If you have suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of being hit by a negligent driver, the Port St. Lucie attorneys at Donaldson & Weston are available to discuss your legal options.
Car Accident Attorneys Assisting Port St. Lucie Residents and Others
Needless to say, losing function in your legs and lower body requires significant changes to your daily life. Victims who are rendered paraplegic in a serious car accident must face not only the physical obstacles related to their injuries but also psychological issues. When a negligent driver causes an accident that leaves a victim with a life-altering injury, they should be held accountable. The Port St. Lucie car accident lawyers at Donaldson & Weston are dedicated to making sure that paraplegic victims are able to pursue the compensation that they need to deal with a significant injury that affects many aspects of their lives. Our attorneys work tirelessly to ensure that clients’ legal rights are protected as they concentrate on the long road to recovery. If you or a loved one has been paralyzed as a result of a severe collision, contact our office today to find out more about how we can help.
Types and Causes of Paraplegia
Paraplegia occurs when a victim sustains an injury to their spinal cord, leading to an inability to move the lower part of their body. Paralysis is either complete or incomplete. Complete paraplegia results in a total loss of control, function, and feeling in a person’s lower body, including their legs. Incomplete paraplegia refers to a partial loss of control, function, or feeling. Both types of injury require the victim to use a wheelchair for mobility.
The severity of a victim’s paralysis correlates to the location on the spine where the injury occurred. An injury to the higher part of the spinal column usually results in a more extensive paralysis. People with lower spinal cord injuries are generally paraplegic, while people who sustain injuries to the upper part of the spine may suffer from quadriplegia, whereby they lose functionality in all of their limbs. A victim suffering from paraplegia may experience other symptoms aside from loss of feeling or function, which may include stinging sensations, shooting pains, loss of bladder control, muscle spasms or muscle loss, and impotence. Paraplegics may also be subject to a shortened lifespan as a result of their condition. When a car accident has led to such a serious injury, those responsible should bear the burden of the costs associated with a victim’s treatment and care.
Legal Action for Paraplegic Car Accident Victims
When a permanent injury, such as paraplegia, occurs, insurance coverage is not always enough to account for the costs of lifelong medical care, treatment, and potential changes to a victim’s ability to do their job. In these instances, a victim may need to pursue additional compensation from an at-fault party by filing a personal injury lawsuit. These claims require a showing that another party, known as a defendant, acted negligently. In car accident situations, usually the defendant is a driver who has breached their duty to act reasonably on the road, causing the victim’s paraplegia. For instance, a driver who is speeding or otherwise driving recklessly and who hits another vehicle, resulting in a spinal cord injury to a driver or passenger, probably would be found negligent.
If a driver was found to have been driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it may be especially straightforward to prove their liability. This is because a reasonable person would not be expected to commit a crime or break a traffic law. In these situations, punitive damages may even be available in addition to compensatory damages because the defendant’s conduct was so reckless. Compensatory damages that may be awarded to paralyzed victims include past and future medical costs, loss of wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more.