Being paralyzed due to an accident is a life-changing event. As you face the challenges of recovery, the last thing you should have to worry about is how to pay for the medical care and treatment you may need for the rest of your life, especially if your ability to work is impacted due to the extent and location of the damage.
If you suffer paralysis because of someone else’s carelessness or wrongdoing, you and your family should not be the ones to pay, but you may need assistance from a skilled personal injury attorney to ensure you do not have to. A seasoned Wheaton paralysis injury lawyer could help you recover much-needed damages from the party responsible for your injury, so you can have some peace of mind and focus on your own health and well-being.
How Paralysis Injuries May Occur
Paralysis can result from a wide range of accidental injuries that result in damage to the spinal cord. Common causes of paralysis include:
- Auto and motorcycle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Acts of violence
- Construction accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Sports injuries
When a spinal cord injury is caused by another’s negligence, however, an injured victim may be able to sue for damages. A paralysis injury lawyer in Wheaton could help a plaintiff establish fault and hold the defendant in their case accountable for their actions.
Establishing Negligence in Paralysis Injury Cases
In Wheaton, a plaintiff bringing a personal injury claim must show that the defendant in their claim was negligent, meaning that they did not exercise the level of care reasonably due in the situation. To prove negligence on the part of the defendant, the plaintiff must demonstrate that:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff
- The defendant breached that duty through their own actions or inaction
- The defendant’s breach directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries
- The plaintiff suffered compensable damages due to their injuries
What if a plaintiff is also negligent?
In some cases, particularly automobile crashes, the plaintiff may also be found at fault for the accident that caused their paralysis. Under such circumstances, the State of Illinois adheres to the doctrine of comparative negligence.
Under 735 ILCS 5/2-1116, a plaintiff who was not more than 50 percent at fault for the accident that injured them can still recover damages. Instead of the full amount of damages to which they may be entitled, though, the amount recoverable will be reduced proportionately by the amount of fault attributable to the plaintiff.
Available Damages in Paralysis Injury Cases
The effects of paralysis result in significant damages, both economic and noneconomic in nature. While no amount of money can fix every hardship that someone may encounter following a spinal cord injury, they may be awarded various damages to compensate them for their injuries. Compensatory damages can provide restitution for:
- Costs for present and future medical treatment
- Damage to personal property, including auto repair costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
In Illinois, a plaintiff may also be awarded punitive damages in certain cases when the defendant acted with egregious recklessness or ignorance to the risk of harm, or a conscious indifference to the safety of others. Punitive damages are limited to three times the amount of economic damages awarded to a plaintiff.
Work with a Wheaton Paralysis Injury Attorney Today
After a serious accident that results in paralysis, you may have a lot to worry about. While you focus on your future, an experienced Wheaton paralysis injury attorney could help you seek fair compensation for your injuries. Call today to schedule a consultation and discuss your situation.