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Spinal Cord Injury

What to Know if You’ve Suffered a Spinal Cord Injury That Resulted in Paralysis

According to Cleveland Clinic, about one in 50 Americans lives with some form of paralysis. And while there are many different types, even a mild, partial paralysis injury can completely change a person’s life. To make it worse, like any health condition, paralysis can set off a chain reaction. Most people eventually find themselves also dealing with a secondary condition—and the associated physical, emotional, and financial costs that stem from it.

At Shaheen & Gordon, P.A., our catastrophic injury lawyers help New Hampshire and Maine residents recover compensation after negligence leaves them paralyzed. If someone else was to blame for your injury, we are here to fight for you. We will thoroughly investigate your case, working to get you compensation for the full extent of your injuries—that means for your paralysis injury and any secondary conditions that may result.

Calculating Damages in a Paralysis Case

The point of legal action is to not only hold accountable the at-fault party, but to provide financial support to the injured. In the context of paralysis, this financial support/compensation often amounts to six or seven figures. How much compensation is owed to a paralyzed accident victim is determined by how much the injury has impacted their life, as well as the medical bills and other expenses incurred because of it.

To calculate an accident victim’s damages in a paralysis case, the courts will take the following into account:

  • The financial losses experienced as a direct result of the injury
  • Whether the victim can no longer work or must change careers because of the injury
  • Whether the victim needs a part-time or full-time caregiver
  • The emotional impact the injury has had on the victim’s life, from pain and suffering to loss of enjoyment of life
  • Other negative outcomes of the injury, such as any secondary conditions

Common Secondary Conditions Related to Paralysis

Depending on the type, paralysis may cause a person to develop one or more of these common health conditions. Our trial team is equipped to take on paralysis cases involving any of these secondary conditions and more.

  1. Infections

Paralysis increases a person’s risk of developing a serious infection. The loss of sensation in the paralyzed area makes it prone to injury, as well as more likely for any injury to go undetected. Common infections to look out for include urinary tract infections (UTIs) and pneumonia. An untreated infection can lead to serious complications, such as sepsis.

  1. Blood Clots

A lack of movement can lead to a reduced flow of blood, causing it to clot. It is therefore very common for paralysis victims to develop blood clots and other similar conditions.

  1. Pressure Injuries

Immobility can also result in the development of pressure ulcers, or bedsores. When left alone, pressure injuries can become infected and extend to the bone. Severe stage-four ulcers can result in death.

  1. High or Low Blood Pressure

Both high and low blood pressure can be byproducts of paralysis. Poor diet and a lack of exercise can exacerbate these conditions, with the potential to result in further injury.

  1. Heart Problems

Unfortunately, paralysis can lead to a variety of heart problems and disease, such as heart attack, heart failure, arrhythmia, cardiomyopathy, and more.

  1. Depression

Paralysis can also lead to depression, in part because those living with paralysis tend to have their lives turned upside down. Physical limitations leave them unable to go back to how their lives were before. This adjustment period can be very difficult, both physically and emotionally.

  1. Anxiety

Paralysis can also put a person at increased risk for developing an anxiety disorder. There are many different types of these disorders, from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) to panic disorder. If you find that anxiety gets in the way of your everyday life, it is recommended to see a doctor.

  1. Erectile Dysfunction

Paralysis can lead to erectile dysfunction and other problems related to sex. For example, male paralysis patients may be able to develop an erection but not maintain it. Others may not be able to develop one at all.

This can occur even if there is no clear physical reason for it. This is because sexual dysfunction can also go hand in hand with other secondary conditions of paralysis. Depression is a common example.

  1. Loss of Bowel Control

Many paralysis victims have trouble controlling their bowel movements. This ranges from having some stool leak out when going about your day to a complete loss of control.

  1. Urinary Incontinence

Similar to loss of bowel control, many paralysis victims struggle with urinary incontinence. Leakage may occur when sneezing, coughing, exercising, or at seemingly random times throughout the day.

All the above secondary conditions can be treated by a qualified medical professional. If you suspect that you have developed any of these conditions after paralysis, don’t wait to seek medical help. A problem is always easier to treat earlier on.

Paralyzed by Another’s Negligence? We Can Help.

At Shaheen & Gordon, we fight for accident victims who suffered catastrophic injury, including paralysis, due to the negligence of someone else.

Backed by more than 40 years of experience, we will work to win the compensation owed to you. Our fearless trial attorneys have recovered millions of dollars for our clients through our personalized advocacy. Let us advocate for you!

Call (888) 801-9916 for a free consultation. We accept cases in New Hampshire and Maine.