Paralysis is one of the most serious, life-altering conditions a California car accident victim may suffer. Depending on the extent of the paralysis, these accident victims may require constant care for the rest of their lives.
If you or a loved one has been paralyzed as a result of a car accident, you should speak with an experienced California car accident attorney as soon as possible to learn about your legal options.
What Causes Paralysis?
Paralysis often occurs when there is damage to the brain and spinal cord. Due to this damage, an individual loses the ability to control certain muscles. In addition, the muscles may become weaker.
Paralysis varies in severity. The following terms are all used to describe types of paralysis:
- Spastic: The muscles become hard and constricted. They may spasm as well.
- Flaccid: The muscles are weak and become smaller.
- Partial: The individual retains control over some of the muscles.
- Complete: The individual is unable to control or move the muscles at all.
- Temporary: The individual’s control over the muscles eventually returns.
- Permanent: The individual will never regain control over the muscles.
There are also terms that identify which areas of the body are paralyzed.
Tetraplegia refers to paralysis that affects the pelvic organs, legs, trunk, hands, and arms.
Paraplegia impacts the legs, pelvic organs, and trunk.
Due to the forces involved in motor vehicle accidents, brain, spinal cord, and nerve injuries sustained in these crashes may result in some type of paralysis. In fact, motor vehicle accidents and motorcycle accidents are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States.
Accident victims who have sustained any type of trauma to the neck, head, or spinal cord should be checked for signs of serious injury as soon as possible.
The Signs of a Spinal Cord Injury
There are many different signs of a spinal cord injury. Some of these signs may show up immediately, whereas others may take longer to manifest. If an individual does not receive prompt treatment for a spinal cord injury, additional injuries could develop.
The signs of a spinal cord injury may include any of the following:
- Trouble breathing
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Lack of coordination or movement
- Loss of sensation
- Severe pain or pressure in the head, back, or neck
- Numbness or tingling
- A stinging feeling
- The back or neck is in an abnormal position
Individuals with these symptoms should be checked for a brain or spinal cord injury.
Treatment for a Spinal Cord Injury
There is no way to undo the damage to the spinal cord if paralysis has occurred. Instead, treatment focuses on preventing additional injury and rehabilitation.
Treatment may include:
- Being immobilized
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Dietary guidance
- Recreational therapy
Other types of treatment may also be ordered, depending on the nature and extent of the paralysis.
It is not unusual for an individual with paralysis to incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills over his or her lifetime. If you were injured through no fault of your own, an experienced California car crash attorney can help you obtain the compensation you need to alleviate this financial burden.
Damages in a California Car Accident Case
In your accident claim, your attorney will pursue damages on your behalf. Damages are the expenses and losses you have or will incur as a result of your accident.
Damages commonly include:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses, including the cost of future medical care
- The cost of medical equipment
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- The cost of making alterations to a residence, such as installing a wheelchair ramp
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of employment benefits
- Loss of affection/companionship
California has imposed a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits. Therefore, if you have been paralyzed in a car accident, you have two years, generally from the date of the accident, to file a claim for your injuries.
At Kuvara Law Firm, We Are Prepared to Help You
The personal injury attorneys at Kuvara Law Firm have helped numerous clients in California with their accident claims. If you would like to schedule a free consultation with our firm, contact us at 1-800-4-INJURY.