California Paralysis Lawyers
Injuries resulting in paraplegia or quadriplegia are among the most traumatic and severe types of personal injuries that victims can incur. Paralysis victims may be restricted to a wheelchair or require ongoing medical care and daily task assistance on a permanent basis. Pain, suffering, and exorbitant medical costs are often just a few of the negative effects of these injuries; paraplegia and quadriplegia injuries are truly life-changing events.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury resulting in paralysis that was caused by another party, you should immediately secure the services of a paraplegia injury lawyer or a quadriplegia injury lawyer. The experienced paralysis attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm have the skills and resources necessary to secure maximum compensation for victims and their families. Our lawyers understand the short and long-term consequences of paralyzing injuries and will treat victims and their families with the respect and compassion that they deserve.
What is the Difference between Paraplegia and Quadriplegia?
While both paraplegia and quadriplegia result in some form of paralysis, they differ in their symptoms and effects. Paraplegia is characterized by an impairment in the motor or sensory functions of the lower extremities, whereas Quadriplegia (or Tetraplegia) is an impairment in the motor or sensory functions of both the upper and lower extremities, along with the torso. Therefore, the difference between paraplegia and quadriplegia is that paraplegia does not affect the upper extremities but quadriplegia does.
While you might think that paralysis of the arms or legs is a result of damage to those limbs, the problem actually begins with an injury to the spinal cord or brain. And depending on where the injury causing the paralysis occurs, different symptoms can result. Quadriplegia is typically the result of damage to the cervical spine at the C1-C7 level, while injuries to the thoracic spine, lumbar spine, or sacral spine are more likely to result in paraplegia.
What are the Common Causes of Paralysis?
When the brain or spinal cord no longer function properly, the complex collection of signals and relays used by the body can similarly fail to work properly, resulting in paralysis. That’s the main reason why the overwhelming amount of paralysis injuries are the result of Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) or Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). How do these occur? Well, the common causes of paralysis are:
- Vehicle Accidents such as car accidents or motorcycle accidents
- Falls and Workplace Accidents
- Acts of violence, including gunshot wounds
- Sports Injuries
- Medical or Surgical Errors
Not all injuries to the spinal cord or brain are traumatic, however, and paralysis can still result in these instances. Some of the non-traumatic injuries that can cause paralysis include:
- Genetic Disorders such as hereditary spastic paraplegia
- Oxygen Deprivation due to choking or other injuries
- Autoimmune Disorders
- Infections of the Brain or Spinal Cord
- Tumors, Lesions, or Cancer of the Brain or Spinal Cord
Medical providers will often utilize imaging tools like CTs, X-Rays, and MRIs to confirm the causes of paralysis. The cost of caring for each of these SCI patients is enormous, totaling close to $10 billion dollars annually in the United States. Unfortunately, paraplegic and quadriplegic patients see an average of about $70,000 in wages lost, creating a financial burden for many patients that can seem overwhelming at times.
What are the Symptoms and Effects of Paralysis?
Quadriplegia and paraplegia are catastrophic injuries, not only because they can be permanent, but also because they can be variable. Patients can experience changes in their symptoms over time, but many patient outcomes frustratingly seem random. While some paralysis patients will improve dramatically, others may not make any improvement, even while undergoing proper treatment.
Even if the initial results are frustrating, most paraplegics and quadriplegics continue with their physical therapy in an effort to improve their conditions, primarily because the effects of paralysis are so devastating. The symptoms and effects of paralysis include:
- Loss of sensation below the site of injury. In some cases, this sensation loss is complete and permanent. In other cases, sensations are reduced or intermittent.
- Inability to move the limbs below the site of the injury. Some movement may return, but the majority of paraplegics and quadriplegics will never fully regain muscle strength and control.
- Chronic pain from complications like muscle atrophy
- Spasticity of the muscles most affected by the paralysis, leading to sudden, uncontrolled movements
- Difficulty with bladder and bowel control
- Decrease in or loss of sexual function or fertility
- Psychological concerns, especially depression and anxiety
- Respiratory infections, which are the leading cause of death among spinal cord injury survivors
Many paraplegics and quadriplegics also suffer from weight gain as a result of their injuries. With their mobility limited, some patients are forced to reduce their calorie consumption or risk the negative health effects of being overweight or obese.
How is paralysis treated?
The goals of paralysis treatment include improving each patient’s long-term prognosis, reducing immediate threats to each patient’s life and health, and teaching each patient’s brain and spinal cord how to work around any damage to the spinal cord or brain. Therefore, paralysis is commonly treated with:
- Neurosurgery and spinal cord surgeries to address obstructions, deal with any fractures or compressions, and to manage swelling
- Medications to reduce the risk of infections, blood clots, or other secondary issues
- Physical therapy to help patients regain function
- Exercise therapy to reduce chronic pain
- Psychotherapy to help patients manage their injuries
- Educational materials for both patients and their families about each patient’s injury, as well as information covering advocacy groups and family support groups
While each patient’s treatment is different, intensive treatments involving some combination of the remedies listed above remain, generally speaking, the best chance at recovery for quadriplegia and paraplegia patients.
What Compensation is Available for Paralysis Injuries in California?
Catastrophic injuries that result in paralysis are often the result of avoidable accidents. If another party contributed to the events that caused you or a loved one’s paralysis, the paralysis lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm can establish liability and secure compensation for your expenses and loss. The compensation available for paralysis injuries includes:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and benefits
- Loss of earning capacity
- Emotional Distress
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Consortium
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Contact a Paralysis Lawyer in California Today for Help Getting Compensation for Your Injuries!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a serious accident, the personal injury attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm can help you secure the justice you deserve. Our quadriplegia and paraplegia injury lawyers have extensive experience representing paralysis victims and provide each client with honest advice and effective results.
Contact Wilshire Law Firm today at (800) 522-7274 or fill out our online contact form to get started today with your free consultation.