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Suing After Paralysis: What You Need to Know

If you or a loved one became paralyzed as a result of someone else’s negligence, a paralysis lawyer can help you understand your legal options. At the Whitley Law Firm, our attorneys seek to understand the cause of your injuries, identify who is responsible, and seek maximum compensation for the damages you and your family have sustained.

There are multiple types of paralysis, each of which can impact your life in different ways:

  • Monoplegia, or paralysis of a single limb
  • Hemiplegia, or paralysis of one side of the body
  • Paraplegia, or paralysis of the area below the waist
  • Quadriplegia, or paralysis of the area below the neck (also called tetraplegia)

At the Whitley Law Firm, we handle cases of paralysis arising due to spinal cord injuries and other trauma. You may be entitled to significant compensation for these injuries.

Call the Whitley Law Firm at (919) 785-5000 today for a FREE consultation. Our paralysis lawyers serve clients throughout North Carolina from our offices in Raleigh, Kinston, and New Bern.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit for Paralysis

As a general rule, damages for paralysis may be recovered through a personal injury claim. Every personal injury case is different. However, the process of suing for a paralysis injury typically consists of the following steps:

1. Proving Fault

For your injury claim to be viable, you will need to present evidence that someone else is at fault. A host of different accidents and incidents can lead to catastrophic injuries that result in paralysis, including:

The evidence needed to prove your case depends on the circumstances involved. Photos, eyewitness statements, expert testimony, and more may all be required.

If you were injured at work, it might not be necessary to prove fault. Workers’ compensation is available to injured workers regardless of who caused the injury. In the event of paralysis, you may be entitled to permanent partial disability or permanent total disability benefits.

That said, workers’ comp does not always cover the totality of losses associated with an injury. If a third party was responsible for a workplace accident that left you paralyzed, you may be entitled to additional compensation through a fault-based claim.

Read More: Workers’ Comp vs. Personal Injury

2. Establishing Liability

Once the individuals, companies, and/or other parties responsible for the accident have been identified, a paralysis lawyer will determine what insurance coverage is held by the defendant(s). Paralysis involves substantial immediate and long-term expenses, which makes it crucial for your attorney to determine any and all insurance policies that may be available to pay for damages.

If more than one defendant was at fault, multiple insurers may be held liable. Sometimes it may be necessary to turn to your own insurance coverage as well, such as making a claim on your uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance if the driver who caused the accident had no insurance or only carried the minimum coverage.

3. Calculating Damages

The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center has released new data on the lifetime cost of paralysis. As of 2021, the average cost of paralysis for someone who is 25 years old at the time of injury is calculated as follows:

  • $2,642,911 for paraplegia
  • $3,949,065 for low quadriplegia
  • $5,404,774 for high quadriplegia

These numbers only account for the cost of medical care and living expenses. Loss of income and other financial impacts are not included.

Given the high cost of paralysis, accurately calculating the totality of damages in your claim is of the utmost importance. A paralysis lawyer can account for all of the losses you have sustained to date, as well as damages in the future:

  • All medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Mobility aids and assistive devices
  • Home and vehicle modifications
  • Medical and household services
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

4. Settlement Negotiations

Insurance companies are not in the business of making big payouts. When faced with a personal injury lawsuit, their standard procedure is to deny the claim or offer to pay a small settlement in the hopes of ending the matter promptly.

Multiple rounds of negotiations may be necessary before a fair settlement can be reached. Your attorney will keep you apprised of any developments and discuss any settlement offers with you in detail to ensure that the settlement will adequately cover your losses now and going forward.

5. Going to Trial (If Necessary)

The majority of personal injury cases settle without the need for trial. However, paralysis cases often involve significant damages and disputed liability. As a result, there is a greater likelihood that it will be necessary to sue for damages and potentially take your case to court.

If your case does go to trial, it is vital to have an experienced trial attorney represent you. This is the only opportunity to win your case, so you need a proven paralysis lawyer who can fight for a favorable award.

How Long Do I Have to Sue After Paralysis?

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in North Carolina is 3 years. If you suffered an injury resulting in paralysis that was caused by the negligence of another, you have a maximum of 3 years to file a lawsuit.

Read More: What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in NC?

In reality, you should speak to a paralysis lawyer well before the statute of limitations expires. This will provide your attorney with the maximum amount of time to collect evidence, build a strong case, and seek a fair settlement on your behalf.

Speak to a Paralysis Lawyer Today

At the Whitley Law Firm, we represent clients who have suffered a wide range of catastrophic injuries. These cases require knowledge, skills, and resources beyond most personal injury matters. If you sustained injury to the brain, spinal cord, or other area of the body and it led to paralysis, our team can provide the legal guidance and support you need.

Our philosophy is one of whole-hearted care. We focus not only on the details of your case but your individual needs in such a difficult time.

Contact the Whitley Law Firm today to consult a paralysis lawyer in North Carolina. It won’t cost anything to see if we can help.