Introduction to Compensation for Paralysis Injury
If you have been involved in an accident for which you were not responsible that resulted in you suffering full or partial paralysis, you would be well advised to seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury solicitor about making a compensation for paralysis injury claim. It is your legal right to make such a claim if you have sustained the injuries due to the negligence of another – no matter what degree of paralysis you have suffered.
Paralysis can be temporary or permanent, and may encompass loss of use of two or four limbs, or loss of use of one side of the body. Quadriplegic injuries may cause the loss of use of fingers and toes, while mobility is retained in the arms and legs. The loss of total bodily function from the neck down is likely when the spine is damaged at the C1 vertebra, and spinal injuries may result in paraplegia. Such injuries can be detrimental to one’s quality of life and while no compensation award can ever turn back time, a successful claim for a paralysis injury may ensure that the victim is covered financially and can live as comfortable a life as possible.
Claiming Compensation for a Paralysis Injury
Road traffic accidents, falls from a height, workplace accidents and injuries sustained while playing sport are common reasons behind compensation for paralysis injury claims. Paralysis can be caused when the body suffers severe injury and the spinal cord, nerves or brain becomes damaged. That said, even a relatively innocuous injury can cause an individual to become partially or completely paralysed.
It should be possible to make claims for paralysis injury compensation, provided that the accident was caused by the actions –or inactions – or another party. However, the person to blame must have owed you a legal duty of care and by breaching that duty has resulted in you sustaining a degree of paralysis.
Child Paralysis Claims
When another person’s negligence causes a terrible accident resulting in a child becoming paralysed, a compensation for paralysis injury claim can be made. It may also be able to claim compensation when the negligence of a medical professional causes a child to suffer paraplegic or tetraplegic injuries. Successful claims have also been made in cases involving birth injuries suffered during a difficult delivery due to the improper use of forceps, or when a slow response to birth complications had caused a baby to sustain temporary or permanent paralysis.
Paraplegic and tetraplegic injuries to children are also highly traumatic for the parents. According to Irish law, a compensation claim can be made by a parent or guardian acting as the child’s “next friend”. There is also the option of waiting until the injured child reaches their majority (i.e. their eighteenth birthday) and from that date they have two years in which to initiate legal action. It is, however, recommended that a solicitor is consulted as soon after the accident in which the child sustained their injuries as possible, in order to provide essential legal advice.
Proving Negligence in Claims for Paralysis Injury Compensation
In cases such as where an employer has neglected to install appropriate safety equipment to prevent a fall for a height, obtaining proof of negligence in compensation for paralysis injury claims may be fairly straightforward. However, complications may arise in cases when medical negligence has caused an individual to become quadriplegic or tetraplegic as it can be very difficult to determine that the doctor or surgeon in question made an error of judgement or acted incompetently. A personal injury compensation solicitor should always be consulted for legal counsel on making claims for a paralysis injury – even when there appears to have been a clear case of negligence.
As it is not often possible to obtain absolute proof of negligence when the actions of a doctor have cause an individual to become paralysed, medical negligence claims for paralysis require specialist legal assistance from a solicitor experienced in such cases. Medical negligence paralysis claims can only be decided by medical opinion and a solicitor will be required to arrange for expert medical consultants to evaluate whether a fellow doctor or medical practitioner has been negligent in order to strengthen a compensation claim for a paralysis injury.
Calculating Compensation Claims for Paralysis Injury
Calculating the amount of compensation for a paralysis injury an individual is entitled to is a complex process. Paralysis compensation figures are based on the level of paralysis, whether it is temporary or permanent, partial or complete, if some functionality may be restored and the degree of pain and suffering caused by the accident and subsequent injuries. The victim’s age and sex will be taken into account and the impact the injuries have had on the victim’s quality of life. Quadriplegia compensation encompasses the maximum compensation amount because of the severe loss of amenity that loss of all limb function involves.
Additionally, a compensation claim for a paralysis injury needs to ensure that the sufficient compensation is claimed to cover the physical injuries and loss of amenity and also any lifespan reduction due to the paralysis. Quadriplegic injuries can increase the risk of repertory problems being suffered and blood clots developing, and other conditions that could be a threat to life. Each individual case can only be assessed based on its individual merits, after a solicitor has sought specialist medical opinion on the severity of the injuries and what impact they may have on an individual for the remainder of their life.
Each of these elements will be taken into account when calculating how much general damages can be claimed. It is worth noting that a separate claim can be made for “special damages” – to cover any financial losses – which can increase the amount of paralysis injury compensation considerably.
Medical treatment costs can be substantial, especially as the victim often requires life-long care. The use of a wheelchair will undoubtedly be required – due to the loss of mobility – and the home will often need to be re-structured to accommodate this. Additionally, vehicles will need to be altered, and other mobility aids may be necessary. Add in the possibility that home help may be required and the expenses to the victim can be substantial.
These expenses will not have to come out of the victim’s general damages compensation; claims for paralysis injury compensation can be made for these costs under “special damages”. Medical treatment costs incurred or expected to be incurred in the future can be claimed as special damages, as can loss of income due to being unable to work.
If a cost or expense can be attributed to the injury, it can be included in compensation claims for paralysis injury special damages. The reason for special damages is to make sure that the accident victim is no worse off financially than he or she was before the accident in which their terrible injuries were sustained.
Compensation for Paralysis Injury Compensation: Summary
If temporary, permanent, partial or impartial paralysis has afflicted an individual in an accident that was caused by a negligent third party, compensation for a paralysis injury can be claimed. The victim of such an injury has a legal right to be compensated for the pain, suffering and loss that they experience.
It is essential that claims for paralysis injury are pursued with assistance from a highly experienced personal injury solicitor to ensure that the victim is awarded the maximum amount that they are entitled to. No amount of compensation can ever substitute for any loss of bodily function, but it will guarantee that an accident victim can lead as normal a life as possible and that they will be adequately covered in the financial sense.