Truck Accident Multimillion-Dollar Settlement.

"M.A.," a 30-year-old man, was driving to work in New Mexico. Suddenly a commercial truck veered across the center line and struck his vehicle head on. M.A. died at the scene. The McNeely Stephenson firm was hired shortly after the crash to represent the family of the deceased.

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Indianapolis Paraplegia and Quadriplegia Attorneys

Our Attorneys handle Paraplegia, Quadriplegia, and Tetraplegia Cases

Spinal cord injuries can be extremely debilitating and life-changing; two of the most common results of a spinal cord injury include conditions known as paraplegia and quadriplegia (also commonly referred to as tetraplegia). By understanding the differences between each type of spinal cord injury and how they can affect a person’s life, you can be better informed and better prepared to embark on a legal case regarding your spinal cord injury or that of a loved one.

Understanding the Differences

Paraplegia and quadriplegia/tetraplegia are both types of spinal cord injuries, but they differ greatly in the part of the spine they affect and how they impact the human body.


Indiana Paraplegia Attorney

Paraplegia refers to a spinal cord injury that has occurred below the first thoracic spinal levels (towards the middle of the spine). Those with paraplegia retain full use of their arms and hands, but their legs may be partially or entirely paralyzed. In minor cases, there may be a tingling sensation in the legs and a decrease in one’s ability to feel certain sensations in the lower part of the body. In severe cases, full paralysis from the waist down may occur.


With quadriplegia, the spinal cord injury has taken place above the thoracic vertebra and into the cervical vertebra (around the neck). When this occurs, paralysis of all four limbs (legs and arms) is the result. Still, the specific degree of paralysis can vary depending on the extent of the injury. For instance, some may be able to regain some feeling and use of the arms and/or legs, whereas in other cases, total paralysis may become a permanent part of life.

Common Causes of Paraplegia and Quadriplegia

There are many common causes of paraplegia and quadriplegia spinal cord injuries. Car accidents and workplace (especially construction) accidents are among the most common, but other potential causes can include:

Of course, it is worth noting that a life-changing spinal cord injury could occur any time and at any place. Even a slip-and-fall accident could result in a severe spinal cord injury if the circumstances are just right.

Estimated Annual and Lifetime Costs

Tetraplegia and quadriplegia are not only emotionally and physically challenging to endure, but they can also wreak havoc on a person’s (or a family’s) finances.

Average Annual Costs

For a person with tetraplegia, the first year of care alone typically costs between $770,000 and $1,000,000. This doesn’t include indirect expenses, such as lost wages and pain and suffering. For each subsequent year of care, those with tetraplegia can expect costs ranging between $113,000 and $184,000.

For those with paraplegia, first-year expenses are generally between $350,000 and $518,000, with average costs for each subsequent year ranging between $42,000 and $68,000.

Average Lifetime Costs

Lifetime costs for those with tetraplegia and paraplegia can certainly add up. For tetraplegia patients age 25 years old, lifetime costs can range between $3.4 million and $4.7 million, whereas those who experienced their injury at age 50 can expect lifetime costs to range between $2.1 million and $2.5 million.

Paraplegia patients, on the other hand, often have lifetime costs between $1.1 and $2.3 million.

Seeking Financial Compensation

Those who have suffered from a spinal cord injury, such as tetraplegia or paraplegia, should consider seeking financial compensation for their losses—particularly if the injury was caused by another person or entity’s carelessness. There are many potential sources of financial compensation that can help to offset and annual and lifetime costs associated with these spinal cord injuries, including:

Indiana Paraplegia Attorney
  • compensation for pain and suffering
  • home and vehicle modifications
  • lost wages and future earnings
  • medical expenses
  • property damage
  • rehabilitation
  • vocational training
Sadly, almost all spinal cord injuries are preventable, but negligence and careless actions can make anybody a victim. When this occurs, the negligent party should be held responsible for their actions and be required to pay out financial compensation where it’s due.

How an Experienced Law Firm Can Help

If you or a loved one has suffered from a spinal cord injury, such as tetraplegia or quadriplegia, don’t handle the burden alone. If you believe somebody else was responsible for your injuries, seeking legal help is one of the best decisions you can make. Please keep in mind that most states have a two-year statute of limitations on these kinds of cases, so the sooner you take legal action, the better.

