You may have a claim over your spinal cord injury!
Quadriplegia and Tetraplegia are synonymous terms used to describe a condition characterized by paralysis in all four limbs and torso. The condition can be caused by injury or illness. The most common trauma-related cause of spinal cord injury is motor vehicle accident, comprising 39.2% of all cases. This is followed by falls, comprising 28.3%. If your loved one was diagnosed with complete or incomplete quadriplegia after a serious accident, we invite you to contact a Houston injury lawyer at Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC today. You may be entitled to pursue a claim, so get in touch with us to learn more.
Complete vs. Incomplete Quadriplegia
Many physicians in the United States use the ASIA Impairment Scale to judge the severity of the neurological damage caused by spinal cord injury. There are five categories, A to E, that physicians use to classify this type of injury, starting at “A – Complete” to “E – Normal.” Complete tetraplegia describes no motor or sensory function preserved in all four limbs. Incomplete tetraplegia would describe a condition where some of the motor and/or sensory functions were preserved, but impaired by the injury.
Quadriplegia / Tetraplegia Statistics
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), about 270,000 people in the United States living today are living with the effects of spinal cord injury. The most frequent neurologic category at discharge from the hospital was people with incomplete tetraplegia, comprising 40.8% of all people in the United States who sustained a spinal cord injury. Below is a complete diagnosis breakdown of patients who sustained spine injuries:
- 40.8% had incomplete tetraplegia
- 21.6% had complete paraplegia
- 21.4% had incomplete paraplegia
- 15.8% had complete tetraplegia
High vs. Low Tetraplegia
You may also have noticed that tetraplegia is often delineated into “high” and “low” groups. All this means is some cases of quadriplegia resulted from injury to the C1-C4 sections of the spinal column (this would be the “high” tetraplegia) and some resulted from injury to the C5-C8 sections of the spinal column (“low” tetraplegia).
Spastic quadriplegia is a subset of spastic cerebral palsy. The “spastic” here refers to a characteristic of spinal cord injury that affects some patients, known as “spasticity.” This means that muscles can uncontrollably become tight, expand, and contract. Spasticity is different from strict paralysis, and most people diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia developed the condition before birth.
Lifetime Costs of a Spinal Cord Injury
The NSCISC breaks down the lifetime costs of a spinal cord injury by severity, year, and age at injury. High tetraplegia is the most costly, with an estimated more than $1 million in expenses the first year alone. The next most costly condition is low tetraplegia, followed by paraplegia, then any other incomplete motor function impairment. The lifetime costs of this type of condition increase the younger the individual was at the time of injury.
If your loved one was diagnosed with quadriplegia after a serious injury, we invite you to contact Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC in Houston today for a free review of your legal rights and options.