What to Know if You’ve Been Paralyzed in an Accident in Florida
An injury to the spinal cord can occur for a variety of reasons, but car accidents are among the most common causes of spinal cord injuries, followed closely by falls. Nearly 37% of spinal cord injuries are the result of motor vehicle accidents. That’s more than the number of spinal cord injuries caused by violent acts, sports, and medical complications combined.
A car crash can cause the spine to extend beyond its normal range of motion causing severe damage to the spinal cord. In addition, if a person’s head impacts something in the vehicle, or if that person is thrown from the vehicle, he or she may suffer a head injury that can cause the spinal column to compress, resulting in serious injury including paralysis.
The Costs of a Spinal Cord Injury
The extent of the paralysis is dependent upon many factors including the type of spinal cord injury, the severity of the injury or “completeness”, and its location along the spinal cord. Two of the most severe forms of paralysis resulting from a spinal cord injury are tetraplegia (known as quadriplegia) and paraplegia.
The overall costs associated with an injury that causes paralysis can vary significantly depending again on the type of injury sustained. The severity of the injury can drastically influence a catastrophic injury claim.
What is Paraplegia?
Paraplegia is full or partial paralysis of the lower half of the body and occurs as a result of damage below the neck. Paralysis may be partial or total (again, depending upon the severity of the injury). Paralysis can be temporary or permanent, based on the injury.
The victim may also experience a host of other health-related issues as a result of paralysis. Dysfunction of major organs is common including the loss of bladder and bowel control. A paraplegic person will often require medical attention and specialized instruments to allow for regular bodily movements. The skin, also an organ, can be affected. That effect is known as a “pressure injury” or a loss of sensation in the skin which may result in sores from prolonged pressure.
Other issues include circulatory and respiratory problems, loss of bone density and muscle tone, weight loss, pain, change in sexual health, and depression.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, the costs associated with paraplegia total $560,287 on average in the first year. The medical costs for each subsequent year after are approximately $74,221. These estimates do not include any indirect costs such as losses in wages, benefits, time lost, and productivity (indirect costs averaged $71,961 yearly in 2014 dollars).
What is Quadriplegia?
When the spinal cord is injured in the neck or cervical region the result affects all four limbs, plus the torso. Most people with tetraplegia have significant paralysis below the neck, and many are completely unable to move. The majority of quadriplegia cases are severe and involve total permanent paralysis of both arms and both legs. But, as with paraplegia, quadriplegia can vary in severity, which means a quadriplegic patient may be partially or totally paralyzed, or even temporarily paralyzed.
Quadriplegia or tetraplegia can be life-threatening. Survivors experience many of the same complications as those with paraplegia. (Less than 1% of persons, in both categories, experienced complete neurological recovery by the time of hospital discharge.)
Furthermore, victims of quadriplegia can also experience loss of diaphragm control requiring the use of a ventilator. And again, depending upon the severity of the injury, a victim of quadriplegia may also find his or her vocal cords affected making it difficult to speak.
The costs associated with quadriplegia total $1,149,629 on average in the first year and $199,637 yearly.
Why the Differences Matter
It is important to differentiate between paraplegia and quadriplegia when working on a catastrophic injury claim because the two forms of paralysis require markedly different lifestyle changes and medical treatment. For instance, a paraplegic person may be able to regain some muscle strength through extensive physical therapy, however, someone with quadriplegia could be permanently wheelchair-bound and require daily living assistance. As a result, the amount of compensation in a lawsuit for a paraplegic victim could be less than that of a quadriplegic victim. However, both forms of injury would entitle the injured claimant to a significant amount for not only their medical and living expenses but for the pain and suffering associated with their life-altering injuries.
Many factors determine the full value of a victim’s catastrophic injury case. With the help of C. Todd Smith Law, we can calculate those damages and prepare an injury claim without putting any further burden on the injured person and their loved ones.
A car accident that impacts your spinal cord can be devastating mentally, physically, and even financially. To that end, it is so important for you to hire an experienced car accident attorney. Todd Smith can help you fight for the fair results and continued care you deserve for your injuries. Because YOU matter.
When your life is disrupted because of an injury, we want to help you get back to living your best life.
Because you matter.
𝗜𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂’𝘃𝗲 𝗯𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗶𝗻𝗷𝘂𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁, 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗰𝘁 𝗖. 𝗧𝗼𝗱𝗱 𝗦𝗺𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗟𝗮𝘄 𝘁𝗼𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗙𝗥𝗘𝗘 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘀𝘂𝗹𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻.
𝗟𝗲𝘁 𝘂𝘀 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗮𝗶𝗿 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘂𝗹𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗱𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗲. 𝟰𝟬𝟳-𝟴𝟰𝟭-𝟴𝟮𝟵𝟰 ☎️