What Causes Paralysis?
Few injuries are more traumatic than those resulting in paralysis. The loss of muscle function and sensation in one or more parts of the body can permanently alter the course of a person’s life, affecting their ability to earn a living, enjoy leisure activities, and spend meaningful time with family and friends, as well as negatively impact their overall physical health and emotional well-being.
Some cases of paralysis arise due to medical conditions. In other cases, however, paralysis is caused by the negligence of another party, such as a careless driver, a negligent property owner, and others.
If you or a loved one suffered paralysis in an accident caused by someone else, Kogan & DiSalvo can help. Contact a West Palm Beach spinal cord injury lawyer today for a free consultation, or call (561) 375-9500.
What Are the Types of Paralysis?
Both the nature and severity of paralysis can vary. One of the major considerations when gauging the seriousness of paralysis is how much of the body is affected by the injury.
The most extreme cases of paralysis involve:
- Paraplegia: Paralysis of the lower body, including the legs, pelvis, and sometimes the lower torso
- Quadriplegia: Paralysis of the upper and lower body, including the entire torso, the arms, the pelvis, and the legs
Other forms of paralysis have more limited effects, they can still adversely impact a victim’s quality of life:
- Monoplegia: Paralysis of one limb
- Diplegia: Paralysis of a particular area on both sides of the body (such as paralysis of both legs)
- Hemiplegia: Paralysis affecting one side of the body
Some people with paralysis may regain some function and sensation in one or more affected areas of the body. For others, however, paralysis results in permanent impairment.
Potential Causes of Paralysis
The causes of paralysis can be broadly divided into two different categories:
- Traumatic injuries
- Medical conditions
The majority of lawsuits involving paralysis center on injuries caused by negligence. However, depending on the circumstances, one or more parties may also be liable for medical issues that cause paralysis.
Paralysis Caused by Traumatic Injuries
The most common accidents that result in paralysis include:
- Motor vehicle accidents, including:
- Falls; possible causes include:
- Physical assaults
- Property owners may be liable for physical attacks stemming from negligent security
Paralysis may stem from injury to the spinal cord or a traumatic brain injury. The cause of the paralysis in these cases may be fairly easy to identify, but you will still need to prove fault to recover damages.
An experienced paralysis lawyer can investigate the facts of your case, collect evidence, consult medical experts, and take additional steps on your behalf to build a strong claim. It is in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible if you suffer paralysis in an accident caused by someone else.
Paralysis Caused by Medical Conditions
Prompt medical intervention can make the difference between recovery from an injury to the brain or spinal cord and permanent paralysis and other complications. The same is true for someone experiencing a stroke.
Strokes are one of the most common medical emergencies. A stroke may occur in the brain, brainstem, or spinal cord. If bleeding is not stopped and the flow of blood is not quickly restored to the brain, patients may suffer permanent paralysis.
Doctors and other healthcare workers may misdiagnose the symptoms of a stroke. If this occurs and you or your loved one suffered paralysis and other serious harm, you may be able to recover compensation through a medical malpractice claim.
Paralysis may also arise as a result of medical errors when a baby is born. Malpractice in the delivery room can lead to:
- Cerebral palsy: Traumatic injury and oxygen deprivation can harm the baby’s brain. Cerebral palsy can lead to paralysis and a wide range of other serious complications.
- Brachial plexus injury: Injury to nerves in the baby’s neck and shoulder can lead to permanent impairment of the affected arm (Erb’s palsy) or hand (Klumpke’s palsy).
- Birth-related spinal cord injury: Also called perinatal spinal cord injury, trauma to the baby’s spinal cord during labor and delivery can lead to lifelong paralysis.
Other medical conditions that can result in paralysis include degenerative diseases (such as multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), etc.), autoimmune disorders (such as Guillain-Barre syndrome), and issues arising from “wear and tear” and previous injuries to the spine (such as spinal stenosis).
Contact a Paralysis Lawyer Today
Paralysis is a catastrophic injury. If you or a loved one suffered paralysis as a result of someone else’s negligence, you should not have to suffer the physical, emotional, and financial burdens of the injury alone.
For more than 25 years, Kogan & DiSalvo has been representing victims and their families in a wide range of catastrophic injury claims. We have achieved millions of dollars in results on behalf of our clients. Our team can investigate the cause of your paralysis, determine who is responsible, and pursue the full compensation you deserve.