Paralysis is often caused by a spinal cord injury. In some cases, paralysis is "complete," meaning almost all feeling and ability to move is lost below the affected area. In other cases, there is still some feeling or function below the injury site, and the paralysis is considered "incomplete." If you are paralyzed after an accident, your life may never be the same. Among other things, you may have to change jobs or stop working altogether, and you may need special care and medical treatment for the rest of your life. This situation can be devastating both to the paralyzed individual and to his or her family. Injury attorney Mark Hartsoe is available to help Knoxville residents pursue damages if they have been hurt due to somebody else's negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.Seeking Damages for Paralysis
In Tennessee, a plaintiff trying to recover damages for paralysis caused by a negligent person or entity must show the duty of the defendant, the defendant's breach of duty, causation, and damages. These elements may apply in cases involving paralysis caused by car accidents, motorcycle wrecks, truck accidents, medical malpractice, or dangerous property conditions, among other incidents.
The damages are likely to be substantial in a paralysis case. However, in some cases, the defendant will claim that the plaintiff is partially to blame for an accident. The jury will evaluate the total damages and also assign percentages of fault to each party alleged to be at fault. As long as the plaintiff is not 50% or more at fault for the paralysis, he or she may recover from an at-fault party an amount that represents that party’s degree of fault for the injuries.
If there are multiple defendants responsible for the accident, the plaintiff may be able to recover from each of them based on percentages of fault. Generally when multiple defendants are liable for the paralysis, each defendant is only responsible for the percentage of damages assigned to that party by the jury. Only in certain rare instances, such as breach of warranty or strict liability claims, may defendants be held jointly liable for damages in personal injury cases.
Paralysis cases often require testimony from multiple experts, including economists, doctors, and life-care experts. In addition to testifying as to their opinions about the accident and paralysis, experts may be necessary to establish damages such as medical expenses, wage loss, pain and suffering, household services, vocational rehabilitation, out-of-pocket expenses, and daily care. In some cases, experts may need to perform a complex analysis of future losses, such as what a plaintiff would have made in her current profession over a 30-year career had she not been paralyzed. Additionally, a paralyzed plaintiff's spouse may have a claim for loss of consortium.
In Tennessee, noneconomic damages in cases involving paralysis from a spinal cord injury currently are capped at $1,000,000. Noneconomic damages often include pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, physical impairment, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.Consult a Knoxville Attorney to Assert Your Rights after an Accident
In Tennessee, you have one year after the date of an accident to file a lawsuit for paralysis. If you do not file the case within the appropriate window, your case may be dismissed. Knoxville lawyer Mark Hartsoe works to protect the rights of car accident victims and other injured individuals by enlisting knowledgeable experts and carefully examining the details of each case. For a free initial consultation, call (865) 524-5657 or contact us via our online form.