Personal Injury Lawsuits and Paralysis

By Michael London on January 14, 2019


A man in a wheelchair with a doctorInjuries to the the neck, the back, and the head can have terrible consequences, some of which are are life-changing. Brain and spinal cord injuries can result in partial or total paralysis, which can completely alter your day-to-day life. That’s why it’s important to speak with a catastrophic personal injury lawyer about injuries to the brain or spine. The attorneys at Douglas & London in New York, NY can offer insight regarding your legal options.

Attorneys Gary J. Douglas and Michael A. London would like to go over some of the basics regarding different kinds of paralysis. We’ll focus on the two most well-known types of paralysis, note additional kinds of paralysis, and discuss how we can hold negligent parties accountable.

Paraplegia

Paraplegia refers to the loss of use and sensation of the lower extremities. It is caused by severe injury to the lower portion of the spine. The condition is incurable, though paraplegics can restore some function to their lower extremities through medical treatment and physical therapy.

How Paraplegia Impacts Your Life

If you become paraplegic, you will be bound to a wheelchair for the rest of your life. This means adjustments to your living space, your transportation options, and even your career. While you will still have the use of your arms and hands, the changes to your life can be extremely hard on you and your loved ones, especially early on.

Quadriplegia

Quadriplegia refers to the loss of use and sensation of upper and lower extremities. It is caused by a severe injury to the cervical portion of the spine, which is located in the neck. The condition is incurable, and quadriplegics will require constant assistance and medical monitoring.

How Quadriplegia Impacts Your Life

Quadriplegics will require assistance in all facets of life, from meal preparation and eating to hygiene and transportation. If the spinal injury is quite high, the injury victim will also require mechanical assistance in order to breathe. As you can imagine, this has a major impact on a person’s career, family life, and sense of autonomy, all of which can be devastating at an emotional and psychological level.

Other Types of Paralysis

In addition to paraplegia and quadriplegia, we’d like to briefly note two other kinds of paraplegia that are, by comparison, less severe:

  • Monoplegia - Monoplegia is paralysis of a single limb. The injury victim can still control the rest of their body, but sensation and use of the affected limb is limited.
  • Hemiplegia - Hemiplegia refers to paralysis of an arm and a leg on the same side of the body. This is different from hemiparesis, which is a weakness of one side of the body, not paralysis.

In both of these cases, the paralysis can impact daily activities as well as your ability to perform tasks at your job. Use of an affected limb or limbs can potentially be restored to some degree through medical care and physical therapy.

Holding Negligent Parties Accountable

The cost of treating paralysis and long-term physical therapy can be quite high. The same goes for the costs associated with changing your career, new job training, and so forth. Our lawyers will hold negligent parties accountable if their actions resulted in a spinal cord or brain injury that result in your paralysis. We will seek damages to recover financial losses and may also consider punitive damages if the accident was particularly egregious.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

For more information about your legal rights and options following a spinal cord injury, be sure to contact an experienced catastrophic injury lawyer. The attorneys of Douglas & London is here to help you. The office can be reached by phone at (212) 566-7500.

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