NYC Paraplegia/Quadriplegia Lawyer
Paraplegia and Quadriplegia Injuries – How A Lawyer Can Help You
Among the most severe types of injury an individual can suffer is a spinal cord injury. This is because the spinal cord — which, along with the brain, makes up the central nervous system — has very little ability to heal itself from injury and often results in permanent disabilities, including paraplegia or quadriplegia. If you suffer from paraplegia or quadriplegia after an accident that resulted from the careless or reckless behavior of someone else, New York law allows you to pursue the recovery of damages related to your injury. Read on for more information.
What are Paraplegia and Quadriplegia?
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that extends from the base of the skull to below the waist that is protected by the bony structure of the spinal column. Contrary to popular belief, most spinal cord injuries don’t actually involve a severed spinal cord, but one that is intact and damaged. When the spinal cord becomes damaged, it can result in a loss of sensation and function below the point of injury, known as paralysis.
- Paraplegia is paralysis of all or part of the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs.
- Quadriplegia, also known as tetraplegia, is paralysis that affects all or part of the arms, hands, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs.
Paralysis resulting from a spinal cord injury often presents with symptoms such as:
- Loss of movement.
- Altered sensation, such as the inability to feel hot, cold, or touch.
- Loss of bowel or bladder control.
- Exaggerated reflexes or muscle spasms.
- Changes in sexual function, sensitivity, and fertility.
- Pain or intense stinging sensation resulting from damage to the nerve fibers in the spinal cord.
- Difficulty breathing, coughing, or clearing your lungs of secretions.
The Causes of Paraplegia and Quadriplegia
The most common causes of spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis in the U.S. include:
- Motor vehicle accidents, which account for about half of all new spinal cord injuries each year.
- Falls, which are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries in individuals over the age of 65 and account for around 31 percent of all new spinal cord injuries that are diagnosed in the U.S.
- Acts of violence, such as assaults, domestic abuse, or child abuse. Violence results in around 13 percent of all new spinal cords in this country every year.
- Sports and recreational activities, such as diving, horseback riding, or high-contact sports such as football. Sports and recreational activities cause around 10 percent of new spinal cord injuries annually.
It deserves to be noted that alcohol is a factor in around a quarter of all accidents resulting in spinal cord injuries. Additionally, not all spinal cord injuries are the result of trauma. Non-traumatic causes of injury include cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, and inflammation of the spinal cord can also result in paraplegia or quadriplegia.
Severity Levels of Paraplegia and Quadriplegia
Paraplegia and quadriplegia are often defined by their severity levels as “complete” or “incomplete” injuries.
- A complete injury means that the individual has lost all function and sensation below the site of the injury.
- An incomplete injury means that not all of the function or sensation below the site of the injury has been lost.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Paraplegia and quadriplegia are injuries that impact every facet of your life, including your ability to perform self-care activities, work, or to participate in hobbies that you enjoyed before your accident. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury that resulted in paraplegia or quadriplegia and was caused by someone else’s careless or reckless actions, you can pursue compensation for the physical, emotional and financial impacts of your injury through a personal injury lawsuit.
An experienced New York City paralysis injury attorney can provide you peace of mind by taking on the burden of the legal process while you focus on your recovery. The O’Connor Law Firm has the experience, skill, dedication and resources to help you get the best possible outcome for your claim. We have access to some of the best experts in their fields who can assist us in providing a clear understanding to the insurance company, trial judge, jury and defense counsel of the impact your injuries have had on your life.
Damages Available in a Paraplegia/Quadriplegia Case
A “damage” is a legal term for a payment made for harm done. New York allows the recovery of both economic and non-economic damages through the personal injury claims process.
Economic damages refer to the out-of-pocket expenses you have incurred as a result of your injury, such as:
- Medical expenses for past and future medical care
- Loss of wages due to being too injured to work
- Loss of future earning capacity if the disabilities you acquired as a result of your injury cause you to be unable to work or to earn the same level of income as you did before your injury.
Non-economic damages are paid for the physical and psychological impacts of your paraplegia or quadriplegia. Commonly included as non-economic damages are:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of the enjoyment of life
Let an experienced paraplegia/quadriplegia lawyer from The O’Connor Law Firm help you understand your legal options. For a free case evaluation, contact us online or by calling 212-566-4868.