If you or a loved one is coping with a life-altering quadriplegic injury after a car accident, you’ve come to the right place. It is imperative that you educate yourself about the process and are aware of all of your legal rights. Under South Carolina law, bringing a personal injury claim could help you pay for treatment expenses, rehabilitation, lost wages, other losses, and future medical needs related to your car accident injuries.
Shockingly, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), car crashes and other motor vehicle accidents cause nearly 40% of spinal cord injuries. Their report also found that a spinal cord injury victim with any amount of paralysis will require medical care and assistance costing more than $1.2 million over the course of his or her lifetime. For a person with quadriplegia, in which a spinal cord injury causes paralysis throughout most of the body, that figure ranges from more than $2.3 million to more than $5.1 million.
Many law firms advertise for these highly-specialized cases. However, Joye Law Firm has the experience your family needs to protect your future, all while providing you with the warm, caring service you expect and deserve.
We Investigate Auto-Related Injuries That Cause Quadriplegia
Joye Law Firm has earned a reputation for advocating for individuals and families throughout South Carolina who are dealing with quadriplegia suffered in car accidents. Our attorneys are the real deal. With 250+ cumulative legal experiences, scores of legal awards and recognition, and a track record of success, including having secured South Carolina’s largest personal injury verdict, we fight for those who are facing overwhelming burdens after crashes. Whether your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence or by a motor vehicle’s defect, we’re ready to put our strength behind you, too. We pledge to find all the parties responsible and to seek the maximum amount of compensation for your medical bills, lost income, pain, and suffering, and other losses under South Carolina law.
Call Joye Law Firm at 888-324-3100 or use our online contact form to get started with a free case review. We can discuss all the details of your case and explain your prospects for a successful claim for compensation. If we see a path ahead, we will move aggressively to demand the full compensation you deserve. We’ll also provide you with a personalized team of legal professionals to help answer your every question and help walk you through the process.
Joye Law Firm pursues all cases pertaining to quadriplegia and other catastrophic injuries on a contingency-fee-basis. This means we do not charge a fee unless we recover compensation for you. Our skilled legal team will fully investigate your car accident and injuries without any upfront cost to you. Contact us today to get your questions answered and to seek the compensation you and your family need during this difficult time.
Understanding the Meaning of Quadriplegia
Quadriplegia, which is often referred to as tetraplegia, is a partial or total loss of sensory and motor function in the four limbs and torso called paralysis. Paralysis occurs as a result of a spinal cord injury. The spinal cord, which runs the length of the spine, is protected by the vertebrae, which make up the backbone. In most cases, paralysis is due to traumatic injuries, such as a blow to the spine in a car accident. The spinal cord can be crushed (e.g., due to a blow to the vertebrae that causes compression of the spinal cord) or torn (e.g., due to extreme movement of the spine).
Non-traumatic causes of spinal cord injury include cancer, osteoporosis, spinal tumors, multiple sclerosis (MS), and other illnesses.
Quadriplegia results from an injury to the spinal cord among the seven vertebrae in the neck, or the cervical vertebrae (top to bottom, C1 to C7). In general, all quadriplegic injury patients have a motor and sensory deficits in the arms, trunk, and legs. The areas of impaired mobility usually include the fingers, hands, arms, chest, legs, feet, and toes. The head, neck, and shoulders may also be affected. However, patients with quadriplegia have different amounts of loss, depending on the level of the injury. Loss of function occurs below the point of injury on the spinal cord, which is identified by the vertebrae. The loss may be complete or incomplete, according to the amount of damage to the spinal cord.
- In cases of a high tetraplegic injury (above C3), the patient may experience “locked-in syndrome” in which they are aware of everything but cannot communicate, or communication is reduced to blinking and eye movements.
- C4 injuries and above may require a ventilator for the person to breathe.
- C5 injuries often allow shoulder and biceps control, but no control at the wrist or hand.
- C6 injuries generally allow wrist control, but no hand function.
- C7 injuries allow the patient to straighten their arms but may still cause dexterity problems in the hands and fingers.
