Paralysis in Truck Accidents
Collisions with big trucks can be singularly devastating events. When a reckless or negligent truck driver crashes into a smaller passenger vehicle, it tends to be the victims in the smaller car who suffer. Brain and spinal injuries are not uncommon in these types of crashes. Unfortunately, these injuries can leave a victim paralyzed and can completely alter the course of a person’s life forever.
Being paralyzed in a large truck accident doesn’t just result in a life-long physical disability. Depression and anxiety are also common after a paralysis diagnosis and can destroy a victim’s mental wellbeing. Victims must also contend with the immense cost of immediate medical care, rehabilitation costs, and potential home alterations. Data from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center suggests that a paraplegic will spend $537,271 in medical costs in the first year of diagnosis. Subsequent years of treatment are estimated to cost $71,172 per year. At The Benton Law Firm we don’t think this money should come out of your pocket.
At The Benton Law Firm, we know that money can’t repair the shattered pieces of your life, but it can help you progress through your recovery. If you are ready to talk about how an experienced Dallas truck accident attorney may be able to help you get the full compensation you deserve, contact The Benton Law Firm today. We want to help you get the money you rightfully deserve after a significant truck accident. To talk to a skilled attorney about your case, call us at (214) 777-7777 for a free consultation.
What is Paralysis
Paralysis happens when an individual loses the ability to move part of all their body. The nervous system is comprised of two distinct parts, the central nervous system, and the peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system includes the brain and spinal cord, while the peripheral nervous system includes all the nerves outside the CNS. Nerves send signals from the brain to a person’s muscles. These signals tell the muscles to move the arm, fingers, or legs. The movement is known as voluntary muscle movement or movement that you consciously control. Nerves between the brain and organs like the heart and lungs control involuntary muscle movement. Involuntary muscle movement happens without you having to concentrate on it.
When part of the central nervous system is damaged, it interrupts the nerve signals between the brain and the rest of the body. Depending on the location and nature of the damage, an individual can lose the ability to use specific parts of their body. Paralysis can be the result of a medical condition like a stroke or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or it can be the result of a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury. Accidents involving large trucks typically cause paralysis due to trauma caused to the brain or spinal cord.
Types of Paralysis
Four different types of paralysis could be caused by a violent collision with a large truck. They include:
Monoplegia– Monoplegia is paralysis that impacts one area of the body, typically only one limb. Generally, a person with monoplegia loses the use and the feeling of the impacted limb. Sometimes monoplegia can be temporary and is most associated with strokes and brain injuries. Since it is caused by damage to the brain, sometimes significant physical therapy and rehabilitation can help victims regain the use of the limb.
Hemiplegia– Hemiplegia is paralysis that impacts one leg and one arm on the same side of the body. This form of paralysis is more common in those diagnosed with cerebral palsy but can be the result of a brain or spinal cord injury.
Paraplegia– Paraplegia is the loss of function and sensation to everything below the waist. Typically, those with paraplegia will be unable to walk, feel their legs, and have sexual, urinary, and bowel issues. Injuries to the spinal cord are most often the cause of paraplegia. The area below where the spinal cord is damaged or severed is the area impacted, generally the thoracic or lumbar area of the spine.
Quadriplegia– Quadriplegia refers to the paralysis of everything below the neck. All four limbs are impacted, as well as the torso. Spinal cord injuries tend to be the leading cause of quadriplegia. The damage to the spinal cord or the severing of the spinal cord typically happens in the neck or cervical area of the spine.
Those dealing with a paralysis diagnosis may also hear the terms partial or incomplete and complete. Those with incomplete or partial paraplegia or quadriplegia may retain some feeling or limited movement in certain limbs. Those suffering from complete paraplegia or quadriplegia have no feeling or function.
Symptoms of Paralysis
After a catastrophic truck accident, a victim may be in pain and shock. It can be hard for truck accident victims to wrap their heads around what paralysis feels like. Typically, paralysis is characterized by a loss of sensation but there can be other symptoms associated with the condition. Symptoms of paralysis may include:
- Muscle cramps
- Tingling in the limbs
- Numbness in the limbs
- A steady loss of feeling or muscle control
- Phantom pain, odd sensations, or electrical sensations in the limbs
After a significant truck accident, it is important to call for medical help right away. If you or a loved one feel numbness or tingling do not move unless your life or someone else’s life is in immediate danger. Let first responders assess all injuries and safely move you or other victims.
Truck Accidents and Paralysis
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. Truck accidents are particularly debilitating because of the sheer size and weight of these vehicles. A large truck is capable of smashing, compacting, and virtually destroying smaller passenger vehicles. Victims of truck collisions can be thrown into the dashboard, pinned under the dashboard, impaled by protruding metal, and be ejected from their vehicle. These mechanisms are all capable of severely injuring the brain and spinal cord, in some cases, even severing the spinal cord.
Truck accidents that may be likely to cause a spinal cord or brain injury include:
- Improperly loaded cargo accidents
- Jackknife accidents
- Rollover accidents
- Speeding accidents
- Head-on collisions
- T-bone crashes
- Underride collisions
While these accidents tend to be the most severe, any accident involving a large truck has the potential to do catastrophic damage.
Contact The Benton Law Firm Today
Paralysis is life-altering. A victim’s health, mental wellbeing, and quality of life can all be drastically changed simply because of a reckless or negligent truck driver. Money will never be able to give back to you what has been taken, but it can help you on your recovery journey.
To go after the compensation you deserve, contact the experienced Dallas truck accident team at The Benton Law Firm today. For more information on how we may be able to help you, call us at (214) 777-7777 for a free consultation.