A team of lawyers experienced in personal injury and spinal cord injury cases can assist you in building a case and fighting for the compensation you may be entitled to. Throughout the process, a dedicated team of lawyers will keep your best interests in mind and defend your rights. Get started today by scheduling a free consultation to find out what an experienced law firm can do to help you.

real-life cases

“B.K.” was driving on a two-lane road one Sunday afternoon with his mother in the front seat and his brother and sister-in-law in the back seat when his life was forever changed. B.K. was struck head on by D.C.

D.C. had spent the day drinking with a friend and had stopped at a restaurant less than five miles from the point of the accident where D.C. had been served several drinks. D.C.’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

As a result of the terrible wreck, B.K. received devastating injuries, which included multiple broken bones, facial fractures, and loss of vision. B.K.’s mother, brother, and sister-in-law were all killed in the accident.

As one would anticipate, D.C. had virtually no insurance. Stephenson, through his thorough and detailed investigation, was able to prepare claims against the restaurant and those that provided the alcohol.

Stephenson pursued dram shop claims against those responsible CASE SUMMARY

D.H. was a competitive bicyclist who was riding in preparation for a cross-country fundraising ride. In the spring of 2010, D.H. was riding across an old steel-grated deck bridge in Shelby County when he hit a hole in the bridge and flipped over the handlebars of his bike. The impact to the bridge decking caused severe injuries to his face, teeth, tongue, and elbow.

Through the investigation, they were able to learn as early as 1998, the bridge inspection reports showed the bridge in question needed to be replaced. The county never authorized additional inspections. The county obtained $844,000 in funding for the replacement of the bridge in 2000, but the Historical Society and adjacent property owners wanted the bridge repaired rather than replaced.

This crash could have been avoided if the inspectors and county had done their jobs. CASE SUMMARY

Our client (“D.W.”) was a front-seat passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a UDF truck making deliveries. D.W. received broken arms and legs, as well as internal injuries. Stephenson was retained by D.W.’s personal counsel to prepare and try the case. Discovery determined that the UDF driver had multiple driving violations. Stephenson retained numerous experts to show the jury the devastating effects of the injuries. Before trial, the defendant’s company stated that a jury in a small southern county in Indiana would never return a verdict for $1 million in this case.

The defendant was correct; the verdict was twice that amount. CASE SUMMARY

Indiana Spine Injury Attorneys


Located in Indianapolis, the McNeely Stephenson law firm has been successfully representing Indiana accident victims since 1982. See our Case Results page to read about “C.M.,” a client who suffered a low back injury in a car accident caused by a drowsy driver and had to have multi-level fusion surgery. We were prepared to take his case to the jury, but were able to obtain an $850,000 settlement shortly before trial was to begin.

If you or your loved one has suffered a spinal injury — in a car or truck crash, a workplace accident, a sports competition or a diving accident — which was due to the negligence of another person, business or manufacturer, let the resources and experience of McNeely Stephenson put you on the path to justice and financial security. Use the convenient online contact form or call 1-855-206-2555.

Personal Injury Lawyer
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Accidental deaths have hit an all-time high in the U.S., at least since government agencies have kept records on the causes of death. About 466 people die accidental deaths every day in the U.S. – one every three minutes. It’s clearly bad news that highlights so many challenges Americans are currently facing, including an opioid epidemic and the persistent uptick in the number of vehicle crash-related deaths. You might be wondering what ma...


Mike Stephenson is a Super Lawyer in Indiana along with many of his peers at McNeely Stephenson. This is one of the highest honors an attorney can achieve


The AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale Hubbell is the HIGHEST RATING and considered a significant accomplishment. It is a peer-reviewed process reflecting that other attorneys rank Mike Stephenson at the highest possible level of professional excellence.


Attorney Mike Stephenson is a proud member of The Litigation Counsel of America’s Honorary Society. A close-knit, peer-selected, and aggressively diverse honorary society of 3,500 of the “best trial lawyers” in the country. Less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers, vigorously vetted for skills, expertise, and service; an invitation-only collegial network.


The American Board of Trial Advocates is an invitation-only organization for attorneys of “high personal character and honorable reputation.” ABOTA works for the preservation of the civil jury trial, “Justice by the People,” and supports the right of a jury trial.


The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers. Membership is extended only to the select few of the most qualified attorneys. Indiana attorney Mike Stephenson is proud to be included in this national organization of top trial lawyers.


Our attorneys are proven advocates and trial attorneys. They have served as lead trial counsel in more than 100 civil jury trials, and have handled litigation in 18 states