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Paralysis Injuries

Our lawyers understand the devastating effects spinal cord injuries and paralysis have on our clients and their families.  We know the stakes couldn’t be higher for your family as you seek long-term financial security after suffering such an injury. 

Types Of Paralysis

The lawyers at the Porter Law Group understand that not all spinal cord injuries are the same, and each of our clients are impacted in different ways.  According to various national studies, about 27 percent of all types of paralysis are caused by a spinal cord injury. 

These injuries are defined as some type of traumatic damage to the spinal cord which impacts how “messages” are carried from the brain to other systems in the body, affecting bodily movement and bodily sensations.  

Spinal cord injuries can be further classified as “complete” or “incomplete,” depending upon the severity of the trauma: 

  • Complete paralysis refers to the complete loss of sensation below the spinal cord injury
  • Incomplete paralysis refers to the partial loss of motor and sensory function below the spinal cord injury
  • Symptoms of paralysis may include loss of sensation, restricted mobility, spasms, loss of bladder control, and changes in sexual function and sensitivity.

In addition to the classification of complete or incomplete, these injuries are also categorized according to which areas of the body have been affected.

The average age of people who suffer a spinal cord injury in the U.S. is 43, with males making up the majority of new cases. Nearly 50 percent of all spinal cord injuries occur in people between the ages of 16 and 40, and require an average stay of 11 days in a hospital acute care unit.

Common spinal cord injuries, such as whiplash, may be temporary, lasting a few weeks before healing. A more serious injury to your spine  could leave you paralyzed. Types of paralysis include:

  • Monoplegia is the paralysis of one limb, like a leg or an arm. Monoplegia is caused by damage to specific parts of the spine and nervous system.
  • Diplegia affects the same part of both sides of thebody (both arms, both sides of the face, etc.). Diplegia is usually a sign of brain damage caused by cerebral palsy.
  • Hemiplegia paralyzes one side of the body. It’s almost always caused by brain damage on the side of the body opposite the paralysis. Strokes often lead to hemiplegia.
  • Paraplegia affects both legs. Paraplegia is usually caused by a serious injury to the lower spinal cord.
  • Quadriplegia strikes all four limbs and chest, basically the entire body below the shoulders. Quadriplegia is caused by severe damage to the spinal cord above the shoulders.

An incomplete spinal cord injury results in partial damage to the area of the spine affected by trauma. A person with this type of injury may be able to make partial movements and have some sensory function in the affected region.

complete spinal cord injury causes paralysis. Paralysis produces a total loss of motor and sensory function below the level of the injury.

There are three different levels of spinal cord injuries, depending on the region of the spine where they occur. Injuries to these areas result in the following types of injuries:

  • Cervical spinal cord injuries occur in the head and neck.
  • Thoracic spinal cord injuries occur along the upper and middle part of the back.
  • Lumbar spinal cord injuries occur in the lowest level of the spine.

Physical Effects Of Paralysis

Paralysis affects several systems throughout the body and involves damage to the nerves, which results in temporary or permanent changes to sensation, strength, and other bodily functions.

The extent of a spinal cord injury’s effects on physical movement and sensation largely depends on where the injury occurs along the spinal cord and the severity of the injury.

A man with a physical injury

Depending on the severity of the injury, this may result in permanent and severe restrictions to mobility and loss of sensation (including ability to feel heat, cold, or touch)—which can have serious implications for the types of activities or work individuals are able to engage in as part of their normal routines.

Suffering a traumatic injury may require  radical restructuring of a person’s life, requiring surgery, hospitalization, and ongoing in-home care  to attend to basic needs.

Parents of children who have suffered spinal cord injuries may have to temporarily or permanently alter their own schedules in order to care for their children and to cover the enormous expenses that can accumulate as a result of their child’s life-changing injury. 

A man having physical therapy

Care of a Spinal Cord Injury

Studies have shown that about 57.1% of people with a spinal cord injury were employed at the time of the injury and only 11.7% of those people returned to work within a year. Spinal cord injuries often lead to long-term and permanent devastating financial loss.

According to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, a person who has suffered a severe spinal cord injury will require, on average, 12 days of initial hospitalization followed by 37 days  in a rehabilitation unit. About 89.8% of all spinal cord injury victims are discharged from hospitals to private homes while 6.2% are discharged to nursing homes. The cost of living with a spinal cord injury could add millions throughout a person’s lifetime. 

How Do Spinal Cord Injuries Occur?

Causes and Symptoms of Spinal Paralysis

Spinal cord injuries result from some type of physical trauma. Common causes for people becoming paralyzed with spinal injuries include: 

Firefighters at a car accident

Paralysis is caused by a brain injury, spinal cord injury, or a neurological condition. Many spinal injuries are because of another person or group’s negligent actions.

