Serving Clients Throughout Upstate New York with Multiple Convenient Locations Syracuse | Oneida | Watertown | New Hartford | Binghamton | Cortland | Rochester | Oswego | Albany | Buffalo
Super Lawyers
Justia Lawyer Rating
Rue Ratings - Best Attorneys of America
Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
National Association of Distinguished Counsel
Avvo Rating
Martindalle Hubbel
Best Law Firms

Paraplegia and Quadriplegia

Upstate New York Lawyers Helping Children Affected by Birth Injuries

Sometimes when a doctor does not properly resolve a serious labor and delivery complication, a neworn may develop paraplegia or quadriplegia. With paraplegia, there is a traumatic injury to the nerve tissue of the spinal cord, resulting in paralysis in the lower extremities. Quadriplegia is a type of paralysis in which all sensation and movement control have been lost in both the torso and the limbs. Often, there are additional complications that accompany paraplegia and quadriplegia. If you suspect that your baby developed paraplegia or quadriplegia as a result of medical negligence, you should consult the Upstate New York birth injury lawyers at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. These are serious injuries that may require significant care. We assist families in Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, and Albany.

Paraplegia and Quadriplegia

The location of the injury on a baby’s spine will determine whether paraplegia or quadriplegia develops. When a baby’s spine is injured below the first thoracic spinal nerve, the result may be paraplegia, which results in loss of sensation or movement in the bladder, bowel, sexual regions, and legs. When a baby is injured above the first thoracic nerve, however, the result may be quadriplegia. Quadriplegia also results in paralysis and loss of sensation, not only in the lower regions of the body but also in the arms and possibly the torso.


When a baby has paraplegia or quadriplegia as a result of medical negligence, they may need care and rehabilitation far into the future. To hold your doctor accountable for paraplegia or quadriplegia caused by their professional negligence, you will need to prove that it is more likely than not that your doctor departed from the professional standard of care, and the departure from the professional standard of care caused your child’s paraplegia or quadriplegia.

Often, birth injury lawsuits turn into battles of experts. It is critical to work with an attorney who works with credible experts with solid reputations who are persuasive on the stand. The expert will need to explain and clarify technical issues for the jury. We will need an expert opinion on what the professional standard of care was, how your doctor departed from it, and causation.

The professional standard of care is the accepted medical practices of others who share the same specialty as the defendant and who practice in the same geographic region and are faced with similar circumstances. In other words, our attorneys will need to retain an expert whose opinion is that your child’s paraplegia or quadriplegia was caused by your provider’s deviation from the accepted medical practices of other providers in the same specialty. For example, if a reasonably prudent obstetrician in Upstate New York would have performed an emergency C-section rather than continuing with a prolonged, difficult birth, but your obstetrician instead aggressively misused forceps to get the baby out, your provider likely breached the professional standard of care.

Under New York law, we will also need to file a certificate of merit with your birth injury complaint. In the certificate, we will need to attest that we consulted a licensed expert familiar with the pertinent issues of your case who concluded that your case was meritorious. In some cases, it is also necessary to retain other experts to provide opinions during litigation or at trial about the losses that arose from the paraplegia or quadriplegia and how they should be quantified.


Babies who develop paraplegia or quadriplegia as a result of medical negligence during labor and delivery or just after birth may struggle for the rest of their lives. They may have difficulty eating, breathing, or digesting. Medical interventions that they may need include the insertion of a feeding tube, mechanical ventilation, methylprednisone, corticosteroids, acetyl-1-carnitine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, catheterization, and surgery. In addition, they may contend with medical bills, lost employment, inability to drive, emotional distress, and more.

As a parent of a baby who suffers from paraplegia or quadriplegia caused by medical negligence, you may not have enough saved for medical interventions, assistive devices, medical care, therapy, and other treatment, and you may experience emotional distress yourself. If we can establish liability through a birth injury lawsuit, the jury will award compensatory damages. These damages are intended to cover your economic and non-economic losses.

Contact an Upstate New York Attorney Following a Birth Injury

Paraplegia and quadriplegia can be distressing for parents. If your baby suffers from paraplegia or quadriplegia as a result of medical negligence, you should consult the experienced Upstate New York attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. We may be able to help you hold your health care provider accountable. Contact us at 833-200-2000 or via our online form.

Client Reviews
Mr. Falgiatano was very professional and did an incredible job when he worked with my family on our case. He met with us numerous times and was available when we called with questions. He explained the whole legal process to us and made sure we made the correct decision for my family! I could not thank Mr. Falgiatano enough and he is the only lawyer for my family! Jeff M.
Jeff Defrancisco and his team represented me after a bad fall while working on a construction site. They were always available to answer any and all questions and they genuinely cared regarding my health and were very sincere in helping me attain a settlement that far exceeded my expectations. My family and I received an amazing outcome and they are by far the best in the business. I highly recommend hiring their firm. Justin M.
I cannot thank DeFrancisco and Falgiatano enough! Charlie Falgiatano took my case and i couldn't have done it without him. I highly recommend this team of lawyers especially, Charlie. I will forever be grateful for him and because of him, all the time and effort he put into my case, my son can have a much easier life. Charlies understand, patient, kind, and one of the best people I know. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Katie C.