Paralysis impacts millions of Americans. In fact, statistics from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation released in 2013 suggest that nearly 1 in 50 U.S. residents suffer some degree of paralysis. That’s more than five million people.
More than 40% of those living with paralysis reported that they were unable to work, while just over 15% were employed.
Types of Paralysis
Quadriplegia is the most extensive form of paralysis, and typically impacts all four limbs and the torso. Quadriplegia is often permanent, but the extent of recovery varies from patient to patient. In addition, some quadriplegia is a temporary response to a stroke or injury, and resolves over time. For example, in the case of a spinal cord injury, quadriplegia may result from compression of nerves. As swelling diminishes and the pressure on the nerves is relieved, the condition may reverse to a degree.
In many cases, paralysis affects only a certain part or parts of the body. In medical terms, these are divided into three groups:
- Monoplegia, which impacts only one area of the body, often a single limb
- Hemiplegia, which impacts one arm and one leg on the same side of the body
- Paraplegia, which is paralysis below the waist, and usually impacts both legs and both hips, as well as sexual function
Causes of Paralysis
While monoplegia and hemiplegia are most often the result of an underlying condition such as cerebral palsy, more extensive forms of paralysis often result from injuries. The two most common types of injuries resulting in paralysis are spinal cord injuries and brain injury. In different ways, each of these types of injury prevents the brain from sending instructions to the affected part of the body.
These injuries may occur in many ways, but some common traumas include:
- Car, Truck, Bicycle or Pedestrian accidents
- Work injuries
- Birth injuries
- Intentional violence, such as a gunshot or knife wound
- Sports and recreational activities
More than 1/3 of spinal cord injuries result from motor vehicle accidents, while falls account for nearly half of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
Liability in Paralysis Cases
If you have been paralyzed through someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Some situations in which a third party may be liable include:
- The driver of another vehicle negligently or recklessly causes the accident in which you were injured
- A physician committed medical malpractice, causing your injuries
- A property owner failed to maintain a stairway in safe condition, resulting in the fall that caused your injuries
Of course, these are only a few examples. Many types of negligent action may cause injuries and give rise to claims for damages. In addition, there are other types of liability that may apply in a paralysis case. Some examples include:
- A person whose intentional act, such as hitting you with an object, caused your injuries
- The manufacturer of a defective product, if the defect caused your injuries
Talk to an Attorney Experienced in Paralysis Cases
If you’ve been paralyzed through someone else’s negligence, you will need resources to ensure appropriate medical care and rehabilitation, as well as to provide for your day-to-day needs if you are unable to work or your earning capacity has been diminished.
Give yourself the advantage of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Schedule a free consultation right now.