Georgia Car Accidents Resulting in Paralysis


January 23, 2018

An Overview of Georgia Auto Accidents Resulting in Paralysis

An award of $23.8 million dollars to a driver who was paralyzed in an automobile accident was subsequently upheld by the Illinois Appellate Court. The lawsuit stemmed from a car crash between the driver of an SUV and a large Illinois Department of Transportation truck. Both drivers suffered some degree of paralysis and both filed lawsuits against the other, however at the end of the trial the jury found in favor of the driver of the SUV and against the driver of the Department of Transportation truck.

The $23.8 million dollars included half a million for disfigurement, approximately $600,000 for past medical expenses and $3.5 million for future medical expenses, $2.5 million for pain and suffering and approximately $18 million dollars as compensation for the loss of a “normal” life. The jury found the DOT driver to be 95% responsible for the accident. When reviewing the original decision, the Appellate Court found that amount of the award was not excessive, giving the jury latitude in determining how much the loss of a normal life was worth.

Spinal Cord Injury Statistics

There are approximately 12,000 new cases of spinal cord injuries annually (.PDF) across the United States, although the average age for those suffering such injuries has risen steadily over the past decade.   In 2000, the average age of a spinal cord injury survivor at the time of the accident which caused the injury was 38 years old. Since that time the percentage of those over the age of 60 who suffer spinal cord injuries has increased over 5%. The primary cause of spinal cord injuries is from automobile accidents (47%), followed by falls, acts of violence, sports injuries and miscellaneous injuries. Factors involved in spinal cord injuries resulting from an automobile accident include:

  • Roof crush which occurs when the vehicle rolls over and the roof crumples inward—poor roof strength standards can lead to roof crush when the vehicle’s roof comes in contact with the head, neck or spine of the occupants.
  • Failure of the seatback during a vehicle collision—faulty seatbacks may simply collapse during a crash, leaving the occupant with no protection and the likelihood of ejection from the vehicle.
  • Tire defects may lead to serious automobile accidents when the tread separates, causing the driver to lose control and be involved in a car collision.
  • Suspension defects can lead to steering issues which in turn cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle, potentially causing a rollover accident.
  • Malfunctions of seatbelts and airbags, resulting in grave injuries—seatbelts may rip apart, not hold tightly enough or unlatch during impact, ejecting the passenger.

Injuries Received from Damage to the Spinal Cord

The spinal cord is protected by the spinal vertebrae, allowing human beings to bend and move. The impetus to move those body parts comes from the nerves in the spinal cord which carry signals from the brain to various muscle groups. When those messages are interrupted due to a spinal cord injury, sensation and body functions may be lost forever. Injuries received from damage to the spinal cord include:

  • A broken back
  • Fracture of the spinal column
  • Vertebrae fracture
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Loss of normal sexual functions
  • A herniated disc
  • Paralysis
  • Paraplegia
  • Quadriplegia
  • Compression of the spinal cord

Teenagers and Spinal Cord Injuries 

There are a disproportionate number of spinal cord injuries among teenagers following an auto accident. Nearly half of all paralysis victims are under the age of 20; these young victims have their lives changed forever in an instant, leaving them with a significantly lowered quality of life as well as a lifetime of medical expenses. Most families of teenagers who suffer a spinal cord injury do not have the means to pay for round-the clock care or decades of medical expenses without instigating a lawsuit against the negligent party. All victims of spinal cord injuries will endure months, years or a lifetime of medical treatments, rehabilitation and therapy. Normal everyday activities such as getting dressed or even feeding oneself tragically can become a thing of the past, requiring a part-or full-time caregiver.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 33 Years Of Legal Experience To Work For Your Case!

If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of accident caused by someone else's negligence, contact Montlick & Associates today for your free consultation with our experienced car accident attorneys in Georgia. Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty-three years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Sources:
https://www.nscisc.uab.edu/PublicDocuments/fact_figures_docs/Facts%202012%20Feb%20Final.pdf

  • Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
    17 Executive Park Dr NE
    Atlanta, GA 30329
    Telephone: 1 (800) LAW-NEED
    Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333 
Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.