Physical trauma to the back, neck, or head can lead to permanent damage to your spine. Damage to the spinal cord can impact every aspect of your life. Beyond the physical changes, you'll be affected mentally, emotionally, financially, and socially. If someone else was at fault, you're entitled to appropriate compensation. At Huber Thomas Law, we help you get the compensation and peace of mind you deserve.
What are the types of spinal cord injury?
The spinal cord transmits sensory information from your body to your brain. The bony vertebrae of the spinal column protect it from damage. Severe trauma, though, can sever the spinal cord. It can also lead to a fractured or compressed vertebra.
Spinal cord injuries occur at every level of the spinal cord. The type of trauma can lead to complete or incomplete damage. In a complete injury, the victim has no function below the level of the injury. An incomplete injury means there's some function or feeling below the injury.
Spinal cord injury levels refer to the location of the injury in the spine. These include:
- Quadriplegia: "Quad" means "four." It refers to the loss of movement and sensation in all four arms and legs. It may also affect a person's breathing ability. The injury usually occurs at the T1 vertebra or above.
- Paraplegia: "Para" means "two," and refers to the loss of sensation and movement in both legs. The injury usually occurs at the T1 vertebra or below.
- Triplegia: Involves motor and sensory loss in both legs and one arm. It usually results from an incomplete injury.
John Hopkins Medicine goes over the effects of different spinal injuries in detail here.
What are the major causes of spinal cord injury?
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. They account for almost half of all new injuries every year.
Other major causes include:
- Falls, especially in the elderly
- Violence, such as gunshot wounds
- Workplace injuries
- Sports and recreational activities
- Accidents on motorcycles, bicycles, and boats
If you've experienced any serious trauma to the head or back, get immediate medical attention. A serious spinal injury isn't always obvious at first. Numbness or paralysis may come on gradually as swelling occurs around the spinal cord. Immediate medical help can help you avoid further damage.
What are some of the long term effects of a spinal cord injury?
Damage to the spinal cord requires lifelong medical care. Beyond the paralysis, these injuries can lead to:
- Bowel and bladder issues
- Circulatory problems, like low blood pressure and blood clots
- Sensory challenges
- Breathing problems
- Chronic pain
- Sexual health
- Overall health and wellness
A coordinated medical approach is necessary. You'll need the support of friends and family, as well as occupational and physical therapists. You may need speech or breathing therapy, or surgery. You'll also need specialized medical equipment and assistive devices.
Together, though, these specialists can help you regain as much of your original functioning and independence as possible.
What’s involved in a spinal cord injury settlement?
Spinal cord injury rehabilitation is a lifelong effort. If someone else is at fault for your injury, you have a right to compensation for:
- Lost wages
- Continued medical care
- Specialized equipment
A traumatic injury affects every area of your life. At Huber Thomas Law, we work closely with expert medical witnesses to calculate a fair settlement based on the physical, work-related, and mental damages an injury has on your life.
Our New Orleans spinal cord injury attorneys have brought hundreds of personal injury cases to trial. Juries have awarded our clients millions for traumatic injury cases. We pride ourselves on our excellent trial success record and client-centered focus. In many cases, you don't pay anything unless we win your case. Don't hesitate to give us a call to discuss your situation.