How Personal Injury Lawyers Evaluate Paralysis Cases

How Personal Injury Lawyers Evaluate Paralysis Cases

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March 2, 2017

Ellis Law Corporation

Personal Injury

Catastrophic injury cases, such as those that involve permanent paralysis, can be particularly complex. This is partially because the true extent of the medical problems might not be immediately apparent, as patients who suffer from paralysis are at a much higher risk of developing secondary complications. Lawyers must also deal with the matter of assessing the anticipated future care costs that the patient will need over a lifetime. Because of these complexities, personal injury lawyers who take on these types of cases must execute carefully planned strategies in and out of the courtroom with the benefit of expert guidance from various consultants.

Reviewing the medical records and other evidence

One of the first steps that a personal injury lawyer will take to evaluate a paralysis case is to request all available physical evidence, most notably, the medical records of the patient. Paralysis occurs in several forms and it has many potential causes. In many cases, paralysis cannot be blamed on the negligent actions or misconduct of another party. It may be attributable to viral infections such as Guillain-Barre syndrome, for instance. The types of paralysis cases that lawyers can litigate stem from another person’s negligence.

Paralysis caused by negligence is often attributable to a car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accident. It may also be the result of nursing home negligence, and slip and fall incidents. Although civil cases usually arise from acts of negligence, paralysis cases may constitute intentional torts. These refer to acts that were intentionally perpetrated by a person, such as assault.

During the review of the patient’s medical records, police reports, photographic evidence, video surveillance, and any other available physical evidence, personal injury lawyers will consider the following factors:

  • The nature and extent of the patient’s injuries
  • The economic and non-economic damages that have resulted
  • The duty of care owed to the patient by the prospective defendants
  • The evidence that shows a breach in the duty of care
  • The evidence that links this breach to the patient’s injuries

The presence of a duty of care, its breach, the causation of injuries, and the existence of damages are all the essential elements that must be present in every personal injury case.

Calculating compensatory damages

Once personal injury attorneys have established the merits of a particular paralysis case, they will move on to assess the damages. For complex paralysis cases, it’s often necessary to consult experts such as a life care planner, registered nurse consultant, and earning capacity evaluation expert. These consultants can conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the patient’s past, current, and future medical needs and losses. The damages sought in a catastrophic injury lawsuit typically include compensation for hospitalization, diagnostics, surgeries and medical treatments, rehabilitation therapy, durable medical equipment, medications, and in-home health aides. Additionally, plaintiffs may seek compensation for their lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Bring your personal injury case to Ellis Law

Ellis Law is comprised of a team of seasoned personal injury lawyers serving families in Los Angeles. Our trial experience combined with the extensive resources of our firm can work to fight for your family’s right to maximum compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and the lifetime of care needs that accompany paralysis and other permanent disabilities. We invite California families to request a free case review by calling 310-641-3335 today.

Additional “paralysis-related personal injury lawsuit” resources

  1. American Bar Association, Personal Injury,
  2. Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Living with Paralysis,