Understanding Quadriplegia from a Car Accident: Queens Car Accident Attorneys Explain Damages
One of the most debilitating injuries from a car accident is a spinal cord injury or SCI. Our Queens car accident attorneys understand that any type of motor vehicle crash could result in severe spinal cord injuries, especially 18 wheeler wrecks in New York. Quadriplegia is the most common type of SCI. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), quadriplegia cases account for approximately 58.7% of all spinal cord injury cases. The NSCISC also provides that the most common cause of all spinal cord injuries are motor vehicle accidents.
As Queens car accident attorneys at the COHEN & COHEN PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS, P.C. , we know firsthand how devastating any type of spinal cord injury could be to a victim and his or her family. This is particularly true of quadriplegia cases which can result in catastrophic disability and extreme lifetime medical costs. Indeed, quadriplegia from a car accident can cost more than just physical and emotional damages. Victims often suffer overwhelming financial damages. The NSCISC lists the average expense for the first year of a quadriplegia injury as over $1.1 million. The estimated lifetime cost when quadriplegia occurs at the age of 25 is almost $4.9 million and at the age of 50 almost $2.7 million.
Compensation for Quadriplegia Cases
These are staggering financial statistics that demonstrate why it is so important to retain Queens car accident lawyers that know how to handle catastrophic personal injury cases such as quadriplegia and spinal cord injury cases. Victims of quadriplegia cases may be entitled to the following types of compensation for their injuries and damages:
- Pain and suffering, both past pain and suffering and future pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Lost wages from personal injuries or medical appointments
- Lost future earnings from being unable to work in the same job or career field and having to take a job paying less
- Loss of consortium
- Mobility assistant devices such as braces, wheelchairs, or other devices
- Modifications to a victims vehicle or house including chairlifts
- Nursing care, including around-the-clock care as one ages, and
- Any other damages from quadriplegia from a car accident in New York.
What is Quadriplegia?
Quadriplegia is a type of spinal cord injury that affects all four limbs and most of the torso. Also known as tetraplegia, quadriplegia occurs in the cervical spine area or the neck. This is important because the spinal cord is the messenger superhighway between the brain and the rest of the body. The brain is the body’s supercomputer that receives nerve signals and messages from other parts of the body and interprets them, formulates a response, and reacts. The message that the brain sends is then transferred down the spinal cord to that part of the body.
If there is damage to the spinal cord, that signal to and from the brain can become disrupted. When the damage to the spinal cord is in the neck, that means that a large portion of the body is cut off from the brain. This is in contrast to paraplegia which generally affects the lower limbs and lower torso because the injuries are in either the thoracic (mid-back) or lumbar (lower back) area of the spinal cord. Thus, with paraplegia only about half of the body is cut off from the brain where with quadriplegia almost the entire body is disrupted.
Types of Quadriplegia
Generally, there are two types of quadriplegia. The first type of quadriplegia is incomplete or partial quadriplegia. This occurs when there is some damage to the spinal cord in the neck but the spinal cord only suffers partial damage. This means that the spinal cord is not completely severed and some messages to and from the brain to the rest of the body may still be sent. Individuals with incomplete or partial quadriplegia may be able to move some parts of their body and their four limbs. Physical therapy and occupational therapy may help a victim with incomplete or partial quadriplegia from a car accident regain some sensation and motor movement.
The second type of quadriplegia is complete or total quadriplegia. This occurs when there is extensive damage to the spinal cord in the neck that completely ruptures the spinal cord. This means that the spinal cord is cut into two pieces and therefore separated. Messages from one end of the spinal cord simply cannot reach the other end of the spinal cord. This means that messages to and from the brain cannot be sent or received. While there is some promising spinal cord research and experimental treatments ongoing, it is still very unlikely for a victim with complete or total quadriplegia from ever regaining sensation or motor movement.
How Car Accidents Can Cause Quadriplegia
Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries according to NSCISC. This is unfortunate because most motor vehicle accidents can be completely avoided with the proper degree of care and skill required of motorists. This means that most motor vehicle accidents are reckless, careless, and can be prevented. Some of the most common causes of negligent New York car accidents resulting in spinal cord injuries include the following:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Running a red light
- Failure to yield
- Improper left turn
- Improperly merging onto a highway or interstate
- Driver inexperience
- Running a stop sign
- Following too closely or tailgating
- Drugged driving, and many other causes.
How Much Does a Quadriplegia Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
Here at COHEN & COHEN PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS, P.C. , our Queens car accident lawyers understand that victims who have sustained catastrophic personal injuries and now suffer from quadriplegia have increased medical bills and decreased income due to lost wages from being unable to work. This is why our law firm takes personal injury cases such as quadriplegia from a car accident on a contingency fee basis. Victims who have suffered serious personal injuries only need to pay us once we recover money for them in a settlement or verdict/award. This allows families to use the limited funds remaining for medical bills and other household expenses while their loved one suffers from this catastrophic injury.
There is no risk to get started with our Queens car accident lawyers. Learn more about how we can help protect your rights to compensation after you or a loved one has suffered spinal cord injuries such as quadriplegia by calling 800-247-8164 for a free case evaluation or use our convenient and easy-to-use contact us box available here.