Being injured in an accident is never easy, but there is some solace in knowing that time and proper medical treatment will fully heal the injured part of the body. Unfortunately, some injuries are so catastrophic that no amount of treatment will heal the injured victim to the state that they were in prior to the accident.
Injuries to the spine are generally permanent because the spinal column cannot restore itself, leaving the individual without feeling, sensation, or ability to move a certain part of the body. Spinal cord injuries can be life-altering for both the victim and their family. It is imperative that these individuals get legal representation through a spinal cord injuries lawyer who can fight for maximum compensation on their behalf.
Various Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. The Center estimates that there are roughly 17,500 new cases of spinal cord injuries every year in the U.S. These injuries are more common in patients under 30 years of age and 65 percent occur in white males.
Some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slip and falls
- Assault and battery
- Medical malpractice
Spinal cord injuries are categorized as either complete and incomplete injuries. A complete spinal cord injury involves a total loss of muscle function and sensation in the body below the injury level. An incomplete spinal cord injury involves at least a moderate level of functionality below the injury level. Both sides of the body are equally affected in most cases.
Additionally, there are also four “levels” of spinal cord injuries, based on the area of the spinal column that was injured:
- cervical spinal cord injuries, which affect the head and neck region above the shoulders
- thoracic spinal cord injuries, which affect the upper chest, middle of the back, and abdominal muscles
- lumbar spinal cord injuries, which affect the hips and legs
- sacral spinal cord injuries, which affect the hips, back of the thighs, buttocks and pelvic organs
In some instances of spinal cord injury, quadriplegia appears in the form of paralysis of both legs and both arms. Quadriplegia is especially common when the upper portion of the spinal cord in the neck becomes injured. Paraplegia describes a form of paralysis of both legs only, when the lower portion of the spinal cord becomes injured. Other complications that can arise include:
- Difficulty breathing
- The use of wheelchairs
- Nerve damage
- Herniated discs
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Loss of speech or compromised speech patterns
- Chronic and excessive pain
- Difficulty regulating normal bodily functions,
- Loss of sexual function
It is important to note that individuals with spinal cord injuries can still go on to live full and meaningful lives. Having the resources to obtain proper medical care is crucial to enjoying life with a spinal cord injury.
How Spinal Cord Injuries Are Treated
After a spinal cord injury, emergency medical experts may place the spinal cord patient on a backboard or in a cervical collar to help avoid spine movement. A patient suffering from a spinal cord injury should be handled with great care or else further movement of the spine could lead to more damage.
Personalized therapeutic strategies allow even people with serious spinal cord injuries to intermingle in society and stay productive. Trauma is the most common cause for the majority of spinal cord injuries. Early treatment and control are the most significant factors in attaining recovery. However, treatment can be extremely expensive.
Pursuing Compensation for a Spinal Cord Injury
Although there is no specific spinal cord injury law, individuals facing spinal cord injuries and recovery costs do have legal recourse. Spinal cord injuries are often the result of another party’s negligence, recklessness, or wrongful acts. When this is the case, you have a right to file a personal injury claim to recover damages from the at-fault party. Potentially liable parties include:
- Negligent or reckless motorists
- Negligent doctors or medical professionals
- Product manufacturers
- Property owners
- Government entities
With the help of a skilled spinal injuries lawyer, personal injury claims for spinal cord injuries can help victims obtain damages and maximum compensation to cover:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Medical expenses for psychological or mental health treatment
- Reduced ability to earn future income
- Adaptive equipment and home modifications
- Pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages
Contact Shegerian & Associates for Compassionate Legal Assistance
An experienced attorney on your side will ensure that you are not forced to accept a lowball settlement offer and that liable parties are held accountable for their actions. This way, you do not become financially burdened with out-of-pocket costs when the money you receive runs out. The spinal cord injuries or back injury attorneys at Shegerian & Associates can make a difference for you.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a spinal cord injury, contact Shegerian & Associates today. Our spinal cord injuries attorneys would be honored to fight for you and take the burden off of your shoulders while you focus on recovering.