What is Paralysis?
Paralysis is a catastrophic and life-altering medical condition that completely alters the way a person lives his or her life. It is defined as the loss of voluntary muscle function caused by injury or disease of the brain, nerves, or spinal cord. It happens when something goes wrong with the way messages pass between your brain and muscles. Paralysis can be complete or partial. It can occur on one or both sides of your body. It can also occur in just one area, or it can be widespread. Paralysis of the lower half of your body, including both legs, is called paraplegia. Paralysis of the arms and legs is quadriplegia.
According to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, spinal cord injury (SCI) is one of the leading causes of paralysis. SCI occurs when the nerves in the spinal canal become damaged or severed. The majority of SCIs are caused by external trauma to the spinal column. Unfortunately, once nerves in the spinal cord are damaged, they cannot regenerate, and lost functions are lost forever.
Most paralysis is due to strokes or injuries such as spinal cord injury or a broken neck. Other causes of paralysis include: nerve diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; autoimmune diseases such as Guillain-Barre syndrome; and Bell’s Palsy, which affects muscles in the face.
More Specific Breakdown of the Causes of Paralysis
According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, the leading causes of paralysis include:
- Stroke (29%);
- Spinal Cord Injury (23%);
- Multiple Sclerosis (17%);
- Other (9%);
- Cerebral Palsy (7%);
- Post-Polio Syndrome (5%);
- Neurofibromatosis (4%);
- Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI (4%); and
- Unspecified Birth Defect (2%).
Though some of these causes relate to a specific illness, disease or medical condition, most spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries (and even some strokes) are caused by external trauma.
According to the Foundation, the leading causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Workplace Accidents / Accidents on the Job (28%);
- Motor Vehicle Accidents (24%);
- Sporting/Recreational Accidents (16%);
- Unknown / No Response(9%);
- Falls (9%)
- Other (6%);
- Victims of Violence (4%);
- Birth Defects (3%);
- Natural Disasters (1%).
External forces that can lead to paralyzing injuries include:
- Motor-Vehicle Accidents, including Auto Accidents, Car Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents, Train Accidents, Bus Accidents and Truck Accidents;
- Workplace Accidents;
- Falls, including Slip-and-Fall Accidents, Trip-and-Fall Accidents, Stair Accidents, and Falling in Holes;
- Birth Injuries; and
- Medical Malpractice and/or Negligence.
Living with Paralysis
Paralysis is a devastating condition that can forever change the lives of the victim and the victim’s family. After a paralyzing injury, victims will require need extensive medical care and treatment, physical therapy and future care. Most paralysis victims will likely the use of a wheelchair or other assistive device. Furthermore, paralyzed individuals may have to change jobs or may be permanently disabled and not be able to work at all.
Assistance From an Experienced Paralysis Injury Attorney
Paralysis brings severe physical, emotional and financial hardships to victims and their families. An experienced paralysis injury attorney in Pensacola can help relieve some of this burden.
If you or a loved one has become paralyzed as the result of the negligent or wrongful acts of another in Florida, the dedicated Pensacola catastrophic injury Ortiz Law Firm can help. Mr. Ortiz experienced in both personal injury and disability claims. This gives him a critical understanding of the effects paralysis has on the body and on daily life. In his many years of experience, Mr. Ortiz has the knowledge and resources to pursue just compensation for your losses. Call us today for a free case evaluation and to learn more about your legal options at 850-898-9904.