Attorneys for Washington Car Accidents Resulting in Paralysis

Were you injured in a car accident due to another person’s negligent misconduct? Did the injury result in complete or partial paralysis? If so, you might be entitled to compensation. The Seattle car accident attorneys of Caffee Law could provide the legal representation necessary to hold the at-fault party liable.

Paralysis refers to a person’s inability to move specific parts of their body. This happens when damage to the spinal cord interferes with the brain’s ability to transmit signals to the area below the injury site. Paralysis causes reduction of or loss of sensation and movement. It can also lead to breathing problems and a decrease in blood flow.

The violent impact during a collision between two vehicles places extreme forces on the body. The violent back and forth or side-to-side motion can cause immediate damage to the spinal cord. If the damage is permanent, the victim might never be able to use their arms or legs again.

At Caffee Law, we understand how traumatic car crashes can be. When you’re unable to move, you worry about your future. You might wonder how this injury will affect your job and family. If you never regain muscle control, you need someone to assist you with routine tasks. The cost of medical treatment and other necessary expenses can lead to financial strain and possibly debt.

You deserve the opportunity to hold the negligent motorist accountable for their actions. Caffee Law is ready to fight by your side for the maximum compensation possible. Call us for a free consultation at (206) 312-0954 to learn more about the available legal options.

Types of Paralysis

Paralysis occurs when a person loses control of their muscles in an area of the body. Multiple factors could cause this type of injury, including car accidents.

Doctors classify different types of paralysis by the location of the injury and the severity of the damage.


Localized paralysis only affects one area of the body. Generalized paralysis can affect multiple body parts. The various types of generalized paralysis include:

  • Monoplegia – Only one leg or arm becomes paralyzed
  • Hemiplegia – Paralysis only affects one arm and one leg on the same side of the body
  • Paraplegia – Both legs become paralyzed
  • Quadriplegia – This affects both legs and both arms


The severity of the paralysis falls under two main categories:

  • Complete – Complete paralysis means the brain can’t transmit signals to the body part below the site of the injury due to the extensive damage to the spinal cord.
  • Incomplete – Incomplete paralysis reduces the brain’s ability to send signals to the area below the injury site, meaning there might be only a partial loss of movement and sensation in a limb.

Complications of Paralysis

Paralysis doesn’t only limit or eliminate the ability to move muscles and feel sensations in the body. It can also affect bodily functions. Common complications of paralysis depend on the type of paralysis suffered and can include:

  • Blood clots
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Trouble breathing
  • Sepsis
  • Low blood pressure or high blood pressure
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Difficulty speaking or swallowing
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Heart problems
  • Bedsores

It’s critical to seek immediate emergency care after a car accident. A doctor can recommend a treatment plan so you can try to regain some movement in your arms or legs. If you don’t follow your physician’s orders, complications could arise, leading to additional medical issues.

How to Treat Paralysis

There isn’t a cure for paralysis, but various types of treatment could help patients regain partial muscle control and physical sensation. The treatment plan your medical provider recommends will depend on the extent of the injury and which bodily functions it affects but could include:

  • Prescription drugs
  • Physical therapy
  • Nerve transfer surgery
  • Mobility devices
  • Occupational therapy

In some cases, surgery might be necessary. If the accident caused one or multiple vertebrae to fracture, the surgeon would have to remove pieces to prevent them from puncturing an organ nearby. Realigning the spine with screws and plates could stabilize it, so it heals in the correct position.

Possible Compensation for Paralysis

Washington is a fault state. That means the at-fault motorist could become financially responsible for your injury and losses. State law requires auto insurance with minimum limits of liability for bodily injury and property damage. If you file an insurance claim, the settlement you receive could cover some or all of the losses you suffered, such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Medical bills
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity

Paralysis often results in expensive medical bills and additional costs. If the negligent driver’s liability limits don’t adequately compensate for your losses, you might be able to file a claim with your auto insurance carrier.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage isn’t a legal requirement for drivers in Washington. It can compensate accident victims if the motorist responsible for the crash doesn’t have liability insurance or high enough limits. If your policy includes UM coverage, you could file a claim to cover your compensatory losses, such as medical bills, property damage, and lost wages.

Washington Statute of Limitations

If the insurance company provides a low settlement offer or denies your claim entirely, you could proceed with a lawsuit. There is a strict timeframe you must follow known as a statute of limitations.

Washington uses a three-year statute of limitations for car accident cases. That means you must initiate your lawsuit within three years of the crash date if you want to pursue compensation in court.

Once the statute expires, you will likely lose your right to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. However, two exceptions could toll, or extend, the statute. They are:

  • Absence by the defendant – If the defendant leaves the state before you file your lawsuit, their absence will not count towards the three-year timeframe. The clock would only start again upon the defendant’s return.
  • Personal disability by the plaintiff – A personal disability means you were under 18 years old, incompetent, or disabled to a degree preventing you from understanding the nature of the legal proceedings. The three-year statute will not include the period of personal disability.

Contact Us

If someone else’s negligence caused a car accident and you ended up paralyzed, call Caffee Law at (206) 312-0954 for a free consultation. We will advocate for your rights and provide the legal representation and guidance you need to get through this devastating experience. Our legal team will help you seek the compensation you deserve to treat your injury and move forward with your life.



Reach Out To Jeffrey R. Caffee

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The Caffee Law has years of experience handling all manner of injury cases. Our Seattle Injury attorneys care about you and want to help you through the overwhelming challenges that you face as a victim of another person's negligence. Our firm is available at (206) 312-0954.