A form of paralysis, paraplegia affects the movements of a person’s lower body. Patients with paraplegia are often unable to voluntarily move their legs, feet, hips, and sometimes parts of their abdomen. It is usually a result of severe damage to the nervous system and spinal cord. In some cases, paraplegics only have paralysis in certain parts of the body such as paralysis in one leg. These types of patients are referred to as incomplete paraplegics while patients who have their whole lower abdomen paralyzed are referred to as complete paraplegia.

Paraplegia or other types of paralysis injuries can be inflicted on a person in a variety of ways. Most paraplegics sustain their injuries after an automobile accident, sport-related incident, fall, medical malpractice, or the condition stemmed to a type of birth injury. No matter the circumstances, the cost and stress of a paralysis injury can drain a person’s energy and finances. That is why if you’ve sustained a spinal cord injury because of another person or entity’s negligence, then you may want to secure legal representation. You could be entitled to compensation for damages by holding the at-fault party responsible.

Spinal Cord Injury Attorney in Bellingham, Washington

The extreme trauma of learning you or a family member will never walk again is heartbreaking. Paraplegics often have a hard time retaining employment, finding new relationships, and may need assistance to do daily household tasks. The sudden required dependency isn’t only emotionally difficult, but financially can cost a pretty penny. Paraplegics and their families often spend thousands and thousands of dollars in care so they can live a semi-normal life.

If you’ve been paralyzed due to someone’s negligence or carelessness, then we urge you to seek compensation by calling PNW Trial Lawyers. Our Washington catastrophic injury attorneys have spent decades representing the interests of paralysis victims and can do the same for you. Call us now at (360) 483-5201 to set up your first consultation free of charge. PNW Trial Lawyers accepts clients throughout the greater Whatcom County and Bellingham area including surrounding counties such as Skagit County and Snohomish County.

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What Can Cause Paraplegia?

Paraplegia occurs when the spinal cord has sustained some type of trauma. Fractures of the spine because of an accident is one of the most common reasons for paraplegia. If the spinal cord is squeezed and vertebral bodies move, the injury may be enough to render a person a paraplegic. In some cases, the paralysis may occur later as the tissue swelling and bruising of the spinal cord could result in paralysis. 

The following are some accidents that could result in a paraplegic injury.

  • Automobile accidents
  • Sports-related accidents
  • Gunshots or stab wounds
  • Slip and falls
  • Diving accidents
  • Electrocution
  • Surgical accidents
  • Birthing accidents
  • Blast injuries

Force acting on the spine isn’t the only cause for paraplegia. Some diseases of the spinal cord or the surrounding structures can ultimately result in paralysis. Listed below are some common medical reasons as to why a paraplegic injury occurred:

  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Inflammation of the membranes surrounding the spinal nerves (arachnoiditis)
  • Pathological spinal fractures due to degenerative bone diseases
  • Tumors on the spinal cord
  • Infections of the blood vessels

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Is Paraplegia Curable?

Unfortunately, there is still no cure for paraplegia or most spinal cord injuries. Damages nerve cells normally do not regenerate if they’ve been seriously damaged, so most paralysis cases are for life. While there is no known cure for paraplegia, there are a few steps a person recovering from paraplegia symptoms can take to hopefully restore some of their leg’s functionality.

Listed below are some basic steps you can take to recover from your paraplegic injury.

  • Find Medical Attention Immediately – The faster you receive treatment for your paralysis injury, the higher the chances you’ll limit the severity of paraplegia symptoms. Find high-quality care as soon as possible after your injury and remain in treatment for as long as your doctor tells you to.
  • Look into Recovery Options – Paraplegics have a score of different recovery options they can choose from when looking for treatments. Surgical procedures, rehabilitation therapy, and even dietary changes could all make an impact on your symptoms.
  • Locate a Paralysis/Paraplegic Support Group – It can be difficult to come to terms with your injury after it happens. Finding a support group for spinal cord injuries can be incredibly helpful for your outlook and the other individuals in the group can offer you advice as well as support. They may even be able to provide resources or treatment options they’ve found that was successful for them.
  • Accommodate Your Mobility Limitations – It’s important you accommodate these new modifications to your mobility. You can increase accessibility to your home by adding handicap accommodations such as ramps, wheelchair lifts, or simply resorting items so they are easier to reach and move around.
  • Think About Psychological Therapy – The loss of mobility can seriously affect a person psychologically. Paraplegics often struggle with their mental health after their injury and that distress can worsen symptoms. Finding a psychological specialist in paralysis victims may help as they can offer support and truly understand what you’re going through.

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How Much is a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit Worth?

The financial stress that accompanies a spinal cord injury can be massive. That is why it’s highly recommended you seek legal representation if you’ve sustained a paralysis injury because of another’s negligent or reckless actions. Individuals and companies must act in a reasonable and prudent manner in every situation. Failure to do so resulting in serious injury could mean that person or company is now liable for your injury.  If evidence exists your injury was a result of someone else’s actions, then you can recover from your losses by filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party.

If you’re able to sway the court, then the judge may provide you with a monetary award. The average payout for a spinal cord injury settlement will depend on the unique facts of the case. Emotional damages such as mental anguish have no cap and could yield a large amount. However, don’t count on punitive damages as Washington has declared them unconstitutional.

The following are some damages your monetary award may cover:

  • Medical expenses;
  • Vehicular repairs;
  • Rehabilitation costs;
  • Counseling;
  • Loss of consortium;
  • Lost wages;
  • Loss of future earnings;
  • Pain and suffering; and
  • Loss of quality of life

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Additional Resources

NWRSCIS | Northwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury System – Visit the official website for the Northwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury System (NWRSCIS, which is a regional center dedicated to spinal cord injury care, education, and research at the University of Washington. Access the stie to learn more about local spinal cord injury organizations, resources for spinal cord injury victims, cure and recovery information, as well as answers to frequently asked questions.

CDC Finds Spinal Cord Injury Leading Cause for Paralysis in U.S. | ACL – Visit the official website for the Administration for Community Living, a non-profit organization whose mission is to support community living so elderly and disabled populations can live independently and participate fully in society. Access their publication to learn more about how the CDC announced that spinal cord injuries are one of the leading causes in paralysis in the U.S. Read the data from the report, paper highlights showing the unique needs and health disparities for people living with paralysis, and other relevant information.

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Paraplegia Injury Lawyer in Whatcom County, WA

Life with paralysis isn’t easy and no one expects to be a victim of a spinal cord injury. Unfortunately, they do happen and when the cause is another’s negligence you have the option to seek compensation. Learn more about the possibility of recovery by talking to the attorneys at PNW Trial Lawyers. Our quadriplegia and paraplegia injury attorneys have spent not just years, but decades being zealous legal advocates for their clients so they can recover completely.

Call PNW Trial Lawyers now at (360) 483-5201 to set up your first consultation. PNW Trial Lawyers accepts clients throughout the greater Bellingham area including Ferndale, Birch Bay, Everson, Maple Falls, Nooksack, Deming, Sudden Valley, and Blaine.

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