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Chicago Paralysis Lawyer

The spinal cord transmits nerve signals between your brain to the rest of your body. When the spine is injured or damaged, the brain loses its ability to communicate with other body parts, leading to partial or complete paralysis. Most spinal cord injuries are life-changing.

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.

The accident injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can help you recover compensation from the negligent party who caused your paralysis. Call our personal injury attorneys (888) 424-5757 or answer this contact form for a free case evaluation today.

Chicago Paralysis Injury Lawyer

Almost all accidents can lead to paralysis. However, should another person’s negligence be responsible for your injury, you have the right to seek legal compensation for both the ongoing medical care you need and the wages you might lose because of your inability to work.

Paralysis victims have many special needs that will likely last for the rest of their lives. The in-home nursing care costs alone can be staggering, often reaching well into the millions of dollars over a person’s lifetime.

What is Paralysis?

Paralysis is the loss of the ability to move some or all parts of your body. In accident-related injuries, paralysis occurs due to an injury to the spinal cord.

Depending on the cause, paralysis can be temporary or permanent.

Symptoms of Paralysis

The primary symptom of paralysis is the inability to move a part of your body or being unable to move at all.

The paralyzed part of the body may also be:

  • Stiff with occasional muscle spasms (spastic paralysis)
  • Floppy (flaccid paralysis)
  • Numb, tingly, or painful

The symptoms of paralysis can start suddenly or gradually. They can also come and go. In any case, seek medical attention as soon as possible if you experience symptoms of paralysis, especially after a severe injury.

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 Part

The different types of paralysis can be further divided based on the part of the spinal cord and nervous system affected:

  • Injury to the bottom of the spinal cord (sacral)
  • Injury to the lower part of the spinal cord (lumbar)
  • Injury to the lower middle of the spinal cord (lower thoracic)
  • Injury to the upper middle of the spinal cord (upper thoracic)
  • Injury to the upper part of the spinal cord (cervical)

Types of Paralysis as Defined by the Extent of the Spinal Cord Injury

There are two main types of spinal cord injuries, resulting in two different types of paralysis:

  • Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury: In an incomplete spinal cord injury, some signals still pass between the brain and the rest of the body. The victim 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 all muscle groups on the injury site.

Locked-in Syndrome

Locked-in syndrome refers to the total paralysis of all voluntary muscles except the eyes. It is a rare neurological disorder caused by damage to the pons, a part of the brain stem that relays information to other parts of the brain.

Common Causes in Spinal Cord Injuries Leading to Paralysis

According to the most recent figures published by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), there are about 17,730 new spinal injury (SCI) cases each year in the United States, not counting injuries that result in the immediate death of the victim.

However, the National Spinal Cord Injury Association estimates this figure at a more conservative 11,000 cases.

Many of these individuals are left permanently paralyzed, and many do not ultimately survive. Fewer than one percent of spinal cord injury (SCI) victims are fully restored to their pre-injury state.

There are estimated to be approximately 291,000 people living with a spinal injury in the US. The majority of SCI victims are male. In addition, the incidence of SCI is highest among persons aged 16 to 30.

The leading causes of paralysis include:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents: More than 39% of spinal cord injuries are sustained during a motor vehicle accident. These statistics include motorized vehicles such as cars, trucking, motorcycles, bicycles, boats, aircraft, ATVs, and even construction equipment like forklifts.
  • Falls: Fall-related accidents are the second most common cause of paralysis, accounting for nearly 32% of SCIs. Falls have been gradually rising over the years as a percentage of SCI cases, while vehicular accidents have steadily declined.
  • Acts of Violence: Many violence-related injuries can cause paralysis. Gunshot wounds on the spine are the leading cause of violence-related paralysis.
  • Sports Injuries: Sports injuries and accidents in recreational activities, such as football and skiing, can result in paralysis.
  • Construction Accidents: Construction workers are exposed to unsafe working conditions every day. A fall from a great height, getting hit by an object, or slipping on a hard surface are construction-related accidents that can lead to paralysis.

About 9.2% of these causes of paralysis are work-related, according to NSCISC figures.

Chicago Paralysis Injury Lawyers

Living With Paralysis

Loss of muscle function in any part of the body can result in life-altering effects. There is no cure for permanent paralysis, and these conditions often lead to lifelong disability. Some muscle groups may regain their function over time with proper treatment, but this depends on the type of care received and the level of support available.

In the worst spinal injury 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 some level of independence.

Long-Term Prognosis for Victims of Paralysis Injuries

Spinal trauma creates immediate life-changing consequences on both physical and financial levels. In addition, you will need access to extensive, ongoing medical treatments and therapies.

Your medical, physical therapy and occupational therapy teams will need to work together to help you adapt to your changed abilities.

An SCI can lead to other severe medical conditions days, weeks, or months after the injuries occurs, including:

In recent decades, there has been a notable improvement in the level of care provided to SCI patients due to a more comprehensive understanding of the issues associated with spinal cord damage. Nevertheless, paralysis victims require significant amounts of money to pay for these treatments.

The Economic Costs of Spinal Cord Injuries

Economically, the lasting impact of spinal trauma often results in a drastically diminished ability to work and substantial lifetime medical expenses. Only 17% of spinal cord injury victims have returned to employment one year after their catastrophic injuries.

The overall costs of an SCI over a person's lifetime vary greatly depending upon the nature of the impairment and the victim’s pre-injury education and employment history.

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 wages, 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 that can carry 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, physical therapy, speech therapy, psychiatric therapy, etc.

