Following a catastrophic accident involving paralysis, your decisions directly impact your future physical and financial well-being. Talking to a Chicago paralysis lawyer can help you get your life back on track.
Call our personal injury attorneys at (888) 424-5757 or answer this contact form for a free case evaluation today.
Many car/truck accidents can lead to severe injury due to the weight differences between small and heavy vehicles. Car accident victims often experience a life-changing injury that cut, bruise, or sever the spinal cord and nervous system.
Many paralysis victims have many special needs that generate decades of extensive medical bills. The costs associated with this can place a huge financial burden, often reaching millions of dollars over a person’s lifetime.
However, should another person’s negligence be responsible for your catastrophic injury, you have the right to seek legal compensation for the ongoing medical care you need and the wages you might lose because of your inability to work.
What Are Paralysis Injuries?
Paralysis causes the loss of the ability to move some or all body parts. In most injuries due to motor vehicle accidents, paralysis occurs due to spinal cord injuries.
Depending on the cause and where the spinal cord injury occurs, paralysis can be temporary or permanent.
Types of Paralysis as Defined by the Limbs Affected
The main types of paralysis are characterized by the body part they affect, which can be any of the following:
- Face or hands (localized)
- One limb (monoplegia)
- One side of the body (hemiplegia)
- Both legs, typically below the pelvic organs (paraplegia)
- Three limbs, either lower or upper extremities (tetraplegia)
- All four limbs (quadriplegia)
Types of Paralysis as Defined by the Injured Spinal Cord Area
The different types of paralysis can be further divided based on the part of the spinal cord, and nervous system affected by the injury:
- Bottom of the spinal cord (sacral)
- Lower part of the spinal cord (lumbar)
- Lower middle of the spinal cord (lower thoracic)
- Upper middle of the spinal cord (upper thoracic)
- Cervical spinal cord injury (upper part of the spinal cord)
Types of Paralysis as Defined by the Extent of the Injury
There are two main types of spinal cord damage, resulting in two different paralysis cases:
Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury
with incomplete spinal cord injuries, also called partial paralysis, some signals still pass between the brain and the rest of the body. These spinal cord injury victims may still feel pain and only lose motor and sensory function below the injury site.
Complete Spinal Cord Injury
Complete spinal cord injuries are where messages are entirely severed between the brain and the rest of the body, and the victim is paralyzed below the injury site. Complete paralysis results in the total loss of muscle function on the injury site.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries Leading to Paralysis
There are estimated to be approximately 291,000 people living with spinal damage in the US. Most SCI victims are male, with the leading cause being car accidents. In addition, spinal injuries are highest among persons aged 16 to 30.
The leading causes of paralysis include:
- Motor Vehicle Crashes
- Falls, which may also cause brain injuries
- Acts of Violence
- Sports Injuries
- Construction Accidents
- Workplace Accidents
Approximately 9.2% of these causes of paralysis are work-related, according to NSCISC figures.
Living With Paralysis
Permanent paralysis often leads to lifelong disability. Some muscle groups may regain their function with proper treatment, but this depends on the type of care received and the level of support available.
In the worst cases, victims lose function in all four limbs. Quadriplegia or tetraplegia often confines an individual to a wheelchair for the rest of their life. In less severe cases like monoplegia, a victim still loses independence.
Long-Term Prognosis for Victims
Spinal cord injuries create immediate life-changing consequences on both physical and financial levels. In addition, you will need access to extensive, ongoing medical treatments and therapies.
In recent decades, there has been a notable improvement in the level of care provided to spinal cord injury patients, but paralysis victims require significant funds to pay for these treatments.
The Economic Costs of SCI
In 2018 dollars, it is expected that a person who develops quadriplegia at the age of 25 will incur over $5 million in healthcare and living costs during their lifetime, not counting lost income, while a 50-year-old person suffering the same catastrophic injuries will have over $2.7 million in lifetime expenses.
Furthermore, a paralyzed individual needs financial support to pay for the enormous expenses associated with paralysis. Costs often include:
- Personal Disability Equipment: Wheelchairs, crutches, and walkers.
- Disability Apparatus: A motor vehicle carrying a wheelchair, home modifications (specially designed showers, wheelchair ramps).
- Medication: Medication for pain, surgery recovery, mental health problems, etc.
- Medical Bills: Emergency surgery after the accident, therapy (particularly for spastic paralysis), speech therapy, psychiatric therapy, etc.
