Lawyers for People With Paralysis Sustained in Car Accidents: Chicago, Illinois
Paralysis is a catastrophic injury with far-reaching implications on victims' lives and those who love and care for them.
The Chicago car, truck, and motorcycle accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC understand how challenging it is to adjust to life with paralysis and the unbearable stress placed on victims and their loved ones when they struggle to keep up with the costs associated with ongoing care.
Our law firm will do everything when exploring all legal avenues available to recover the compensation you are entitled to receive for your injuries, lost opportunities, and pain and suffering.
Car Accident Paralysis FAQs
Is It Possible to Recover from Paralysis?
Medical science has yet to find a cure for paralysis to restore normal function for paraplegic, hemiplegic, and tetraplegia victims. In specific cases, the victim might restore some muscle control or feel sensation after receiving treatment.
Some of the effects of temporary paralysis, including Bell's palsy, can be reversed through spontaneous recovery.
What Injuries Cause Paralysis?
Many injuries and medical conditions can cause temporary or permanent paralysis, including cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, and stroke.
Other injuries that can cause paralysis include nerve impingement, nerve damage, brain injuries, motor neuron damage, and severed/impacted nerves.
What Happens if You are Paralyzed?
Paralysis can cause the body to lose muscle control partially or entirely. Some people will sense a numbing or tingling feeling and mild paralysis, or significant muscle cramps before losing muscle control.
Can You get Paralyzed From Whiplash?
The aftereffects of whiplash are not powerful enough to cause paralysis. However, the impact force of an accident that produces whiplash can also cause paralysis.
The sensation of snapping the head and spinal column in a thrusting or twisting motion could cause significant damage to the neck bones and vertebrae that might result in temporary or permanent paralysis.
What can Cause Sudden Paralysis?
Minor head trauma, spinal cord damage, or brain hemorrhaging could cause sudden temporary or permanent paralysis. Other causes include TIA (transient ischemic attack), stroke, Guillain-Barre syndrome (a rare infection-triggered autoimmune disorder), and poisonous or venomous toxins.
What are the Early Symptoms of Paralysis?
Damaged nerve cells are attributed to a loss of muscle control (paralysis). Some of the earliest symptoms associated with paralysis include muscle stiffness, twitching, cramping, difficulty chewing in swallowing, slurred speech, leg or arm muscle weakness, etc.
How do You Know if a Back Injury is Serious?
If you suffered a severe fracture to the spinal column or extensive damage to your backbone, you might develop paralysis immediately or over time. Some severe injuries to the back cause difficulty in breathing, a sensation of pins and needles in the feet, hands, legs, and arms, and shortness of breath.
Any fractured backbone or skull could lead to paraplegia (loss of motor function in the feet and legs), hemiplegia (loss of muscle sensation on one side of the body), or tetraplegia (limited sensation and movement of the body from the neck down).
Causes of Paralysis in Automotive Accidents
While paralysis is more common in trucking and motorcycle accidents, any motorist involved in an accident is at risk of sustaining a spinal injury due to the energy force displaced during the accident. Our Chicago auto injury lawyers have represented numerous paralyzed clients, and each of their stories is unique.
Some of the most common ways they suffered their injuries include the following.
- Blunt trauma to the spine – In accidents involving trucks or high-speed collisions with other vehicles, the body might be thrown into stationary or moving objects. Motorcyclists are at a greater risk of sustaining spinal injuries due to their exposure to their environments and when caught between two objects, striking a vehicle or being thrown from their bike that can cause blunt trauma to the spine.
- Severed nerves in the spinal column – Lacerations and puncture wounds can cause severe bleeding, threaten major organs, and cause permanent nerve damage. If the lacerations occur along the spine, they might sever one of 62 nerves that help transmit signals from the brain to the rest of the body that coordinates movement.
- Crushing injury – Crushed bone and tissue mass commonly occur in motor vehicle accidents involving trucks. Crushed spinal injuries caused by the spine's intense compression can result in broken vertebrae and ruptured nerves. It is possible for motorcyclists and victims of high-speed collisions and rollovers to experience these crushing injuries, primarily if the vehicle's roof is crushed or caves during the impact.
- Deceleration car accident injuries – Most spinal injuries occur by trauma. However, it is possible for victims to experience herniated discs and nerve damage during deceleration, especially if the body is thrown forward and then back in a quick successive movement. This motion mimics the snapping of a whip and commonly causes whiplash and herniated discs. If the whipping action is severe, the forces involved in this motion can break vertebrae and sever the spinal nerves.
Types of Paralysis and the Cost of Treatment
Coping with paralysis (loss of movement and loss of sensation) is challenging enough without the added stress of figuring out how to pay for medical attention and ongoing assistive care. The areas of the body impacted by the car crash correlate with the spine's location where the injury occurred.
In general, the accident victim will no longer be able to move or experience feeling anywhere below the location where the spinal nerves were severed. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers have gathered the following data regarding the cost of treating paralysis of injured people.
The information was gleaned from the University of Alabama National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center and the Centers for Disease Control.
- Paraplegia — If the injury occurs in the lower spine, the victim might suffer from paraplegia, which is the loss of motor function in the legs and feet. People with paraplegia can use their upper bodies, allowing easier access to a wheelchair for limited mobility.
The first year of care for paraplegia costs $519,000 on average, with the ongoing annual expense of nearly $69,000 after that. The total cost of care over the lifetime of a victim injured at the age of twenty-five is an estimated $2.3 million.
- Hemiplegia – A severe injury in a motorcycle or car accident can damage the nervous system on one side of the body leading to hemiplegia. Damage to the cervical spine and lumbar spine could cause partial paralysis, body dysfunction, and muscle weakness, affecting the facial muscles, legs, and arms.
- Tetraplegia — Also referred to as quadriplegia, tetraplegia is the paralysis of both the upper and lower body. There are two forms of tetraplegia (quadriplegia), and the limitation of movement and sensation varies depending on the injury's location. Individuals with low tetraplegia have limited motor abilities in their upper bodies. In contrast, victims suffering from high tetraplegia will be dependent on others for the full extent of their care over the rest of their lives. The cost of treating lower tetraplegia in the first year is $769,000 on average, while high tetraplegia costs over $1 million in the first year. Over the lifetime of a victim suffering an injury at the age of twenty-five, lower tetraplegia will cost over $3.4 million while high tetraplegia requires $4.7 million in medical costs.
The high cost of medical treatment in the United States places an undue burden on a victim's entire family during a tragic and emotionally stressful period in their lives. Many families face years of mounting medical expenses to pay for physical therapy, medical care, and treatments not paid by an insurance company.
Spinal cord car accident injuries are the leading cause of paraplegic, hemiplegic, and tetraplegia (quadriplegia).
Hire a Spinal Cord Car Accident Injury Attorney
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC relies on access to an extensive network of medical experts, social workers, economists, and other professionals who are specialized in relevant fields to prove how much compensation you will need for the remainder of your life.
Our lawyers and expert can ensure that you will have access to the specialized care you deserve and the award-winning legal services required to help you secure the full value of your financial, physical, and emotional damages.
Contact our car accident attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation for legal advice. We work on contingency, meaning if we cannot win your case, you owe us nothing.
Let us discuss your legal options to move your injury lawsuit forward. All discussions with our law firm remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.