PARAPLEGIA AND QUADRIPLEGIA LAWYERS
Paraplegia or quadriplegia injuries can be among the worst possible outcomes of an accident. These serious injuries are often permanent, and victims will typically require life-long intensive medical care. These cases can be exceedingly complex and require the assistance of a paraplegia or quadriplegia lawyer.
Spinal injuries can cause paraplegia or quadriplegia. These include injuries to the vertebrae, spinal cord, or surrounding ligaments. The spinal cord is vital to the functioning of the entire body, as it links the brain to the rest of the body’s central nervous system.
Thus, if you suffer a spinal cord injury, you may lose sensation, the ability to move, and control of critical bodily functions. These functions may include bowel movements, sexual function, and breathing.
If you or a family member suffered a spinal cord injury, it’s vital to seek legal counsel to recover damages that can help you move on after your injury. At The Smith Law Center, a quadriplegia lawyer can help put you back on track toward a better quality of life. Contact us at (757) 244-7000 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.
What is the Difference Between Paraplegia and Quadriplegia?
Both paraplegia and quadriplegia are severe, life-changing conditions. There are several differences between the two, which are discussed in detail below.
Paraplegia affects the lower extremities of a victim. It happens when a spinal cord injury occurs at the thoracic level or below. Such injuries may either be complete or incomplete.
A complete spinal cord injury is permanent and irreversible. In comparison, incomplete spinal cord injuries may cause temporary paralysis that can improve in time. However, even victims who suffer an incomplete spinal cord injury may never again regain normal use of their legs.
Paraplegia due to spinal cord injury also affects abdominal muscles. Patients diagnosed with paraplegia often lose the ability to move and stretch their torso. Car accident victims who lose control of their abdominal muscles may also suffer from incontinence and lose sexual function. Spinal cord paraplegia may cause chronic pain and low blood pressure.
Quadriplegia is also known as tetraplegia, a type of paralysis that affects a victim’s arms and legs. Severe injuries to the spinal cord can result in quadriplegia or tetraplegia.
Quadriplegia is more serious than paraplegia because the victim has no control over their limbs or torso. Injuries that occur higher in the neck may be deadly and can require a wrongful death lawsuit.
Victims can lose control over their breathing and may need to be on a ventilator for the rest of their lives. Patients with quadriplegia often need full-time care for 24 hours a day. This may also be the case for patients who have paraplegia.
Paraplegia and quadriplegia are distinct and are associated with different needs. They are both life-altering injuries that typically require the assistance of a lawyer to obtain the appropriate damages award to cover long-term costs.
What Types of Damages Can a Quadriplegia Lawyer Help Obtain?
Lawsuits involving paraplegia or quadriplegia can result in a substantial damages award that can compensate the victim for their losses. Each case outcome varies, but such compensation can cover:
- Hospital bills
- Costs of surgery and rehabilitation
- Medical expenses not normally covered by insurance, such as additional therapy or alternative treatments
- Home and vehicle accommodations, such as wheelchair ramps
- Lost wages, since the patient will likely miss extended periods of work while recovering
- Loss of an ability to generate income in the future, especially if the person can no longer perform their previous duties
- Pain and suffering
One of the most challenging aspects of a spinal cord injury case is predicting the cost of future medical needs your loved one will require. An injury lawyer will make those calculations based on known formulas, which often involve lifetime treatment costs.
Why Spinal Cord Injury Claims Are Complicated?
If you suffered a spinal cord injury due to another person’s fault, it may be a difficult fight for justice. Often, you may need a highly specialized medical team to diagnose and treat your injuries. From the outset, your medical bills start piling up.
Victims of spinal cord injuries face critical medical needs. They can remain for months in the hospital while evidence from the crash scene disappears and recollections fade. People who suffer paralysis face many months in a costly rehabilitation center.
Even after being released from the hospital, the ordeal is not over. People affected by a spinal cord injury may require adaptive equipment and home renovations to be able to live away from a hospital. They may lose their ability to perform essential functions like walking, which can drastically affect other areas of life, especially work.
What Evidence Can a Quadriplegia Lawyer Use to Prove a Case?
Unlike traumatic brain injuries, which can be difficult to detect, paraplegia or quadriplegia can be apparent shortly after an accident. In many cases, the accident victim may not be able to move or may lose control of various bodily functions.
