Paralysis Can Create Lifelong Medical Needs And Expenses

As you and your family know all too well if you were paralyzed in an accident or due to medical malpractice, paralysis is far more than an inconvenience or a tragic turn of events. Being paralyzed, for most people who suffer from this disability, does not simply mean an inability to walk or use one’s arms or legs as able-bodied people do. Paralysis — whether paraplegia, quadriplegia or even just paralysis of one arm, for example — all too often brings with it a seemingly unending list of complications, challenges and special needs such as:

  • Mobility challenges: These are the most noticeable effects of paralysis.
  • A need for special equipment, perhaps including a wheelchair, a mechanized lift to use for getting in and out of bed, a modified van and adaptive devices like speech-activated computer software
  • Secondary conditions, perhaps including autonomic dysreflexia, frequent bladder infections, bowel irregularity, depression, chronic pain, respiratory complications, sexual dysfunction and many others

One blog writer poignantly described the experience of living with paralysis in this way:

I’m not just paralyzed, I’m imprisoned. I’m cut off from 85% of my body … Unfortunately, I do feel phantom pains, pressure and discomfort … My spinal cord injury stole my ability to be self sufficient in a matter of seconds …. My injury has left me feeling constantly vulnerable, anxious, depressed … and scared. (Source:

Spinal Cord Injuries Sometimes Lead To Other Conditions

Any degree of paralysis, whether caused by spinal cord injury or brain injury, is catastrophic. Some cases involve even more severe variations of complications such as:

  • Cauda equina syndrome (CES), resulting in loss of function of the lumbar plexus — nerve roots of the spinal canal below the spinal cord. Cauda equina can be caused by a neurological condition or by direct trauma. Complications include urinary retention in more than half of patients with CES. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are critical to maximizing recovery.
  • Locked-in syndrome, a condition that leaves a sufferer unable to move or communicate even when awake. Locked-in syndrome sufferers have their mental faculties intact but are unable to move other than by eye movements. (Some also have paralyzed eyes.) Adaptive computer software can allow for slow but complex communication.

If Britcher Leone, LLC, represents you after a catastrophic accident or a doctor’s failure to diagnose a stroke in a timely manner, you can count on a thorough investigation and aggressive advocacy. Our New Jersey lawyers are highly experienced in all aspects of personal injury cases, including:

  • Life care planning and analysis by economists as tools for estimating future care costs.
  • Wage loss replacement advocacy, including estimates of value of lost benefit packages, and detailed analysis of effects of an injury on employability.