Paralysis injuries can cause partial or total loss of function in the affected body part. Many people think of paralysis as an inability to move the limbs at will, but paralysis can affect any muscle group.
When another person’s negligence contributes to an accident that leads to paralysis, the paralyzed person could claim money damages to compensate for their losses. Seek advice from a Rialto paralysis injury lawyer to find out whether damages might be available in your case. Schedule a consultation with a trusted attorney to get started.
Proving Negligence Triggers Liability to Pay Damages
The injured person seeking damages (plaintiff) must prove that another person (defendant) was negligent. Negligence means someone was not as cautious as a reasonably prudent person would have been in a similar situation.
Proving negligence requires a plaintiff to establish three elements by a preponderance of evidence. A preponderance of evidence means a thing is more likely than not. The three elements are:
- Defendant had a duty to plaintiff
- Defendant breached the duty
- Plaintiff suffered an injury as a direct result of defendant’s breach
The term duty can sometimes be confusing, but in the context of negligence law it means simply that someone had a responsibility to others. People generally have duties to other people not to put them at unnecessary risk.
Assumption of Risk
A defendant could argue that a plaintiff assumed the risk of paralysis when they chose to engage in a dangerous activity. Assumption of risk might be a successful defense to a negligence case, but a savvy plaintiff’s attorney could find evidence showing that despite the plaintiff’s knowledge of the risk, someone else’s negligence increased the risk by an unreasonable margin.
Many paralytic injuries are the result of sports accidents. Sometimes the manager of a league or venue might require participants to sign waivers of liability stating that they understand the risks involved and choose to participate despite them. Even when there is a valid liability waiver and the injured person understood the risk, if negligence on someone else’s part contributed to the circumstances that led to the injury, the plaintiff might be able to collect damages despite the waiver.
Negligent Plaintiffs Could Collect Damages
In a California personal injury action, the jury must allocate fault between the parties to the lawsuit. Under a legal doctrine called pure comparative negligence, codified in California Civil Code §1714, each party is wholly responsible for the consequences of their actions. An injury attorney could gather and present evidence that would tend to limit the plaintiff’s responsibility for the accident.
If a jury finds that a plaintiff’s actions played a role in the accident and resulting injuries, the plaintiff will not be able to collect all of their damages from other parties. The judge or jury will reduce a negligent plaintiff’s damages by an amount that reflects their degree of fault.
Even if a plaintiff was primarily responsible for an accident, they still could collect damages from other negligent parties. California allows a plaintiff who is 99 percent at fault to collect one percent of their damages from a minimally responsible negligent defendant.
Get in Touch with a Rialto Paralysis Injury Attorney Today
Damages available in paralysis injury cases could cover medical bills and expenses related to treating and managing the injury, lost earnings, future earnings, pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and other subjective losses. There is a great deal at stake, so it is critical to put your case in the hands of a skilled and assertive professional.
With a Rialto paralysis injury lawyer advocating on your behalf, you could receive a damage award that allows you and your family to regroup and move forward. There is limited time to file a lawsuit, so protect your rights by scheduling a consultation as soon after your accident as possible.