Personal Injury and Paralysis: Legal Options to Consider
By Michael Verna on July 12, 2018
Injuries that cause paralysis are perhaps the most tragic cases our legal team encounters. These kinds of injuries lead to permanent disability, changing the lives of injury victims as well as their loved ones. Rest assured that whether you are based in San Jose, CA or any part of the Bay Area, our catastrophic injury lawyers are here to help.
Let’s take a moment to consider different kinds of injuries that involve paralysis. We will consider their impact on your life, as well as the emotional and psychological toll.
Paraplegia refers to the loss of feeling and use of the lower extremities. That means you will be unable to use your legs as a result of permanent injury to the mid-to-lower portion of the spine. Paraplegics are confined to wheelchairs for the rest of their lives, and these injuries are permanent.
How Paraplegia Impacts Your Life
For paraplegics, your life and livelihood may change significantly. If you were in a physically demanding line of work, your injury may force you to start all over in a new career. Being confined to a wheelchair means adapting many normal routines and daily activities, covering everything from the layout of your home to transportation options.
Also known as tetraplegia, quadriplegia refers to the loss of feeling and use of all extremities. Many paraplegics are unable to feel or control parts of their body from the neck down. This is usually the result of a severe injury to the spinal cord around the neck. Quadriplegics are confined to wheelchairs for the rest of their lives, and require medical monitoring and assistance in order to go about their day.
How Quadriplegia Impacts Your Life
Quadriplegia severely affects your quality of life, and changes your career path and options. You will need help performing all daily tasks since you no longer have use of your limbs. If the injury is high on the cervical spine, you may also need mechanical assistance to breathe since your body will not be able to inhale and exhale on its own anymore. While many quadriplegics go on to lead rewarding lives, there are many challenges and struggles ahead.
Partial Paralysis and Nerve Damage
Paraplegia and quadriplegia aren’t the only forms of paralysis a person may experience. Serious injuries that affect the muscle tissue and nerves could result in partial paralysis of a limb, part of the face, or other parts of the body. In these cases, you may be able to move or feel in a limited way, but have lost full motion and use of the affected body part.
How Partial Paralysis Impacts Your Life
In the case of partial paralysis, injury survivors will need to adapt to new limitations in mobility and use of the affected body part. This could mean using assistive devices to accomplish certain tasks, or relying on others to help perform daily activities, such as cooking meals. Medical treatments can help repair nerve and muscle tissue.
The Emotional and Psychological Toll
In addition the impact on health, wellness, and daily routines, there is a serious psychological toll to consider as well. Depression is not uncommon for people who suffer from catastrophic injuries, and these kinds of problems need professional attention.
Significant changes to your physical abilities can be difficult to accept and adjust to, requiring a combination of physical therapy and psychological counseling. These are part of the challenges ahead following catastrophic injuries, which is why negligent parties must be held legally liable.
Contact Bowles & Verna LLP
For more information about your legal rights following a catastrophic injury, be sure to contact the attorneys of Bowles & Verna LLP. We will help you make ideal legal decisions, and hold negligent parties accountable for their actions.