Living with paraplegia or quadriplegia is a dramatic adjustment to normal life that is often physically and emotionally painful for the injured victim and their family. Potentially worse, however, is making that adjustment with the knowledge that the accident might have been prevented if not for another person’s negligence.
Paralysis may occur as a result of car crashes, medical mistakes, or any one of various other kinds of accidents that catastrophic injury attorneys handle every day. If you or a loved one suffered paralysis from an accident due to someone else’s negligence, a skilled St. Augustine paralysis injury lawyer could evaluate your case and identify the compensation to which you may be entitled.
Legal Elements of a Paralysis Injury Lawsuit
An injured person does not have a right to file a lawsuit simply because they become paralyzed. In order for someone to file a valid civil claim with or without a St. Augustine paralysis injury attorney’s help, there must be some sort of negligent action by a person resulting in injury to the filing party.
For example, if a motorist negligently ran a red light and struck a person legally crossing the street, the injured victim may be eligible to file a claim against the at-fault driver. However, before they could receive damages, the victim must still prove with a preponderance of evidence that the driver in question was legally negligent.
There are four elements of negligence that should be established by the injured plaintiff in a case involving paralysis injury. If the plaintiff is unable to establish each of the four elements of negligence, they may not be able secure compensation for their injuries.
The first element of negligence is a duty of care. A duty of reasonable care arises when the law recognizes a relationship between two parties that legally obligates them both to act reasonably to keep the other party safe.
The second element of negligence is a breach of the duty of care. A person or entity breaches their duty of care when they fail to exercise reasonable care in fulfilling that duty.
The third element of negligence is causation. There are two distinct components of legal causation: actual cause and proximate cause. Actual cause exists when the victim would not have suffered a paralyzing injury but for the breach of the duty of care. Proximate cause exists when the extent and type of the victim’s injuries are directly related to their breach of their duty of care.
The last element of negligence is damages. The victim must have suffered a physical injury that can be remedied by monetary compensation.
Common Damages in Paralysis Injury Cases
The overall expenses associated with a paralysis injury can be staggering. The higher on the spine the injury occurs, and the more severe the injury, the higher the likelihood is of a costlier recovery.
The primary objective of filing an injury claim is to “make the victim whole again.” This means that the compensation the victim receives should place them in the same financial position as if the accident never happened, or at least as similar a position as possible. In order words, filing a claim enables a victim to collect restitution for their injuries so that they have a means to pay for things such as living expenses, long-term care, and assistive devices.
The losses that can be recouped in paralysis injury cases include economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Under Florida’s comparative fault standard, if an injured victim is partially responsible for their injuries, their recovery would be reduced by the percentage of blame apportioned to them.
Consult with a St. Augustine Paralysis Injury Attorney Today
If you or a member of your family suffered a paralyzing injury, it is highly advisable that you consult with a trusted St. Augustine paralysis injury lawyer who knows how to gather evidence and build a strong case to pursue compensation on your behalf. Call today to schedule an initial meeting and start exploring your options.