Legal Options After Paralyzing Accidents
Posted on Thu Mar 04, 2021
In a national survey of nearly 1.5 million people who live with paralysis, nearly 27% said their paralysis was caused by a car accident. That's 390,856 people who got into their cars one day and never regained full control of their bodies.
Paralyzing accidents cause more devastation than almost every other type of accident because their effects are often permanent, and they severely limit victims’ everyday lives. If you have been paralyzed in a car accident, there is hope. Alabama law may offer you some legal options to pursue.
For more information, reach out to Warren & Simpson and keep reading.
Types of Paralysis after an Accident
Paralysis can have a wide range of effects on your life. The type of paralysis you have suffered will determine the effects and consequences you are left to deal with.
There are five main types of paralysis:
- Paraplegia. This type of paralysis affects both legs. Paraplegia can leave you unable to walk or stand on your own or work a physical job.
- Quadriplegia. Quadriplegia affects both arms and both legs. It can even leave you unable to move any part of your body from the neck down. You may be unable to walk again, go to work, live without life-supporting medical devices or interact with your loved ones.
- Monoplegia. This affects only one arm or leg. Depending on which limb it affects, monoplegia can interfere with your ability to drive a car, work or walk.
- Hemiplegia. One side of the body (an arm and leg) cannot move if you have hemiplegia. This often makes mobility impossible and can reduce your ability to work or care for yourself as a result.
- Temporary paralysis. Although this condition is most often the result of rare genetic disorders, temporary paralysis after a car accident does happen. And it can often come and go, wreaking havoc on your daily life.
Keep in mind that being paralyzed in a car accident can leave you with various degrees of paralysis, too. You might be partially paralyzed, leaving you with some control of the muscles in the affected area. Or you might have complete paralysis that never goes away.
While car accidents are the most common cause of accident-related paralysis, many other types of accidents can leave you paralyzed. According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, the most common paralyzing accidents are car accidents, work accidents, falls, violence, and sports accidents — in that order.
Legal Options after Paralysis
If a car accident paralyzed you, you are left suffering potentially permanent effects. You need and deserve compensation, but how do you get it?
Fortunately, Alabama provides a few legal options after paralyzing accidents:
First, you may be able to file an auto insurance claim for coverage of your medical bills and property damage. If the other driver in your accident was at fault, you could pursue compensation from their insurer. You may be able to go through your own insurer in some cases, too.
Filing a Lawsuit
In Alabama, those who injure others through negligence are liable for all resulting damages. But to recover compensation for your accident, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
In your lawsuit, you will demand an amount of compensation that accounts for all the ways this accident has harmed you. The following are common damages you might claim if you were paralyzed in a car accident:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses, such as planned surgeries
- Lost income while you recover in the hospital and at home
- Lost income because you can no longer work
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Reduced quality of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
When Can I Sue After a Car Accident?
In Alabama, you don't have long to sue if a car accident paralyzed you. You only have two years from the date of the accident. That may sound like plenty of time, but serious accidents that cause paralysis can leave you in the hospital for months.
Keep in mind, too, that putting together a personal injury claim can take a long time. And if you miss the deadline (the statute of limitations), you will lose your chance to sue. This is why starting the process sooner rather than later is the best course of action.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Maximize Your Compensation
Being paralyzed in a car accident can leave your health, wellbeing and finances in ruins. The good news is that you have legal options for recovering compensation.
But you need maximum compensation. How are you supposed to get it when the insurance company and at-fault driver are trying to pretend like they don’t owe you anything?
This is where a personal injury lawyer can be a huge asset. While you focus on recovering from and adapting to your injuries, your attorney can hold the other side accountable, handle all the tricky legal paperwork, calculate the value of your claim, negotiate with insurance and fight for you in court. In short, a skilled personal injury lawyer can maximize your compensation.
Paralyzed in a Car Accident? Call Warren & Simpson
At Warren & Simpson, we understand the toll paralysis can take on your life. We want to help. We believe in helping innocent victims get justice. That is why we limit the number of cases we take on. Your case requires our complete focus; we plan to give it to you.
A car accident lawyer from our firm can help you maximize your compensation and fight for a better future. A paralyzing accident does not have to be the end of your wellbeing and peace of mind.
To learn more about your legal options and set up a free consultation, call us at 256-539-7575 or contact us online.