Spinal Injuries: What You Need to Know
Spinal cord injury involves damage to the spinal cord and/or nerves situated at the end of the spinal canals. Such an injury can lead to permanent changes in sensation and strength, and a variety of other bodily functions below the site of the injury.
Every aspect of the victim’s life can be abruptly disrupted after a spinal cord injury. Besides the debilitating physical pain, a spinal cord injury can impact the patient mentally, emotionally, and socially.
Spinal Cord Injuries: Types
Two factors determine a spinal cord patient’s ability to control their limbs, namely:
- The area of the spinal cord injury
- The severity of the spinal injury
The lower portion of the spinal cord is vital for proper mobility and balance, and this is associated with the neurological aspect of the spinal injury. The severity of the injury can be classified as complete or incomplete. A complete spinal cord injury occurs if the patient loses all sensation and the ability to control movement or motor function below the site of the injury.
A spinal injury can also be categorized as incomplete, meaning that the patient has some sensation and motor function remaining beneath the area of the injury. There can be varying degrees of incomplete spinal cord injuries.
At times, spinal cord injury can lead to paralysis:
- Tetraplegia (quadriplegia), meaning that the patient’s hands, trunk, arms, legs, and pelvic organs are all affected by the spinal cord injury.
- Paraplegia refers to a type of paralysis that only impacts all or some portion of the pelvis, trunk, and legs.
A medical professional will conduct various tests to understand the completeness and neurological aspects of the spinal cord injury.
Any type of spinal cord injury can cause the following symptoms:
- Loss of movement
- Sensory motion changes or loss, including the sense of heat, cold, or touch
- Weakened bowel or bladder control
- Irregular reflex activity or spasms
- Changes in sexual sensitivity, sexual performance, and fertility
- A severe stinging sensation due to damaged spinal cord nerves
- Challenges in coughing and clearing lung secretions
- Extreme pressure in the back, neck, or head
- Paralysis in one or more body areas, weakness, and uncoordinated movements
- Challenges in balancing when walking
- Difficulty in breathing due to the injury
- Abnormally positioned or twisted neck or back
The most common reasons for spinal cord injuries in the US are:
- Automobile wrecks: Car and motorcycle crashes are the primary causes of spinal cord injuries.
- Falls: In people over the age of 65, spinal cord injuries usually occur due to a fall. Over 15 percent of spinal injuries occur because of falls.
- Acts of violence: Violent acts account for nearly 12 percent of spinal cord injuries, typically involving gunshot and knife wounds.
- Sports injuries: Athletic pursuits, such as impact sports and diving in shallow water, cause ten percent of all spinal cord injuries.
- Alcohol: The consumption of alcohol is a factor in around one out of four spinal cord injuries.
- Disease: Illnesses such as arthritis, cancer, osteoporosis, and swelling of the spinal cord can also cause spinal cord injuries.
Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuits: Types
Spinal cord personal injury lawsuits can be broadly categorized in two classes, negligence and product liability. Such cases could be based on a variety of premises, but the most common are negligence and product liability. In order to win your spinal cord injury claim, your attorney will have to show that the other party is liable for the injury.
An example of negligence causing a spinal cord injury could include a situation where a motorist’s reckless actions behind the wheel led to a car crash, causing a spinal cord personal injury that could have been avoided if the motorist was driving the vehicle properly.
If faulty product design or manufacturing resulted in a spinal cord injury, the enterprises involved in the design, production, or distribution of the product could all potentially be liable in the personal injury case.
Seek the Compensation You Deserve for Your Spinal Cord Injury
A severe spinal cord injury can permanently change a person’s life as well as adversely impact their family. The strong pursuit of legal action can help reduce the financial burden that such an injury can have on a family. If your injury has occurred due to the recklessness of an organization or person, an experienced personal injury lawyer can ensure that they are held liable.
At the law offices of Buck, Toscano, and Tereskerz, we investigate each case thoroughly and deploy our significant resources to build a solid personal injury claims for our clients. If you or someone you love has experienced a debilitating spinal cord injury, call (434) 977-7977 for a detailed consultation.