This is the second part of a two-part article. Please read part one here.

In part one of this article, we briefly discuss some of the common aspects of paraplegia and quadriplegia—conditions caused by injuries to the spinal cord that are among the severe non-fatal diagnoses in the aftermath of serious Calgary car accidents. The common cause of paraplegia and quadriplegia (i.e. severe damage to the spinal cord) and the overall defining features of the disorder (i.e. paralysis and/or other impairment of function below the injury site) are not all that these two related diagnoses have in common.

Loss of conscious motor function is the most immediate symptom of paraplegia and quadriplegia that comes to most people’s minds. While the paralysis of consciously controlled muscles is very real and very significant, there are other problems that go even deeper. The brain’s inability to communicate with other organs can lead to other internal conditions that must be monitored and that can require extensive, invasive, and sometimes lifelong interventions. And then there’s the problem of pain.

Not being able to feel pain might seem like a blessing but anyone in Calgary who has lost the ability to feel pain or other sensations in any of their limbs can tell you it’s actually quite dangerous. Pain tells us that something is wrong—that a cut is bleeding, or that a wound has become infected. Without this knowledge, far more serious damage can occur.

Quadriplegia and paraplegia can both be identified by these common features and problems, however there are some notable differences in the prognoses of the two conditions.


Paraplegia is a condition affecting the motor and/or sensory nervous system in the lower extremities of the body, up to and including complete paralysis of both legs, incontinence and loss of bladder control, and other serious medical problems and indignities in day-to-day life.

Many with paraplegia can comfortably operate wheelchairs and resume much of a “normal” life, though this is not necessarily the case for all.


People suffering from quadriplegia have lost some or all of the use of all  of their limbs, and typically have partially or completely reduced ability to control their bodies from the neck down.Non-fatal injuries that lead to quadriplegia typically leave enough communication in place to allow for the muscle movements of the heart and lungs, though some quadriplegics require implants or other artificial devices to carry out these basic requirements for survival.

Help for Paraplegics, Quadriplegics, and All Calgary Car Accident Victims

As Calgary’s premiere plaintiff-only personal injury law firm, the team at Cuming & Gillespie LLP has seen all too well how paraplegia and quadriplegia can affect your life and your family.

You don’t have to go through it alone.

If you or a family member has been seriously injured in a Calgary car accident, whether you suffer from paraplegia, quadriplegia, or other major trauma please contact our office today and get the help you deserve.