Catastrophic Injuries 101: Paralysis

May 31, 2023

If you or a loved one has experienced a serious injury in an accident or incident caused by someone else, you may have a right to claim compensation for the costs and damages linked to your injury. Generally, compensation is available when an injury is long-term and life-altering, and paralysis certainly qualifies given the medical and occupational costs linked to such injuries. To learn how an attorney can help with your claim, reach out to a Boca Raton personal injury lawyer from The Grife Law Firm. 

Types of Paralysis 

Paralysis is when a part of an accident victim’s body is no longer capable of functioning effectively, resulting in loss of function or the need for corrective measures. Paralysis often happens when an issue develops in the way in which messages pass between the brain and muscles of the body. Paralysis can be either complete or partial. 

The main types of paralysis injuries are:

  • Paraplegia – paralysis of the lower half of the body 
  • Quadriplegia – paralysis of the arms and the legs 
  • Brain injury that impacts how the body functions 

The extent and symptoms of your paralysis will vary, and the type and amount of compensation that you could be entitled to will likewise differ depending on the unique facts and circumstances that led to your injury. 

Car Crashes are a Leading Cause of Paralyzing Injuries 

Motor vehicle accidents are unnatural experiences in which the human body, moving at potentially significant speeds, comes to a sudden stop as a result of the collision. This in turn can cause a broad variety of paralyzing injuries ranging from brain injury to spinal cord injury

According to the National Institute of Health, the most common causes of spinal cord injury in the United States are: 

The cause of your spinal cord injury provides important evidence for the drafting of your claim. While it would be ideal if you were able to collect the full coverage you might be entitled to automatically after your accident, a complex claims process is necessary. 

Motorcycle Accidents Often Result in Long-Term, Life-Altering Consequences for Motorcyclists 

Unlike the occupants of traditional passenger motor vehicles, motorcyclists do not have the benefit of being surrounded by a metal chassis and protected by seatbelts and airbags. Not only are motorcyclists at greater risk of serious injury in general, but the risks are also greater in Florida. 

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) notes that Florida continually ranks among the top 3 states in the US for motorcycle-related fatalities. A comprehensive study published by the National Library of Medicine found that some 11.2% of riders involved in motorcycle accidents experienced a spinal injury. Of those injured, 8.7% required surgery, and 10.3% died. Motorcycle accidents in Florida regularly lead to catastrophic injuries and paralysis. 

Paralyzing Motorcycle Injuries Often Lead to Thoracic/Lower-Half Paralysis 

The most common area injured in motorcycle accidents is the thoracic spine; however, multiple-level injuries are also common. The level at which the spinal cord is injured will impact the degree of paralysis that the injured person experiences. It is possible for the areas below the area of the injury on the spine to lose all sensation, and the body may also lose the capacity to control functions in that area. 

Experiencing a paralyzing injury due to a motorcycle accident can entitle you to coverage for the significant medical bills that will accompany the injury. Additionally, you are able to recover compensation for the loss of earnings that might result from your paralyzing injury and, in some cases, damages for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment in life. The damages available will depend on the spinal injury, the basics of which we’ll touch upon below. 

Falls are Another Leading Cause of Paralyzing Injury 

One of the leading causes of workplace injuries are falls, which can lead to spinal cord injuries as noted by the National Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Falls are a hazard in a variety of workplace settings and can be caused by something as simple as tripping while walking or falling from a ladder. For Americans aged 65 or older, falls are a leading cause of serious injury as explained by the Administration for Community Living

When the spinal cord experiences a traumatic injury, it is possible for the underlying nerves to be impacted. This can be caused by something as extreme as a motorcycle accident or as commonplace as slipping on a patch of water and crashing into the ground. Your Boca Raton personal injury attorney from The Grife Law Firm will help determine if the facts of the accident that led to your injury entitle you to a claim to collect for the associated costs through your free initial consultation.    

The Basics of Paralyzing Injuries 

A paralyzing injury is an injury that impacts the ability of the brain to control the voluntary and involuntary functions of the body. While we have assisted clients who have experienced spinal cord injuries from a diverse array of accidents or incidents, there are some accidents that have caused our past clients’ injuries more than others. Two of the most common causes of paralysis are:

  • A spinal cord injury (SCI), which is damage to the nerves inside of the bony protection of the spinal canal that can impact the brain’s ability to send messages to the body 
  • Broken bones in the neck or back that can, in turn, impact the spinal cord 
  • A traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is when you experience a bump, blow, or penetrating wound to your head it is possible to experience a permanent change in brain chemistry that can forever change the way in which you live 

Whatever the cause of your spinal cord injury, if we are able to determine that it was caused by another party or entity, we may be able to take your case and put together a claim that seeks to cover all present and future medical bills, occupational costs, and other damages that might be available. Spinal cord injuries often require a number of surgeries, rehabilitation, and ongoing medications and/or pain management. This can impact your ability to work, enjoy life as you had prior to the accident, and can lead to sizable settlements. 

Spinal Cord Injuries

If the injured person has experienced a paralyzing injury due to an SCI, it is possible to lose all function of the body below the point of the spinal cord injury. The initial check to diagnose a spinal cord injury is for the emergency room physician to check for movement or sensation at or below where the injury occurred. Additionally, indicators of SCI include the breathing, responsiveness, and weakness of the injured person. These injuries may be permanent and incurable, regardless of treatment measures. 

Nerve Damage

Nerve damage in the spinal cord can cause partial or complete paralysis, while nerve damage can cause different types of paralysis. For example, minor nerve damage can still lead to numbness in the extremities like the hands and fingers. Loss of sensation can impact the ability of an individual to work and enjoy life as they had prior to the injury, and if the accident or incident was due to the negligence of another person or entity you will be entitled to compensation. 

If you or a loved one has experienced a paralyzing injury, it is important to reach out to a local Boca Raton personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after receiving emergency medical care. Paralyzing injuries can result in substantial medical- and care-related costs, negatively impact earnings ability, and result in a loss of enjoyment in life. 

Connect with a Boca Raton Personal Injury Lawyer from The Grife Law Firm 

The process of collecting compensation for your paralyzing injury can be complex and time-consuming. It begins with gathering evidence to accurately measure and prove your damages and to prove the liability of the party that caused the accident. From there, a claim must be drafted, filed, and negotiated, and with a personal injury lawyer on the case, you’ll have support through every step of the process. 

Your Initial Consultation is Free, and We Only Get Paid if We Win 

To learn how The Grife Law Firm can help with your life-altering, long-term injuries, give us a call at 561-998-0770, or visit our site to schedule a consultation. Your initial consultation to determine if your case fits with our firm is free, and if we take your case, we only get paid if we win. Our experienced personal injury attorneys are standing by to answer any questions you might have and are prepared to help you collect what you deserve for your paralyzing injury.