We Can Even Come to You!

Call Us 24/7:(212) 545-7373

1-800-967-5496 - 1-800-WORK-4-YOU

New York Quadriplegia (Tetraplegia)

New York Paraplegia or Quadriplegia LawyerQuadriplegia, also known as tetraplegia, is so termed as it affects all four limbs as well as the torso of the victim. Most people who are quadriplegic have significant paralysis below the neck. Some victims may even become completely immobile. This form of paralysis is primarily the result of damage to the spinal cord. The injury in such cases occurs high in the spinal cord, usually in the cervical spine between the C1 and C7 vertebrae. The higher the injury is, the more extensive the damage is likely to be. In fact, injuries that occur very high in the spinal cord tend to be fatal.

Quadriplegia is often caused by traumatic events such as auto accidents, slip-and-fall or trip-and-fall incidents, etc. If the injury occurred due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing then victims may be able to seek compensation for their significant damages and losses. An experienced New York personal injury lawyer will be able to guide victims and their families through what can become a complex legal process and help them receive maximum compensation so they can maintain their dignity and quality of life.

What is Quadriplegia?

It’s a common misconception that quadriplegics suffer damage/injuries to their arms and legs. But, the fact is, most quadriplegics have perfectly healthy limbs. The problem begins in the spinal cord and sometimes, also in the brain. The spinal column is made up of thousands of nerves that send signals to and from the brain. When a spinal cord injury prevents these signals from being transmitted to the brain or blocks the reception of signals to the spinal cord from the brain, then a person’s ability to move his or her arms or legs or feel sensation in the limbs or torso can get affected.

A major spinal cord injury may interfere with breathing as well as the ability to move the limbs. A patient with complete quadriplegia has no ability to move any body part below the neck. In some cases, individuals may not even be able to move the neck. Some people with quadriplegia are able to move their arms. However, they may have little or no control over their hand movements. For example, they cannot perform certain actions such as grasping or holding that would allow them to live independently.

What Causes Quadriplegia?

Any injury high in the spinal cord or one that affects multiple regions in the brain can lead to paralysis in all four limbs. Spinal cord injuries account for the majority of quadriplegia cases, with the leading causes of spinal cord injuries as follows:

Approximately 250,000 people in the U.S. live with spinal cord injuries with about 12,500 new cases each year.

Complications of Quadriplegia

Quadriplegia causes a number of complications, which will require treatment, care, rehabilitation and therapy. Here are just some of the issues with which quadriplegics often grapple:

  • Loss of bladder and bowel control: The nerves of the spinal cord often control bowel and bladder function. People with quadriplegia may lose control of these vital body functions. Victims need to be carefully monitored for urinary tract infections, constipation and other related issues.
  • Pressure sores: Those with quadriplegia face a heightened risk of developing pressure sores and bedsores caused by the weight of their body and due to their lack of mobility. It is critical that caregivers or nurses move patients at regular intervals so such pressure sores can be prevented. These types of sores may even prove fatal if they become infected.
  • Blood clots: Since quadriplegics cannot move on their own, their blood circulation slows down significantly. This puts them at a risk for blood clots. These dangerous clots may develop deep within the muscles and veins. These clots may also travel to different parts of the body. It may become fatal if it travels to the lungs and blocks an artery. Those with poor blood circulation may require blood thinners to improve circulation.
  • Respiratory issues: A spinal cord injury usually weakens nerve signals to the chest or the diaphragm making breathing difficult. If, for example, the individual’s diaphragm is paralyzed as the result of a spinal cord injury, he or she may need to be placed on a ventilator. People with quadriplegia are also at an increased risk for pneumonia and other types of respiratory infections. They may be prescribed certain medications and breathing exercises to prevent these types of respiratory problems, especially when mobility is an issue.
  • Muscle spasms: When a spinal cord injury prevents the transmission of nerve signals to the brain, individuals may experience muscle spasms that cause the arms and legs to jerk. This is not actually movement, but just muscles that begin to spasm because of weakness and lack of function.
  • Pain: Quadriplegics often don’t feel much sensation, but they may still feel pain in the arms, legs, back and other areas. In such cases, medications may be prescribed to alleviate the pain.
  • Risk of injury: Since a victim with quadriplegia may lack sensation in most parts of his or her body, he or she may suffer other injuries such as cuts or burns and not realize it. Caregivers must be wary of the objects that are in the patient’s room in order to eliminate any injury risks.
  • Autonomic dysreflexia: This is a term that refers to irritation or pain below the site of the injury. This may send a signal that will not reach the brain, but may cause a nerve signal that disrupts vital body functions. It may cause the heart rate to drop and the blood pressure to shoot up, putting the patient at risk for a stroke. Even something as minor as irritating clothes or a full bladder may trigger this reflex. This is something caregivers should be aware of when they are in charge of quadriplegics.
  • Impaired sexual function: Regardless of gender, quadriplegics experience changes in sexual desire, difficulties with orgasm, decrease in fertility and even complete loss of sexual function.
  • Changes in weight: Since quadriplegics are not able to move, they must reduce calorie consumption or pursue some form of physical therapy in order to keep their weight in check. Significant weight gain due to immobility and inactivity can put the patient at risk for serious health complications.
  • Psychological issues: There is no denying that such a traumatic event can cause significant stress and psychological problems such as depression and anxiety. These issues must be properly managed by getting the patient psychological counseling and therapy.

