Is there any Help for Amputees and Para- or Quadriplegics?

You are in a car wreck with a drunk driver, or a motorcycle accident with a semi tractor-trailer, or a highway accident with a truck, a truck crash, a large truck crash, a construction accident, or traffic accident of any type.  You are injured.  The injury is either to your spinal cord or you have a leg or arm amputated.  If the injury is to your spinal cord you may be a paraplegic or quadriplegic.  While you are recovering, in the hospital, you contact a good accident attorney or accident lawyer.  Your lawyer will help you start the process of applying for Social Security Disability benefits.  The injury lawyer will contact the insurance company for the person whose negligence caused your injury.  If you are on Medicare, your injury attorney will contact Medicare per the requirements of the Medicare rules and regulations.  Your injury lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into the facts of the trucking accident or construction accident, including contacting witnesses, and photographing the scene of the collision.  The next thing your lawyer should do is discuss with you your options for how best to deal with the loss of your limb(s) or the use of your limb(s).  This will include a discussion about a qualified rehabilitation hospital, outpatient therapies such as vocational rehab, physical rehab and others.  The discussion will turn to adaptive devices, such as a wheel chair, devices to help you eat, walk, dress and others.

Eventually the discussion should turn to the future of the assistive device.  The days of a wooden leg are gone, but the changes in the fields of assistive devices for the future will make the best devices of today seem like wooden legs.  I recommend anyone interested in the topic please pick up the January 2010 edition of the National Geographic Magazine.  The title of the article is Merging Man and Machine, The Bionic age.  The article, written by Josh Fischman, details the potential of many different devices which are revolutionizing the field of bionics and aid to those who have lost an arm or leg or have lost the use of their arms or legs.  The technology is much too complicated to explain in this short blog.  In a nutshell, scientists are tapping into the remaining nerves in the injured person’s body to communicate with robotic devices and move them as if they were the person’s own limb. Even more exciting is that the field is not limited to prosthetic arms or legs.  Scientists have implanted devices that help the deaf hear and the blind to see, using variations on this same technology.  One man, described in the article as having the use of his arms, but not below his wrist (i.e. he can move his arms but his hands do not work, was implanted with a device that allowed him to move his fingers.  This device lets the man eat and do some very basic activities of daily living.

To be sure, these technologies are not perfect, but the field of bionics is looking at Steve Austin, six million dollar man of 70’s television, as a possibility.  The real bionic person will not be superhuman, but may be able to feed and dress themselves, and do what the average person takes for granted.  What a giant leap forward this may well be.  If you have suffered an amputation or paralysis, call John P. Young, of Young and Young.  He has the experience to help you and the quite resolve to make your life better.

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