Paraplegia, or paralysis of the lower body, is a life-changing condition. Often caused by disease and spinal cord injuries, paraplegia permanently affects an individual’s ability to get around, go to work, and even care for him or herself.
Sadly, paraplegia is often the result of someone else’s careless or reckless conduct. If you or your loved one became partially paralyzed after suffering a spinal cord injury, reach out to Brown & Barron right away. Our Baltimore paraplegia attorneys can review your situation and determine whether you have grounds for legal action. We are fully prepared to aggressively advocate for you and seek the justice you deserve.
Call us today at (410) 698-1717 or contact us online to request a complimentary case review.
Although it is often thought of as an injury itself, paraplegia is a term used to describe a set of symptoms associated with a specific pattern of paralysis. It affects the lower half of the body, including both legs. In contrast, quadriplegia, or tetraplegia, is a pattern of paralysis that affects all four limbs—both legs and both arms—as well as the trunk.
Generally speaking, paraplegia results from damage to the nervous system. Different degrees of damage, as well as varying locations of injury, can impact how paralysis affects the body and its systems. In some, specific cases, paraplegia is not just a symptom of an injury or illness but, rather, a unique condition of its own.
What Are the Symptoms & Effects of Paraplegia?
The exact symptoms and effects of paraplegia can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of spinal cord injury that occurred, the reaction of paralyzed muscles in response to the injury, the location of the injury, and more.
Paraplegia can result due to either of the following:
- Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury: With an incomplete spinal cord injury, there is a partial loss of function. The individual may retain some sensation, movement, and function below the point of injury, but such abilities are often limited.
- Complete Spinal Cord Injury: When the spinal cord injury is complete, there is a total loss of function below the point of injury. This typically results in paralysis, as well as certain other symptoms, such as incontinence and sexual dysfunction.
Additionally, there are two distinct ways in which the muscles may react to paraplegia:
- Flaccid Paraplegia: Flaccid paraplegia refers to a type of paraplegia in which the muscles lose all function and remain limp.
- Spastic Paraplegia: Spastic paraplegia, on the other hand, occurs when muscles cannot work on their own and contract involuntarily.
The location of the injury along the spine also affects paraplegia symptoms. Generally speaking, the higher the injury, the higher the extent of the paralysis. For example, a high thoracic spine injury can result in complete paraplegia, which involves paralysis of the legs and hips, as well as the abdominals. Those with complete paraplegia often experience difficulties breathing and coughing, as well as issues with bladder and bowel control.
Lower spine injuries may lead to complete paraplegia without affecting the abdominal muscles, or they may result in partial paralysis of the legs without paralysis of the abdominals or hips.
Common Causes of Paraplegia
Paraplegia is caused by damage to the central nervous system, often accompanying a spinal cord injury or medical condition, such as spine tumors, cysts, infections, ischemia, diabetes, and cancer. Certain congenital, genetic, autoimmune, and inflammatory conditions, as well as some birth injuries, can also lead to partial or complete paraplegia.
Paraplegia resulting from spinal cord injuries is often associated with:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Diving accidents
- Serious falls
- Sports and recreation accidents
In many cases, paraplegia results from the negligent and wrongful conduct of others. When this occurs, injured victims may be entitled to financial compensation for their resulting medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, lost quality of life, and other damages.
Reach us online or by phone at (410) 698-1717. We look forward to learning how we can assist you with your paraplegia injury claim.
If you believe that your injury or your loved one’s injury was the result of another person or party’s wrongful behavior, you should consider hiring an experienced lawyer who can assist you in filing a catastrophic injury claim. You could be entitled to monetary compensation, but seeking the fair recovery you are owed can be extremely challenging without the help of an attorney.
At Brown & Barron, our Baltimore paraplegia lawyers are well-versed in catastrophic injury cases, including those involving partial and complete paralysis. We understand the unique difficulties people with paraplegia face, from obtaining extensive medical care to learning to adapt to new disabilities and financial challenges.
Our goal is to help you not only hold the liable party accountable but also to recover the maximum settlement you are owed. If necessary, we are even ready to represent you at trial.
There is no risk and no obligation in speaking to a member of our legal team. We offer free initial consultations and contingency fees.
This means that you do not pay anything upfront when you hire Brown & Barron; instead, we only collect legal fees if/when we recover compensation for you.
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