Chicago Paralysis Injury Lawyer
Accidental injuries affecting the spinal cord are among the most devastating that a person can experience. When there is an injury to the spine or backbone, the body’s ability to transmit information back and forth between the brain and other bodily systems is damaged, often resulting in partial or total paralysis of the limbs. This can and usually does forever change a person’s life.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC realizes the debilitating effect that paralysis has on the lives of our clients, and if another person’s negligence was responsible for your injury, we work to ensure you receive rightful compensation for both the ongoing medical care you could need and the wages you might lose because of your inability to work.
Spinal trauma victims have many special needs that will likely last for the rest of their lives. The medical costs alone can be staggering, often reaching well into the millions of dollars over a person’s lifetime.
The decisions you make following a catastrophic accident involving paralysis have a direct impact on your future physical and financial well-being. We invite you to discuss your case with a Chicago paralysis injury lawyer in our law firm today without any cost or obligation to you. If we form an attorney client relationship with you, we will only earn a legal fee upon a successful resolution of your case.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries Resulting in Paralysis
According to the most recent figures published by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), there are about 17,730 new spinal injuries (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.
Many of these individuals are left permanently paralyzed, and many do not ultimately survive. Fewer than one percent of SCI victims are fully restored to their pre-injury state
There are estimated to be approximately 291,000 people in the U.S. living with spinal injury. The great majority of SCI patients—nearly 80 percent—are male. The incidence of SCI is highest among persons aged 16 to 30.
The leading causes of injuries to the spinal cord are:
- Motor vehicle accidents — More than 39 percent of spinal cord injuries are sustained during an auto accident. These statistics include not only motorized vehicles such as car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents as well, in addition to boats, aircraft, ATV's, and even construction equipment such as forklifts.
- Falls are the second most common cause, accounting for nearly 32 percent of SCIs. Falls have been gradually rising over the years as a percentage of SCI cases while vehicular accidents have gradually declined.
- Acts of violence — primarily gunshot wounds.
- Sports/recreational activity of all kinds, including not only team contact sports like football but skiing, diving, and hang gliding.
About 9.2 percent of these injuries are work-related, according to NSCISC figures.
The Two Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injury cases could be complete or incomplete paralysis injury. In an incomplete spinal cord injury, there are still some signals that pass between the brain and the rest of the body. The victim may still feel pain, and they only lose motion below the injury site.
A complete spinal cord injury entirely severs messages between the brain and the rest of the body, and the victim is paralyzed below the injury site.
Long-Term Prognosis for Victims of Paralysis Injuries
Spinal trauma creates immediate life-changing consequences on both physical and financial levels. You will need access to extensive, ongoing medical treatments and therapies. Your medical and physical therapy teams will need to work together to help you adapt to your changed abilities.
Over time, an SCI can lead to other serious medical conditions including:
- Bone loss
- Cardiovascular issues
- Bowel/bladder disorders
- Pressure ulcers
- Muscle atrophy
- Anxiety and depression associated with adjusting to the illness
In recent decades there has been a notable improvement in the level of care provided to SCI patients as the result of a more comprehensive understanding of the issues associated with SCI.
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 percent of SCI patients have returned to employment one year after their injury.
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 becomes quadriplegic 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 suffering the same injury will have over $2.7 million in lifetime expenses. A 25-year-old paraplegic will incur $2.45 million and a 50-year-old paraplegic $1.6 million in lifetime costs.
Paying for Your Continuing Medical Needs and Personal Care
The costs associated with living with a catastrophic injury can appear overwhelming. At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, our personal injury attorneys are committed to helping make your life easier and significantly more fulfilling.
Our team of experienced Chicago personal injury lawyers recognizes that your traumatic brain injury has dramatically altered your way of life, and we prosecute spinal cord accident cases on behalf of our clients, including those caused by motor vehicle accidents, motorcycle accidents, defective products, car accidents, trucking accidents, medical malpractice, bicycle crashes, and industrial accidents with a goal of providing for your financial future.
Our comprehensive understanding of state tort law and success in litigation will ensure you receive adequate financial compensation to recover your past medical bills, ongoing costs, and payment for future services that last as long as the symptoms and limitations of your severe injury. We also can anticipate any legal issues that may impact your case and work around them.
