Paralysis Caused by an Injury to the Spine
Injuries to the spine forever change the lives of the victims and frequently cause permanent disability and many times lead to paralysis (paraplegia). Each year the United States 11,000 people fall victim to a spinal cord injury and join the more than 200,000 Americans already living with the after-effects of traumatic damage to the spine.
Injuries to the spine not only cause paralysis, the loss of sensation and motor function below the point of the injury, but also diminish or incapacitate the injured person’s ability to control their body temperature, bladder and bowels. Chronic pain, humiliating dependence on others and a greatly reduced quality of life all may result from a spinal injury and paralysis.
The National Spinal Cord Injury Association reports that the leading causes of serious injuries to the spine are motor vehicle accidents, followed by acts of violence, falls and injuries sustained during recreational sports activities. Paralysis injury attorneys know that the true source of most accidents causing traumatic spinal cord injuries that ultimately result in paralysis is negligence.
Paralysis is a common term used to describe paraplegia, a condition in which the lower half of the body is completely paralyzed, without sensation or the ability to move. Strokes account for about 50% of all paralysis cases and trauma accounts for the other half. After a traumatic injury that leads to paralysis it is possible, but rare, to partially recover. In most cases victims of paralysis are confined to a wheelchair for life.
The bones of the spinal column house the delicate nerves that make up the spinal cord. This cord runs from the base of the skull all the way down to the lower back, and functions as a channel through which signals from the brain are communicated to the muscles, which then perform actions, and through which sensations from the skin and muscles are transferred back to the brain for assessment and response. If the spinal cord is damaged, communication ceases and all the muscles and organs dependent on this channel for information from the brain can no longer receive or send messages.
When the spinal cord is completely severed, complete paralysis results below the point of injury; a partially severed spinal cord may allow some movement and sensation to remain below the trauma. In some cases, the bones or the soft tissue around the spinal cord are broken or compressed so that they press against the cord. If the pressure can be released surgically, some movement and feeling may return.
Treatment for paralysis generally involves initial medical interventions directly after the injury, followed by ongoing and extensive rehabilitative therapy. The patient will need to learn a new way of functioning and getting around, must be taught new ways to exercise and will require assistance for maintaining a positive outlook.
Paralysis treatments are costly and may be necessary for a long period of time. If the injury that caused the paralysis was a result of an accident that came about due to another person’s negligence, contacting a paralysis injury lawyer is an excellent way to receive financial compensation for the many expensive treatments that are sure to happen.
Hire a Legal Specialist
Paralysis injury attorneys help victims of paralyzing spinal cord injuries face the challenges and expenses of a lifetime of living with damage to the spine. These specialized litigators have the knowledge and skills to pursue full compensation for all medical expenses, current and future, as well as for property damages, lost wages and pain and suffering. A paralysis injury attorney is able to analyze information, investigate for evidence and employ creative legal strategies so that no possible source of compensation is left behind.