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California Paraplegia Injury Lawyers

Standard manual wheelchair standing in empty hospital corridorParaplegic injury is an injury that causes paralysis in the lower extremities of the body. Paraplegics are unable to walk or feel sensation in their legs and lower parts of their bodies.

Paraplegic injury causes

Paraplegic injury is almost always caused by injury to the spinal cord. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center notes that the four most common causes of spinal cord injuries (and the percentage of such injuries they cause) are:

  • Car accidents (42.1%)
  • Falls (26.7%)
  • Violent acts, like gunshot wounds (15.1%)
  • Recreational sports accidents (7.6%)

Some paraplegic injuries can also occur in medical procedures that affect the back or neck, such as surgery. If this occurs, the affected party might have cause to bring a medical malpractice claim.

What is paraplegia?

Paraplegia often results from an injury to the spinal cord. The spinal cord is a group of nerves that are within he spinal column, commonly called the backbone. Paraplegia causes paralysis. Paraplegics lose motor control and the ability to feel the lower half of their bodies.

The spinal cord not only affects movement, control, and sensation, it affects multiple body functions. The bladder, breathing, body heat and cold, and sexual feeling can all be affected by spinal cord injuries. As a result, patients with paraplegia may no longer be able to perform bodily functions on their own. They may experience breathing difficulties. They may have difficulty regulating their temperatures.

Paraplegic patients may require regular medical care and multiple forms of assistance with the activities of daily life. This care and assistance can be long-term or permanent.

Unfortunately, breathing difficulties and infections associated with being confined to bed and requiring assistance with bodily functions can sometimes shorten the life expectancy of paraplegic patients.

Negligence in paraplegic injury

If you or a loved one has suffered a paraplegic injury due to an accident or other trauma caused by another party, you may be able to file for damages based on negligence.

Negligence means that the party who caused your accident was at fault. If you were in a car accident caused by another driver, for example, such as failure to stop at a stop sign or driving over the speed limit, a jury might find the driver at fault. If you slipped and fell on stairs that had needed repair for many months, landlords might be found at fault for not repairing their property in a reasonable period of time.

Negligence can also be claimed against a company that manufactured, sold, or designed products that caused an accident causing paraplegic injury.

If the opposing party can argue that you contributed to the circumstances causing the injury, the defense may claim contributory or comparative negligence.

Contributory means that you contributed to the accident. Engaging in parasailing, for example, is an activity with some risk. If a paraplegic injury was caused by a parasailing accident, the defense may argue contributory negligence, especially if proper safety precautions were not taken.

Comparative negligence means that the injured party bears some responsibility for the accident that caused the injury. If it can be shown that the injured party did not use seat belts, for example, a jury may decide to reduce any damages by a certain percentage.

What is the value of a paraplegic injury?

People who are paraplegic as a result of injury may be entitled to compensation for medical treatment, physical therapy, medications, equipment such as medical beds and motorized wheelchairs, and other bills related to treatment.

If the injury has necessitated changes or modifications to their living areas, such as those related to wheelchair access, wheelchair size, and ease of mobility, they may be compensated for the financial cost of those changes and modifications.

If the person is no longer able to work at their former career, they can bring a claim for compensation for retraining of disability. If the injury has necessitated time off work, the injured party can file a legal claim for lost wages, lost benefits, and lost opportunities, if relevant.

Paraplegic patients may also be eligible to bring damages for pain and suffering.

Finally, people with paraplegic injury and their spouses may claim damages related to emotional issues, such as loss of quality of life or loss of consortium.

Determining the value for claims related to a paraplegic injury is complex. Those affected should consulted experienced attorneys to discuss their case.

Southern California paraplegic injury attorneys

The Ellis Law Firm has two decades of experience in litigating accident cases that led to paraplegia and doing our utmost to obtain justice for those affected and their families. Our record shows our total commitment to the rights of those affected.

Call us today for a free appointment at 1-800-INJURED.

Additional “Los Angeles paraplegia injury lawsuit” resources:

  1. Mt. Sinai. Spinal Cord Trauma. https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/diseases-conditions/spinal-cord-trauma
  2. WebMed. Pain Management. Reference. Spinal Cord Injury and Pain. http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/pain-management-spinal-cord-injury-medref