Where Can I Receive SCI Rehabilitation Services and Chicago Paralysis Injury Help?
SCI patients in the greater Chicago area have access to a number of world-class rehabilitative treatment facilities that are family with treating different types of injuries
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, 60608
Shriners Hospital for Children
2211 N Oak Park Ave, 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
Spinal Cord Injury FAQs
Here are the answers to some questions that we often receive about spinal cord injuries. We appreciate that many of these questions will give rise to additional questions. Consequently, we invite you to contact our law firm for a free consultation with an experienced Chicago paralysis injury lawyer.
Can I Afford a Chicago Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer?
You have no obligation to pay anything to an attorney unless you are able to recover compensation. You do not need to write an upfront retainer check nor do you need to pay hourly fees. Your attorney is paid only if you are, lowering the risk to you of hiring a lawyer.
What Kind of Compensation Can I Receive for my Spinal Cord Injury Case?
The lasting impact of spinal cord accidents usually results in the patient’s inability to return to work, the need for significant modifications to their daily routine, and substantial medical expenses.
The Chicago paralysis injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC enlist the services of vocational experts, medical experts, and economists to help in the calculation of damages in cases involving paralysis and spinal cord injuries.
The monetary value of your case depends on the severity of your injuries and the extent of your damages including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of normal life
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can review your case to determine the worth of your claim if filed against every potentially responsible party for the negligence of another. Our personal injury lawyers will calculate the value of your case based on the circumstances surrounding the accident, your need for future medical care, and how your injuries have altered your activities of daily living.
How Long do I Have to File an Illinois Paralysis Accident Lawsuit?
Illinois generally gives victims of all types of personal injury two years from the date they become aware of their injury to file their claims (735 ILCS 5/13-202). That period may be extended if the injured party is a minor.
This is why it is critically important to consult an attorney as soon as possible after an accident so that he or she can protect your future recovery should you decide to file an action. Your attorney can help you identify the amount of time you have left to seek monetary compensation.
The paralysis injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC work 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 paralysis injury lawsuit.
Sample Illinois Personal Injury Claims Involving Paralysis Injuries
Below are some sample settlements and verdicts involving spinal cord injuries (paralysis injury) from across Illinois. Should you have additional questions related to 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 was rendered quadriplegic with limited arm movement after paramedics who treated him after a fall down stairs allegedly failed to collar or board him before transport.
At the hospital, he was intubated and sedated but not collared for several hours. He underwent cervical surgery but the procedure was unsuccessful. Allegedly, had he been collared sooner, the nerve damage would have been limited. The City of Chicago paid $350,000 and an undisclosed hospital's insurance company paid $6 million.
$25 MILLION SETTLEMENT
The 43-year-old president and CEO of a company sustained neck fractures and spinal damage that rendered him, quadriplegic, when he fell approximately 30 feet from the top deck of a chartered yacht to the swim deck platform below. He alleged in a product liability action 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, believed to be the highest settlement ever reported for an individual plaintiff in Cook County. The settlement was paid by AIG Aviation for the City of Chicago.
$35 MILLION AWARD, Cook County, IL
A 30-year-old motorcyclist was struck by the defendant’s vehicle as it made a left turn out of 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 leaving him permanently paralyzed below the waist.
He underwent spinal surgery and two urological surgeries ($746,630 past medical expenses, $7.23 million future medical 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 crash. A jury found the defendant driver 100 percent liable while rejecting liability for Allstate and Kelly.
$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. The parties stipulated during litigation that the plaintiff was 30 percent at fault for failing to slow down on a yellow light.
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 verdict of $17.9 million for past and future medical expenses, past and future lost earnings, loss of normal life, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium for the plaintiff’s spouse was reduced by 30 percent for contributory negligence. The award was paid by the insurance company for the trucking company.
Get Help From a Chicago Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Today and Schedule a Free Consultation
If you or your loved one has sustained a spinal cord injury in an accident or due to medical negligence, contact our Illinois spinal cord injury lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your options.
Our Chicago personal injury trial lawyers offer free case evaluations at your home or hospital room. We offer a no-fee guarantee: If we cannot get a recovery for you, then our services are free. Contact our office today or call our toll free phone number.