Even still, a strong foundation of evidence will be useful in proving a spinal cord injury. Evidence can include:
- Photos or video from the crash or accident
- Written and verbal statements from eyewitnesses
- Police reports
- Medical reports and receipts
- Physical evidence from the scene of the accident
An experienced lawyer can gather these items of evidence and use them skillfully in litigation to prove the other party’s negligence. Having an attorney handle these matters can help the victim focus on recuperating and recovering from their injuries.
How Common Are Spinal Cord Injuries?
A report by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation suggested the prevalence of paralysis across the U.S. was higher than suspected.
The study found nearly 1 in 50 people in the United States live with a form of paralysis. That’s 5.4 million people, approximately the combined populations of Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.
Superman actor Christopher Reeve, who had quadriplegia for the last decade of his life after a horse-riding accident, was chairman for the foundation.
What are Common Causes of Paraplegia and Quadriplegia?
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, car crashes cause 38 percent of all spinal injuries like paraplegia and quadriplegia. Auto wrecks are the leading cause of spinal accidents in Virginia. Falls account for 32 percent of spinal injuries and violence, in particular, gunshot injuries, for 15 percent.
- Sports accidents
- Slip and fall cases and other premises liability claims
- Botched surgeries and other forms of medical malpractice
- Work-related accidents, such as those involving occupational hazards or industrial accidents (often requiring workers compensation claims)
Thus, paraplegia and quadriplegia can result from a wide range of injuries and accident settings.
The Pitfalls of Dealing with an Insurance Company For Quadriplegia
If you suffer a minor soft tissue injury in a car crash, the insurance company will seek to pay you less than what you actually deserve. However, the amount of money you can potentially lose is much higher in the case of a spinal injury that causes paralysis.
Settlements that the insurance company offers will likely fail to cover all the acute medical needs of a person with paraplegia or quadriplegia.
As such, it is highly advisable to enlist the services of a quadriplegia lawyer and pursue legal action. That way, the victim can obtain full compensation for the various costs associated with long-term care.
Contact a Paraplegia or Quadriplegia Attorney for Help with a Case
The Smith Law Center has forged a reputation for taking on complicated and serious injury cases such as spinal cord injuries and securing outstanding results.
Why Choose Our Law Firm
We understand the importance of being responsive and compassionate to our clients who are undergoing extremely challenging circumstances. Our trial injury lawyers have represented the injured in Virginia and further afield since 1949. See our case results and contact us today at (757) 244-7000 for a free, no-obligation consultation.
How long will a lawsuit involving paraplegia or quadriplegia take?
There is no set time period for how long an injury case can take if paraplegia or quadriplegia are involved. However, these cases tend to be complex, and require extensive medical documentation. Such claims can take anywhere from several months to a year or longer to resolve. A qualified injury lawyer can ensure no important deadlines or dates are missed.
When should I contact a paraplegia/quadriplegia lawyer?
You should contact a lawyer as soon as possible after an injury resulting in paraplegia or quadriplegia. There may be important filing deadlines involved.
In the state of Virginia, generally, the statute of limitations (filing period) is two years for a personal injury claim. However, the circumstances of a case could affect the exact application of the statute of limitations. Contact our lawyers now for guidance.
How can a paraplegia attorney help me?
An attorney with experience in paraplegia and quadriplegia cases can provide highly useful services for patients and their families, who might not be able to address all tasks associated with filing. These include gathering information and records, researching the law, crafting a trial strategy, and negotiating for the appropriate settlement amount.
Why should I contact the Smith Law Center for a paraplegia/quadriplegia lawsuit?
At the Smith Law Center, we have decades of experience handling cases that involve catastrophic injuries such as paraplegia, quadriplegia, severe whiplash, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries.
We have proven case results for court victories and settlements, including a $14,590,000 settlement for a motorcycle accident case, and a $12,264,302 verdict for a slip and fall case (the largest slip and fall verdict in Virginia history). Contact us at (757) 244-7000 to get started on a claim.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- What is the Difference Between Paraplegia and Quadriplegia?
- What Types of Damages can a Quadriplegia Lawyer Help Obtain?
- Why Spinal Cord Injury Claims Are Complicated
- What Evidence Can a Quadriplegia Lawyer Use to Prove a Case?
- How Common Are Spinal Cord Injuries?
- What are Common Causes of Paraplegia and Quadriplegia?
- The Pitfalls of Dealing with an Insurance Company For Quadriplegia
- Contact a Paraplegia or Quadriplegia Attorney for Help with a Case
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