Call us 24/7: (515) 279-9700


Paralysis occurs when individuals can not voluntarily move their limbs; however, there are different types of paralysis, such as:

  • Paraplegia – this paralysis of both legs is generally caused by damage to the spinal cord near the hips.
  • Quadriplegia – this is a paralysis of both legs and arms caused by damage to the spinal cord, usually near the base of the skull. Quadriplegia may also be accompanied by the loss of control of various organs throughout the body.

Paralysis may be temporary or permanent damage. It can also be partial or total paralysis. The most severe is permanent total paralysis, and the least severe is temporary partial paralysis; with temporary paralysis, the paralysis generally fades, and the victim regains control of their limbs.

Iowa Paralysis Attorney

If you have suffered paralysis as a result of an accident in Iowa, contact McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. and speak to a qualified personal injury attorney today to evaluate your claim. Our legal team at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. has vast experience with all types of accidents and taking all necessary steps toward recovery after a paralysis.

Allow us to be your best resource during this difficult time. Call (515) 279-9700 to secure a free consultation today.

McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. accept clients throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area including West Des Moines, Perry, Miniburn, Polk City, Ankeny and Altoona.

Back to Top

Information Center

Back to Top

Spinal Cord Injuries

In a study conducted by, the most common causes of a spinal cord injury are as follows:

  • Automobile accidents cause 38.4% of all spinal cord injuries.
  • Falls cause 30.5% of all spinal cord injuries.
  • Acts of violence (i.e., assault, domestic abuse, etc.) cause 13.5% of spinal cord injuries.
  • Sports-related incidents cause approximately 8.9% of spinal cord injuries, with about two-thirds of those caused by diving-related accidents.
  • Medical and surgical incidents (i.e., disease, cancer, infection, surgical results, etc.) cause approximately 4% of all spinal cord injuries.

Lawsuits and insurance claims may be brought depending on the circumstances of the injury. This includes personal injury lawsuits and medical malpractice lawsuits.

Back to Top

Personal Injury Lawsuits Relating to Paralysis Injuries

If someone is injured due to an accident, they may bring a personal injury lawsuit to sue for damages related to the incident that caused the injuries.

In Iowa, the statute of limitations for a personal injury lawsuit is two years, meaning that a lawsuit must be filed within two years of sustaining injuries from an incident or knowing that the injuries resulted from the incident. This means that a complaint must be filed within those two years.

Back to Top

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Concerning Paralysis Injuries

A medical malpractice lawsuit is similar to a personal injury lawsuit, except it is against a doctor who was acting in their duties when the incident occurred. For example, medical malpractice can result due to a bad treatment plan or an error during surgery.

In Iowa, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits is two years. If the case is not filed within two years, it will likely be dismissed. However, there are reasons the statute of limitations may be extended. For example, in some cases, the plaintiff may not have reason to know the cause of the injury; therefore, the statute of limitations may be extended.

Back to Top

Damages In A Paralysis Injury Case

Many expenses may result from a spinal cord injury; if someone else was at fault for the injury, they might be liable for all the expenses incurred due to the injury. In Iowa, there are two types of damages – economic and non-economic.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are those that are tangible and easily seen, such as:

  • Hospital bills
  • Loss of income
  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Medical assistance

While past medical expenses and lost wages are relatively easy to calculate, it is more challenging to determine what exactly someone with paralysis will need regarding future treatments and assistance. To determine the level of cost that will likely be incurred in the future, an attorney will generally hire an expert witness (probably a doctor); the doctor will review the plaintiff’s medical file and testify to the treatment, medication, and whether the individual will need assisted living. Once that has been determined, the jury will determine the economic damages that should be awarded.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are trickier because they are somewhat subjective since they deal with mental and life impacts. For example, if the plaintiff spent a lot of free time playing football, that may be taken into effect because a substantial hobby was lost due to another person’s fault.

Back to Top

Additional Resources

National Spinal Cord Injury Association: This website provides more information about spinal cord injuries for those interested in understanding them.

United Spinal Association: This website provides more information for individuals suffering from a spinal cord injury. The United Spinal Association’s mission is to improve the quality of life for those with spinal cord injuries.

Back to Top

West Des Moines Paralysis Attorney | Polk County, Iowa

If you have suffered a paralysis after an accident, it is imperative to have an attorney on your side that is both experienced and passionate. At McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C., our personal injury lawyers have over two decades of experience in handling court cases in Iowa. We have litigated and negotiated for numerous paralysis cases with positive result.

To schedule a free consultation, call (515) 279-9700 as soon as possible.

McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. is based in West Des Moines, but we accept clients throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area including Perry, Waukee, Adel, Redfield, Minburn, Van Meter, De Soto, Ankeny, Altoona, Johnston, Pleasant Hill and Bondurant.

Back to Top