Paralysis, or loss of voluntary muscle function in one or more body parts, can drastically affect quality of life. People with paralysis may experience decreased mobility, independence, and emotional well-being. Whether your paralysis is partial, complete, temporary, or permanent, you have a right to medical care, followed by ongoing treatments and therapy.
Learn more about the types, causes, and implications of paralysis and how our lawyers can help maximize your recovery.
There are four main types of paralysis, depending on the affected muscles or body parts, including:
- Monoplegia. Monoplegia is the paralysis of one limb.
- Hemiplegia. Hemiplegia affects one side of the body, like a paralyzed arm and leg on the same side.
- Paraplegia. Paraplegia is the paralysis of both legs and the lower body, including the trunk and some organs.
- Quadriplegia or Tetraplegia. Quadriplegia, or tetraplegia, is the paralysis of all limbs, the chest, and pelvic organs.
Causes of Paralysis
Paralysis can cause several side effects that significantly impact one’s life, including:
- Loss of Motor Function and Reflexes. People with paralysis cannot move certain limbs, causing overall immobility, loss of reflexes, and reduced ability to complete daily functions.
- Muscle Atrophy. Paralyzed muscles shrink, also known as atrophy. Muscle atrophy leads to weakness and reduced muscle mass, especially over prolonged periods.
- Contractures. Prolonged immobility causes joints and muscles to become fixed in a specific position, also known as contractures. Contractures limit one’s range of motion, flexibility, and ability to perform necessary tasks.
- Spasticity. Some may experience muscle spasticity, or involuntary muscle contractions, which decrease comfort and mobility.
- Respiratory Issues. Severe paralysis affecting breathing organs and muscles can make breathing difficult or impossible. People experiencing respiratory issues require breathing support.
- Pressure Sores. Long periods of immobility can cause painful pressure sores (bedsores) on unused areas of the body that stay in contact with a surface.
- Loss of Bladder and Bowel Control. Extreme cases can lead to loss of bladder and bowel functions, causing incontinence.
- Cardiovascular Problems. Prolonged periods of immobility can lead to blood clots and decreased circulation, which increase the risk of cardiovascular complications like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism.
- Emotional, Social, and Dependency Challenges. Paralysis can lead to depression, anxiety, and decreased self-esteem. Because it severely affects mobility, people with paralysis must significantly change their lifestyle, including work, social, and independent functions. With an increased dependence on others, the emotional challenges decrease one’s overall quality of life.
While therapy, education, and treatment can help people manage their side effects, the implications are severe and often permanent. However, people with paralysis can still lead fulfilling and meaningful lives.
Recovery for paralysis depends on severity, accountable parties, and complications. If you’ve been injured, you have a right to seek compensation. An experienced lawyer can help you maximize compensation.
Damages awarded typically include:
- Past and future medical costs
- Lost wages and diminished earning capacity
- Rehabilitation costs
- Ongoing pain and suffering
Who is Responsible?
Preventing paralysis involves a combination of safety measures, training, and adherence to regulations. Medical providers should conduct risk assessments, implement safety protocols, and provide appropriate training to reduce the risk of incidents and medical malpractice. Medical providers can be held responsible if they do not take these steps to protect patients.
When an injury results from negligence, seeking legal help is vital to hold them responsible.
If no one is responsible, you can still receive damages from workers’ compensation.
How We Can Help
If you or a loved one has experienced complications from an injury, Golitko & Daly can help. Our experienced medical malpractice lawyers fight for the compensation you deserve and hold the responsible parties accountable.
To schedule a free consultation, call us at 317-566-9600 (Indianapolis), 765-865-9300 (Bloomington), or 812-566-2600 (Kokomo), or complete our online inquiry form to schedule an appointment* with one of our medical malpractice attorneys who will review your case.