Motorcycle accidents can be devastating and life-altering events. Some of the most severe injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident can lead to paralysis. Paralysis is physically and emotionally debilitating. If you have suffered paralysis due to a motorcycle accident caused by another driver, it’s essential to understand your rights.
Types of Paralysis
Paralysis is the loss of voluntary movement and feeling in the body due to damage to the nervous system, most commonly the spinal cord. It can be partial or complete. Paralysis can either be flaccid, where the muscles atrophy, or spastic, in which the muscles tighten and spasms result.
Multiple types of paralysis exist. They include:
- Paraplegia: Paralysis of both legs, feet, and part of the trunk. It is typically caused by damage to the spinal cord in the thoracic or lumbar region.
- Quadriplegia is paralysis of all four limbs, the torso, and sometimes the face and neck. This typically occurs when there is an injury to the cervical region of the spinal cord.
- Monoplegia is paralysis of one limb, usually an arm or leg, caused by damage to a single nerve root in the brachial plexus or lumbosacral plexus.
- Hemiplegia is paralysis of one side of the body due to damage to one-half of the brain.
- Diplegia: This is paralysis that occurs on both sides of the body in the same body part, such as both legs or both sides of the face.
Diagnosing and Treating a Spinal Cord Injury
When a person has been injured in a motorcycle accident and experiences symptoms of paralysis, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately. Diagnosing a spinal cord injury begins with a physical exam. A doctor will look for head, neck, and spine trauma signs. They may also order diagnostic imaging such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs to determine the exact location and severity of the injury. Treatment for a spinal cord injury will depend on the individual’s overall health and the extent of the injury. In some cases, paralysis can be reversed through physical therapy, medication, or surgery. However, many people with spinal cord injuries experience long-term or even permanent paralysis.
Read more: Spinal Cord Injury Resources in Texas
Complications from Paralysis
Paralysis caused can have serious physical and mental consequences. While some individuals may experience a full recovery, many are faced with long-term complications due to their paralysis, including:
- Pressure sores: Pressure sores, also called bed sores, are caused by immobility and occur when a person cannot move and change positions. These sores can become infected, making them very painful.
- Urinary tract infections: People who are paralyzed may be unable to empty their bladder, leading to urinary tract infections. These infections can lead to sepsis if left untreated.
- Loss of muscle strength: Paralysis affects the body’s ability to move. This means muscles in the affected area will weaken over time. That potentially causes additional issues, such as difficulty breathing and weakened bones.
- Spasms: In some cases, paralyzed individuals may experience spasms that can cause pain and hinder movement.
- Skin damage: Without proper care, skin in the affected area can become dry and cracked. That leads to an increased risk for infection.
- Depression: The psychological effects of paralysis can lead to depression. Patients may struggle with loneliness, guilt, helplessness, and hopelessness.
- Osteoporosis: Being unable to move can also affect bones, leading to weakened bones or osteoporosis, which can increase the risk of fractures.
Filing a Claim for Motorcycle Accident Paralysis
Victims of paralysis from motorcycle accidents might be able to recover damages for medical costs, pain, suffering, lost wages, and other expenses related to their accident if it was caused by someone else. By filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, victims can hold the negligent party accountable for their actions and the injuries they caused.
Common Losses Following a Motorcycle Accident
The aftermath of a motorcycle accident can be devastating, and the financial burden may be too much to bear. Motorcycle accident victims may be entitled to compensation for their accident-related losses, including:
- Medical expenses: This includes past, present, and future medical bills. These include hospital stays, doctor visits, physical therapy, prescription medications, and medical devices.
- Lost wages: Motorcycle accident victims who have had to miss work due to their injuries may be able to recover their lost wages and obtain compensation for any loss of future earning ability.
- Pain and suffering: Victims of motorcycle accidents can claim compensation for their physical pain and emotional suffering caused by the accident.
- Property damage: Any property damaged due to the motorcycle accident may be subject to compensation.
- Emotional distress: Motorcycle accident victims may suffer from psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder and could recover money for these intangible losses.
- Loss of consortium: If a victim’s injuries are such that they are deprived of the usual benefits of a relationship with their spouse, such as caregiving, intimacy, and companionship, they may be able to pursue compensation for loss of consortium.
- Punitive damages: Punitive damages are sometimes awarded to punish the defendant for their careless or reckless behavior that led to the accident. An award of this type is only available if the case goes to trial.
Contact a Dallas Attorney for Paralysis from Motorcycle Accidents
If you were paralyzed in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver, you should protect your rights and interests by contacting a skilled Dallas motorcycle accident lawyer. At The Benton Law Firm, our team of experienced attorneys is dedicated to providing personalized, compassionate legal services to individuals and families impacted by motorcycle accidents.
Our motorcycle accident lawyers have extensive experience handling complex paralysis cases arising from motorcycle accidents. We will investigate the cause of the accident, identify all potentially liable parties, and pursue full compensation for all medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses related to the accident.