The Cost of Quadriplegia

Quadriplegics face a range of health issues and complications. As a result, they not only require treatment and care immediately after their injury, but also continuing treatment and care, potentially for the rest of their lives. Immediately after suffering a spinal cord injury, patients must be immobilized to prevent further injuries. Their vitals including heart rate and blood pressure must be stabilized. They may need assistance to breathe. They may need a variety of tests to determine the nature and extent of injuries. Patients may also need multiple surgeries to relieve pressure or swelling on the spine.

The process of rehabilitation for those with quadriplegia consists of training and learning how to live and cope with their new disabilities and limitations. Patients often require physical therapy to increase blood circulation and prevent muscles from atrophying. There are also a number of new, experimental therapies that are offering quadriplegics hope for a better quality of life. Patients may opt to participate in one of many clinical trials that are ongoing.

The costs of medical treatment, surgeries, hospitalization and rehabilitative care can add up very quickly. The average annual costs and the estimated lifetime costs for those living with quadriplegia can vary significantly based on education, neurological impairment and employment history prior to the injury. A person who has been rendered quadriplegic is looking at more than $1 million in expenses just during the first year and close to $200,000 for every subsequent year after that, according to estimates by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

Determining the Value of a Quadriplegia Case

The value of a quadriplegia or spinal cord injury case would in part depend on the severity of the injury and the losses that the plaintiff (the injured person) has sustained as a result of the injury. These types of cases can be challenging and complex because the plaintiff may not even become fully aware of the extent of injury until he or she has been thoroughly examined and evaluated by a battery of experts. Here are some of the factors that often determine what a quadriplegia case is worth.

Life Care Costs

A majority of individuals with quadriplegia will require round-the-clock care or in-home care and assistance because they are unable to care for themselves. Such expenses may include nursing, home care, transportation costs and in-home rehabilitation and therapy. Since spinal cord injuries such as quadriplegia are catastrophic, the patient is looking at facing these expenses for the rest of his or her life. Over a person’s lifetime, these expenses may add up to millions of dollars.

Victim’s Age

This is an important factor when it comes to determining the value of a spinal cord injury claim. For example, if a teenager suffered serious injury, the value of the claim will be much more than if an elderly person suffered the injury. This is because a young person who is rendered quadriplegic has suffered a life-changing injury, which will have a longer-lasting impact. These individuals may also need resources for a longer period of time because they may simply live longer.

Medical and Rehabilitation Expenses

These are usually quantifiable damages that may be sought by the plaintiff. It is important to save all receipts and invoices related to medical and rehabilitation expenses. An experienced attorney will be able to review all of your medical records, and bills and determine an amount that can be sought as damages. In addition to medical bills, cost of various therapists (occupational, speech, physical, psychological) should also be taken into consideration. With quadriplegics, it’s not about one doctor or a singular type of treatment. It takes an entire team of professionals to treat and care for a quadriplegic and the cost of such treatment and care may add up very quickly.

Loss of Income

This is a significant element of a spinal cord injury claim. Plaintiffs in such cases who were earning a living before the injury will most likely be unable to return to work or earn a livelihood. In addition to income lost soon after the injury, they can also claim compensation for lost future income and benefits as a result of becoming disabled and being unable to work.

Past and Future Pain and Suffering

This will take into consideration how the injury has changed you. How has your life become different as the result of this accident? What were the things you used to do that you are unable to do after the injury? It analyzes the non-economic damages you have suffered in terms of enjoying a certain quality of life.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been rendered quadriplegic as the result of a traumatic incident such as an auto accident or a slip-and-fall accident, etc., you need the expertise of injury lawyers who have successfully handled similar cases. The experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.

Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:

1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES

Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com



Client Testimonials

Mr.Wilhelm and Mr. Ginsberg really care about representing people who might otherwise not be represented. They come to your home, if you are unable for whatever reason to meet with them in their office. That is a rare thing in this day and age. They do excellent work and try their utmost to achieve a positive outcome.read more
Veronica B.
I have worked as appellate counsel and of counsel to Mr. Wilhelm for 25 years. Mr. Wilhelm's firm always does an extremely thorough job of working up each client's case in order to optimize the chances of maximum recovery. The Wilhelm firm zealously litigates their clients' claims and, if necessary, will take a case to trial and on appeal to ensure that their clients get the best results possible under the law.read more
Susan N.
Mr. Wilhelm was very helpful and caring the whole step of the way. Also very efficient in handling my case which was very difficult. I could not thank him or his staff enough for their support.
Inawa M
Most helpful and caring law firm! Mr. Wilhelm and Mr.. Ginsberg make you feel right at ease! Happy holidays to all!
Veronica B.
Extremely professional and polite staff. Very caring lawyers and Mr. Wilhelm and Mr. Ginsberg made you feel right at ease. Would definitely recommend them to others!
Veronica B.
So thankful Mr. Wilhelm accepted me as a client!!I was first taken in by an attorney that only had his interests first, I can't even imagine how I would live if Mr. Wilhelm didn't get the chance to review my case, use his knowledge and experience and WIN BIG!!I didn't know what to expect as far as compensation but I knew everything was going to be all right when Mr. Wilhelm called me one day and asked is he could settle....WOW!!!Not only did Mr. Wilhelm win a summary judgement for me(in my situation this was very good), Mr. Wilhelm got me more money in my pocket than what the bum attorney I was with first demanded in full resolution.Don't waste your time like I did, talk to Mr. Wilhelm first and you will understand what I already know.I learned from my suit, every decision you make WILL AFFECT YOUR WELL BEING!!read more
transcender72
I met with an accident and my leg was broken. My friend suggested me to consult Kenneth A. Wilhelm's law firm as my medical bills was more than the coverage limits of the responsible party. Mr. Wilhelm was very friendly and kept me informed about the case progress and the case outcome was exactly what we expected.read more
John C.
Great attorney. Professional and courteous staff. Wouldn't use anyone else.
Joni Cicerale M.
When my daughter was burned in an accident, my husband and I looked for a good lawyer who specialized in burn cases. My husband found Mr. Kenneth A. Wilhelm, and we called him and met with him. He told us he would do whatever he could for our daughter, and he did! We were very pleased with the work Mr. Wilhelm did for our daughter, and we are glad we chose such an excellent lawyer. We would choose his services again if we had to, and I would recommend his services to my family, friends, or anyone who has need of a lawyer. My daughter is doing well because of him.read more
Stanley G.
My son was born prematurely, and I trusted the doctors and hospital to get him through the first few weeks and out of danger. The doctors made some mistakes in their procedures and my son is now injured for life because of their mistakes. I didn't know what to do. I hired Ken Wilhelm's law office because I heard from someone that Ken Wilhelm is the best. He and his attorneys held the hospital responsible for their errors. We received a very large settlement. It doesn't fix my son's suffering but I feel that my attorneys helped me get what my family deserved for our hardship.read more
Jean S.
I have known Mr. Wilhelm for the past 12 or more years. He represented me for different problems that I had, and he was very successful. I have no problem in recommending him to my friends and neighbors because he is an honest and reliable attorney.
Malcolm N.
I have been a client of Kenneth A. Wilhelm's law firm for many years. I am very pleased with the services that I have received. I have always told my family, friends, and neighbors that if they ever need a lawyer, they should contact Mr. Wilhelm. The employees are not only helpful in assisting your needs, but they are trustworthy and you can be comfortable leaving all matters in their hands. They were very helpful to me and my family when I had my accident, like a second family. Please don't hesitate to call the Wilhelm firm; they will be there for you in your time of need.read more
Guy F.

Call 1-800-967-5496 for a Free Personal Injury Consultation.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • What Our Clients Say About Us

    Testimonial
  • Verdicts & Settlements

    An error has occurred, which probably means the feed is down. Try again later.
  • *Disclaimer:Some of the verdicts for the cases mentioned on this website were increased or decreased on appeal. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING