Windsor Accidents That Cause Paralysis
Losing your ability to walk without an assistive device or lift your arm to feed yourself or type is nothing short of a tragedy. Paralysis due to a back or neck injury is all too common in car crashes, slip and falls, and other unintentional accidents. Here in Ontario, one person sustains a spinal cord injury every day, according to Spinal Cord Injury Ontario. It takes between two and three years for a spinal cord victim to acquire optimal independence, and for many individuals who have quadriplegia or paraplegia, regaining independence may never truly happen. The pain and suffering and loss in the joy of life are just one difficult aspect of paralysis to deal with, while the incredible financial toll that any degree of paralysis involves is the other major hurdle. Paying for out-of-pocket medical expenses, medical equipment, adaptations to vehicles, major home modifications, and wheelchairs and other mobility devices only begin to cover the costs with which paralyzed victims are burdened.
Negligence and Duty of Care
Negligence comes in many shapes and forms. An impatient driver who, as she pulls out from a side street, causes a rollover collision, has violated her duty of care to other road users. A store owner who neglected to clear snow and ice from their storefront entranceway, causing a patron to slip and fall, violated his duty of care to the invitees. A company that constructed a defective truck tire, which blew out and caused a pileup on the highway, is likewise guilty of negligent manufacturing, whereas a doctor who failed to diagnose a simple illness, which led to a debilitating condition for her patient, violated the standard of care, and is negligent of medical malpractice. In all of these scenarios, one party’s actions lead to the injury, or death, of innocent victims who are now left to pick up their broken lives. There are few more deserving and more in-need types of victims than those with paralysis. Civil compensation is a form of justice, but more than that, it is a necessary financial tool for plaintiffs to lean on during this difficult time.
Causes of Neck and Back Trauma Leading to Paralysis
- Car collisions
- Truck collisions
- Cyclist collision
- Pedestrian collisions
- Motorcyclist collisions
- Slip and fall
- Trip and fall
- Unsafe premises accidents
- Various illnesses
- Medical malpractice
- Unsafe medical devices
- Defective products
- ATV collisions
- Snowmobile collisions
- Sports accidents
- Child abuse
- Struck by a falling object
- Work accidents
Four Levels of Paralysis
There are four degrees of paralysis that describe a patient’s affected body regions.
- Monoplegia—Monoplegia is the paralysis of one body part, which is typically a limb. Spinal cord victims with monoplegia usually have full mobility and feeling in all of their other body parts aside from the one affected limb or region.
- Hemiplegia—Hemiplegia affects an arm and a leg on the same side of the body. A hemiplegic person’s condition may change over time, and many people that have it do not have full paralysis of both the arm and leg immediately. Instead, patients often feel pins and needles first, then muscle weakness, and then finally full paralysis, though the function of the weakened or paralyzed limbs may change from day to day.
- Paraplegia—Paraplegia is paralysis below the waist, with paralysis usually encompassing the legs and the hips. Some degree of paralysis of the trunk may occur as well. Like hemiplegia, a paraplegic’s symptoms and degree of mobility may change from day to day, and each person’s condition is different. Some people with paraplegia may be able to walk with braces, while others may rely fully on a wheelchair.
- Quadriplegia—The most severe type of paralysis is quadriplegia, also called tetraplegia, which affects all the limbs and the trunk below the neck. Like other forms of paralysis, a person with quadriplegia may have some feeling or mobility below the neck, and their condition may vary from day to day or week to week.
Incomplete and Complete Spinal Cord Injuries
Being diagnosed with a spinal cord injury and paralysis can be a terrifying event, but not all diagnosis of paralysis is the same. An incomplete spinal cord injury is one where the nerves are not fully severed at the injury site. A person with an incomplete injury will have some feeling and mobility below the injury. They may need to rely on braces or a cane, or their paralysis could be as minimal as weakness in their legs and numbness in their calves and feet. An incomplete injury may heal in the 18 months following the accident, as well, though most people never fully recover. Of the 86,000 people with Spinal cord injuries in Canada, most do not have complete spinal cord injuries, which are rarer. Complete injuries occur when the victim has no mobility or sensation below the injury site. While the condition of some incomplete injury victims can improve (or get worse), a complete injury generally cannot get better over the months and years after the accident.
CONTACT PRESZLER INJURY LAWYERS
Spinal cord injuries require victims to completely adapt their lives and change virtually everything about their day to day activities. Whether your injury is complete or incomplete, or you were diagnosed with monoplegia or quadriplegia, our Windsor personal injury lawyers may be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve. To learn more about your legal rights, call us today at 1-800-JUSTICE to set up a consultation at no charge.