Paraplegia occurs when a person can no longer voluntarily move their lower limbs. An injury to the spinal cord or nervous system typically causes the condition. When a person sustains a paraplegic injury from an accident, it can drastically affect their daily life and result in high medical, emotional, and physical costs. These injuries can happen in workplace accidents, car crashes, slip-and-fall incidents on a business’s property, and medical malpractice.

A Houston paraplegia injury lawyer could help you recover damages when negligent and reckless conduct leads to the partial paralysis of you or a loved one. If you can prove it, you could potentially have a personal injury claim against the individual or business that caused the harm. Contact us to speak with a hard-working catastrophic injury attorney about your situation.

Difficulty of Establishing Duty of Care for Paraplegia Injuries

To bring a successful personal injury claim for paraplegia caused by alleged negligence, an injured plaintiff must show that the at-fault party had a duty of care.

For example, motorists have a duty of care to obey traffic laws. Medical professionals also have a duty to provide a reasonable standard of care consistent with a competent practitioner.

A plaintiff must also demonstrate that the defendant’s actions or omissions breached the relevant duty of care. This breach must also have caused the plaintiff’s injuries. A lawyer in Houston could help determine if the defendant had a duty of care depending on the time of the accident that led to the paraplegia injury.

Limits On the Plaintiff’s Maximum Monetary Recovery

The plaintiff must also show that the breach of care resulted in actual damages. For paraplegia injuries, damages can include economic and noneconomic losses such as medical costs, pain and suffering, loss of consortium with a partner, lost wages or salary, and emotional distress.

Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 41.001 also allows a paraplegia injury victim to pursue punitive or exemplary damages, which penalize the defendant for gross negligence.

While the state has no general limit on damages, a Houston attorney could advise on specific dollar limit caps on certain types of paraplegia injury claims and damages.

For medical malpractice, the state caps noneconomic damages against medical providers in a single person at $250,000 and $500,000 for a single incident under Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 74.301.

If the lawsuit is against a government entity, damages are capped at $250,000 per person, $500,000 per incident, and $100,000 for property damage, according to Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 101.023.

Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 41.001 also limits how much an injured plaintiff can recover for punitive damages to the greater of $200,000 or twice the amount of economic damages, plus the amount of noneconomic damages. The maximum amount is $750,000.

The Plaintiff’s Own Negligence Can Limit Their Compensation

Depending on the type of accident that caused the victim’s paraplegia, the court can also limit damages if it finds the plaintiff’s negligence contributed to the incident at issue. A lawyer in Houston could help a person fight any negligence claims made against them in a paraplegia injury case.

The state follows the modified comparative negligence doctrine, according to Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 33.001. If a plaintiff’s negligence helped contribute to the accident, the court will establish a percentage of fault for each party as required by Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 33.003.

If the court determines that a plaintiff’s negligence was more than 50 percent responsible for the accident, the person is completely barred from recovering damages. If this person is under the threshold, Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 33.012 requires the court to reduce their damages in proportion with their percentage of fault.

Contact a Houston Attorney Today About Paraplegia Injury Claims

You should contact a Houston paraplegia injury lawyer immediately if you were injured due to the negligent actions of an individual or business. The state’s two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims under Tex. could result in the court dismissing your claim if you delay.

We could help prepare evidence and testimony to prove your injuries were caused by negligence. Contact our office today to set up an appointment with one of our attorneys.