Birmingham Child Paralysis Injury Lawyers
Was your child the victim of a severe accident in Birmingham? Did it result from someone else’s negligence? Did your child become paralyzed? If so, you might be entitled to compensation. The Birmingham child injury attorneys of Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP could represent you in your case and help hold the at-fault party liable for their wrongdoing.
Paralysis prevents a person from moving a specific part of their body due to a loss of muscle function. When a child sustains an injury severe enough to lead to paralysis, it can be a devastating and emotionally painful experience. They must cope with what happened to them and relearn how to perform tasks that formerly involved the use of that body part. In severe cases, some kids will never grow up to be independent. They may need to rely on another person to assist them with their daily routine.
At Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP, our Birmingham child paralysis injury lawyers understand how traumatic something like this can be for a young child and their family. As a parent, you want to protect your kid from danger. Unfortunately, they encountered someone behaving carelessly and suffered an injury as a result. It is your right to seek the maximum compensation possible in an insurance claim or lawsuit. You should not be forced to pay out of pocket for medical bills, rehabilitation, and other costs if the negligent party were entirely at fault for the accident.
Call Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP today at (205) 324-1212 for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help.
What Is Paralysis?
Paralysis occurs when an injury, disease, or another factor causes a person to lose muscle control in an area of the body. It comes in multiple forms and can range widely in severity. The most common types of paralysis are:
- Incomplete or partial paralysis – There is some feeling in the affected body part, and the person could even have some control over its movement.
- Complete paralysis – There is no control over the muscles in the part of the body that became paralyzed. Patients can’t move the body part or even feel any sensations.
- Localized paralysis – The injury only affects one particular area, such as the feet, face, or vocal cords.
- Generalized paralysis – This type of paralysis is spread more throughout the body. Multiple classifications exist to indicate the injury site in the brain or spinal cord and how much of the body has been affected.
The different classifications of generalized paralysis include:
- Monoplegia – The injury involves only one limb.
- Diplegia – The same area of the body on both sides has been affected, such as both sides of the face or both arms.
- Hemiplegia – This only impacts one side of a person’s body.
- Quadriplegia – Paralysis happens to all limbs and sometimes to internal organs as well.
- Paraplegia – Everything from the waist down becomes paralyzed.
If you believe your child has suffered some type of paralysis, it’s crucial to bring them to the hospital immediately. They need to undergo a medical evaluation to determine a diagnosis and the appropriate treatment plan.
Common Causes of Paralysis in Children
Paralysis can happen for many reasons. Many of those reasons come down to human error. A drunk driver could crash into another vehicle, injuring the occupants, or a toy manufacturer could place a product on the market with faulty electrical components, causing it to explode.
The most common causes of accidents leading to paralysis include:
- Motor vehicle accidents – Whether you’re in a car or truck, another driver’s careless behavior can lead to a crash. Your child could suffer multiple injuries, including paralysis from the severe damage to their spinal cord or brain.
- Pedestrian accidents – Many kids walk to school or take the bus. Walking across the street could result in severe injuries if a driver doesn’t slow down or stop at the crosswalk.
- Defective products – Children’s toys, furniture, household appliances, and other products pose a risk to the user. Paralysis can result from an unstable dresser falling onto a child or a swing set with defective screws that come loose and create a falling hazard for the child.
- Medical malpractice – You likely trust your doctor to provide quality care for your child. Unfortunately, medical negligence can cause injuries and even death. Kids are vulnerable during the birthing process. They could suffer paralysis from the doctor pulling too hard or using unnecessary extraction devices.
- Premises liability – Property owners have a responsibility to keep their properties safe for guests. Poorly lit stairwells, malfunctioning escalators, and unsecured falling objects can injure a child, causing them to become paralyzed.
- Daycare abuse – Someone watching your kid while you’re working or tending to your daily responsibilities might abuse them. Physical and sexual abuse can injure the spinal cord and lead to paralysis.
- Bicycle accidents – Many children love riding their bikes. It’s a fun activity they can do alone or with their friends. Unfortunately, sharing the road with motor vehicles increases the risk of injuries.
