Paralysis, whether partial or full can be one of the most severe and devastating events in a person’s life and this can only be made worse when the cause of the condition is from the action or inaction of another person or company.
If you have been left paralysed after medical negligence or an accident that wasn’t your fault, no matter the extent of your suffering, an experienced solicitor will be pleased to help you secure the compensation that is rightfully owed to you.
How is paralysis defined?
Paralysis is the term given to a range of injuries that have an impact on the functionality of different parts of the body. Paralysis can present itself as a loss of feeling in specific areas, loss of control over bodily functions or inability to move limbs or muscles. Paralysis is rarely caused by complications with the muscles themselves and rather is the result of damage to the nerves and spinal cord which subsequently limits muscle movements and control.
A diagnosis of paralysis is separated into one of two classifications:
- Localised: where a specific part of the body is affected
- Generalised: where large parts of the body are affected
Personal injury solicitors have a wealth of experience in processing a wide range of compensation claims following paralysis. Such cases include:
- Paraplegia – This type of paralysis affects both legs and can sometimes impact on the pelvis and lower body.
- Tetraplegia – This type of paralysis is sometimes referred to as quadriplegia and affects both arms and legs
- Monoplegia – One limb is paralysed
- Hemiplegia – Where one side of the body is affected, and so there is paralysis in an arm and leg on one particular side of the body
The level of severity and the greater the amount of the body that is affected, the larger the compensation award will likely be if you are successful in proving the liability of the defendant.
What are the common causes of paralysis?
Paralysis can be caused by a number of events and accidents, many of which will be the responsibility of another person. Some of the most common causes of paralysis include:
- Injuries sustained in road traffic accidents
- Medical negligence including failure to diagnoses and surgical errors
- Criminal attacks
- Spinal cord injuries from sporting accident
- Severe trips, slips and falls, normally from heights or in public spaces
Any victim of the above incidents who has suffered paralysis of any degree because of the neglect or actions of another party will be eligible to make a claim for compensation. Your solicitor will be knowledgeable and experienced in guiding you to determine which legislation protects you and supports your ability to make a claim. Even if you have suffered paralysis through the fault of an unknown or untraceable person, for example a driver who fled the scene of a crash or an attacker in a criminal act, a solicitor may still be able to help you seek compensation.
How is the liability for paralysis determined?
The liability of the defendant will be proven by demonstrating the level of your injuries and the ways in which the responsibility lies with the other person. Proving liability will depend upon the circumstances of your case as different environments and causes will abide by different legislative factors. Below are some of the ways in which liability may be demonstrated in common paralysis cases.
Work Related Accidents
If you suffered from paralysis due to an accident at work, you may be able to prove liability through demonstrating that you employer breached their legal obligations as outlined in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This is the legislation that is used to ensure that acceptable safety standards are adopted by all UK employers, and that specific protection is offered for any known risks within the workplace.
If you have suffered from paralysis through work related incidents such as a fall from a height, being hit by a heavy object that has fallen on top of you or an electrocution that threw you to the ground, it is likely that you will be able to prove liability and make a successful accident claim.
Road Traffic Accidents
For victims of paralysis caused in a road traffic accident, the compensation claim will be made against the negligent party, whether that be a driver of another vehicle or the driver of the car in which you were a passenger. Liability in this instance will be proven through evidence such as CCTV footage, photographs and witness statements.
If a sporting injury was the cause of your paralysis and negligent behaviour of another party was involved, you may be able to prove liability of the venue, the organising body or an individual who caused the injury. Like other businesses, sports clubs and venues are covered by the Health and Safety at Work Act unless they are run by volunteers. If volunteers run the club, there is still an obligation to maintain health and safety and your solicitor will offer guidance as to whether you are eligible to make a claim.
How much compensation will I receive?
The amount of compensation paid to you will depend on the severity of your condition and the level of impact that the paralysis has had on your life. The greater the severity and the larger the area of the body that is affected, the higher your compensation award will likely be.
Solicitors are skilled at negotiating the highest settlement awards possible on your behalf, and will ensure that all suffering and losses are accounted for in your award. This means that your solicitor will seek to recover costs of treatment, time off work, future earning potential as well as physical and emotional damage.
Whether you are partially or fully paralysed, the nature of the injury may mean that you will need some level of care from a family member or a professional care worker. Your injury solicitor can also help you to claim back these costs, as well as the expense of any adjustments required on your home to aid access and mobility.