Other than injuries that lead to amputation or limb loss, there is no injury so permanent as paralysis. Paralysis is generally the permanent loss of movement control, and it can disrupt your life in the blink of an eye. This is why paralysis is known as a catastrophic injury. If someone else’s negligence causes you to suffer paralysis, the time to contact an experienced Florida paralysis attorney is now.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Paralysis is a spinal cord injury that is caused by the spinal cord either being severely damaged or completely severed. The Mayo Clinic reports that paralysis injuries are classified as follows:
- Complete Paralysis – Complete paralysis refers to a complete loss of ability to control one’s body movements in that area of the body that is paralyzed and to a complete loss of feeling in this area.
- Incomplete Paralysis – Incomplete paralysis refers to a form of paralysis when some sensory and/or motor functioning is retained (in the area of the body that is paralyzed). As such, incomplete paralysis can have varying degrees of severity.
Further, paralysis affects the body in one of the two following ways (in terms of the area of the body affected):
- Paraplegia – Paraplegia refers to paralysis in which the legs, the pelvic organs, and at least part of the body’s trunk are affected.
- Quadriplegia – Quadriplegia refers to paralysis in which nearly the entire body is affected, including the victim’s hands, arms, trunk, pelvic organs, and legs.
A loss of this physical and emotional magnitude can prove nearly insurmountable, and the long journey towards one’s fullest recovery includes many serious obstacles.
Secondary Health Issues
In addition to the catastrophic primary effects of paralysis, there are several very serious secondary health issues to consider.
Respiratory issues are some of the deadliest secondary health problems that often accompany paralysis. When paralysis affects the victim’s chest and abdominal muscles, it can make both breathing and coughing more challenging. Respiratory therapy and specific kinds of related medications are often advised.
While paralysis does not stop the victim’s bladder from storing urine normally, the spinal cord will no longer send the necessary messages that let the brain know the body needs to urinate. The spinal cord is the body’s message center, and when it’s seriously damaged or completely severed, issues with bladder control are common. Chronic urinary tract infections are a common side effect of this loss of bladder control, and kidney infections and bladder stones are also frequent concerns. Some people who suffer from paralysis are able to learn rehabilitative techniques that help them empty their bladders according to a predetermined schedule and to, thus, help preserve their health overall.
Bowel control is a similar issue to bladder control. While the stomach and intestines continue to work as normal (for the most part), people with paralysis must learn to regulate their bowels according to a schedule that allows them to optimize their overall health and accommodate comfortable daily living.
Paralysis and issues with circulation often work in tandem, which can lead to serious problems with swelling and to an increased risk of developing dangerous blood clots, such as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolisms. Paralysis is also closely associated with steep rises in blood pressure, which requires careful monitoring.
Changes in Muscle Tone
Paralysis can leave the victim’s muscles vulnerable to uncontrollable muscle movements, which is known as spasticity, or to a significant loss of muscle tone, which is known as flaccidity.
Loss of Sensation in the Skin
Paralysis can leave the victim unable to register the sensation of touch, prolonged pressure, excess heat or cold, and other important sensory messages that are intended to protect us from harm. As such, those who suffer from paralysis are exceptionally vulnerable to pressure sores, which – in turn – are very vulnerable to infection (making them very dangerous).
Suddenly experiencing paralysis as a result of someone else’s negligence can upend the victim’s life in the span of a moment, and recovering from the immense losses that go along with this transformation can prove exceptionally difficult. Many victims of paralysis suffer from bouts of depression and increased anxiety – both of which can make the physical consequences that much more difficult to handle.
Decreased Overall Fitness and Wellness
The abrupt decrease in movement overall that is caused by paralysis results in a lifestyle that is far more sedentary and that is closely associated with increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Your Physical, Financial, and Emotional Damages
The damages associated with paralysis are undeniably immense and break down into the following categories:
- Medical Costs – One universal truth of paralysis injuries is that they require ongoing medical care and that secondary health concerns are guaranteed. In addition to all the costs that are associated with other catastrophic injuries, many victims of paralysis require assistance with the activities of daily living.
- Lost Earnings – Paralysis is such a serious injury that it can prove permanently debilitating, but even if you are able to return to work, you can expect your earning potential to be affected (and your career trajectory to take a serious hit).
- Pain and Suffering – The emotional pain and suffering associated with an injury of this magnitude can be difficult to overstate. Suffice to say that a major hurdle on the journey toward your fullest recovery is overcoming the emotional damage that accompanies this very permanent injury.
Make the Call to an Experienced Florida Paralysis Attorney Today
The dedicated paralysis attorneys at Iscoe Law Firm – proudly serving Miami, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Fort Lauderdale, and Broward County – have the experience, compassion, and commitment to zealously advocate for the compensation to which you are entitled. We are here for you and are committed to taking your call – 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. For more information, please don’t wait to contact us online or call us at 800-800-6500 today.