Car accidents occur every single day in the United States. In fact, based on estimates and data gathered by the National Safety Council approximately 27,000 accidents occur each day.1 With numbers that high, it is nearly impossible that drivers commuting to work or traveling for pleasure will not come across a car accident when on the road. Even if you witness or come across a serious collision, it is easy to think that you will never find yourself in the predicament of dealing with the complications brought on by auto accidents. However, despite the preconceived notions that being a safe driver will prevent a person from being injured in an auto accident, 20 to 50 million drivers are injured or disabled in a car accident each year.2 One of the most severe and debilitating consequences of a serious car accident occurs when an injured person develops paralysis.
What is Paralysis?
Paralysis also known as hemiplegia, palsy, paraplegia, or quadriplegia, refers to a medical condition in which a person looses muscle function in part of his or her body.3 The muscle function is lost because of damage or disease to the nerve cells occurs which effects the process of sending messages to the muscle tissue. Paralysis comes in two forms complete or partial and is categorized based on where the paralysis occurs at in the body. Paralysis that affects the lower body and both legs is called paraplegia.4 Paralysis that affects both arms and legs is called quadriplegia.5 Paralysis that effect only a singular side of the body, but to multiple parts such as muscles in the arm, face, and leg is called hemiplegia.6
How Does an Accident Cause Paralysis?
There are three main ways that a serious car accident can cause paralysis.
Car accidents can cause traumatic brain injury (TBI). Over half of the annually reported traumatic brain injuries have been caused by an auto accident that created enough force to fracture or puncture the skull.7 The force may be the result of impact with another vehicle, with the interior of a car, ejection from the automobile, or sheer force of an accident can cause the brain to collide with the bone of the skull. The severe blow to the head then prevents the brain from communicating with upper muscles and creates paralysis in those muscles.
A severe auto accident may result in a spinal cord injury. This type of injury occurs when there is damage to the vertebrae, ligaments, or disks in the spinal column or spinal cord. Pressure or puncturing force during a crash can cause a traumatic blow that fractures, dislocates, crushes, or compresses the spinal cord which in turn prevents muscle control and results in paralysis.8
Injury sustained to an arm or leg during a crash can result in serious physical complications. Depending on the nature of the injury to the limb, an amputation may be required. However, if the limb is intact, but damage is sustained internally to the nerves preventing nervous systems ability to send messages then the limb may be effected by paralysis.
What to Do After You are in an Accident that Results in Paralysis?
Sever injuries that effect the ability for messages to be sent by the nervous system can create permanent damage. Seeking proper medical attention is the first step in a long process of rehabilitation and recovery. However, since the process coincides with extensive medical care and treatment, paralysis creates a large financial burden. If you have been in a car accident that caused partial or total paralysis, it is important to discuss the circumstances of your collision with an experienced auto accident attorney as the first step towards ensuring your rights and interests as a victim of a car accident are protected by recovering the maximum amount of compensation. To contact an auto accident attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.
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If you or someone you care about has been seriously injured in an auto accident, contact The Bruning Law Firm today. We provide the comprehensive, professional legal representation you deserve at a time when you need it most.
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