, transportation, equipment and supplies, home accommodations, and other needs. It should include all current and future costs of care.

Signing up for a paralysis injury case

Personal injury lawyers almost always work on a contingency fee basis, which means the law firm is paid a percentage of any settlement or verdict they win on your behalf. You only pay the attorneys fees after a successful settlement or trial verdict.

To sign up with a lawyer, you need to complete a fee agreement and sign Releases of Information so the firm can get your medical bills and records.

Check the fee agreement to make sure that the law firm will also advance the costs of pursuing your case. Paralysis injury litigation is expensive: make sure the law firm can cover the costs.

More resources: 

The Simplified Guide to Understanding a Spinal Cord Injury: 

The Spinal Cord Injury Information Network:

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