Louisiana Quadriplegic Injury Attorneys
Spinal cord damage is one of the worst injuries victims can experience. It can be absolutely devastating, and require a complete overhaul of the victim’s life. They may become unable to work or support themselves, and may need caretakers, expensive assistive equipment, and more.
If you’ve been the victim of a spinal injury that’s left you paralyzed, you deserve compensation to help you deal with your new reality. Our personal injury lawyers can help. There are many types of paralysis; on this page we’ll examine one of the most serious and life-altering: quadriplegia.
What is quadriplegia?
Quadriplegia, also known as tetraplegia, is a paralysis condition in which the victim loses function and feeling in all four limbs. Quadriplegia is related to, but distinct from, paraplegia, which results only in paralysis of the legs and lower body. Typically, these injuries are the result of trauma to the spinal cord and its tissue.
Quadriplegia can be devastating, both for the victim of the injuries and the family members or other loved ones who must take care of them. In the most extreme cases, spinal injuries can be life-threatening or even lead to death in extreme cases.
Symptoms of quadriplegia
The most obvious symptom of paralysis is the loss of function and feeling in the affected limbs. Injuries to higher parts of the spinal cord result in more total paralysis of the victim. Other symptoms can include
- Loss of motor function
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Loss of sexual function
- Loss of digestion
- Vulnerability to osteoporosis, infections, deep vein thrombosis, cardiovascular disease, and more
- Emotional and mental trauma, including depression, anxiety
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What causes quadriplegic injuries?
Quadriplegia can be caused by a number of factors, but the most common is a spinal cord injury, typically in the cervical vertebrae. According to a 2019 report from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), the main causes of spinal cord injuries include
- Car accidents (32.2%)
- Slips & falls (22.9%)
- Gunshot wounds (15.2%)
- Motorcycle accidents (6.2%)
- Big truck accidents (5.7%)
- Medical or surgical complications (2.9%)
- An impact by a falling object (2.7%)
- Bicycle accidents (1.7%)
- Pedestrian accidents (1.5%)
Brain damage, such as that caused by a traumatic brain injury (TBI), can also cause quadriplegia. Finally, there are some inherited conditions that can cause quadriplegia, such as Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) and muscular dystrophy.
Types of vertebrae damage
The most common cause of quadriplegia is damage to the spinal cord, specifically the cervical portion, or vertebrae C1 to C7. When lower sections of the spine are damaged, paraplegia can result, which is paralysis of the lower trunk and legs instead of everything below the neck. Generally, injuries that occur higher on the spine result in more severe effects. The vertebrae, or the bones of the spine, are numbered from the base of the skull down.
- C1, C2, or C3 damage is more likely to be fatal due to impediments to respiration and other crucial functions. Even if survived, damage to these vertebrae is likely to result in near-total paralysis and could require specialized breathing devices.
- C4 damage survivors can experience loss of diaphragm control, paralysis and limited range of motion in the arms, torso, and legs, and incontinence
- C5 damage can affect vocal cords, and result in leg, wrist, and hand paralysis
- C6 damage and below is less likely to cause complete loss of arm function. However, it can still cause paralysis in the legs, torso, and hands; loss of bladder or bowel control; and speech difficulties.
- C7 damage rarely results in quadriplegia: more commonly, patients experience burning pain in their shoulders, back, or arms, or become paraplegic
What to expect after a quadriplegic injury
After a spinal injury resulting in quadriplegia, the victim’s life can be changed forever. Their injuries can become an enormous challenge, and require them and their loved ones to make major changes in their lifestyles.
Quadriplegics often rely on human assistants and assistive technology to move, eat, go to the bathroom, and many other activities. Not only are these disruptive and life-changing, they can also be prohibitively expensive for many.
In addition, people with quadriplegia can have a shortened life expectancy after their injury, by as much as decades. Of course, every spinal injury, and resulting quadriplegia, is different. Some victims are able to hold a full life even after a devastating injury, but their life will change significantly.
Other than the primary symptoms of quadriplegia discussed above, quadriplegics also commonly experience the following additional symptoms:
- Bed sores leading to secondary infections
- Uncontrolled muscle spasms in limbs
- Urinary tract infections
- Muscular atrophy
- Chronic pain
- Weight gain
- Respiratory infections
- and others
Determining fault after a spine injury
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal injury resulting in quadriplegia, you deserve to hold the responsible party accountable. One of the main goals of a personal injury claim is establishing liability for damages, then securing those damages for the injured party. An experienced spinal injury lawyer can help you discover evidence, prepare supporting documentation for your claim, and even argue your case in court.
What to expect in damages
Damages refer to monetary compensation for the victim’s pain, suffering, and other costs associated with their spinal cord injury. In quadriplegia cases, damages often include
Why you need an experienced paralysis injury lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured and left with quadriplegia, your life has forever changed. You deserve compensation for the hurt, pain, and hardship you’re experiencing, which is why you need a Louisiana quadriplegic injury lawyer that can fight for your rights.
Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys have over 679+ years of combined legal experience practicing personal injury law in Louisiana and have recovered over $2.5 Billion for our clients. We have the drive and perseverance to make sure you get the maximum amount you deserve for your injuries. Give our law firm a call at 888.501.7888 for a free consultation. We won’t charge you a dime until we win! That’s the G Guarantee!
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