Filing a Paralysis Lawsuit
The lasting impact of these accidents usually result in the patient’s inability to return to work, the need for significant modifications to their daily routine, and substantial medical costs.
Filing a claim with the help of a law firm is often necessary to obtain a fair settlement.
The paralysis injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC enlist the services of vocational experts, medical experts, and economists to help calculate damages in cases involving paralysis and spinal damage.
The monetary value of your lawsuit depends on the extent of your damages, including:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
When to File a Personal Injury Claim
Illinois generally gives victims of negligence two years from the date they become aware of their injury to file their claims (735 ILCS 5/13-202).
A paralysis attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC works aggressively to ensure that accident victims receive the greatest compensation possible under the law. Call our offices today to see what you can recover from a medical malpractice or spine damage lawsuit.
The Role of a Chicago Paralysis Attorney
Generally, law firms that deal with these injuries prioritize getting fair compensation for paralyzed victims. Additionally, a personal injury attorney can help you:
- Gather evidence for your case, including medical records
- Determine your economic and non-economic losses
- Estimate the value of your injuries
- Find ways to receive maximum compensation
- Deal with paperwork and communicate with insurance companies on your behalf
Notable Illinois Cases Involving Paralysis
Below are some sample settlements and verdicts involving spinal injury lawsuits from across Illinois. Should you have additional questions about your situation, contact our firm for a complimentary consultation with one of our lawyers.
$6.35 Million Settlement, Cook County, Il
A 72-year-old man suffered paralysis in all four limbs after paramedics who treated him after a fall downstairs allegedly failed to collar him before transport.
The City of Chicago paid $350,000, and an undisclosed hospital’s insurance company paid $6 million for this medical malpractice claim.
$25 Million Settlement
The 43-year-old president and CEO of a company sustained injuries rendering him quadriplegic when he fell approximately 30 feet from the top deck of a chartered yacht to the swim deck platform below.
In a product liability action, he alleged that the yacht, manufactured by Brunswick Boat Group, a division of Brunswick Corporation, lacked adequate safety railings, barriers, and warnings.
$115 Million Settlement
A 24-year-old dance student was paralyzed after a 750-pound pedestrian shelter at O’Hare Airport collapsed on top of her during a storm.
After a trial jury awarded the plaintiff over $148 million, the parties settled for $115 million. It is believed to be the highest spinal cord claim settlement ever reported for an individual plaintiff in Cook County.
$35 Million Award, Cook County, Il
A 30-year-old motorcyclist was struck by the defendant’s vehicle as it made a left turn, causing a motor vehicle accident while exiting a gas station on Waukegan Road in Northbrook.
His claims included spinal surgery and two urological surgeries ($746,630), past expenses, and $7.23 million in future costs. The jury found the defendant 100% liable.
$12.5 Million Award, Chicago, Il
A 47-year-old teacher sustained a C-6 fracture with an incomplete spinal cord fracture after her car collided with the defendant’s semi-truck as the truck turned at an intersection.
The plaintiff’s law firm helped recover a $17.9 million verdict for past and future medical costs, lost earnings, loss of normal life, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium for the plaintiff’s spouse by 30% for contributory negligence, paid by the trucking company insurance company.
SCI Rehabilitation Services and Paralysis Help in Illinois
SCI patients in the greater Chicago area have access to many world-class rehabilitation treatment facilities familiar with treating different injuries.
If you or a loved one need support, you can call one of these services:
Midwest Regional SCI Care System 355 East Erie, 60611
Rehabilitation Services Lavin Family Pavilion 259 E Erie, 60611
4440 W 95th Street Oak Lawn, IL 60453
1401 S California Chicago, IL 60608
2211 N Oak Park Ave Chicago, IL 60635
5000 South 5th Avenue Hines, IL 60414
26 W 171 Roosevelt Road Wheaton, IL 60187
Rockford Memorial Hospital Physical Therapy Department
2300 N Rockton Ave Rockford, IL 61103
800 N Rutledge Springfield, IL 62781
Schedule a Complimentary Consultation with an Experienced Chicago Paralysis Lawyer
Were you or a loved one victims of a severe accident resulting in paralysis? Did someone else’s negligence cause the accident? If so, you have the legal right to seek compensation for your losses.
Our paralysis lawyers offer a no-fee guarantee to ease the financial burden on victims. If we cannot recover your damages, our services are free.
Contact our office today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free case evaluation to discuss your legal options. All sensitive information you provide will remain confidential under an attorney-client relationship.