Complications from Quadriplegia
The most common complications of quadriplegia are:
- Respiratory problems, such as pulmonary edema and pneumonia
- Pulmonary thromboembolism and other embolisms (blood clots)
- Urinary and pulmonary infections
- Pressure sores (bed sores)
- Spastic muscles
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
Patients also experience:
- Changes in skin sensitivity
- Loss of sexual function
- Weight changes
- Emotional stress
- Stress on relationships
Recovery After a Quadriplegia Injury
Quadriplegia cannot be cured. Patients may require physical therapy to help them with pain and muscle function. Wheelchairs can provide mobility. Counseling can help with emotional issues. At home, it may be necessary to hire professional caregivers to ease the burden on family members.
Lifetime Costs of Being Quadriplegic
The average yearly health care and living expenses and the estimated lifetime costs that are directly attributable to a spinal cord injury vary greatly according to the severity of the injury. Because of the numerous variables, the NSISC report’s figures do not include indirect costs, such as lost wages, fringe benefits, and productivity, which many spinal cord injury victims suffer.
Even without these losses considered, the NSCISC still estimates the yearly costs of living with quadriplegia as:
- High tetraplegia/quadriplegia (C1 – C4): $1.16 million in the first year, $202,032 in each subsequent year
- Low tetraplegia/quadriplegia (C5 – C8): $840,676 in the first year, $123,938 in subsequent years
Recent medical breakthroughs are continuing to improve the lives of patients with paralysis. However, the average life expectancy for paralysis patients remains significantly below that of people without spinal cord injuries. Mortality rates are significantly higher during the first year after injury than during subsequent years, particularly for patients with the most severe neurological impairments.
For a 25-year-old who sustains a high quadriplegic injury (C1 – C4), the estimated lifetime cost of health care and living expenses is more than $5.1 million. With a low tetraplegic injury (C5 – C7), a 25-years-old’s lifetime costs exceed $3.7 million.
For a 50-year-old with a high quadriplegia injury (C1 – C4), the estimated lifetime cost is more than $2.8 million. With a low tetraplegic injury (C5 – C7), a 50-years-old’s lifetime costs exceed $2.3 million.
These estimates do not account for the additional other economic and punitive damages that may be available through a personal injury lawsuit.
Damages You Can Recover in a Car Accident Lawsuit
If your quadriplegic injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a lawsuit demanding compensation for your losses, including:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Future medical and care expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages (in cases of malicious or egregious actions)
In addition to investigating to determine who was responsible for your injuries, Joye Law Firm will leave no stone unturned. We will develop a full accounting of your costs, losses, and future needs to get you the maximum compensation achievable under the law. This would include a projection of future medical and life care needs and their costs, as well as a demand that you be compensated for the life and lifestyle unjustly taken away from you and your family.
If, after submitting our demands to responsible insurance policy carriers, we do not receive a settlement offer that is proper and acceptable to you, we would be prepared to file a formal personal injury lawsuit and persuade a judge and jury of the compensation you are due.
Contact a South Carolina Quadriplegia Injury Attorney Now
Joye Law Firm is a highly respected personal injury law firm with a solid reputation for results and exceptional customer service. Many lawyers hold leadership positions on state and nationwide legal organizations, and we know what it takes to help South Carolina residents get the medical treatment and compensation they need and deserve after suffering quadriplegic injuries in car accidents. We know because we’ve done it.
Our South Carolina quadriplegia injury attorneys work with accident reconstruction engineers medical experts, and other trial experts to prove your case and get you the full amount of compensation you deserve. We’ll also work with your doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies to make sure your medical care is not interrupted and you are not hounded by creditors as we work to demand a complete and proper monetary settlement in your case.
If you or a loved one has suffered spinal injuries in a South Carolina car accident that led to quadriplegia, help starts now. Our attorneys can come to your home or hospital to talk to you about your rights and legal options. Call Joye Law Firm at 888-324-3100 or complete our online form for a free consultation today.