Whether it was a motor vehicle accident, a work-related accident or some other trauma, you may have known as soon as it happened that something just wasn't right. You may have wondered if shock was the reason why you couldn't feel anything.
Then you got to the hospital and doctors told you that you had suffered either a complete (no sensation below the injury level) or incomplete (some sensation below the injury level) spinal cord injury. The injury level refers to the vertebrae where the injury occurred. If you suffered a complete spinal cord injury, you could be facing lifelong paralysis.
Not being able to walk is only a part of the equation
Even though it's true that you would not be able to walk, other issues may actually be of more concern. Secondary complications are often the ones that make living with paralysis more of a challenge. You could face respiratory and cardiovascular issues.
You may suffer from the loss of bladder and bowel control, and possibly, you have issues with sexual function and body temperature regulation. It is likely you have also become more susceptible to infections and skin breakdowns as well. You certainly experience at least some loss of independence, depending on your particular circumstances.
All of these issues can reduce your quality of life and increase your need for ongoing medical care and physical therapy. You may have undergone surgeries, spent a significant amount of time in the hospital and may now be living in a rehabilitation center. In many cases, there is also a mental and emotional component following such a traumatic and life-changing injury. You may be seeing a mental health professional to help you through these challenges.
Is someone responsible for your current situation?
You will also incur significant financial losses associated with your care and needs. You may no longer be able to work as you did prior to the accident even after a significant recovery period. As you attempt to cope with and adjust to your new circumstances, the last thing you need is to worry about money.
If the negligence of another party caused the accident that led to your spinal cord injury, you may be able to seek compensation for those financial losses. A successfully litigated claim could mean that a California court will consider awarding you monetary damages that could help with your current and future needs.