What Are the Leading Causes of Paralysis?

What Are the Leading Causes of Paralysis?One of the most devastating conditions that can come from an injury, genetic disease, or birth defect is nerve injury causing paralysis. The loss of function and feeling in any part of your body changes you forever. You must learn to do everyday activities differently, give up certain hobbies, and possibly lose your job.

But paralysis is not a death sentence, and there are all types of medical devices and mobility aids that can help paraplegic and quadriplegic people move through and interact with the world in a meaningful and fulfilling way. The costs associated with your therapy and devices, however, can be exorbitant. When someone else’s negligence causes your paralysis, A NJ spinal cord injury lawyer will fight to ensure that you do not need to suffer more than you already must.

What is paralysis?

When you are unable to make voluntary muscle movements, that is paralysis. Paralysis is caused by a problem, often sue to injury or disease,  with your nervous system. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “approximately 1 in 50 Americans, or 5.4 million people, have some form of paralysis.” That is a lot of people, and it should serve as a cautionary statistic to those of us who still have full function of our bodies.

Paralysis can either be temporary or permanent. For example, people with Bell’s Palsy experience temporary paralysis of their face muscles; however, someone who is in a car accident and suffers an injury to their spinal cord may never recover from the paralysis that is caused by the injury. That is permanent paralysis.

Paralysis can be further categorized as partial or complete. If you suffer from partial paralysis, you may lose only some function in a part of your body. Complete paralysis means that you have lost all function in the affected part of your body. Nerve injuries causing paralysis also often cause the loss or reduction of sensation in the affected area.

Because paralysis affects your muscles, it is further categorized as flaccid and spastic. Flaccid paralysis presents with muscles that cannot move or contract. The muscles shrink and lose their tone and integrity. With spastic paralysis, the muscles tighten and cause uncontrollable jerks and spasms.

What are the main causes of paralysis?

There are multiple ways in which someone can become temporarily or permanently paralyzed. Each cause comes with their own set of difficulties and problems, and may require different types of treatment, therapies, and medications.

Common causes of paralysis include:

  • Birth defects/birth injury. A good example of a condition caused by either a birth defect or a birth injury is cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy can develop either before birth if the brain is damaged or does not develop normally, or after birth if the baby’s brain does receive enough oxygen or blood supply or through an injury directly to the baby’s head. The most common type of cerebral palsy is spastic cerebral palsy which presents with several symptoms including paralysis.
  • Non-traumatic brain injury. Often cited as the most common cause of paralysis, a stroke is categorized as a non-traumatic brain injury. Paralysis during and after a stroke may be temporary or permanent depending on the severity of the stroke.
  • Traumatic brain injury. Another common cause of paralysis is caused by traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). TBIs can occur through many different scenarios. People involved in car accidents will often suffer mild to severe TBIs, but you can also suffer this type of injury from a fall (whether on a slippery surface or a fall from a height), an object falling onto your head, medical malpractice during birth, unsafe work conditions, and so on. A TBI can also cause changes in personality, headaches, confusion, problems with memory, difficulty speaking, difficulty with hand-eye coordination, and many other long term complications.
  • Spinal cord injury. When the spine is damaged enough, it can cause the part of your body below the point of the injury to lose feeling and function. Similar to TBIs, spinal cord injuries (SCIs) can happen anywhere and under similar circumstances. Whether you’re hit by a drunk driver, a tractor trailer; or you fall from a high place while at work; or a surgery goes awry, a SCI can change your life forever, and can leave you needing the help of mobility aids such as a wheelchair for the rest of your life.

As we can see, there are several causes of paralysis. Many of them are (or should be) preventable. When your paralysis is caused by someone else’s negligent actions, our New Jersey paralysis attorneys can help you fight for the compensation you will need to live your best possible life.

If you are hit by a distracted driver, or the doctor in charge of the delivery of your baby makes a mistake, or your spine surgeon performs surgery improperly, or your employer did not provide a safe workplace or  the correct protective gear, that is when you need the counsel of an experienced and aggressive lawyer. Do not let yourself pay for someone else’s mistake. Treatment, rehabilitation, and medical equipment and treatment will be expensive, and you are already paying with your physical health. Let those who are responsible for your injury pay for the rest, and ensure that you are financially compensated for their negligence.

At Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP, we have secured millions for medical malpractice victims, auto accident victims, premises liability victims, and construction accident victims throughout New Jersey. We know what we’re doing, and we’ll use that to our advantage to ensure that you receive everything you deserve.

The legal system is complicated, and you deserve as much compensation as possible for your pain and suffering. Let us help you. To schedule an appointment, call us or use our contact page. We proudly serve NJ clients out of our offices in Edison, Toms River, and Red Bank.