Personal Injury

Personal Injury Attorneys

Home Personal Injury Spinal Cord Injury & Paralysis

Wilmington Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers

Spinal Injuries & Paralysis

Catastrophic injuries are life-altering. They include severe traumatic brain injury, loss of a limb, or conditions such as paralysis. The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation reports that nearly one in 50 people in the U.S. lives with some form of paralysis - that is, about 5.4 million people.

The leading causes of paralysis include stroke, injuries to the spine, and multiple sclerosis. Only 41.8% of those with paralysis are able to work, and the cost to their families is devastating. If your injuries were caused by the negligence of another party, you may be owed compensation for those injuries. Speak to a Wilmington personal injury attorney at Rhine Law Firm, P.C., at (866) 772-9960 for a free consultation.

Types of Paralysis

Paralysis is a loss of muscle function when there is a lack of communication between the brain and muscles. Essentially, the signals or messages that the brain sends are not being transmitted. Paralysis may be:

  • Partial: When some muscles are still able to be controlled.
  • Complete: A total inability to move the affected muscles.
  • Temporary or permanent: With temporary paralysis, the ability to control muscles returns to some degree. Not so with permanent paralysis.
  • Spastic or flaccid: Spastic muscles are tight, rigid, and tend to “jerk” (spasm); flaccid muscles shrink and sag.
  • Partial paralysis is further classified as being localized, when it involves only one area or part, or generalized. Localized paralysis commonly impacts specific areas such as the hands, feet, face, or vocal cords. Generalized paralysis is classified as follows:

    • Monoplegia: One limb is affected, such as a leg.
    • Hemiplegia: One side of the body is affected, such as the left arm and left leg.
    • Paraplegia: Affects the lower extremities - both legs.
    • Quadriplegia: Affects both of the arms and both of the legs.

    Spinal Cord Injuries

    Spinal cord injuries are a leading cause of paralysis. This is because the spinal cord is the primary pathway for transmitting information between the brain and the body’s muscles. If it is damaged, the nerves may lose their function and cause problems that are mental and emotional in addition to physical. The location of the damage to the spinal cord, and its severity, impact a person’s level of ability to control the muscles beneath that location.

    Here are the most common causes of spinal cord injuries:

    • Vehicle accidents: Crashes involving automobiles and motorcycles account for almost half of spinal injuries in the U.S.
    • Falls: Falls cause spinal injuries about 15% of the time, most commonly among those over 65 years of age.
    • Violence: Incidents involving knives, guns, or physical assault account for about 12% of cases.
    • Sports and recreation: Account for roughly 10% of cases. Christopher Reeve’s horse-riding accident would be considered a recreational cause of spinal injury and consequent paralysis.

    As a side note, alcohol is a potentially contributing factor in about 25% of injuries.

    How Spinal Cord Injury Is Treated

    After a potential injury, the spine needs to be immobilized and the injury diagnosed. Traction may be used to better stabilize the spine, but should only be done by trained medical professionals.

    Diagnosing these injuries involves various types of scanning or imaging methods. The most basic way to examine the spine is with an X-ray, which will generally show damage to the spinal column. For a closer, more detailed assessment, either a computerized tomography scan (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be employed.

    Recovering from a spinal injury, if possible, requires the assistance of several types of medical professionals. If the injury is temporary, a victim may require a neck collar and a special bed until healed. There are also various surgical options available, particularly if the victim has fragments of bone that require removal. Afterward, rehabilitation would be focused on strengthening the muscles in the damaged region, improving motor skills, and working to manage day-to-day tasks through occupational therapy. In addition, physical therapy can be used and would include exercise, stretching, heat, and massage. Common assistive devices for a spinal injury victim, either long-term or short-term, include wheelchairs, canes, walkers, and supportive braces.

    Damages a Paralysis Victim of Negligence May Recover

    • Medical expenses: With severe injuries, your medical expenses can be significant. These damages include long-term future medical costs.
    • Lost wages: May include past lost wages and future lost earnings.
    • Modifications: Your home may require some renovations such as ramps to accommodate your injuries. In addition, you may recover costs for assistance with daily tasks.
    • Pain and suffering: Includes the stress, pain, and anxiety that you endure.
    • Punitive damages: If the defendant’s actions presented with aggravating factors of fraud, malice, or willful or wanton conduct to cause the injury, North Carolina law allows an award of punitive damages to punish the defendant and deter similar wrongful acts.

    In addition, your spouse may have a claim for:

    • Loss of consortium: Compensation for loss of consortium (marital services, society, companionship, sexual gratification, and affection) as a result of your injury. The spouse’s claim must be joined with that of the injured spouse. In North Carolina, the spouse is the only one who can bring a claim for loss of consortium. North Carolina does not recognize claims of parents or children for loss of consortium.

    Wilmington Attorneys for Victims of Serious Spinal Injury

    Paralysis that stems from trauma to the spinal cord will have long-term consequences. If your injury was caused by another person or company, you should be compensated for these consequences. For this reason, it is crucial to contact an attorney right away to investigate your case.

    At Rhine Law Firm, P.C., we have spent decades securing justice for North Carolina victims of personal injury. We strive to get you the level of compensation you deserve for your past, current, and future losses related to your injury. To schedule a complimentary consultation, please contact our office today at (866) 772-9960.

    Additional Information

    “They worked hard for me after I was involved in an auto accident. I appreciate their efforts and making me feel like family.”

    ReviewerFive Stars

    -Becky, posted at Google Review

    When it Really Matters When it Really Matters

    Contact Rhine Law Firm, P.C.

    Working with our firm means your needs will be met and your questions answered by someone who knows your name and the details of your case — every time you call.

    Contact Rhine Law Firm, P.C., at (910) 772-9960 or (866) 772-9960 toll free for a free initial consultation. Evening and weekend appointments upon request. Office hours 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Evening and weekend appointments also available. We also offer Spanish interpretation and translation services.

    Rhine Law Firm, P.C.

    1612 Military Cutoff Road, Suite 300
    Wilmington, NC 28403
    Toll Free: (866) 772-9960
    Phone: (910) 772-9960
    Fax: (910) 772-9062

    Rhine Law Firm

    Connect With Us

    We Hold the Highest Possible Ratings from Professional Organizations:

    Based in Wilmington, North Carolina, Rhine Law Firm, P.C. represents clients statewide. We Regularly Meet With Clients After 5 P.M. And On Weekends

    *Disclaimer: This is an advertisement by Rhine Law Firm, P.C., 1612 Military Cutoff Rd., Suite 300, Wilmington, North Carolina, 28403. The Rhine Law Firm, P.C., is licensed to practice law in the state of North Carolina and does not seek to practice in any other state or jurisdiction. To the extent that you reside in a state other than North Carolina, the Rhine Law Firm, P.C., may associate counsel licensed to practice law in that jurisdiction if necessary to comply with any and all rules of professional conduct.

    No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. This advertisement does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, either express or implied. Prior outcomes do not guarantee any future results. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. Do not rely on this advertisement in making any medical decision. Please call your physician before making any medical decision, including altering your use of any drug or treatment.

    © 2019 Rhine Law Firm, P.C. - All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Sitemap | Website Design and Legal Internet Marketing by SLS Consulting

    Contact Rhine Law Firm, P.C.

    During a free consultation, we will look at the important aspects of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options clearly. Our attorneys also remain available to our clients via phone, email and other means, ultimately focused on doing what is truly in their best interests.

    Free Consultation Form