Navigating Life After Paralysis

Can you imagine waking up in a hospital bed after a car accident or serious fall, unable to move your legs, arms, or even your entire body? For some people, this is the stuff of nightmares. But for people who have become paralyzed after an injury, this is the reality.

Types of Paralysis

Paralysis is the loss of the ability to move, and sometimes feel, in part of or most of the body. While there are many types of paralysis, the two main types are:

  • Quadriplegia, which affects the hands, arms, legs, and pelvic organs
  • Paraplegia, which affects only the lower extremities

Additionally, paralysis can be incomplete, with some sensory and motor functions remaining in the affected area, or complete, which means that there is no feeling or mobility in the injured in the affected area.


Of the 5.4 million people living with paralysis in the United States, the vast majority were paralyzed as the result of a spinal cord injury. The spinal cord is a vital part of the central nervous system, which helps to coordinate the body’s movements and sensations. When the spinal cord is damaged, even if it remains intact, parts of the spinal cord lose the ability to send and receive messages from the brain, leading to a loss of sensory and motor functions. Spinal cord injuries can occur through:

  • Vehicle accidents
  • Falls
  • Physical labor
  • Shootings, assaults, and other types of violence
  • Sports accidents
  • Traumatic birth injuries

Paralysis can also be caused by a range of medical conditions, including strokes, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis.

Life After an Injury

Regardless of the cause, paralysis can be devastating and life-changing. When a person becomes paralyzed, they must suddenly consider things like:

  • The cost of occupational or physical therapy
  • Retrofitting their home and vehicle to meet their new needs
  • Lost wages
  • Applying for disability
  • Paralysis-related health conditions, like respiratory health and bowel and bladder management
  • Loss of mobility and independence
  • Depression or other metal health issues after their accident

When someone has a family member or loved one who experiences sudden paralysis, they may also have a lot to deal with. If they have to become a full-time caregiver, they can also suffer from lost wages, and may bear the burden of financial and legal responsibilities.

When someone becomes paralyzed, it is a very emotional and difficult experience. However, with the right care, emotional support, and lifestyle adjustments, people with paralysis can continue living the healthy, fulfilling lives that they deserve.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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