Paralysis is one of the most devastating—and usually permanent—outcomes an accident can have. Anyone who experiences such an injury due to someone else’s negligence could be entitled to seek restitution not only for their short-term medical bills but also for the impact this condition will have on them for the rest of their natural life.
If you were recently paralyzed in an accident that someone else caused, talking to a personal injury attorney could be in your best interests. Dedicated Memphis paralysis injury lawyer David E. Gordon could help you understand your legal options and work tirelessly to pursue full compensation for every loss associated with your condition.
According to the Mayo Clinic, paralyzing injuries may be classified as incomplete or complete, each of which heralds different symptoms and effects.
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves inside the spine that transmits signals from the brain to the rest of the body and vice versa. An incomplete injury can occur in varying degrees, but it allows for some amount of movement below the point of impact and generally have better prognoses for recovery.
Complete injuries, on the other hand, entail a total severing of the spinal cord, resulting in permanent loss of motor control and sensation below the point of impact. Injuries to the lower part of the spinal cord may result in paraplegia, or paralysis in the legs, pelvis, and abdomen. Injuries higher up in the spinal cord or neck typically lead to quadriplegia, or paralysis of all four limbs and the entirely of the torso.
In either form of paralysis, additional symptoms beyond the loss of sensory and motor function could include loss of bowel control, exaggerated reflexes, difficulty breathing, and significant physical pain. Legal professional David E. Gordon could factor all these symptoms into a demand for civil compensation after a Memphis paralysis accident.
In a typical personal injury case, recoverable damages center around losses that can be objectively evaluated, known collectively as economic damages. Quantitative expenses such as medical bills, lost work wages, and lost earning capacity can be factored into lawsuits filed on behalf of paralysis victims.
However, the bulk of most damage awards in successful paralysis injury claims comes in the form of non-economic damages. These are losses cannot be quantitatively defined, as they have no universal cash value and are subjective based on the individual plaintiff’s experiences and needs.
Depending on the circumstances, a paralysis injury legal representative in Memphis could pursue compensation on an injured plaintiff’s behalf for non-economic harms, such as:
Punitive damages could also be available if a paralyzing injury resulted from egregiously negligent or intentional actions.
However, Tennessee Code §29-39-102 enforces a cap of $1 million on non-economic damages in paralysis injury cases, and TN Code §29-39-104 enforces a punitive damages cap of $500,000 or two times the amount of compensatory damages, whichever is greater. Despite recent challenges to both these statutes, the Tennessee Supreme Court upheld the state’s cap on non-economic damages as constitutional in February 2020, and is expected to make a similar ruling regarding the punitive damages cap.
Unfortunately, individuals who have become paralyzed by another person’s negligence often have slim prospects for recovery, and many remain in their condition for the rest of their life. They deserve compensation for the physical, financial, and personal losses that they were forced to contend with by no fault of their own.
If you have suffered paralysis in an accident you did not cause, you could take legal action to protect your financial future. Call David E. Gordon today to speak with a Memphis paralysis injury lawyer that could help you understand what is possible in your situation.