Indirect Effects Of Paralysis: Mental Health & Your Rights

In addition to a spinal cord injury resulting in partial or complete paralysis, patients may also experience a wide range of emotional distress, including depression and helplessness. The law allows for victims to be compensated for both their physical and emotional hardships. The attorneys at Golitko & Daly, P.C., in Indianapolis, Indiana, know how to secure damages for both the direct and indirect effects of paralysis. Our work injury lawyers have dedicated their careers to representing injured and paralyzed workers against companies and insurance agencies, earning our clients the compensation they need and deserve.

Trauma, Paraplegia And Mental Health

Most spinal cord injury survivors have been involved in an unexpected and traumatic accident. Following such a life-changing experience, accident victims may experience symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), such as nightmares and flashbacks. Additionally, individuals coping with paraplegia often endure sweeping emotional changes. Studies indicate these victims are two to five times more likely to experience  mental health concerns such as:

  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Tension
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety

Factors that Trigger Mental Health Concerns

Several factors contribute to the psychological effects of paraplegia. To begin, the loss of mobility is often devastating to the victim. Although individuals may regain some mobility and limb functionality through rehabilitation, it is likely they will remain dependent on some form of assistance for the rest of their lives. This loss of independence can lead to depression.

The financial burden associated with ongoing medical treatment and loss of income and earning power can also trigger depression and anxiety. A worker who is let go or fired stands to lose his or her insurance coverage. In some instances, victims may be unable to return to work due to their disability. Wondering how to earn a living and pay for needed healthcare can be intensely stressful, adding to a paraplegic’s existing challenges.

Unfortunately, corporations and insurance companies sometimes take advantage of an injured worker’s lack of knowledge regarding their rights. Paraplegics may experience unnecessary hardship when a corporation or insurance agency unfairly denies entitlements or benefits that are otherwise due to them.

Loss Of Consortium

Spouses and family members of the injured party also have rights to recover damages for loss of consortium. The concept is that, as a result of the negligent party’s actions, the injured victim cannot provide their spouse or family member with the same level of affection, companionship, love, comfort, society, or sexual relations as they did prior to the accident. In short, a loss of consortium case is a claim filed by the injured victim’s spouse or family member against the negligent third party for the family’s suffering.

Generally speaking, the damages awarded in a loss of consortium claim are left to the discretion of the judge or jury. These types of damages, involving suffering and loss of companionship, are difficult to quantify. An experienced professional can provide a precise monetary value for a loss of consortium claim.

Protecting Your Rights

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident that resulted in full or partial paraplegia, consider seeking the assistance of an experienced attorney. The attorneys at Golitko & Daly, P.C., are well-versed in upholding victim’s rights and securing them entitlements and damages for physical and emotional hardships. Schedule your free case review online, or over the phone at 317-566-9600.