Paraplegia and Quadriplegia Injuries in New Jersey
Paraplegia and quadriplegia are life-altering injuries that can devastate an accident victim physically, emotionally, financially and professionally. Not only is there loss of sensation in the body and a dramatic reduction in physical abilities, this type of injury can lead to serious depression, total disability and a lifetime of lost income and bills for medical care, daily home care and rehabilitation.
Paraplegia and quadriplegia can happen in vehicle accidents, including those involving other vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians. A slip and fall from a great height or down stairs could also cause this type of injury.
Paralysis is the loss of muscle function in part of your body.
- It can be complete or partial.
- It can occur in one area of your body or it can be widespread.
- Paralysis of the lower half of your body, including both legs, is paraplegia.
- Paralysis of the arms and legs is quadriplegia.
Paralysis happens when something goes wrong with the way your brain and muscles communicate. In cases of accidents it’s normally caused by an injury to the spinal cord.
- Your spinal cord is a bundle of nerves running through the middle of your spine. It carries signals between your body and your brain allowing you to control (consciously and subconsciously) parts of your body. A spinal cord injury disrupts those signals.
- Spinal cord injuries are normally caused by a blow that fractures or dislocates your vertebrae, the bone disks making up your spine.
- The spinal cord is not cut through in most injuries. Instead, pieces of vertebrae tear into cord tissue or put pressure on the nerve parts that carry signals, injuring the cord resulting in a loss of signals between the body and brain.
- Spinal cord injuries can be complete or incomplete. After a complete spinal cord injury, the cord can’t send signals below the location of the injury and paralysis occurs below the injury. With an incomplete injury, there is some movement and sensation below the injury.
The side effects of paralysis can result in medical issues that can degrade one’s quality of life and could potentially be life threatening. Those who are paralyzed or confined to bed due to a spinal cord injury require skilled nursing care to prevent complications caused by the person’s lack of movement:
- Pressure sores can develop due to pressure on the skin, especially when over or between bony areas, and reduces or cuts off blood flow to the skin. If this occurs for more than a few hours, the skin dies, breaks down and an open sore (ulcer) develops.
- Urinary problems may occur if the person is immobile and uses a urinary catheter, which may cause an infection.
- Pneumonia occurs when fluid collects in the lungs. The person may need to use deep-breathing exercises to reduce the risk of it occurring.
- Blood clots also form if the blood doesn’t flow properly due to lack of movement by the person. They could potentially cause a stroke or heart attack.
If you are suffering from paraplegia or quadriplegia due to the negligence of another, you may be entitled to file a legal claim for compensation from the party responsible for your losses. The damages that could be obtained through such a lawsuit could include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Past and future wage loss
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium (the negative impact on the relationship with loved ones and family members)
- Punitive damages (in cases of extreme negligence or intentional acts by the defendant).
Depending on the plaintiff, the extent of the injuries and the facts of the case, these damages could be in the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. If you decide to try to resolve your case on your own and negotiate with insurance companies, that may be a mistake that could cost you a substantial amount of money that you may regret for years to come.
- If you don’t know personal injury or insurance law, you don’t know what your case is worth.
- There may be multiple responsible parties and several insurance policies involved.
- You may make statements and sign documents that could severely impair or end your ability to obtain compensation for your injuries and economic losses.
CONTACT THE LAW OFFICE OF JAMES C. DEZAO TODAY
If you or a loved one have suffered paraplegia or quadriplegia due to the negligence or intentional act of another, call The Law Office of James C. DeZao at (973) 358-6134. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. In many cases a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Therefore, please call or fill out our contact form right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.