Symptoms of spinal paralysis include:

  • Reduced, altered, or lost physical sensations
  • Loss of movement
  • Loss of fertility
  • Coughing
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Loss of sexual function
  • Pain or stinging sensations
  • Spasms or exaggerated reflexes
  • Secretions from the lungs
  • Loss of bowel control
  • Difficulty breathing
A man in a wheelchair

What It Means To Live With Quadriplegia And Paraplegia

Spinal cord injuries occur across racial, gender, and age demographics, affecting children, teens, and adults who have been victims of violence, accidents, or other medical conditions.

Children who become paraplegic or quadriplegic may require assistance in school, and adults may suffer displacement with work, and may require job training and counseling to process their physical and psychological trauma.

There is no cure for quadriplegia or paraplegia, and these conditions may lead to lifelong disability. Although certain functions may return or digress over time, the prognosis for individuals with paralysis may often depend on the type of care received, methods of treatment, and the level of support individuals have access to in their communities and home environments.

While the direct effects of these injuries are physical, the trauma of surviving a severe accident can have emotional, mental, and psychological effects on a person’s health and wellbeing.

It’s not uncommon for people with paralysis to become depressed, have trouble sleeping, suffer strains to relationships, lose interest in activities they used to enjoy, or feel disheartened by their newfound inability to participate in beloved activities or hobbies. 

Cost Of Spinal Cord Injuries In The U.S.

The first year of expenses for paraplegics in the U.S. averages more than a half a million dollars. For quadriplegics, this first year of expenses averages $800,000 to $1.2 million.

The primary payer for nearly half of these associated medical costs is private insurance, followed by Medicaid. However, merely having health insurance does not mean a person is protected from suffering incredible financial hardship due to the resulting disability and necessary medical expenses that result from an injury like this. 

A bill payment statement

Insurance premiums, copayments, deductibles, and other factors limiting coverage, can leave many people facing exorbitant debt. This debt can be devastating for individuals and families, compounding the additional stress of having to learn to provide for a loved one with partial or complete paralysis.

If you or a family member has suffered a spinal cord injury due to a motor vehicle accident, workplace accident, or act of violence—you may be eligible to take legal action against the party at-fault to recover compensation for injury-related expenses.

A man in a wheelchair going down a hallway

Taking Legal Action For Spinal Cord Injuries

If you’ve become disabled or suffered paralysis, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover significant life-altering compensation.  If you believe your injuries were caused by another person’s negligent or reckless conduct, you should absolutely have the experienced legal team at the Porter Law Group investigate your potential case.  You can have your case investigated free of charge, and without any obligation. 

By filing a claim or lawsuit, you may be able to recover monetary compensation for a variety of damages, including compensation for medical expenses, physical therapy, lost wages, medication, loss of earning capacity, as well as your mental anguish and pain.  Your family members are also likely entitled to recover for their own individual claims associated with the injuries you have suffered. 

A person who causes an injury like this due to negligent or reckless conduct can and should be held financially responsible.  Most often, it is an insurance company with deep financial “pockets” who pays the price for the reckless actions of its insured.  If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, the at-fault driver and his/her insurance company will be held accountable if the accident was caused by the at-fault driver’s reckless or negligent behavior.

If you suffered a spinal cord injury on a job site in New York, you may be entitled to significant financial recovery due to unsafe work conditions, or the negligence of another on the job site. 

How A Lawyer Can Help You Seek Compensation For Paralysis

The road to recovery for spinal cord injury victims is a lifelong process that can take a strenuous toll on a person’s health and finances.

Hiring the experienced and reputable legal team at the Porter Law Group can ease the burden of all you and your family have been through.  You need help in order to navigate the complex legal process, and you only get one shot to hire the best firm.  Do not navigate this legal process alone.

The lawyers at the Porter Law Group are experienced, and can provide you the guidance and strength you need to focus on your recovery, while knowing those responsible for your injuries are being aggressively pursued. 

The legal team at the Porter Law Group enjoys decades of experience obtaining the highest-level recoveries for our clients who have suffered traumatic and catastrophic injuries. You and your family’s future depend upon the skill and experience of the legal team you trust with your case.  The Porter Law Group will fight for the rights of your family until you get the justice you deserve. 

You can trust the Porter Law Group team to:

  • Provide a free initial case evaluation to determine your legal options
  • Investigate each and every aspect of your case
  • Provide an estimate as to how much your case may be worth
  • Use our legal skills and resources to gather the evidence necessary to build the strongest possible claims against the person or company who caused your injuries
  • Communicate clearly and effectively with you throughout each step of the process
  • Negotiate the highest possible settlement to compensate you and your family for the physical and financial losses you have endured

If you or a loved one suffered a paralysis injury, or if you have a question that has not been answered appropriately by your medical providers, fill out the form below or contact the Porter Law Group now at 833-PORTER9.

Last Updated on December 7, 2023 by Michael S. Porter
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