An injury to the spine can cause serious paralysis. However, did you know paralysis can be categorized as either total or partial? There are significant differences between both of these terms and they signify the severity of the injury. It’s important to note which one has which symptoms and how they can affect the injury victim’s entire life. At The Law Office of Snyder & Snyder, P.A., our Baltimore spinal cord injury lawyers understand how difficult this time can be, but taking legal action if your injury was caused by negligence is important. You can seek compensation for the damages sustained and hold the negligent party accountable, hopefully preventing another similar situation from happen.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, there are roughly 450,000 people living with some form of spinal cord injury in the United States. Some organizations claim this number is lower, however, roughly 11,000 new spinal cord injuries occur in the U.S. each year. These are often caused by varying factors such as falls from heights, auto collisions, or any other trauma to the vertebrae. This impacts the ability of the spinal cord to send and receive messages from the brain and affects control of the body’s autonomic, sensory, and motor function. Usually, loss of control occurs below the level of the injury.
The differences between total and partial paralysis include:
- A total paralysis effects the body entirely. This means that there is a total loss of all sensory and motor function below the injured level of the spinal column. The body is affected on both sides and it is most often caused by some type of contusion or bruise to the spinal cord. It can also be due to low blood flow in the injured area of the spinal cord. Almost 50% of spinal cord injuries are considered total.
- A partial paralysis is when there is still some function below the injured level. This means that someone may be able to move one side of their body and not the other. This includes numerous patterns such as Brown-Sequard syndrome, central cord syndrome, and anterior cord syndrome.
A spinal cord injury is very serious. It can cause extreme pain, loss of feeling, urinary or bowel problems, impaired breathing, abnormal pain in the thorax, and more. Spinal cord injuries can usually result in either tetraplegia (or quadriplegia) or paraplegia. Quadriplegia affects the muscles in all four extremities — arms and legs. Paraplegia is an injury and paralysis of the lower part of the body and legs. These types of injuries often require long-term treatment and care.
Understanding what caused the spinal cord injury to begin with can help provide you with the strategy you need to move forward with legal action. You may be able to file a claim against the party responsible for your injury whether he or she be a driver on the road, a negligent property owner, a medical professional, or more. Filing a claim can help you recover compensation for the expenses you incur associated to the paralysis. This may include medical expenses, rehabilitation and therapy costs, lost income, lost future earnings, and pain and suffering.
If you or someone you love has suffered total or partial paralysis after a spine injury caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have the right to file a claim. We encourage you to call our Baltimore paralysis attorneys at Snyder & Snyder to discuss your case with our team. You shouldn’t have to concern yourself with financial hardships brought on because of negligent actions. Let us help you seek the compensation you need and deserve.