Nearly 6 million Americans are living with some form of paralysis today, according to a study by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Foundation. That staggering number is the same amount as the combined populations of Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
Many times, paralysis occurs as the result of a devastating accident on the roads, at work or due to defects in consumer products. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), 40 percent of reported spinal cord injuries since 2005 are the result of a motor vehicle accident. An additional 28 percent were the result of slip-and-fall accidents, 15 percent were due to acts of violence, with the remainder due to sports injuries or other causes.
People who are living in South Carolina and have become paralyzed due to the negligence of others need spinal cord injury attorneys who understand the physical, emotional and financial burdens suffered by paralyzed individuals and can help them receive compensation for their injuries.
Our Charleston paralysis injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm are committed to helping paralyzed individuals improve their quality of life. Our team of lawyers has achieved million-dollar settlements for clients and will give your case the full attention it deserves.
Get Help from Our Paralysis Injury Attorneys Today
It’s easy to get help from Joye Law Firm. Just Call Joye Law Firm. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be reached by phone at 877-936-9707 or by using our online contact form. It is one of our law firm’s client commitments that we return all phone calls within 24 hours or one business day. There is no fee for your first consultation.
Joye Law Firm has offices in Clinton, Charleston and Myrtle Beach. Our attorneys can handle cases across South Carolina, including Florence, Richland County, Orangeburg, Columbia, Horry County (including Conway and North Myrtle Beach), North Charleston, Mount Pleasant and Summerville.
Our paralysis injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm are skilled in helping clients receive vital compensation in order to rebuild their lives after becoming paralyzed in an accident. Our South Carolina lawyers have secured settlements for accident victims with paralysis, including a $7 million settlement in a case involving a woman who was paralyzed due to a defective door latch and a $2.5 million settlement for a man who suffered paralysis injuries due to a defect in a car roof.
The lawyers at Joye Law Firm have also resolved workers’ compensation cases for injured workers who have sustained partial paralysis due to spinal cord injuries and conditions such as cauda equina syndrome. Recognizing these conditions is crucial as any degree of paralysis could entitle an injured worker to lifetime disability benefits instead of their being capped at the standard 500 weeks of benefits.
While every case is different and past results are in no way intended to guarantee that a similar result can be obtained in a case, past results obtained by a law firm are an indication of the firm’s experience when it comes to serious injury and wrongful death cases. For more details about the results obtained for previous Joye Law Firm clients, please see the Results tab on our home page.
With nearly 250 years of combined litigation experience, our spinal cord injury lawyers at Joye Law Firm have also received an AV rating from the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell, and several have been recognized as Super Lawyers.
Paralysis Changes Lives
Becoming paralyzed is life-altering. In the flash of a second, an accident can rob you of your freedom, making even the simplest tasks difficult or impossible. You may no longer be able to participate in activities you once treasured. You may even have to quit your job. No matter what, there’s no doubt that your life will never be the same.
What makes matters worse is that paralyzed individuals are often unable to afford health insurance that adequately covers the complex secondary or chronic problems that stem from their injuries. Research from the Reeve Foundation found that over half of paralyzed individuals have incomes of $25,000 or less, yet their lifelong medical needs will exceed their means by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Paralysis is a general term describing a disorder of the central nervous system that makes it difficult or impossible for a person to move his or her upper or lower extremities, typically due to a spinal cord injury.
But paralysis takes many forms. Doctors have developed classifications for each type of injury, based on its location and whether the paralysis is complete (or permanent) or incomplete (meaning that some motor or sensory functions are intact). In South Carolina, about 12 percent of traumatic spinal cord injuries are complete, states the S.C. Spinal Cord Injury Research Fund.
- Quadriplegia/tetraplegia: When paralysis affects both arms and legs, people have quadriplegia, also called tetraplegia. Quadriplegia occurs when the neck (or cervical) region of the spinal cord is injured, especially around the fifth and seventh vertebrae. In addition to paralysis of the limbs, nerve signals to the trunk and pelvic areas of the body are also lost, as well as control of vital bodily functions, including the ability to breathe without assistive devices. Since 2005, 56 percent of people with spinal cord injuries who have been discharged from U.S. hospitals have left with quadriplegia, according to NSCISC. The estimated lifetime expenses for those injured at age 25 will be over $7.6 million. For those who become quadriplegic at age 50, their lifetime costs will exceed $4.3 million.
- Paraplegia: Approximately 44 percent of Americans diagnosed with spinal cord injuries since 2005 have paraplegia, according to NSCISC. Paraplegia occurs when there is damage to the upper to middle part of the spine, also known as the thoracic region. It results in a loss of movement or sensation in the legs and possibly the trunk of the body, but not the arms. The estimated lifetime expenses for those injured at age 25 will be more than $2.1 million. For those injured at 50, their lifetime costs are expected to exceed $1.4 million.
These estimates do not take into account lost wages and productivity, which average $66,626.
- Hemiplegia: Paralysis on just one side of the body is called hemiplegia. The condition typically occurs when there is disrupted blood flow to the brain due to strokes, traumatic brain injuries or other conditions such as cerebral palsy. There are four types of hemiplegia – facial, cerebral, spastic and spinal – which can result in varying degrees of impairment. Like the other forms of paralysis, full recovery from hemiplegia is rare.
Complications of Paralysis
Sadly, all forms of paralysis can result in secondary medical problems beyond the loss of mobility. Together with the brain, the spinal cord sends signals to control involuntary bodily functions. When those impulses are interrupted, individuals may suffer from life-threatening complications, including:
- Autonomic dysreflexia: This dangerous condition occurs when there is an irritation, pain or stimulus to the nervous system below the level of the injury. The irritated area tries to send a signal to the brain, but because it cannot get through, it causes spasms that affect vascular and organ systems and can lead to strokes and possibly death.
- Blood clots: According to the National Institute of Health, people with spinal cord injuries have triple the risk for blood clots and may need to take blood thinners on a regular basis post-injury.
- Respiratory problems: Depending on the location of the injury, people with quadriplegia may need ventilators to breathe or devices to help with coughing. Sadly, the young woman the firm obtained $7 million for in regard to her paralysis injuries died within a few years of her accident due to respiratory complications.
- Bowel and bladder dysfunction: The nerves controlling bowel and bladder functions are located near the bottom of the spinal cord, and interrupted signals can lead to incontinence.
- Sexual dysfunction: Reproductive issues are more common in men than women.
- Irregular heart beat and low blood pressure: Damage to cardiac nerves can cause the heart to beat either too slowly or too rapidly, and weakened blood vessels can impact blood pressure.
- Inability to regulate body temperature: This problem can also mean that paralyzed individuals are unable to sweat below the level of the injury.
- Pressure sores: Since people with paralysis cannot move on their own, sitting or lying down for too long can cause the skin to break down, creating ulcers.
Contact Our Charleston and Myrtle Beach Paralysis Injury Lawyers Today
Our paralysis injury attorneys at Joye Law Firm are dedicated to helping paralyzed clients and their families achieve the financial results they deserve after an accident. Call Joye Law Firm at 877-936-9707 or use our online consultation form. Remember, there is no charge for the first consultation.