Often, when people think about personal injury cases, they think about accidents that result in soft tissue injuries that, while serious, usually do not cause paralysis. Or, they think about that slip and fall accident where the injured party breaks a bone. Either of these scenarios adversely affects the lives of the injured parties. However, motorcycle accidents, where the motorcycle driver risks direct contact with much larger vehicles, can be among the most catastrophic accidents personal injury attorneys see throughout their careers.
One common result of motorcycle accidents is paraplegia. Paraplegia generally means damage to the spinal cord or to the brain. This devastating injury can be temporary, but when it is permanent, the injured person loses mobility below the waist and his life is forever changed.
A big challenge in treating paraplegic patients is there seems to be no notable consistency to the condition. That is, some people, with therapy and treatment, may improve over time; while others never improve at all. In an instant, you can be riding your motorcycle, obeying all of the rules of the road; and the next instant, you could wake up in a hospital, unable to move your legs.
Unfortunately, last August, that is precisely what happened to a Sanitation worker on his way home from work. He was riding his motorcycle in the Bronx, and was struck by a car making an illegal left turn. The injured man was fighting for his life, suffering 16 broken bones, a collapsed lung, and paralysis in both legs. Doctors told him that he would never walk again, but he continues to try to beat the odds.
To break down just what this type of partial paralysis means, understand that in addition to tragically losing mobility, the injured party also may suffer from a loss of bladder and bowel function. Those conditions can lead to extreme discomfort, humiliation, and even various forms of infection.
Paraplegics often suffer from sexual dysfunction or infertility which may contribute to chronic depression and isolation.
Chronic pain is another common side effect of paraplegia, and controlling it remains difficult. Also, it is crucial for paraplegics to continue physical therapy since weight gain from lack of activity may set in.
Paraplegics also are susceptible to secondary infections such as bed sores or skin lesions, and they often require assistance functioning on a daily basis, depending upon the severity of the condition.
Any individual who suffers paraplegia because of someone else’s negligence absolutely should seek legal counsel in order to obtain much needed financial compensation.