People involved in serious truck accidents have a high risk of sustaining serious, life-altering injuries such as paralysis. Paralysis is the loss of ability to control a particular region of the body following some type of spinal cord injury (SCI). Depending on the nature, severity and location of the spinal cord injury, the resulting paralysis may also cause loss of sensation and/or loss of mobility in the affected area of the body. In other cases, the injury may only cause partial paralysis, allowing an individual to still have some limit sensation, control and/or function in the affected area.
Two of the most severe forms of paralysis include:
- Paraplegia, the loss of function, control and sensation in the lower body and limbs (the legs, bowels, bladder and lower trunk region). Paraplegics are unable to walk and, therefore, require the constant use of a wheelchair.
- Quadriplegia, the loss of function, control and feeling from the neck down. Quadriplegics many require breathing assistance, as well as 24-hour nursing assistance.
Paraplegia results from a spinal injury anywhere between the waist and the tailbone. Alternately, spinal injuries between the neck and waist cause quadriplegia.
Causes of Paraplegia
According to the Christopher and Dana Reeve foundation, nearly 6 million Americans are currently living with paralysis. About 82 percent of these patients are men, and the average age of injury is 33.4 years old. More than 42 percent of paralysis injuries are caused by truck and motor vehicle accidents. The other leading causes of paralysis include:
- Falls, 26.7 percent of all paralysis cases
- Violence, 15.1 percent
- Sports accidents, 7.6 percent
After the age of 45, falls are the most common cause of paralysis. Additionally, it's important to note that the incidence of paralysis caused by sports injuries and acts of violence decreases as people age. Other possible causes of paralysis may include birth defects, medical malpractice, a stroke or an infection.
Truck Accidents & Paralysis
While any serious motor vehicle crash can cause occupants to sustain a spinal cord injury and paralysis, truck accidents are especially likely to cause this health complication due to the fact that their larger sizes and heavier weights cause stronger, more injurious impacts.
If you or a loved one has sustained paralysis following a truck accident, and if the accident was caused or intensified by another party's negligence, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your medical bills, permanent disabilities, property damage and pain and suffering.
Paralysis victims are invited to attend a free initial consultation with an experienced truck accident attorney to learn more about their legal rights and get expert advice on how to proceed with their case.