Paralysis is a catastrophic injury with far reaching implications on the lives of victims and those who love and care for them. The Chicago car, truck, and motorcycle accident attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers understand how difficult it can be to adjust to a 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. We will do everything within our power to explore all legal avenues available to recover the compensation you are entitled to receive for your injuries, lost opportunities and pain and suffering.
Causes of Paralysis in Automotive Accidents
While paralysis is more common in trucking and motorcycle accidents, any motorist who is 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 may 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 serious bleeding, threaten major organs and cause permanent nerve damage. If the lacerations occur along the spine, they may 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 accidents involving trucks. This includes crushed spinal injuries caused by the intense compression of the spine that results in broken vertebrae and ruptured nerves. It is possible for motorcyclists and victims of high-speed collisions and rollovers to experience these crushing injuries as well, especially if the roof of the vehicle is crushed or caves in during the impact.
- Deceleration injuries. While most spinal injuries occur due to trauma, 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 is difficult on its own without the added stress of figuring out how to pay for medical treatment and ongoing assistive care. The areas of the body impacted by the crash correlate with the location within the spine where the injury occurred. In general, the victim will no longer be able to move or experience feeling anywhere below the location where the spinal nerves were severed. Our Chicago auto injury lawyers have gathered the following data regarding the cost of treating paralysis 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 may suffer from paraplegia, which is the loss of motor function in the legs and feet. It is possible for paraplegics to use their upper bodies, which allows 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 thereafter. The total cost of care over the lifetime of a victim injured at the age of 25 is an estimated $2.3 million.
- Tetraplegia — Also referred to as quadriplegia, tetraplegia is the paralysis of both the upper and lower body. There are two forms of quadriplegia, and the limitation of movement and sensation varies depending on the location of the injury. Those with low tetraplegia have limited motor abilities in their upper bodies while 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 25, lower tetraplegia will cost over $3.4 million while high tetraplegia requires $4.7 million in medical costs.
The high cost of medical treatment places an undue burden on a victim’s entire family during a tragic and emotionally stressful period in their lives. This is why Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers 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. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today to arrange a risk free evaluation with one of our lawyers.
Our Chicago car, truck, and motorcycle attorneys have years of experience, the knowledge needed to ensure the greatest chance of success and a long case history of financial settlements and verdicts in favor of our clients. We are confident in our ability to secure the damages you deserve that we will never require upfront fees. Our firm guarantees that you owe us nothing unless we are able to win your case or settle your claim on your behalf.