Paralysis is an injury that affects an individual’s ability to walk, stand, or move. There can also potentially be paralysis of a vocal cord that could affect speech. However, typically the injury is most often associated with the ability to walk, stand, or move. Medical bills following a paralyzing accident could be expensive and difficult to handle alone.
A compassionate catastrophic injury attorney understands the injury process and can give objective advice and information about the injury process. Because of the seriousness of a paralysis injury, it is crucial that the injured person retain someone with the experience necessary in order to maximize their chances of recovery. If you have been injured in a serious accident, consult a Toledo paralysis lawyer that could advocate for you.
The injured party should immediately seek medical attention at a trauma hospital in the Toledo area. The three major trauma hospitals in the area are the University of Toledo Medical Center, Saint Vincent’s Hospital in Downtown Toledo, and Toledo Hospital in West Toledo. There, the person will deal with neurologists, neurosurgeons and physical medicine doctors. These individuals are best equipped to decide the courses of treatment moving forward.
It is important to contact a Toledo paralysis lawyer that could do a first-class investigation of the facts behind the accident that caused the trauma. Attorneys are also able to give proper referrals for medical experts to provide the necessary care.
Following the accident, an individual may need to seek psychological help as well. A person is going to need strong psychological help from a psychologist, a psychiatrist, medication, or a combination to deal with the lack of ability to use their arms and or their legs. They are going to need strong self-control and strong discipline. It is obviously an unbelievably difficult position to be in even for someone who does have those qualities.
The first step a Toledo paralysis lawyer should take is to obtain all necessary medical documentation. Attorneys should also meet with doctors and obtain written statements from them explaining their opinions to a reasonable degree of medical certainty. They could use videographers to be able to tell a day-in-the-life story of the individual affected by the injury. Lawyers also obtain the services of other experts that are able to portray the impact of an injury on an individual’s life effectively to a jury.
Any individual seeking to prove paralysis must obtain an opinion from the orthopedic surgeon or the neurosurgeon giving a diagnosis and prognosis of the medical condition. Attorneys will often want to get a second or third opinion from similar experts. Attorneys also stay abreast of current developments in the medical field related to paralysis injuries in order to obtain the best expert witnesses that are able to explain these types of injuries to a reasonable degree of medical certainty.
Liability in a paralysis case would be determined the same way as other Toledo personal injury cases. A person would have to show all of the elements of negligence under Ohio law. They would have to show a breach of the duty of care, and that the violation caused the paralysis in the catastrophic accident.
In a trucking accident case, for example, the plaintiff would have to show that the semi-truck had a legal duty of care to the other motorists around them and that they breached that obligation. Then they would have to show that their injuries were proximately caused by that breach.
If liability can be placed upon the injured party, under Ohio law, that would be considered contributory negligence. Ohio is a comparative negligence state, which means that the plaintiff must show that the other party was more than 50 percent at fault for the accident.
If a case went to trial and the jury determined that the person with paralysis was 40 percent responsible for the accident and that the trucking company was 60 percent liable, then whatever the award of damages is, the injured party would collect 60 percent of that number.
Insurance companies typically do not like to issue life insurance policies to people with paralyzing conditions. Someone with a paralyzing injury has their life expectancy shortened to a substantial degree. If a paralyzed person is able to get an insurance policy the premium’s cost is going to be so high that it outweighs the benefit.
Another name for a ‘long-term life insurance plan’ is an annuity. A major concern for someone who has settled a case due to paralysis is how they are going to continue to pay their living and medical expenses moving forward. These expenses are often financed through a structured settlement wherein the insurance company buys an annuity for the individual that pays them a certain amount of money over the next 30 or 40 years on a monthly or annual basis. The goal is to come up with a plan that works well and provides security for the injured person and their family.
The role of a Toledo injury lawyer is to be your counselor, your friend, your guide, and the shoulder for you to hang your head on. It is important to show the family that they have someone on their side who has navigated this process before. The lawyer must work together with the family to look at the legal and medical options to come up with a game plan to present the case. Your lawyer could also help preserve the dignity of the injured individual while working to set up a plan to provide security for their future medical and economic situations.
Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC