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Both quadriplegia and paraplegia are life-changing results of spinal cord injuries. These conditions will have a profound impact on your day-to-day life, requiring long-term medical assistance. The type of disability resulting from your accident will depend on the area of your spine that was injured. While both quadriplegia and paraplegia can have catastrophic effects on your life and livelihood, there are distinct differences between the two.


Paraplegia is a condition in which the lower extremities – as well as part of the trunk – become immobilized due to a spinal cord injury. There are two types of paraplegia:

  • Incomplete paraplegia – You may still be able to sit, balance, and walk.
  • Complete paraplegia – You will not be able to use your legs and torso at all.

Both types of paraplegia may result in additional problems, such as a loss of bladder control and sexual function.


Patients with quadriplegia experience a loss of sensory and motor functions in all four limbs. In addition to a complete loss of movement, quadriplegia will result in a loss of bladder and sexual function and may result in difficulties breathing. This condition can also produce a burning or tingling sensation throughout the entire body, while simultaneously inhibiting other sensory experience.

Paraplegia vs. Quadriplegia

As illustrated above, the difference in these two conditions is the extent of damage they produce. There is a larger loss of function with quadriplegia, but both of these conditions will require long-term medical assistance and the use of wheelchairs and other devices for mobility.

Quadriplegia and paraplegia inevitably result in substantial medical expenses, an inability (or reduced ability) to work, a loss of quality of life, and tremendous physical and emotional pain and suffering. If you have sustained either of these injures in an accident because of another person’s negligence, Norfolk and Virginia Beach spinal cord injury attorneys Jim Hurley and John Cooper are prepared to fight for the justice and fair compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury because of someone else’s neglect, please contact our spinal cord injury lawyer today to schedule a free case evaluation.

Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers has meeting locations throughout Hampton Roads. If travel is difficult, we can come to you. (Please schedule an appointment before visiting our Virginia Beach location.)

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