Paraplegia is the paralysis of both lower limbs that often happens as a result of spinal cord trauma, most likely the result of some sort of accident, although there are cases when it is caused by illness. Quadriplegia is when the damage is located in the cervical region of the spine and affects all four limbs. Most of these spinal cord traumas involve the loss of sensation and function below the level of injury, including loss of control in the bladder and bowel. Often these paralyzed individuals end up in wheelchairs and need some form of assisted living.
Paralysis and Spinal Cord Trauma Facts
With over 250,000 Americans suffering some sort of spinal cord trauma, it is important to know the facts surrounding the paralysis. A few of the more pertinent include:
- 52% of paralyzed individuals are considered paraplegic and 47% are quadriplegic.
- Approximately 11,000 spinal cord trauma accidents occur each year.
- 82% of these are male.
- 56% of injuries occur between the ages of 16 and 30, with the average age of these paralyzed individuals at 31.
- Only 52% of paralyzed individuals are covered by private health insurance at time of injury.
- The initial hospital stay following paralysis costs an average of $140,000.
- First year expenses for paraplegics are $152,000 and $417,000 for quadriplegics.
Paralysis and Life in a Wheelchair
Give that the average paralyzed victim is male, 31 years of age, and will have to adjust to life in a wheelchair, the damage of spinal cord trauma can be lifelong, especially if the male is considered the bread winner for the family. In addition to medical expenses that can range into the six and seven figures, victims also face limited earning potential due to their condition. As a result, many who suffer paralysis can face bankruptcy and depression.
Given that the leading causes of paralysis in descending order are motor vehicle accidents, falls, sports (most of these spinal cord traumas involve diving), and violence, it is often the case that someone else is responsible for the injuries suffered.
If you or a loved one is the victim of a spinal cord trauma and has been paralyzed, contact an attorney as soon as possible to hold the responsible parties accountable. At Arnold & Itkin, we will listen to your story free of charge, and we charge no fee unless we win your case.