How a Car Accident Can Leave You Paralyzed

How a Car Accident Can Leave You ParalyzedAt Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, our team of Delaware car accident attorneys is dedicated to assisting victims injured in car accidents to secure the maximum compensation possible for their cases. We also help clients in Wilmington, Newark, and Seaford.

Every year, millions of people emerge from car accidents with relatively minor injuries, fortunate to make a full recovery. According to the National Safety Council, in 2021 alone there were 5.4 million medically consulted injuries resulting from car accidents. For many of those victims, the healing process is successful, and they can resume their lives without enduring lasting consequences. However, amidst these fortunate outcomes, a significant number of individuals find themselves permanently paralyzed, their lives forever altered by the aftermath of a car accident.

While some incidents result in temporary setbacks, there remains an upsetting reality for those who, despite the odds, must navigate the challenges of a lifetime with a disability acquired through the unexpected and often devastating nature of such collisions.

How victims become paralyzed in a car accident

In the aftermath of a Delaware car accident, the potential consequences extend far beyond vehicular damage and physical injuries. Among the numerous types of outcomes, one of the most life-altering is paralysis. The sheer force during a collision can lead to a variety of injuries, impacting not only the spine but also the brain, limbs, and internal organs.

Here are a few types of injuries that can cause paralysis in victims following a car accident:

Spinal cord injuries

The spinal cord serves as the body’s central pathway for transmitting signals between the brain and various parts of the body, playing an important role in facilitating movement and sensation. Car accidents can significantly affect the spine, leading to a range of injuries that comprise the spinal cord’s functionality. In fact, one study states that spinal cord injuries are the second most common cause of paralysis. Any type of forceful movement can strain or damage the delicate structures of the neck. Plus, any type of forceful impact can also fracture or dislocate the spine. In both of these examples, paralysis can quickly occur.

A spinal cord injury (SCI) resulting from a car accident in Delaware can greatly alter a victim’s life, influencing various aspects. The consequences extend beyond the physical ones too, as SCI often introduces significant emotional and psychological challenges. Coping with a life-altering injury can lead to heightened stress, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, the financial burden of medical expenses and long-term care compounds the challenges, reshaping not only the individual’s life but also that of their family and support network. The ripple effects of a spinal cord injury extend far beyond the immediate aftermath of a car accident, shaping a new and often arduous chapter for those affected.

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) pose a substantial risk, potentially resulting in paralysis and significant life-altering implications. TBIs can arise from forceful impacts or jolts to the head which can do damage to the signals that tell your muscles to move. TBIs can also damage several small or large blood vessels in the brain which can lead to a stroke—the number one cause of paralysis.

Becoming paralyzed from TBI can drastically affect a victim’s life. Physical challenges aside, victims may struggle with cognitive deficits, emotional disturbances, and alterations in personality. These profound changes can impede the ability to perform everyday tasks, maintain employment, and sustain relationships.

Limb injuries and amputations

Limb injuries resulting from car accidents can have profound and lasting effects on individuals, shaping their physical and emotional well-being. Limb injuries encompass a broad range, from minor fractures to severe crush injuries. Crush injuries, often arising from the intense forces in a collision, can significantly impact nerves and blood vessels. The trauma inflicted on limbs can lead to vascular compromise and nerve damage, introducing complexities that extend beyond the initial incident. In more severe cases, limb injuries may result in amputations, causing a life-altering transformation.

The toll amputations take on victims goes far beyond the physical elements. Car accident survivors in Delaware facing amputations often struggle with their mental health after the fact, including grief, anxiety, and the challenge of adapting to a new sense of self. Recognizing and addressing the emotional impact is integral to a comprehensive approach to rehabilitation.

The different types of paralysis

In the aftermath of a car accident, paralysis can manifest in various forms, as talked about above, each presenting distinct challenges and implications for the affected individuals. However, not all types of paralysis mean that you are fully, completely paralyzed. The extent and nature of paralysis depend on the specific area and severity of the injury sustained during the collision.

These are the types of paralysis that may result from car accidents:

  • Paraplegia. Stemming from spinal cord injuries often incurred in car accidents, this entails the paralysis of the lower half of the body, predominantly affecting the legs and occasionally the lower trunk, leading to challenges in mobility and issues with bladder and bowel control that necessitate adaptive tools and comprehensive rehabilitation.
  • Quadriplegia. Also known as tetraplegia, this is characterized by the paralysis of all four limbs and the trunk, typically resulting from severe spinal cord injuries in the neck region, significantly impacting daily activities and requiring substantial support for mobility, self-care, and overall independence.
  • Partial paralysis. This entails the impairment of movement or sensation in specific parts of the body, with the degree of impairment varying from mild weakness to more pronounced limitations, distinguishing it from paralysis affecting the entire body or a specific side.
  • Temporary paralysis. This is a condition characterized by non-permanent loss of movement or sensation. Victims may experience temporary impairment due to nerves or tissues being temporarily affected, and with proper medical intervention and rehabilitation, there is hope for gradual improvement over time.
  • Permanent paralysis. This signifies an irreversible loss of movement or sensation, often resulting from severe spinal cord injuries or extensive nerve damage. Victims will need adaptive technologies and psychological assistance to navigate the enduring challenges throughout their lives.

Becoming paralyzed, whether temporary or permanent, is an inherently life-changing journey. At Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, our team of Delaware car accident lawyers is dedicated to standing by your side throughout the challenging process of holding the responsible party accountable. We understand that the impact of paralysis affects every aspect of your life, and you deserve rightful compensation. You don’t have to face this battle alone. Call us today or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation. With offices in Wilmington, Newark, and Seaford, we are here to support car accident victims, providing the legal advocacy and guidance you need during this difficult time.