When someone suffers an injury or damage to his or her spine or brain, and the signals between your brain and your muscles no longer function correctly (either from being interrupted or completely blocked), it can cause one to partially or fully lose their ability to move those muscles. Paralysis can affect one or both sides of one’s body. If you were paralyzed as a result of medical malpractice or another act of negligence, you may be entitled to receive substantial legal compensation. Medical malpractice cases involving nerve damage, such as paralysis can have a serious long term impact on the lives of victims and their loved ones.
There are many forms of paralysis. These include:
- Facial Paralysis (Paralysis of muscles in the face)
- Hemiplegia (Paralysis of one side of the body)
- Paraplegia (Paralysis of both legs)
- Quadriplegia (Paralysis of all four limbs)
In addition to the loss of the affected muscles and limbs, paralysis can also eventually lead to:
- Muscle spasms or stiffness
- Respiratory difficulties
- Chronic pain
- Loss of sexual functions
- Blood clots (sometimes life-threatening)
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
According to the 2013 US Paralysis Prevalence & Health Disparities Survey, an estimated 1.7% of the U.S. population lives with paralysis. In 2013 this equated to 5,357,980 people. The National Center for Biotechnology Information confirms that that’s nearly 5.4 million people. Paralysis can be caused by either a medical condition or by some form of trauma or injury to the spine or brain. Stroke is the leading cause of paralysis, affecting 33.7% of those with paralysis, followed by spinal cord injury (27.3%) and multiple sclerosis (18.6%).
Common medical conditions that can cause serious nerve damage resulting in paralysis include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Degenerative Disease (e.g. ALS)
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Broken Neck
- Bell’s Palsy
- Autoimmune Diseases (e.g. Guillain-Barre Syndrome)
Medical Malpractice Cases Involving Nerve Damage
Although stroke is the leading cause of paralysis, there are also a number of medical malpractice cases involving nerve damage. Instances in surgical procedures that may lead to full or partial paralysis include:
- Improper diagnosis, which leads to unnecessary surgery causing more harm than good
- Mechanical malfunctions of medical equipment
- Improper administration of anesthesia
- A surgical mistake impacting the spine or spinal column
So What Can You Do?
Although paralysis can never be 100% preventable, there are certain things that you can do to lower your risk of becoming paralyzed:
- Don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Always wear your seatbelt
- Never dive in shallow water
- Always wear a helmet when riding a bike, motorcycle, scooter, rollerblades/skates or any activity in which your head is at an increased risk for injury
- Practice gun safety
- Prevent falling
- Use safety equipment when playing sports
- Treat any conditions which may lead to eventual paralysis (multiple sclerosis)
- Thoroughly research physicians, medical professionals, and facilities prior to scheduling any surgery – check for doctors who are board certified
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for paralysis, although sometimes some or all muscle control may eventually come back on its own. Treatment, such as physical therapy, sometimes plays a part in preventing the worsening of paralysis.
If you have initiated a medical malpractice lawsuit as a result of a medical professional’s negligence but worry about your ability to keep up with all of your expenses, call USClaims.
At USClaims, we offer pre-settlement funding, if a case is qualified for pre-settlement funding then we would purchase a portion of the proceeds of the anticipated court judgment or settlement for some cash now. USClaims only gets paid if a case is won or has reached a settlement! Apply now or call us today at 1-877-USCLAIMS to learn more.