What is Quadriplegia?
Quadriplegia comes from the Latin word “quad” meaning four and “plegia” or paralysis in Greek. Quadriplegia is the total or partial loss of sensation and motion in all four limbs. The level of paralysis depends on the point at which the injury occurred on the spinal cord, and the severity of the injury.
If your paralysis was the result of another person’s careless or reckless conduct, you owe it to yourself to speak with one of our attorneys. Your serious injury deserves a serious law firm with a record of high value verdicts and settlements in catastrophic injury cases.
At Your Law Buddy, our team of aggressive attorneys has the highest possible rating for legal ability and ethical standards. Our attorneys have dedicated themselves to pursuing justice for injured individuals just like you throughout the United States.
The Many Forms of Quadriplegia
The spinal cord is actually a bundle of nerves inside the bones and discs of the spine. Damage to the spinal cord disturbs those nerve signals. Injury to the upper part of the spine is the usual cause of quadriplegia. The spinal cord damage in that area may be caused by a motor vehicle accident or job-related accident, including a fall from height.
Quadriplegia can be complete or incomplete. These terms are used to define the level of sensation and movement below the level of the injury.
- Complete spinal cord injury (or traumatic) means that there is no motion or sensation at all below the level of the injury on either side of the body and in all four limbs. Spinal cord injury that results in complete quadriplegia is usually between the vertebrae near the top of your spine. These are known as the cervical nerves. The vertebrae in the cervical region of the spine are numbered as C1 through C8. The most severe spinal cord injuries in C1 through C4 result from nerve damage here. High-level injuries such as those occurring at C5 and above can leave spinal cord injury victims almost totally paralyzed in the arms, hands, trunk and legs. These injury victims generally require extensive daily care and assistance with getting dressed, eating and bowel and bladder help. Those injuries can also affect the victim’s ability to breathe on his or her own or speak clearly.
- Incomplete (non-traumatic) spinal cord injury can also result in quadriplegia. Incomplete quadriplegia is characterized by loss of partial movement and loss of partial sensation below the point of injury. The retained sensation and motion may be focused in one limb only or may be spread across all limbs. Quadriplegics that sustain injuries at a lower level of the spine may be able to live independently after having completed rehabilitation.
Due to the decrease in mobility, quadriplegics are highly susceptible to physical complications including respiratory infections, thrombosis, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Ongoing medical care is usually necessary to help to prevent these issues from occurring.
Causes of Quadriplegia
According to the Mayo Clinic, primary causes of spinal cord injuries, including quadriplegia, include:
- Motor vehicle accidents. Each year car and motorcycle accidents are responsible for more than one in three of every new spinal cord injury.
- Falls. About one in every four spinal cord injuries is caused by a fall. People aged 65 or older are most vulnerable to fall-related spinal injuries, these accidents can be devastating for our seniors.
- Violence. About one in every six spinal cord injuries is caused by injuries such as gunshot and knife wounds.
- Sports/recreation. People who participate in sporting events or outside recreation, such as contact sports or diving, will make up one of every nine spinal cord injuries each year.
- Drinking. The use of alcohol factors into 25 percent of spinal cord injuries each year.
Facts About Quadriplegia
The National Spinal Cord Injury Database reports that there are 12,500 new cases of spinal cord injury every year. About 14 percent of paralysis victims suffer from complete quadriplegia. Other statistics on these devastating injuries include:
- 79% of spinal cord injuries occur among males.
- The average age of injury is currently 42 years.
- The most common neurologic level is incomplete quadriplegia.
- 47% of spinal cord injuries result in quadriplegia.
- Violence is rapidly increasing as a cause for spinal cord injury.
- Only 52% of those that sustain a spinal cord injury are covered by private health insurance at the time of the injury.
Ongoing Costs of Quadriplegia—Why You Need Our Firm
The average yearly health care and living expenses and the lifetime costs of a spinal cord injury are highest for complete quadriplegia patients. Consider these expenses, as documented by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center in Birmingham, Alabama:
- A high quadriplegia injury (C1-C4) will cost $1,023,924 in year one, with average yearly costs thereafter of $177,808. The estimated lifetime costs of someone who suffers that injury at age 25 will be $4,543,182. The lifetime cost for someone who is injured at the age of 50 is estimated at $2,496,856.
- For low quadriplegia injuries (C5-C8), first year expenses average $739,874 with an annual cost subsequent years of $109,077. The estimated lifetime costs of someone who suffers that injury at age 25 will be $3,319,533. The lifetime cost for someone who is injured at the age of 50 is estimated at $2,041,809.
Lawyers that Specialize in Quadriplegia Injury Cases
How will you and your family cover those ongoing medical and living expenses? America Law Center is here to help. Here’s how:
- If you are unable to travel, we come to you
- We are litigators that have been successful in many lawsuits, winning against large corporations
- You will be treated with respect, dignity and compassion
- We have a record of high value settlements and verdicts.
If you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injured caused by another person or company, we urge you to connect with us immediately.
Dealing with your injuries should be your focus. Let the attorneys at America Law Center handle your legal issues and aggressively pursue fair compensation for you.
Contact us today so that we can review the circumstances of you injury and advise you as to how to proceed.