About 288,000 people in the United States are living with a spinal cord injury (SCI), according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC). Since 2015, 38.3 percent of newly reported SCI cases were the result of motor vehicle crashes, making car, truck and motorcycle accidents the leading cause of spinal and paralysis injuries, ahead of falls and physical assault.
What is paralysis?
Medical.net defines paralysis as the complete or partial loss of motor or sensory function in the body. When paralysis occurs it affects the ability of the brain to communicate with the body by inhibiting the ability to send messages to the muscles. Paralysis can be partial or complete, and it may occur on one side of the body or both. Sometimes the paralysis is temporary, while other times it is a permanent disability. When it is experienced in the lower half of the body, paralysis is considered paraplegia. If the paralysis is in both the arms and legs it is quadriplegia.
Causes of paralysis injuries
Paralysis can occur during a crash or fall when the spinal cord or brain sustains an impact. The primary causes of spinal cord injuries, according to NSCISC, are:
Motor vehicle & motorcycle accidents 38.3 percent
Falls - 31.6 percent
Victims of violence - 13.8 percent
Sports accidents - 8.2 percent
Other - 8.1 percent
Effects of paralysis on victims and family members
Despite huge advances in medicine and science over the past century, says Healthline.com, a cure for paralysis has yet to be found. There is no way to replace a nerve that has been severed or damaged beyond repair. Victims of paralysis generally receive treatment which is usually focused on allowing the patient to live as independently as possible and on raising the quality of life for the patient. Mobility devices, various types of therapy and practical long-term care aimed at preventing complications will become the focus once a victim has been diagnosed with paralysis.
The physical effects of brain or spinal cord injuries are obvious, but victims frequently also cope with such issues as depression, anxiety, loss of self-esteem, altered personality, and in some cases, a lack of self-awareness. The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation says that:
- 8 percent of those living with paralysis are unable to work.
- People living with paralysis are often unable to afford health insurance that adequately covers the complex complications that are commonly linked with these conditions.
- They are frequently forced to rely on friends or family members to serve as their primary caregivers.
Costs of medical care for victims of paralysis
Brainandspinalcord.org confirms that the financial cost of treating a spinal cord or paralysis injury is usually very high. Factors such as the severity and location of the injury, the geographic location of the patient and the overall health of the victim all combine in determining how high the financial costs can be. The organization says that the costs of a spinal cord injury can be devastating to almost any individual or family. The average lifetime cost of treating an individual with traumatic spinal-cord injury is estimated to be between $500,000 and $2 million. This does not take into account indirect costs such as lost wages and benefits, productivity and emotional problems.
Should the paralysis be incurred as the result of a motor vehicle or slip and fall accident caused by someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional conduct, the responsible party may be liable for all tangible costs of the injuries and pain and suffering and loss of employment and enjoyment of life.
“When you or a loved one suffers a spinal cord injury and paralysis from an accident which is due to the negligence of another, please contact us at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. We have the experience in handling paralysis-injury cases and are available 24/7. There are no costs or attorney fees unless we make a monetary recovery for you,” said Naples Personal Injury Lawyer, Randall Spivey.
Naples Personal Injury Lawyer, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.