Spinal cord injuries suffered in a car accident or other traumatic event can be overwhelming, affecting every aspect of a person’s life from mobility to social life and sense of independence. The paralysis that may result from an SCI, will also cause family members or friends to adjust their lifestyles in order to support their loved one as advocates for resources or caregivers.
Our firm has made it a priority to ensure clients who have suffered these catastrophic injuries due to the negligence of another person receive dedicated and focused legal representation.
The spinal cord is a rope-like cord about 18-inches long and about as thick as a little finger which contains nerves that carry messages between your brain and body. It is housed inside rings of bone called the vertebrae. However, if a blow fractures or dislocates these vertebrae, an SCI may occur. Some of the most common causes of SCIs are motor vehicle accidents, falls, industrial accidents, sporting accidents and violence.
Location of the injury may affect the symptoms because an SCI typically causes weakness at or below that point. The severity of the injury is determined by an individual’s level of function. A complete SCI occurs when there is a total loss of sensory or motor function below the point of injury. An incomplete spinal cord injury occurs when partial sensory or motor function remains below the point of injury.
Most cervical (neck) injuries result in quadriplegia, four limb paralysis with some variation if it is an incomplete SCI. Very high cervical neck injuries may result in loss of breathing which can require an individual to use breathing aids such as a mechanical ventilator via a hole in the throat. Thoracic (chest level) injuries will likely result in paraplegia, which only affects the legs. Other common side effects include blood pressure problems, abnormal sweating or trouble maintaining body temperature. Lumbar/sacral injuries at the lower back level may affect one or both legs as well as muscles that control the bowel and bladder. Wherever the injury is located, seeking immediate care is crucial for long-term outcome.
Although there’s no cure, researchers are attacking this problem and many exciting medical developments have been made in the lab to decrease the damage such as steroid drugs like methylprednisolone that reduce swelling, a common cause of secondary injury.
The statistics regarding SCIs are alarming. Facts from the Shiners Hospital for Children based in Tampa show:
• There are an estimated 12,000 new SCI cases annually in the U.S.
• 300,000 people in the U.S. are living with an SCI.
• The annual costs associated with an SCI after the first year typically ranges between $30,000- $148,000.
If you have suffered an SCI due to someone else’s negligence, then you deserve proper compensation. Our team of attorneys can discuss the facts surrounding your injury and help you on your journey to recovery. If you would like to speak with someone about your case, then please contact us.