How Austin Residents Should Proceed When A Loved One Has Been Paralyzed

October 1, 2016 | By DJC Law Attorneys
How Austin Residents Should Proceed When A Loved One Has Been Paralyzed
Man indoors in wheelchair

This is the next post in our series on the handling of Austin, Texas injury cases which result in paralysis. Our last article provided an overview of topics we will be discussing and stressed the need to contact an attorney immediately if you or a loved one has been injured due to another’s negligence. It is important that you speak with a lawyer and not accept a “low ball” settlement from insurance adjusters. In this article we will discuss an important to topic - how to proceed after one has been paralyzed.

It is important to contact counsel as soon as reasonably possible in such a situation. Once retained, your attorney will send a notice to the relevant insurance adjusters which informs them of the representation. The insurance company will then deal with your attorneys directly. A significant amount of time will likely pass before a settlement demand can be sent to the insurance company. This is due to the fact that the future prognosis must be relatively clear so that damages may be properly calculated; it is not possible to determine one’s damages without knowing whether the paralysis is permanent, other lasting effects of the injuries, the number of future surgeries which will be required, how often the victim will need to attend physical therapy, etc. It is important that you stay in contact with your lawyer while you are being treated so that counsel is up to date regarding the status of your situation.

Once your prognosis can be determined, then it will be necessary to calculate your damages. Compensation should include medical expenses already incurred, the cost of future care, wages already lost, any future lost earnings, as well as money for pain and suffering. It may be necessary to retain an economist and/or vocational rehabilitation expert to offer an opinion as to what tasks you can and cannot perform in the workplace, the amount of money you can expect to earn in the future (if any), as well as the amount of money you could have expected to earn had the accident not occurred. A demand letter will then be sent to the insurance adjuster requesting these amounts. The adjuster will likely counter-offer and this will begin the process of your attorney negotiating back and forth with the insurance company.

If a reasonable settlement cannot be reached, then it will likely be necessary to file a lawsuit. Taking your case to trial (which we will discuss later in this series) can be a lengthy and expensive process. It is important that you select an injury lawyer with the financial resources necessary to handle such matters. Dan Christensen is a former military officer and prosecutor who has devoted his career to standing up for the rights of victims. Our firm prides itself on having the resources of a larger firm while providing the level of service found in a smaller law office. We handle many serious injury cases and are ready to assist you. Contact our Austin office today to schedule an initial consultation.

We also service Travis County cities which include Rollingwood, Round Rock, Elgin, Jonestown, Manor, Bee Cave, Lago Vista, Sunset Valley, Lakeway, Creedmoor, the Williamson County cities of Georgetown, Cedar Park, and Leander, as well as other areas of Texas.