Whether one of these or another contributing factor resulted in your child’s paralysis injury, do not wait to call Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP for a free consultation. Another person was responsible for causing the incident and should be held accountable.
What to Do After Your Child Suffers an Injury
It might not be immediately apparent that your son or daughter has suffered paralysis in an accident. However, even if their injury seems minor, you should ensure they receive medical treatment. A doctor can evaluate their physical condition to determine a diagnosis. If they recommend various forms of treatment, listen to them. Bring your child to every appointment until they heal or the medical providers release them from their care.
If you stop treatment too soon, your child’s recovery process can be impaired. It also doesn’t look good to an insurance company. They might assume that the injury isn’t that serious and offer a minimal settlement amount. They could even deny the claim altogether if they believe the injury doesn’t exist at all.
Consult an experienced Birmingham child paralysis injury lawyer. Learning that your son or daughter may never walk again or live the life you had envisioned for them is agonizing. Trying to take on the negligent party responsible for the accident when you’re in this fragile state of mind can negatively impact the outcome of your case. Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP can take over the entire process so you can focus on getting your child the treatment they need.
Evidence is critical in matters like this. Since someone could become paralyzed for numerous reasons, you need to show that the injury happened from an accident caused by another person. Medical records can prove when the paralysis occurred and provide a timeline of the necessary treatment that followed. Keep a copy of every document you receive, such as physician bills, physical therapy notes, prescription medications, and surgical reports. We may be able to use them as evidence during the case.
Possible Compensation in an Insurance Claim
The source of your compensation will depend on the circumstances of the incident. For example, you could file a claim with someone’s car insurance company if they caused your child’s paralysis in a motor vehicle crash. Your child might have suffered an injury from a fall on another person’s property, meaning you could hold the property owner liable in a claim with their liability insurance carrier.
No matter what, the compensation you receive should cover the losses you or your child suffered due to your child’s paralysis. The most common losses include:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Damage to personal property
- Mental anguish
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP will negotiate with the insurance company for a full and fair settlement. Our goal is to prevent you from having to pay for any of the bills you receive. However, insurance companies are never on the claimant’s side. They might seem friendly and willing to help, but their goal is to save money. If they can avoid paying out a large settlement or find a reason to deny your claim, they will.
Filing a Lawsuit for Your Child’s Paralysis Injury
If the at-fault party’s insurance company denies your claim or offers a lowball settlement, we could proceed with a lawsuit. There is a statute of limitations to comply with if you want to seek compensation. In Alabama, you must initiate your case in court within two years of the accident. The courts strictly enforce this timeframe. If you try to file suit after two years pass, the judge will likely dismiss the case.
Besides seeking compensation for your child’s medical expenses, your time spent away from work, and other losses, you could also pursue punitive damages. This is a form of punishment against the defendant instead of compensating you for your losses. A jury will not award these damages unless you can provide clear and convincing evidence of the negligent party’s fraud, wantonness, or malice.
Unfortunately, there are times when a child’s actions can contribute to the injuries they suffer. Alabama’s statutes dictate that contributory negligence is the law of the land. That means if your child is over 14 years old and is partially responsible for causing the accident that injured them, they cannot recover compensation for any losses.
An example of a minor that shares fault for their injury could be a teenager riding their bicycle to school. As they approached an intersection, they proceeded without slowing down or stopping to look for oncoming vehicles. As a result, a driver who was texting on their cell phone didn’t see the bicyclist in their path and caused an accident. Although the driver became distracted, the teenage biker also contributed to the crash and would not be eligible to be compensated.
The Birmingham child paralysis injury lawyers of Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP have represented injured children and their families since 1997. With over two decades of experience, we are fully equipped to handle even the most complicated cases. We will thoroughly investigate the incident to determine who was at fault and gather all available evidence to prove someone else should be financially responsible for your losses. You will not have to face the negligent party by yourself.
If your child suffered paralysis in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, call Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP at (205) 324-1212 for your free consultation.