According to the US National Library of Medicine, paralysis is the loss of muscle function in parts or all of the body. This is because your body is incapable of maintaining messages between your brain and the affected muscles. This usually occurs after an accident (typically accidents that result in spinal injuries), or stroke, or disease. Paraplegia is the loss of muscle function in the lower part of the body; Quadriplegia is the loss of muscle function in the arms and legs.
A study done by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, 1 in 50, or 6 million people are currently living with paralysis–the same number as the combined populations of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. The greatest contributors to paralysis are stroke (1.68 million), spinal cord injury (1,242,000), and Multiple Sclerosis (939,000). The largest age group of people affected (about 23%) is a range between people in their 40s.
The cost of living with paralysis depends on the extent and severity of the injury, but is generally considerable; in the first year, it could be anywhere between $228,566 to $775,567. Estimated life costs for a spinal cord injury are anywhere from $681,843 to over $3 million for a 25 year old. The majority of those suffering from paralysis from a spinal cord injury (87.9%) primarily live at home.
The majority of spinal cord injuries are caused by an accident that occurred while working. If you are an employee of a company that provides worker’s compensation, you may be eligible to collect worker’s compensation benefits. However, if you think you were paralyzed because of gross negligence on the part of your employer, or a manufacturer who contributed to unsafe working utensils, you may also be able to sue for personal injury and collect compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Outside of legal action you may additionally be able to collect disability benefits via Social Security.
Even if you weren’t injured on the job, you could still sue for compensation via a personal injury suit– US District Courts heard over 48,000 personal injury lawsuits last year, which is a 6% increase.
No matter your situation, it is very important to work with a lawyer who has experience with personal injury lawsuits. A good lawyer could determine the difference between more or less compensation for your debilitating injury.