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Chicago Paralysis Lawyer

Did you know: most spinal cord injuries and paralysis cases are caused by some kind of motor vehicle accident, whether that be a car accident, semi-truck accident, motorcycle accident, etc. This level of spinal trauma is considered a catastrophic injury, and it can lead to a lifetime of debt from medical bills, physical therapy bills, lost wages, and so much more. Paralysis is physically, emotionally, and financially traumatic for most victims. Every Chicago paralysis lawyer at Curcio Law Offices recognizes this fact and wants to help.

If your case of paralysis was caused by someone else’s negligence, you have grounds to contact Chicago personal injury lawyers at our law firm. We have helped countless catastrophically injured people recover maximum compensation for their damages, and we can do the same for you. Call 312-321-1111 to start an attorney client relationship with us today. We offer a free consultation to all new clients.

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What is Paralysis?

Paralysis is often the result of a severe spinal injury. This condition prevents victims from making voluntary movements in parts of their body or their whole body.

Paralysis occurs when there is significant damage to the central nervous system – AKA the brain and spinal cord. Neurons, also called nerve cells, are responsible for almost all our necessary bodily functions and sensations. They send messages from the brain, to the spinal cord, and to the rest of the body.

Motor neurons in particular send messages from the central nervous system to the muscles so that we can move our bodies. If some kind of spinal cord damage has occurred, those messages will be interrupted, and therefore, the injured person may not be able to move.

How Many Americans Suffer From Paralysis?

According to a 2013 report, approximately 5.4 million Americans suffer from some form of paralysis.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

There are multiple types of spinal cord injuries that people can suffer from. The type of injury heavily depends on what kind of accident occurred and where the injury occurred in the spinal canal. For example, if someone suffered a thoracic spinal cord injury, they may suffer from paralysis in just the lower body. Meanwhile, if someone suffered a cervical spinal cord injury, they could suffer from full body paralysis.

There are two main types of paralysis: complete spinal cord injuries and incomplete spinal cord injuries.

  • Complete Spinal Cord Injury, also known as complete paralysis, means that the victim has lost all muscle control and sensation below their spinal cord injury. For example, let’s say a person suffers a severe injury in their cervical spine (neck). If the injury is complete, they will have no muscle control or sensation below the neck.
  • Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury, also known as partial paralysis, means that the victim has some sensation and control over their muscles below the spinal injury. So again, let’s say that someone suffers a cervical spinal cord injury. If they suffered an incomplete injury, they may have some muscle control and sensation below the neck.

Types of Paralysis

There are also several types of paralysis that people can suffer from that, again, is often dependent on the location of the spinal cord injury. Additionally, these types of paralysis often depend on the type of accident or incident that occurred. So some paralysis cases may be caused by a motor vehicle accident while others are caused by a stroke, for example.

  • Monoplegia prevents someone from moving only one of their limbs.
  • Hemiplegia prevents someone from moving one side of their body.
  • Paraplegia means that someone can’t move or feel anything from the waist down.
  • Quadriplegia means that someone can’t move all four limbs. The pelvic organs are generally impacted by quadriplegia as well.

Paralysis injuries are often broken down further by how the muscles are affected. For example, spinal cord injury victims can suffer from flaccid or spastic paralysis. Flaccid paralysis describes muscles that are floppy, sagging, and shrinking. Meanwhile, spastic paralysis sufferers experience tight, jerky, and stiff muscles. Cerebral palsy patients generally suffer from spastic paralysis.

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How Does Paralysis Happen?

According to another 2013 study, the leading cause of spinal cord injuries are motor vehicle accidents such as car accidents, semi-truck accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and motorcycle accidents. Motor vehicle accidents caused more than 31% of spinal cord injuries since 2005.

Other common causes of spinal cord injuries include:

  • Birth injuries such as cerebral palsy
  • Slipping and falling which can cause both brain injuries and spinal cord injuries
  • Medical malpractice incidents such as medication errors or surgical errors
  • Violence, such as gunshot wounds and stabbing wounds
  • Diving accidents, such as diving into the shallow end of a pool
  • Trampoline accidents (very common among children)
  • Sports accidents
  • Workplace accidents and construction accidents
  • Strokes
  • Neurological disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Autoimmune diseases such as Guillain-Barre syndrome and multiple sclerosis (MS)

If you or someone you love suffered a catastrophic injury, such as a spinal injury, from someone else’s negligence, you have grounds to contact Chicago personal injury attorneys. Our experienced legal team can help you file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party so that you can receive fair compensation.

