Obtaining Compensation for Your Paraplegia Or Quadriplegia Injury
Spinal cord injuries are medically categorized as “complete” or “incomplete.” An incomplete injury allows some nerve signals to continue through the injured area. This may allow the injured to experience some sensation and large muscle movement. However, victims with incomplete nerve injuries regularly lose fine motor control and experience diminished strength or dexterity. With a complete injury, no nerve signals can reach the affected areas and the person suffers complete paralysis.
The effects of paralysis can include:
- Lack of sensation of the affected parts of the body
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Spasms or exaggerated reflexes
There are three general types of paralysis: paraplegia, hemiplegia, and quadriplegia.
- Paraplegia is paralysis of the legs and lower body resulting from injury to nerves in the areas of the lumbar or thoracic
- Hemiplegia is paralysis of one side of the body. The most common cause is a stroke.
- Quadriplegia is the most severe type of paralysis because it includes both the upper and lower portion of the body and may include the nerves that control breathing. Persons who have suffered quadriplegia were injured at the thoracic (T1 or T2 affect nerves to the arms) or the cervical Cervical spine injuries can result in difficulties in breathing, coughing, and clearing of the lungs. In severe cases, the person will require a ventilator to help with breathing.
Life With Paraplegia or Quadriplegia
While paralysis is typically a lifelong disability and there is currently no treatment or cure, there are many things that can be done to help the injured person maximize his or her independence. Some people with paraplegia can return to work and normal home life with some adjustments.
When confined to a wheelchair or bedridden, there is an increased risk of pneumonia and infections from ulcers or bedsores. These complications are the leading cause of death for those who suffer spinal cord injuries. Proper attendant and medical care can significantly reduce these risks but come at a cost.
Contrary to common perception, paraplegics and quadriplegics often suffer intense pain. This neurogenic pain is pain due to a dysfunction of the nervous system (it is frequently referred to as “phantom pain,” where pain is felt from a part of the body that has no sensation or is no longer there due to misfiring nerve endings). No drugs can effectively treat this pain.
Persons who have suffered quadriplegia face greater difficulties. They may not be able to do the work they once did or may need considerable adjustments in the workplace or at home to function. Adults may need job retraining. Children will need assistance in school. Those with paralysis may not to be able to live independently and will require a lifetime’s worth of medical care.
Ensuring You Receive Full and Fair Compensation
At Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP, our personal injury attorneys consult with medical specialists regarding spinal cord injury and physical rehabilitation. We work to ensure our clients have the resources to meet and overcome the challenges faced after an injury causing paraplegia or quadriplegia.
Beyond the medical providers, we work with life care planners to understand the scope of our clients’ needs throughout their lifetimes. We work with economists to understand the financial impact of the injuries — loss of income and earning potential; cost of adaptations and accommodations for home, school, or workplace; skilled attendant care; and future medical care and other necessary expenses.
Our job is to ensure that the party responsible is held accountable, and to secure full and fair compensation. Our spinal cord injury lawyers have the experience necessary to represent you in even the most challenging cases.