The voice box contains two muscles known as “vocal cords.” These cords vibrate, which creates a person’s voice. Unfortunately, some car accidents can damage the cords or otherwise result in vocal cord paralysis. A person could strike their throat on the steering wheel or have the shoulder belt strangle them, losing the ability to speak.
If you have hurt your vocal cords, contact a Miami personal injury attorney today. We can fight to get you the compensation that you need as you struggle to recover.
Symptoms of Vocal Cord Paralysis
Paralysis can involve one or both cords. For example, one of them might become paralyzed, which is called unilateral paralysis. If both cords are injured, they could be stuck between an open and closed position, which is called bilateral paralysis.
Common symptoms involve:
- Difficulty speaking
- Hoarseness when speaking
- Problems controlling pitch or volume
- Choking when eating
- Frequent need to clear your throat
- Disruption of the gag reflex
Problems can be constant, or they might be periodic. Pay close attention to how you are feeling if your throat was injured in any way during a collision.
Treating Vocal Cord Paralysis
This is a serious injury, and we encourage anyone experiencing any of the above symptoms to immediately go to the doctor. Interestingly, problems with speech might be the least of a person’s problems. Because the vocal cords also prevent food or water from going down the windpipe, any damage to them could lead to choking. A person could also get liquid in their lungs, resulting in pneumonia.
A doctor will look at the vocal cords by inserting a scope through the nose or mouth, and a tiny camera can take pictures. Treatment will vary by the injury. Some people need only rest and possibly voice therapy to regain their ability to speak normally. Others might need to have the cords repositioned. If nerve damage is impairing the ability to talk, then a damaged nerve might be replaced.
Compensation for a Vocal Cord Injury
Any injury that impacts how a person expresses themselves can cause significant emotional distress, which deserves compensation. If you permanently lose your voice, then you have suffered a serious loss that is hard to measure in dollars in cents. Nevertheless, monetary damages seem appropriate.
At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP we can fight for compensation to cover medical bills and lost wages, in addition to pain and suffering and other non-economic losses. Please contact us today to learn more. We offer free consultations with our Miami personal injury lawyers if you call 305-371-2692 or send us an online message.