When That Fall Leads to Paralysis
A slip-and-fall is an incredibly dangerous accident, even if it doesn’t seem that way on the surface. Falling backwards is a surefire way to injure your head, neck, or back. These back injuries aren’t minor ones, either. They are often incredibly painful, and the worst ones may last a lifetime with a permanent disability, such as partial or full paralysis.
The Danger of Slip-and-Falls
Slip-and-falls are often mistakenly considered minor accidents. After all, people fall all the time. You scrape a knee or bruise a leg, but never suffer injuries all that serious, right? Well, slip-and-falls are actually far more dangerous than many people realize. When you slip, your feet are sent flying upward, in front of you. That leaves you falling backward. Normally, when you fall, say due to tripping over a crack in the sidewalk, you fall forward. This allows you to catch yourself, either by grabbing a nearby object or stopping yourself with your hands. When you fall backward, however, you can’t do that.
This means that you can’t slow yourself down or stop yourself from hitting the ground. Instead, you hit the floor at full speed, and take the force of the impact on your back and head. This can result in serious injuries, such as brain damage, especially if the floor is made of a hard surface like tile or linoleum. While slip-and-falls are often written off as minor, they are anything but, and a particularly bad slip-and-fall can have serious ramifications for your spine.
Injuries to the Spine
The spine is made up of bones called vertebra. These vertebrae are what allow us to arch and twist our back and neck. Housed in the vertebrae, as well as around them, are nerves. Your nerves run from your brain to the rest of your body, allowing your brain to take in information, such as pain, temperature, and texture, as well as send out commands. Your nerves allow you to feel, move, and even breathe, pump blood, and go to the bathroom. When these nerves become damaged, it can have severe consequences.
Paralysis is often a side effect of serious nerve damage. This means that you have lost complete or partial control of your body. The two most common kinds of paralysis you can suffer from are quadriplegia, which means you can’t move your body from the neck down, and paraplegia, which is paralysis of the legs. Both of these happen because the brain has lost connection with the rest of the body, most often due to a nerve injury.
But how can a slip-and-fall lead to something so devastating? When you fall into your back, it can cause the spine to break. The shards of bones can easily slice through important nerves, leading to them being permanently damaged. Even if your spine remains intact, the nerves can be bruised, stretched, or torn. A bruised or stretched nerve will recover with proper treatment and time, but a torn nerve will likely never recover, resulting in permanent paralysis.
Living with Paralysis
Living with paralysis isn’t easy. While a wheelchair can help you move from place to place, your livelihood, home, and hobbies may all be impacted. If your job requires lifting, driving, or other physical activities, then you may have to switch jobs, or even your entire career. On top of that, your house may have to be renovated, or you will have to move so that you can have easy access to all of the rooms, cabinets, and counters. Of course, all walking-related activities, such as taking your dog out, going for a jog, or visiting friends, will be far more difficult and time-consuming.
None of this is to say that living with paralysis is impossible. Many handicapped people in America enjoy rich and fulfilling lives. But it does mean that the adjustment will be difficult and traumatic. If your paralysis was caused by a slip-and-fall that wasn’t your fault, then you deserve proper compensation that can help pay your medical bills, and provide the safety net you need while you work through the difficult transition that sudden paralysis brings. However, how much you receive in compensation will depend on who you work with. We at Aghabegian & Associates, PC, are Glendale personal injury attorneys who can provide you with the support you need. Call our firm at (818) 507-4311 to talk with one of our team members today.
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