what is paralysis?

Most people can’t imagine the drastic shift that takes place with serious injuries that cause paralysis. While it is important that one remain grateful to be alive, the potentially life-altering implications of losing your mobility are indescribable. Paralysis is a serious medical condition that can leave a long-standing impact on a victim’s life physically, financially, socially, and emotionally.

DID YOU KNOW: According to a 2013 study by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, approximately 1 in every 50 people are living with paralysis.

With the challenges that victims suffer in recovery from paralysis causing injuries, it can seem impossible to feel safe and secure. That is why it is vital that victims seek a personal injury lawyer with the experience and dedication to handle the claim. This is why lowercase is committed to making a difference.

Put simply, paralysis is partial or full loss of muscle function in part of your body. It happens when something goes wrong with the way messages pass between your brain and muscles. It is typically in response to an injury or illness. This reaction can happen on just one side of the body, both, or be widespread throughout the body.

Full and partial paralysis are not medical terms, but they are commonly used to differentiate the two.

full paralysis

The fullest form of paralysis is quadriplegia. Also commonly called tetraplegia, this form of paralysis involves diminished or absent movement in the:

  • Torso
  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Hands
  • Feet

Some common symptoms associated with quadriplegia include:

  • Diminished or complete lack of sensation below the site of the injury
  • Difficulty breathing without assistance
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Issues controlling your bowels and bladder
  • Phantom pain in the body

The truth is, even people with extensive paralysis can move some parts of their bodies—usually their faces and necks. Therefore, “full” paralysis may not be completely correct. This condition can make it necessary for victims to receive assistance for many tasks, and even require artificial respiration assistance.

partial paralysis

This term can actually refer to a broad range of injuries. Some may even have nothing to do with the spine. However, in the case of spinal cord injuries, the most common form of partial paralysis is paraplegia.

This includes diminished or absent movement in the:

  • Legs
  • Feet
  • Most areas below the waist

Keep in mind, the effects of paraplegia may vary, depending on the location of the injury. In general, these effects include:

  • Inability to walk
  • Unable to feel or move legs or feet
  • Difficulty with bowel and bladder functions
  • Phantom pain below the site of the injury
  • Difficulty with sexual functioning

Some injuries can result in numerous other mild to moderate symptoms. Some people suffer less severe forms of paralysis, particularly when their injuries are very low in their spinal cords. Furthermore, brain and nerve injuries can also cause localized paralysis.

most common causes of paralysis

When considering your options for filing a claim, consider the most common causes of paralysis and how it may relate to your accident. Each unique aspect of the case may have a significant impact when it comes to proving your claim or determining damages you are entitled to. Some of the most common causes of paralysis include:


Most people may not realize that strokes are the leading cause of paralysis. In fact, over 33% of paralysis cases result from strokes. This may be due to an underlying medical condition. However, it is possible to happen as the result of medical negligence.

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

Spinal cord injuries are the second leading cause of paralysis, accounting for 27.3% of those suffering. Severe damaging or even severing of the spinal cord in the lumbar section can cause loss of mobility in the legs and/or lower extremities. It is important to note that the leading cause of spinal cord injury is motor vehicle accidents.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

In the human body, the brain is one of the most vital and yet most delicate organs. When damaged due to any kind of accident, there can be devastating and unpredictable consequences. One severe risk of traumatic brain injury is paraplegia.

Serious Personal Injury

In addition to car accidents, many work injuries and pedestrian accidents result in crushing injuries that cause serious damage to both the bone and nerves in the legs. In many cases, bone will heal with proper care and physical therapy. Nevertheless, nerve damage is extremely hard to heal and may never fully recover, which can also result in a loss of mobility.

In each case, a personal injury lawyer can be instrumental to better understanding your rights to compensation. Our paralysis attorneys at lowercase will work with you and your medical professional in order to determine the extent of your injuries, the best course of treatment, and how that will translate into damages in your claim.

liability in a paralysis suit

It is essential when handling a paralysis lawsuit that you are able to establish liability. This means collect all of the proper documentation and evidence to support your claim. A personal injury attorney who has experience with this kind of litigation knows what documentation is key to supporting your claim. Not to mention, our team goes to work helping collect the necessary evidence.

Much like any other civil case, the purpose of this process is to prove which party is responsible for the damages. Similarly, the standard for admitting evidence is typically the same as with other civil suits.

However, the type of evidence that is used to establish both liability and damages is somewhat unique. Proving a paralysis case frequently relies on the proper presentation of expert medical testimony and the introduction of medical documentation into evidence. This typically consists of:

  • Medical records
  • Bills concerning treatment that has been rendered as a direct result of the trauma
  • Expert medical testimony from a doctor, especially neurosurgeons

Of course, the specifics of each case will determine the best route for proving liability. Our job is to evaluate your claim, then work with you and any necessary expert witnesses to build a case that supports your right to compensation.

damages for paralysis

These kinds of injuries often have a substantial and permanent effect on the victim’s life. Therefore, any calculation of damages should reflect the economic, physical, and emotional losses caused by this injury.

It is very common for paralysis lawsuits to include projected future costs. As a result, you should definitely work with an experienced attorney that understands how to negotiate your claim. Damages should include:

  • Medical costs
  • Ongoing medical treatment
  • Loss of wages
  • Lost potential income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost quality of life

Be careful not to settle too soon. Far too many people fall victim to a quick pay out that ultimately doesn’t cover their costs.

In so many cases, victims of paralysis require ongoing treatment in order to maintain a quality of life. Therefore, if you or someone you love is the victim of an accident, the financial burden should not fall on you and your family to struggle with.

why lowercase?

With lowercase, our attorneys work tirelessly to assist victims in establishing liability, collecting the appropriate evidence, and processing their claim in a succinct and efficient manner to maximize recovery.

Your priority should always be on your recovery through this difficult time. If you have been paralyzed as the result of an accident, you should not be fighting with insurance companies and other parties. Let us go to work for you. We will examine the details of your accident to help you determine the right course of action. Then, we will follow through with handling your paralysis lawsuit, or negotiating a settlement on your behalf.

call and ask about our lowercase fee

The personal injury lawyers at lowercase are ready to take legal action to get the justice you deserve. Call us at 833-LOW-FEE5 (833-569-3335) and ask about the lowercase fee today.


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