It’s estimated that 17,000 spinal cord injuries occur every year. This leaves those injured – as well as their family – to cope with the damages, lost wages, and overwhelming medical bills that accompany these types of injuries. If the negligence of someone else causes a spinal cord injury, the injured party may be entitled to monetary compensation to help with bills, long-term care, and much more. No amount of money can make up for the loss of quality of life, emotional stress, and the physical limitations that can come with an injury. But, holding the party at fault accountable can prevent future losses.
What is the spinal cord and what causes spinal cord injury?
The spinal cord is a column of nerve tissue that starts at the base of the skull and runs down the center of the back. It is covered by three layers of membranes that protect it. Vertebrae surround the spinal cord and membranes.
The spinal cord plays a vital role in the body’s function. Examples of these functions are:
- Carrying signals from the brain
- Carrying information to the brain
- Reflex responses
This allows the brain to communicate with the rest of the body to allow movement, feelings of sensation, pressure, temperature, pain, and more. When an injury occurs to the spinal cord, it can potentially affect all functions — Motor, Sensory, and Autonomic — of the body depending on the severity.
A spinal cord injury can result from damage to the vertebrae, ligaments, or disks of the spinal column or the spinal cord itself. These injuries can occur due to a sudden, traumatic blow that fractures, dislocates, crushes, or compresses one or more of your vertebrae.
There are two main forms of spinal cord injuries: complete and incomplete.
A complete spinal cord injury which causes a complete loss of movement or feeling below the level of injury. It does not need to be physically cut for a complete injury to occur. Damage to the spinal cord may be so significant that blood flow is blocked to the nerve tissue which causes it to die.
An incomplete spinal cord injury means there is still some movement and feeling below level of injury. The damage from an incomplete injury can vary from person to person. Typically, it falls between mild and severe.
Common symptoms include muscle weakness, loss of voluntary movement, loss of feeling, and breathing problems.
Common causes of spinal cord injuries
Due to its importance, any damage sustained to the spinal cord can drastically affect a person’s ability to function properly. Most spinal cord injuries can be prevented, but due to the negligence and recklessness of others, many people have suffered these traumatic damages.
Some other causes that can result in an injury to the spinal cord can be:
- Slips and falls
- Workplace Accidents
- Vehicle Accidents (motorcycles, automobiles, boats, trucks)
- Diving Accidents
- Birth Injury
Another cause can also be due to errors that occur during risky surgical procedures that involve the back and neck. In some cases, it’s a risk that could have been avoided. In these cases, the injury could be cause for a medical malpractice case.
Spinal cord injury damages
The damages caused by an injury to the spinal cord can be debilitating physically as well as mentally, and financially. The impact on the victims and families can be devastating. The medical costs associated with a spinal injury can be enormous. It’s important for anyone who has sustained a spinal cord injury in a preventable accident to hire a lawyer as soon as possible.
Common damages in a spinal injury lawsuit will include:
- Lost wages
- Medical Bills
- Disability Benefits
- Pain and Suffering
- Mental Anguish
Call Friedman Law Offices today to schedule a free consultation
Spinal cord injury cases can involve complex legal and medical issues. If you’re thinking of filing a lawsuit, contact one of our lawyers who specialize in spinal cord injury litigation. We are committed to helping those who have been injured due to the negligence of others. To schedule a free initial consultation with one of our dedicated attorneys, call our office at 800.876.1093 or fill out our online form here.