Paraplegia results in complete or incomplete loss of function in the lower part of the body or legs due to a spinal cord injury. In addition to loss of feeling, victims can also experience pain or stinging, loss of bowel control, muscle spasms and a shorter lifespan. 56% of injuries occur between the ages of 16 and 30. In most cases, paraplegia can result from an accident stemming from the negligence of another. It is estimated that 4,500 people are victims of paraplegia every year, and within those, 82% are male. 52% of spinal cord injured individuals are considered paraplegic.
Causes of Paraplegia
The leading causes of spinal cord injuries resulting in paraplegia include:
- Medical malpractice
- Transportation related collisions
Paraplegia is the direct result of a spinal injury. When the spinal cord injury includes the severing of the spinal cord or permanent traumatization in an accident, it can result in the loss of sensation and motor control in the body that is often permanent. However, if the spinal nerves were compressed but not completely severed, the victim may experience only temporary paralysis. Generally, the greater the damage is on the spinal cord, the more severe the paralysis.
The symptoms of paraplegia will depend on the site of the injury to the spinal cord. The main goals in treatment will be to prevent further damage. Physicians will administer drugs to reduce swelling at the site of the injury. If the injury includes damage to the vertebrae, doctors may need to perform surgery. Depending on the severity and permanence of the injury, extensive rehabilitation will be necessary, and assistive devices, such as a wheelchair, may be needed. Emotional counseling will likely be necessary, as paraplegia is a life-altering event.
Costs Associated with Paraplegia
Although every individual case is different depending on the severity of the injury, the average estimated first year expenses for paraplegics are very high. The average lifetime costs for paraplegics, age of injury 25, is estimated to be millions and millions of dollars. You have the right to receive compensation for your injuries to assist with these future costs.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of paraplegia, seek the guidance of a personal injury lawyer from Martin G. Schulz & Associates. Our legal team can provide you with guidance during this difficult and confusing time. Contact us today for your free, no obligation consultation.