Paralysis is considered a catastrophic injury because of the drastic effect it has on an individual’s day-to-day life. Paralysis may take the form of paraplegia, quadriplegia, tetraplegia, or may be associated with injuries such as herniated discs, fractured vertebrae, and nerve impingement. Paralysis, or the profound loss of muscle function accompanied by a disappearance of motor and/or sensory abilities, can be the result of a number of traumatic or accidental causes.
Statistics from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation have suggested that roughly 5.6 million individuals are presently living in a state of paralysis, whether permanent or transient in nature, and the tremendous challenges the condition presents can often be difficult to face without substantial help. Though paralyzed individuals must inevitably confront a whole host of obstacles to leading the normal, productive life they desire, their situation is made that much more tragic when their injuries are the product of another party’s negligent acts or omissions.
Auto accidents, physical assaults, falls due to hazardous premises, and even medical malpractice are all leading causes of paralysis, and it is critical that those impacted find the legal help they need to fight for fair compensation. A Clearwater paralysis injury lawyer will aggressively advocate for the rights of the injured and work to maximize financial recovery.
Common Causes of Paralysis
While it is certainly true that conditions such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and ALS can produce debilitating paralysis, many other paralysis cases are directly related to a traumatic injury of one type or another, thereby warranting contact with a Clearwater paralysis attorney. For example, vehicle accidents, gunshot events, accidental slip and falls, and workplace mishaps represent common scenarios in which spinal cord damage and subsequent paralysis can occur. Surgical errors, diagnostic mistakes, and obstetrical malpractice can also lead to such devastating loss of function.
Types of Paralysis
Different types of paralysis exist. Paraplegia, quadriplegia, and tetraplegia describe the extent of injuries. In paraplegia, functioning of the lower extremities, such as the legs and feet, is damaged. The ability to walk or run is usually lost. Quadriplegia, also known as tetraplegia, describes impairment affecting all four limbs, although this effect does not imply a complete loss of utility or sensation. Like paraplegics, quadriplegics are unable to walk or run movement problems.
Primary and Secondary Effects
The most immediately obvious consequence of paralysis is the far-reaching inability of affected individuals to move and negotiate many of the daily activities of life. Total or partial absence of motor control and sensory function work to make even the simplest tasks extraordinarily daunting.
It is important to appreciate, however, that there are also a number of secondary conditions stemming from paralysis which render the condition truly frightening and seemingly impossible for sufferers to manage. Bowel and bladder management issues, muscle spasticity, respiratory struggles, deep vein thrombosis, and chronic pain are all ancillary effects of paralysis which can make everyday functions appear insurmountable without substantial, ongoing assistance.
Paralysis may affect people in different ways. The effects vary based on the location and severity of the injury. The effects include, but are not limited to:
- Limp muscles that atrophy, particularly in the arms and legs
- Loss of control over a person’s bowels or bladder
- Low blood pressure
- Trouble breathing
- Inability to breathe without help
- Inability to feel anything below the damaged area
- Shortened life expectancy
The degree to which a spinal cord injury leading to paralysis affects not just the injured party, but also their entire family cannot be overstated. In addition to the obvious physical and emotional scars borne by such individuals are the massive financial costs that accompany the condition.
Paralyzed individuals often need costly ongoing services that may include personal care assistance, specialized modes of transportation, rehabilitation and therapy programs, home accessibility modification work, assistive equipment and devices, vocational rehabilitation interventions, and more. In extreme cases where the patient has trouble breathing as a result of their injury, ventilator use might be required for the remainder of their life.
Because many paralyzed individuals lack sufficient health insurance to meet these enhanced expenses, it is vital that they pursue compensation with the help of a paralysis injury lawyer in Clearwater from those responsible for the harm they have sustained.
Benefit of An Paralysis Injury Attorney
Nobody ever expects to suffer a paralyzing injury leading to a heartbreaking loss of mobility, function, and independence. However, far too many individuals each year suffer this precise fate, leaving them afraid for their future and that of their loved ones. To learn how a Clearwater paralysis lawyer can zealously fight for accountability and justice in the aftermath of misfortune, contact us today.