Complications Associated With Spinal Injuries

Obviously, the main issue that generally stems from a spinal injury is paralysis. But a permanent lack of mobility in some (or all) body parts can cause a variety of other health complications, including:

  • Respiratory issues and difficulty breathing
  • Dysphagia, which is difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Mental health issues such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, etc.
  • Chronic pain and/or tingling in the paralyzed muscles
  • Sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction
  • High or low blood pressure issues
  • Bedsores, which in severe cases can lead to major infections and sepsis
  • Circulation problems such as blood clots and deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Loss of bowel and bladder control, which can lead to urinary tract infections (UTI), especially if paralysis victims don’t receive help with maintaining good hygiene

Can Paralysis Be Reversed?

No, spinal cord injuries and paralysis are irreversible. The damage is done so it can’t be fixed, but it can be managed. Depending on the type of permanent paralysis suffered, many accident victims can still live a full life with ongoing medical care.

Treatment for Paralysis

Paralysis treatment varies depending on the type of accident that occurred and where the spinal injury occurred. Many paralysis victims will need surgery and a long list of medications to manage their symptoms until they are stable.

Once victims are stable, they will likely undergo some form of physical therapy to learn how to function with their limited mobility. With the right exercises and equipment, victims of paralysis can learn to strengthen the parts of their body they still do have control over. Some victims will even need speech therapy if their type of paralysis makes it difficult for them to speak.

Most paralyzed people will need specialized equipment to help them function, such as:

  • Adaptive Equipment, which can allow paralyzed people to drive, feed themselves, go to the bathroom, etc.
  • Assistive Equipment, which can help paralyzed people move around. Examples include wheelchairs, motorized chairs, scooters, canes, etc.
  • Prosthetic and Orthotic Devices such as braces for paralyzed limbs.
  • Voice Activated Technology, which allows paralyzed people to use their phones, computers, house lights, etc.

Proving Negligence in a Catastrophic Injury Claim

If your paralysis injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you need a Chicago personal injury lawyer on your side to help you prove the 4 D’s of negligence. Proving that negligence occurred is crucial for building a strong case and recovering maximum compensation.

  • Duty of Care: Everyone owes each other a specific duty of care in order to promote safety. For example, drivers owe it to each other to be focused, sober, and responsible on the roads. Doctors owe it to their patients to give them the best medical care possible.
  • Duty Dereliction: The negligent party breached this duty of care through their actions or inactions.
  • Direct Cause: The person’s negligent actions or inactions directly caused a spinal cord injury and/or paralysis.
  • Damages: The paralyzed person suffered numerous damages for which they deserve fair compensation.

A Chicago paralysis lawyer at our law firm can help victims prove negligence through evidence such as medical records, security camera footage, police reports, witness statements, and so much more.

Damages for Paralysis

Chicago paralysis lawyers can help victims file a paralysis lawsuit and seek compensation for the damages listed below.

  • Past and future medical costs
  • Past and future physical therapy costs
  • Caregiving expenses, if the victim is too disabled to care for themselves
  • Expenses for adaptive/assistive equipment, prosthetic devices, and voice activated technology
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Mental health counseling expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity if the victim can no longer complete the same job duties as they could before
  • Loss of consortium
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Call a Chicago Paralysis Lawyer at Curcio Law Offices Today

Catastrophic injuries are physically, emotionally, and financially devastating for both the victims and their families. Not only is the paralyzed person’s mobility changed forever, but oftentimes, so are their finances. Paralysis can result in lifelong, crippling debt due to the thousands of dollars of medical expenses that are required for treatment and rehabilitation. The good news is that our law firm can potentially relieve you of this financial burden through a legal claim. We have helped countless personal injury victims in the Chicago, IL area achieve some sense of the normalcy they once had before their accident. We can help you do this too. Call a Chicago paralysis lawyer at 312-321-1111 to schedule a free case evaluation today.