A paralyzing injury is a scary, traumatic experience. Not only are you worried about your physical state, but you may also have expensive medical bills to pay and legal questions to ask an attorney. Here is some information to help you understand paralyzing injuries and your rights after a serious accident:
What Is A Paralyzing Injury?
Your spinal cord is a thick bundle of nerves that connects your brain to the rest of the nerves in your body. If the spinal cord is damaged, it makes it difficult for the brain to tell your organs to function or your limbs to move. This can be referred to as a paralyzing injury.
Levels of Paralysis
Not all paralyzing injuries are the same; there are various levels of paralysis. Generally, the body struggles to function below the area of the injury. For example, if you have an injury in your lower spine, you may struggle to walk while you can still speak and use your arms.
Also called tetraplegia, this injury is the most severe level of paralysis. It is often caused by a hard blow to the neck, creating spinal cord damage. It involves the loss of all limb sensation and can make breathing difficult; with people often requiring breathing devices to aid their lungs.
Exact quadriplegia levels can vary on a case by case basis. While some individuals will have no ability to move their limbs whatsoever, others may have limited movement. Quadriplegia levels are generally determined by the severity of the injury to the spinal cord.
If the spinal cord is damaged in the chest or lower back region, function and movement in the upper body may be unaffected, but the lower body is paralyzed. People may need a wheelchair and assistance with using the bathroom if they have this level of paralysis.
Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury
Some spinal cord injuries do not result in a complete loss of sensation and movement below the injury. Some people can use all of their limbs but in a very restricted manner. Other people may experience less movement and feeling in just one side of the body.
Causes of Paralysis
There are different causes of paralysis. For people younger than 65, car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. For people older than 65, slip and falls are the main cause of paralysis.
Paralysis can also be caused by sports and swimming accidents. It is important to wear approved safety gear when playing sports. Also, follow pool rules and never dive into shallow water.
Infections and diseases can also cause paralyzing spine conditions. If a bad infection spreads to your spinal cord, it can cause severe damage to nerves. Some cases of paraplegia have also been caused by complications during surgery. The exact nature of the disability will generally depend on the area of the spinal cord that was impacted by the injury or illness.
Rights After an Accident
If the paralyzing injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to make a legal claim against the responsible party. You deserve compensation for the costs incurred due to the injury as well as the emotional toll. Remember, medical expenses after a spinal cord injury can be significant and will likely impact you for years to come through continued treatments, rehabilitation, and lost income.
If you are able to, you have the right to talk to the police and witnesses and take photographs after an accident. An officer’s accident report is used as key evidence in a personal injury suit and witness statements can help support your claim. If you are unable to carry out these activities, you can have someone else do them on your behalf.
Doehrman Buba – Indianapolis Paralyzing Injury Attorneys
No one should have to go through a paralyzing injury alone. At Doehrman Buba, we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve after a severe injury. If you became paralyzed after an accident, please call our office at (317) 844-9999 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.