By Pendergast Law on July 1, 2016
Paralysis is a devastating condition that can radically change the lives of the victim and their family. Victims suffering a paralyzing injury need extensive medical treatment, physical therapy, and other types of long-term care. They will likely need to use a wheelchair or other assistive devices. In many cases, they may have to find a new job, or they may possibly not be able to work at all. Paralysis comes with severe physical, emotional and financial hardships that can be difficult to overcome.
Here are three major types of catastrophic injuries that can lead to paralysis:
- Traumatic brain injuries – Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) result in permanent neurobiological damage that can produce lifelong difficulties of varying degrees. It affects nearly 1.4 million Americans per year. Of that number, 50,000 will die, 235,000 will be hospitalized, and more than 80,000 will be left with life-long disabilities, such as paralysis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. TBI accounts for 23 percent of paralysis victims in the U.S.
- Spinal cord injuries – Each year in the United States there are between 12,000 to 15,000 reported incidents that involve a serious spinal cord injury. Depending upon the extent of the injury and the part of the spine that was impacted, spinal cord injuries can result in partial or complete paralysis. In most cases, the victim will suffer complete paralysis, including lack of feeling and motor function from the neck down. Loss of motor skills, impaired breathing and other bodily functions occur with paralysis, along with debilitated speech and cognitive skills. A catastrophic spinal cord injury can require a lifetime of care.
- Neck injuries – Cervical (neck) injuries usually result in four-limb paralysis, referred to as either tetraplegia or quadriplegia. Quadriplegia (paralysis of all four limbs or of the entire body below the neck) is usually a result of a traumatic injury to the spinal cord or spinal cord nervous tissue.
Quadriplegia injuries are extremely dangerous and most often require surgery, prolonged physical therapy, and a lifetime of assisted care. Many quadriplegics are unable to take care of themselves on their own and need a full- or part-time therapist or caregiver to aid them.
If you or someone you love has experienced a catastrophic injury that has led to paralysis, then you understand the life-changing severity of the condition, and you also know that seeking an experienced Seattle personal injury attorney to fight for your rights is essential.