A spinal cord injury is perhaps the most devastating, life-changing injury that can be caused by a car accident.
Although there is no cure for a spinal cord injury, having expert and timely specialized care can result in a better outcome for a car accident victim left with paralysis, quadriplegia, or paraplegia. Personal injury lawyers who assist catastrophically injured accident victims know that paraplegia and quadriplegia claims are complex - it takes time to know the full extent of the injuries, to understand the medical prognosis, and to develop a comprehensive treatment plan to maximize recovery and quality of life. Personal injury lawyers also know that paraplegia and quadriplegia claims are expensive – the estimated lifetime cost of living with a spinal cord injury in BC is $1.6 – 3 million.
Difference Between Paraplegia and Quadriplegia
A spinal cord injury is one that damages the communication pathway between the brain and parts of the body. The level of paralysis that results is determined by where the damage occurs in the neck or back. Paraplegia, which affects motor function and sensation in the legs and the lower trunk, is caused by a spinal cord injury to the mid-spine or lower spine. Quadriplegia is the result of a spinal cord injury at the neck level, and can result in loss of motor function and sensation in the legs, arms, and/or torso. Spinal cord injuries can be incomplete (i.e., some sensation or functional ability is retained) or complete.
Consequences of a Spinal Cord Injury
Depending on the extent and location of damage to the spinal cord, serious and permanent physical consequences can result. An accident victim’s limbs, muscles, and organs may not function as they did before. Blood circulation, breathing function, and the elimination of waste may be impaired. The accident victim may also suffer secondary complications such as pressure ulcers, urinary tract infections, respiratory infections, and neuropathic pain. In many cases, the accident also causes other injuries (for example, brain injury, fractured bones, depression, and/or anxiety), which can complicate the prognosis and present additional recovery challenges for those with spinal cord injuries.
Maximizing rehabilitation and quality of life
An accident victim who is rendered a paraplegic or quadriplegic as a result of another person’s negligence deserves full compensation to maximize physical and emotional rehabilitation and long-term quality of life. Assistive devices, multiple treatment modalities (ie. medication, massage therapy, occupational therapy etc.) and full-time or part-time attendant care can allow people with spinal cord injuries to live independently.
Personal Injury Lawyers Help Secure Fair Compensation
Maximizing recovery and quality of life is expensive. As noted above, the cost of living with a spinal cord injury ranges in the millions. Experienced quadriplegia and paraplegia lawyers work to secure full and fair compensation including damages for pain and suffering, past wage loss, future wage loss / loss of capacity to earn income in the future, and future care needs among other possible claims. In the aftermath of sustaining a life-altering injury such as paraplegia or quadriplegia, an accident victim needs to be able to focus fully on recovery. An accident victim who is represented by an experienced personal injury lawyer can be relieved of having to worry about the management of their claim for fair compensation.
Legal Guidance & More From Our Team of Personal Injury Lawyers in BC
Bronson Jones & Company’s spinal injury lawyers have significant trial experience and extensive experience in negotiating fair settlements. We have also developed a comprehensive network of medical and occupational specialists, therapists, rehabilitation specialists, and others to help you deal with the impact of your injury on your physical health, family life, finances and future. Reports from these experts may be essential in the development of your case. If you or a loved one has sustained paraplegic or quadriplegic injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident, call any of the 13 Bronson Jones locations in the Lower Mainland for our expertise and advice. All of our cases are handled on a contingency (percentage) basis and you don’t pay until we collect.