Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal injuries overwhelm victims with severe chronic pain, numbness and tingling, paralysis and even death. If you are dealing with such injuries, you must speak with a highly-skilled spinal cord injury attorney as soon as possible after the accident.
As one of the most vital organs in the human body, a spinal injury can increase the risk of sustained physical and psychological trauma and require extensive long-term medical care. Approximately 50 percent of all spinal cord injuries that occur in the United States each year are the result of a car accident; however, injuries also result from slip and falls, workplace accidents, dangerous conditions, hazardous property, defective products or unsuitable working conditions. In these instances, negligence is usually at play, and the negligent party will likely be required to compensate victims for their financial and physical suffering. Working with a spinal injury attorney will ensure that the appropriate steps are taken to help you recover from your losses.
Spinal cord injuries are grave and can lead to a variety of health issues. Consisting of a bundle of nerves that run from the base of the brain and down your back, your spinal cord acts as the primary regulator of your bodily functions. A spinal injury can result in chronic pain, numbness, tingling, loss of sensation and movement, and may result in paralysis of your limbs and lower half of your body. Spinal injury victims are typically at risk of early death due to the myriad complications that can arise.
Spinal injuries are caused by damage to any part of the spinal cord, including the vertebrae, ligaments, disk or cord itself. These injuries are typically classified as traumatic or non-traumatic.
External trauma is the most common source of spinal cord injuries. That typically means a sudden blow to the spine, which can come in several different ways. Common causes of external trauma include:
Although a single blow may be the cause of the injury, additional damage to the spine often occurs over the following days and weeks due to bleeding, swelling, inflammation and other factors.
Non-traumatic spinal cord damage can be caused by factors other than a physical blow to the body. That includes tumors, arthritis, spinal stenosis and multiple sclerosis.
Spinal injuries can occur in several different ways and have a variety of impacts, depending on the circumstances. They affect different areas of the spine based on where the injury occurs. The higher up on the spine that the damage takes place, the more severe it is likely to be.
No matter where the injury occurs, spinal damage is typically divided into two categories:
A person who suffers from an incomplete injury retains at least some function below the injury. That means that there is still some movement in the limbs and/or sensation in the spine, even if it is minimal. Complete injuries are those in which a person experiences a total loss of sensation and motor function below the spot of the injury.
The symptoms of spinal cord injuries vary, but they often track many of the most common effects of spine damage. That includes losing control or feeling in all or some of the limbs.
The following may be signs of a spinal cord injury:
Anyone who experiences one or more of these symptoms should seek immediate medical treatment and consult with a spinal injury attorney. In situations in which the symptoms seem mild, delaying treatment can cause additional damage. That is particularly true for spinal injuries as internal bleeding may further damage the spine over time.
Perhaps the most important thing to do if you think you may have suffered a spine injury is not to move, which can make the injury worse and cause partial or full paralysis. Stay as still as possible and have someone contact emergency medical services.
Paraplegia or quadriplegia can result from any type of severe injury, such as construction accidents or motor vehicle collisions. Paraplegia and quadriplegia can be either complete – where there is no feeling or voluntary movement below the site of the spinal cord injury – or incomplete, where the person may have some movement or feeling. A personal injury attorney will tell you that it is not always easy to determine the cause of a spinal cord injury. The force of a collision could, for example, cause a passenger wearing a lap-only seat belt to jackknife forward and suffer a fracture of the thoracic or lumbar vertebra.
Spinal injuries frequently require expensive medical treatment and extended care:
These treatments often require patients to take extended time off work and may require the continued assistance of a loved one or nursing assistant to to heal from the injury fully. Because spinal injuries often result from major accidents, there are usually multiple parties involved, and negligence is nearly always a factor. A distracted motorist, irresponsible corporation or careless property owner may be required to shoulder the costs of your initial treatment and resulting physical and psychological harm. As such, spinal injury victims should work with experienced injury lawyers to recover for their losses. A spinal injury attorney can conduct a thorough investigation and initiate an efficient legal process for recovery.
A spinal cord injury lawyer may help you recover:
No matter the cause, spinal cord damage is a serious injury that often comes with lasting and life-altering impacts, which is why it’s critical to consult with a spinal injury attorney.
The spinal cord plays a key role in motor function and balance, sending messages through the nerves from the brain to the limbs and other parts of the body. Those messages control body movement and sensory signals, like pain, pressure, heat and cold. Spinal injuries damage nerve fibers, limiting the ability to send these messages.
In some cases, a spinal cord injury can result in partial or full paralysis. In those situations, nerve damage causes a person to lose strength and control over parts or all of the body. Paralysis can occur in any part of the body. It can be localized - affecting just that part of the body, like the face, hands, feet or vocal cords - or generalized, limiting control of a larger area.
Spinal cord injuries can have a wide range of temporary and permanent effects, which includes limiting the following bodily functions, either individually or in various combinations:
These injuries are also often accompanied by pain - not to mention the mental and emotional impact of a spinal cord injury. Many people who suffer these injuries also grapple with depression, which is due to the significant physical pain and coming to grips with the long-term impact of the injury. It is important to seek the assistance of an experienced mental health professional.
If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident resulting in a spinal cord injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and your pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help. You need a spinal injury attorney who understands the physical and emotional pain you are experiencing, and able to counsel you through the cumbersome legal process.
Contact our attorneys today and receive a free consultation. You may be able to recover damages that will enable you to lead a happier and productive life.
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