Philadelphia Quadriplegia Lawyer
Quadriplegia is often believed to be a rare condition only caused by extremely damaging accidents. The truth is that quadriplegic injuries are much more common than most realized. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center at The University of Alabama, nearly 150,000 American suffer from quadriplegia. More than 7,000 new quadriplegia injuries are reported every year.
Quadriplegia is caused by damage to spinal vertebrae C1 through C8. The condition causes paralyzation and loss of sensation in the arms and legs and possibly the entire body. Generally, the lower the number of the damaged vertebrae, the more devastating the condition is likely to be.
For example, an individual who suffers damage to vertebrae C1 would likely be paralyzed from the neck down and may require breathing assistance. An individual who suffers injury to the C6 or C7 vertebrae may be able to breathe on their own and even have some use of their arms.
Since quadriplegics have little to no use of their arms or legs, they are very often dependent on family, friends, and professional caregivers. They could require a personal caregiver to help with basic functions like cooking, cleaning, bathing and getting dressed. They also likely need regular, personal medical attention. Patients with the most severe forms of quadriplegia may need to live full-time in a dedicated medical care facility.
As devastating as the physical toll is, the financial toll can be equally bad.
When an individual first suffers a serious spine injury, they usually spend 15 to 30 days in a hospital, followed by another 45 to 60 days undergoing rehabilitation. That initial treatment costs, on average, approximately $190,000.
Quadriplegics also require another $490,000 in care and treatment during the first year after suffering their injury. That could include the costs of moving the injured individual into an assisted living facility or hiring private help to assist the transition to day-to-day life at home.
Even after the first year of care, there are still ongoing costs for care and treatment. On average, the lifetime care of a quadriplegic who is injured at age 25 will cost more than $1.4 million. That high cost is even more daunting when one considers the fact that most quadriplegics are unable to work and have no income. The unemployment rate for sufferers of sever spine injuries is over 68 percent.
Quadriplegia and other spinal conditions are caused by anything that causes trauma to the head or neck. The most common cause of quadriplegia is car accidents, which are behind 38 percent of all diagnosed cases. Violence, falls, and sports injuries are also common, causing 28, 21, and six percent, respectively. The number of violence-related spinal injuries has increased in recent years, while those related car accidents have dropped.
In some cases, a car accident or violence may have caused an initial injury, but medical malpractice or hospital infections may have intensified it to the point of causing quadriplegia. Some infections can cause spinal injury, as can a failure by the doctor to diagnose an infection, hematoma, or a spinal compression.
Individuals who suffer quadriplegia face an uphill battle, both physically and financially. If their injury was caused by another's negligence, they may be able to pursue legal action for damages to cover their expenses and pain and suffering. Damages can include things like medical bills, ongoing care, rehabilitation, loss of wages due to an inability to work and pain and suffering.
One of our experienced Philadelphia quadriplegia injury lawyers can get you the maximum possible compensation available under Pennsylvania law. Call us today.
Please call the Lassen Law Firm now to see how we can help.