Paralysis is a devastating medical condition, no matter how severe. The term “paralysis” refers to the loss of the ability to move a portion of the body. In some cases, the paralyzed individual will lose all sensation in affected bodily regions as well. Even mild cases of paralysis can be hugely damaging and result in a permanent shift in one’s quality of life and personal independence.
There are numerous ways in which a person can become paralyzed. Many illnesses, such as cerebral palsy, Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, and neurofibromatosis can cause paralysis. Aside from illnesses, most paralyzed individuals became so through an injury to the spinal cord.
SPINAL CORD INJURIES
The spinal cord is the thick bundles of nerves that extend from the brain down through the spine all the way to the pelvis. This is essentially the information superhighway for the human body and how all of the brain’s signals reach the rest of the body. The extent of a spinal cord injury’s effects depends on the location of the injury. Typically, an injury higher on the spinal cord closer to the cervical nerves at the base of the skull will have more extensive effects, often reaching through the entire body.
Unlike the rest of the body, the spinal cord cannot heal itself. Considering how much we rely on our spinal cords for daily functions, spinal cord injuries can be some of the most life-changing events a person can face. Adjusting to a new lifestyle being partially or fully paralyzed is often a psychologically traumatic experience as much as it is physically difficult.
When a person becomes paralyzed, he or she may no longer be able to live independently, and fully paralyzed individuals may not be able to move unassisted. A power wheelchair may enable him or her to move on his or her own in a limited capacity, but everyday tasks, such as household care, eating, drinking, using the restroom, and getting in and out of bed, will require assistance.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
Paralysis is a serious, permanent condition no matter how extensive it is. If you or a loved one has been paralyzed due to the reckless actions of another person or entity, you need to know that you should not have to bear the burden of this mistake alone. If someone else caused your injury, then you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party to recover your medical expenses, lost wages from time spent out of work, costs of necessary medical equipment (such as a power wheelchair), ongoing care and rehabilitation costs, and physical and psychological pain and suffering.
Successful personal injury cases depend on the injured party (or plaintiff) proving negligence on the defendant’s part. This hinges on establishing three things:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to act with reasonable care. This could extend to a motorist who is expected to safely operate his or her vehicle and obey traffic laws or an employer who has a legal obligation to provide employees with a hazard-free work environment.
- The defendant breached this duty by some action or inaction. A driver using his or her phone instead of watching the road is dangerous for everyone nearby. If an employer is made aware of a safety issue but does nothing to address it in a timely manner, he or she is endangering the workforce.
- This breach of duty directly resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries.
Personal injury cases can be tricky, and dealing with paralysis means you probably have enough to worry about instead of dealing with legal entanglements. When you retain the services of an experienced and reliable attorney, he or she can handle the legal end of your issue while you focus on healing and adjusting to your altered lifestyle.
At the Nielsen Law Firm of Houston, TX, we have the experience to try any case, and we are committed to achieving favorable outcomes for all of our clients. Paralysis is life-changing and permanent, so make sure you are not paying for someone else’s carelessness. Reach out to us for a free case evaluation today.