New Jersey Permanent Disability Lawyer
When a traumatic accident causes paralysis, the effects are life-changing. The injured person is often unable to return to work, perform day-to-day activities, or maintain his or her previous standard of living. The costs of paralysis, both financial and otherwise, can have a serious impact on one’s life and livelihood.
Paralysis is characterized by the loss of muscle function in a part of the body, resulting from the disruption of messages between the brain and the muscles. Some instances of paralysis manifest on only one side of the body or one particular area, while other cases can involve complete paralysis of the lower body (paraplegia) or paralysis of both the arms and legs (quadriplegia). Paralysis is commonly caused by strokes or injuries, such as an injury to the spinal cord or neck.
Paralyzing injuries can have a number of causes, many of which are grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. These causes include:
- Motor vehicle crashes
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Construction accidents
- Unsafe construction equipment
- Medical malpractice
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Unsafe building conditions
- Unsafe products
- Brain and spinal cord injuries
If you or a loved one has been paralyzed in a car crash, workplace injury, or other accident, contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi today. Our experienced attorneys have fought for the injured in New Jersey and New York for decades, collecting more than $300 million in verdicts and settlements. If you are ready to discuss the options available in your case, call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to schedule your free and confidential consultation.
Many cases of paralysis fall under the umbrella of catastrophic injuries, which are defined as injuries that permanently prevent an individual from performing gainful work. By definition, these injuries often require long-term medical care, prolonged time away from work, huge medical bills, serious mental or emotional effects, and even the inability to return to work ever again.
Types of catastrophic injuries can include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Severe burns
- Spinal cord injuries
- Wrongful death
- Vision loss
- Hearing loss
- Severe fractures
These traumatic injuries can affect nearly every aspect of one’s life and livelihood. They can prevent the victim from working, incur major expenses, and have a negative impact on the victim’s relationship with family and friends.
What Can You Win in a Personal Injury Claim?
If you are paralyzed in New Jersey due to someone else’s negligence, you could have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. There are two types of compensation available in personal injury cases: compensatory damages and punitive damages.
Most personal injury cases deal with compensatory damages, which are designed to compensate the victim for the harm caused. This includes compensation for:
- Medical treatment, including hospitalization costs, ambulatory services, surgical costs, medication, and rehabilitation. Compensatory damages are awarded to compensate the plaintiff for medical treatment already received, as well as the estimated cost of medical care in the future. In the case of a significant injury like paralysis, the cost of ongoing rehabilitation and visits to the doctor can be extremely costly over time; as such, it is important to retain an experienced attorney with access to medical experts who can accurately estimate the future cost of your medical care.
- Income, including reimbursement for lost income while recovering from the injury as well as money the victim would have made in the future if not for the accident. In other words, if the plaintiff now stands to make less money as a result of the injury (due to decreased function or complete inability to work), he or she is entitled to compensation for that lost income. The technical term for this is “decreased earning capacity” for the future.
- Property damage, including any damage to your vehicle, clothing, or other personal items that resulted from the incident.
- Pain and suffering, meaning the physical pain or discomfort caused by the accident.
- Emotional distress, which is typically seen as the emotional aspect of “pain and suffering.” This can include any sort mental pain and suffering, including fear, loss of sleep, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety.
- Loss of enjoyment or consortium, which compensates the plaintiff for less tangible losses, such as the sudden inability to pursue hobbies, inability to engage in recreational activities, loss of enjoyment of day-to-day life, loss of companionship, or inability to maintain an intimate relationship with one’s spouse.
There are no limits on compensatory damages in New Jersey or New York. Therefore, as long as you are able to prove that the injury caused a certain monetary amount of harm, you are eligible to recover that amount of damages.
Punitive damages are awarded much more rarely, as they only apply in cases of extreme behavior or intentional harm. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for particularly egregious conduct or for intentionally causing harm. In New Jersey, punitive damages are limited to $350,000 or five times the amount of compensatory damages (whichever is greater).
Calculating the cost of a catastrophic injury like paralysis can be extremely complex. An accurate estimate of the full cost of the injury often requires the testimony of numerous experts, including primary care doctors, neurologists, psychiatrists, rehabilitation specialists, and psychologists. An experienced personal injury attorney can also call upon social services agents, employability specialists, life care planners, and economists to demonstrate the massive costs of a paralyzing injury—both financial and otherwise.
Contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi
A paralyzing injury will undoubtedly have a major impact on your entire life. Paralysis, no matter how severe, has the ability to impact your employment, day-to-day routine, and relationships with family and friends. If you were paralyzed as a result of someone else’s negligence, Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi can help.
Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have achieved a number of significant verdicts and settlements for victims of catastrophic injuries. Our experienced attorneys have more than 80 years’ worth of combined trial experience in personal injury cases. That experience allows us to stand up to large corporations, insurance adjusters, and opposing attorneys alike to win fair compensation for victims throughout New Jersey and New York. In order to give you the best chance of success, our skilled attorneys treat each and every case like it’s going to trial; we are board-certified specialists in trial advocacy and senior partner Michael Maggiano is a past president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of New Jersey. We are proud to call ourselves trial attorneys, and we are committed to the thorough investigation and preparation of your case.
Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi are prepared to review the details of your case and discuss the full range of options available to you. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to start on the road to recovering your losses. The initial consultation is always free and confidential, and no legal fees are due until we win your case.