Chicago Paralysis Injury Attorney

Filing a Paralysis Personal Injury Case

The lasting impact of spinal cord 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 personal injury claim with the help of a law firm is often necessary to obtain a fair settlement.

Claimable Damages

The Chicago 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 cord injuries.

The monetary value of your case depends on the extent of your damages, including:

  • Medical Costs: You can sue for ongoing and anticipated medical costs, including physical therapy, medication, and medical transport.
  • Lost Wages: Many paralysis victims are unable to return to work. If this is the case for you, you can sue for lost income, including wages, bonuses, and commissions.
  • Pain and Suffering: Paralytic injuries often result in immense physical and mental anguish. These repercussions count as claimable damages in court.
  • Disability. Filing a paralysis lawsuit can also help you get compensation for living with a disability and its expenses, such as wheelchairs, in-home care, and medical devices.
  • Loss of Normal Life: Both total and partial paralysis can change a patient’s life forever. After becoming paralyzed, you could lose the ability to perform everyday activities independently. Some paralysis cases also result in loss of sexual function.

When to File a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit

Illinois generally gives victims of personal injury two years from the date they become aware of their injury to file their claims (735 ILCS 5/13-202). However, the court might extend the limit if the injured party is a minor.

The chance of extending the limits is why it is critically important to consult a paralysis lawyer as soon as possible after an accident so that they can protect your future recovery. In addition, your personal injury attorney can help you identify the amount of time you have left to seek monetary compensation.

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 paralysis injury lawsuit.

The Role of Paralysis Lawyers

Generally, law firms that deal with paralysis injuries prioritize getting fair compensation for paralyzed victims. Additionally, a paralysis attorney can help you:

  • Gather evidence for your case, including medical records, bills, and photo and video documentation
  • Determine your economic and non-economic losses, including wages lost, costs of medical care, etc.
  • Estimate the value of your spinal cord injuries and any other injuries obtained in the accident
  • Find ways to receive maximum compensation for your injuries
  • Deal with paperwork and communicate with insurance companies on your behalf

Given the unique circumstances of paralysis cases, a competent personal injury lawyer should recognize the limitations of your involvement in the case. Similarly, law firms must be ready to consult with paralyzed individuals in their homes should the victim be physically unable to travel.

Chicago Paralysis Injury Attorneys

Notable Illinois Personal Injury Cases Involving Paralysis Injuries

Below are some sample settlements and verdicts involving paralysis cases from across Illinois. Should you have additional questions about your situation, contact our law firm for a free consultation with one of our paralysis injury attorneys.

$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.

He was intubated and sedated at the hospital but not collared for several hours. He underwent emergency surgery, but the procedure was unsuccessful. Allegedly, paramedics could have limited nerve damage if the victim had been collared sooner.

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 neck fractures and a spinal cord injury that rendered 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, severing her spine and causing paralysis below the waist, severe chronic neuropathic pain, and bladder and bowel dysfunction ($985,411 past medical expense).

After a trial jury awarded the plaintiff over $148 million, the parties settled for $115 million. It is believed to be the highest injury 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 car crash while exiting a gas station on Waukegan Road in Northbrook.

The plaintiff sustained a burst fracture of the L-5 vertebra, transverse process fracture at L3-4, and a fracture-dislocation at T11-12 with complete spinal cord injury, dural laceration, and bone penetration into the spinal cord. These catastrophic injuries left him paralyzed permanently below the waist.

His claims included spinal surgery and two urological surgeries ($746,630), past medical costs, and $7.23 million in future medical costs and caretaking expenses.

The plaintiff asserted that the defendant failed to yield the right of way while exiting the gas station and further that she was acting within the course and scope of her employment with Allstate and Kelly Services at the time of the car accident. 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 injury after her car collided with the defendant’s semi-truck as the truck made a left turn at an intersection. During litigation, the parties stipulated that the plaintiff was 30% responsible for not slowing at a yellow light, causing the car accident.

The plaintiff regained some ability to walk but suffers ongoing bladder and bowel control difficulties, neuropathic pain, weakness, spasticity, abnormal gait, and requires assistance with daily activities.

The plaintiff’s personal injury 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 Injury Help in Illinois

Pursuing justice may not be enough to help you adjust to living with paralysis. As you seek help from a paralysis law firm, you may also want to take advantage of health services available to the community.

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 due to paralytic injuries, you can call one of these services:

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

Midwest Regional SCI Care System
355 East Erie, 60611

Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Rehabilitation Services Lavin Family Pavilion
259 E Erie, 60611

Advocate Christ Hospital Medical Center Spine Care Center

4440 W 95th Street
Oak Lawn, IL 60453

Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital

1401 S California
Chicago, IL 60608

Shriners Hospital for Children

2211 N Oak Park Ave
Chicago, IL 60635

Hines VA Hospital

5000 South 5th Avenue
Hines, IL 60414

Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital

26 W 171 Roosevelt Road
Wheaton, IL 60187

Rockford Memorial Hospital Physical Therapy Department

2300 N Rockton Ave
Rockford, IL 61103

Memorial Medical Center

800 N Rutledge
Springfield, IL 62781

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Chicago Paralysis Attorney

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.

The attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC work hard to pursue justice for victims and their families in paralysis cases. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers offer free case evaluations at your home or hospital room. In addition, our paralysis lawyers offer a no-fee guarantee to ease the financial burden on victims: If we cannot get a recovery for you, our services are free.

Contact our office today to discuss your legal options. All sensitive information you provide will remain confidential under an attorney-client relationship.

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Client Reviews
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Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld. Michonne Proulx
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Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own. Ethan Armstrong
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This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you. Daniel Kaim
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Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan! Giulia
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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa