Quadriplegic Injury Attorney from NYC Crash
Quadriplegia, or tetraplegia, is the term used to describe paralysis of all four limbs (both arms and both legs). A person with quadriplegia is limited in his or her ability to move or experience a sensation from the neck down. Quadriplegia occurs as a result of damage to the cervical spinal cord above the first thoracic vertebrae. There are many different causes of quadriplegia, but car accidents are one of the most common reasons for this type of paralysis.
Most people with quadriplegia will no longer be able to earn a living or care for themselves. Lifelong care will be required as there is no cure for quadriplegia, and the expenses can be astronomical.
When damage to the spinal cord segments occurs at levels C1-C8, the victim loses function and sensation in all four limbs, as well as in the torso area. When a person’s spine is damaged in a way that causes quadriplegia, the extent of the injuries will be determined by which vertebrae are affected.
- A person with an injury in the C1-C4 vertebrae will experience a greater loss in sensation and movement than a person with damage to the C5-C7 vertebrae. Those with either type of injury can experience finger dysfunction, numbness, limited sensation or burning nerve pain, an inability to control the bladder and bowels, loss of sexual function, problems with digestion and difficulty with other autonomic functions.
- A person with damage that occurs at segment C1 (the very highest vertebrae or the spinal bone closest to the neck), will lose all function from the neck down. A ventilator will be required for breathing for the remainder of the victim’s life.
Whether the injury completely severs the spinal cord or only damages its cellular structure also plays a key role in the extent of impairment. There are some people who suffer some loss of function and sensation in all four limbs but are still able to retain some feeling or control. Others are completely unable to feel or move any of their body parts below the neck.
It can be difficult at first to determine the extent of the damage caused by a spinal cord injury because damage to the spine causes significant swelling and bruising. It is important to ensure that you have healed as much as possible before you agree to a settlement. It is important that you understand the full extent of your injury and how it will affect you in the future so you can ensure you get full compensation for your injuries.
Quadriplegic Injury and Car Accidents
Each year, approximately 11,000 new spinal cord injuries occur in the United States. These injuries occur for many reasons, including violence, falls and sports injuries. However, car accidents are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries. Most estimates indicate that car accidents cause around 40-45 percent of spinal cord injuries.
Statistics indicate that 47 percent of all patients suffering from spinal cord injuries are considered quadriplegic. Of those with quadriplegia, 31.2 percent suffered incomplete spinal cord injuries (partial damage) and 17.5 percent suffered a complete injury.
Statistics show that 82 percent of all people with spinal cord injuries are male, and the median age at injury is age 26. The most frequent age at which someone suffers spinal cord damage is age 19.
Compensation for a Quadriplegic Accident
The first-year medical expenses for treating quadriplegia are estimated at $417,000. The lifetime cost of treatment for someone who suffered quadriplegia at age 25 ranges from $1.5 million to $4.5 million, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center.
These costs could include hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, nursing care, ventilators and other life-sustaining equipment, adaptive medical devices such as special beds and wheelchairs, and a host of other types of medical devices and professional health care services. Most patients with quadriplegia are unable to earn a living.
A successful car accident claim could help to secure enough money so that a victim won’t have to worry about finding money for adaptive devices, nursing care and other necessities for coping with life with quadriplegia.
If you or a loved one has quadriplegia as a result of a car accident in New York, it’s important to speak with a knowledgeable injury attorney to protect your rights. The compassionate lawyers at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., are experienced at handling car accident claims involving spinal cord injuries and paralysis.
At David Resnick & Associates, P.C., we offer a free initial evaluation of your claim. Rest assured that our attorneys will negotiate a prompt, fair and just settlement or fight aggressively to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation available under the law. Call 212-279-2000 today or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free initial consultation.
- National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center