About Spinal Cord Injuries
Your spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that travels from your brain along your vertebrae and down to your extremities. Your spinal cord transmits electrical impulses carrying sensory inputs to your brain and takes commands from your brain to your body. Neck, head, and back trauma can damage the spine. This injury restricts your nerve impulses, which causes a loss of mobility below your area of injury. Spinal cord injuries affect 12,000 people in the United States each year. Though spinal cord injuries range in severity, they always cause a drastic change in the life of the injured party and their family members.
Most individuals with spinal cord injuries may experience some degree of paralysis or loss of movement, sensation, and reflexes below the site of the injury. Depending on the level and severity of the injury, individuals may be unable to walk, use their hands and arms, breathe, or control their bowels and bladder. In addition, individuals with spinal cord injuries are at increased risk for other health conditions.
The financial impact of a spinal cord injury can be significant as individuals may require expensive medical care and adaptive equipment, which can be costly. In addition, many individuals with this injury may be unable to work and may lose their income leaving family members to take on additional caregiving responsibilities.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
There are two types of spinal cord injuries: Complete spinal cord injury and incomplete spinal cord injury.
- Complete spinal cord injury: This type of injury equally impacts both sides of your body. A complete spinal cord injury means that you will not have any voluntary movement or physical sensation below the point of your injury.
- Incomplete spinal cord injury: This type of injury does not always affect both sides of your body equally. When an incomplete spinal cord injury occurs, you will often experience some movement or sensation below the point of injury.
If a small amount of tissue is damaged, it may be possible to achieve complete recovery with physical therapy and medical intervention. However, severe incomplete and complete spinal cord injuries may result in paraplegia or quadriplegia. Paraplegia is the loss of movement and sensation from your waist down. Quadriplegia is the paralysis of your arms and legs, which typically occurs from your shoulders down.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Many accidents and events can lead to spinal cord injury.
Some of the common ones include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Illnesses (such as spina bifida and polio)
Any individual whose negligence causes or contributes to your spinal cord injury could and should be held responsible. This can range from a drunk driver to the manufacturer of a defective product. Our attorneys will work with you to make sure that your personal injury claim goes after those negligent parties to cover everything from medical bills to non-economic damages.
Spinal Cord Injury Settlements
If you have suffered spinal cord injury from an act of negligence, you are likely curious about what your settlement may be worth. Since spinal cord injuries range in severity, there isn’t a set settlement amount for an injury of this nature. However, the severity of these cases often results in a settlement of over $1 million.
Compensation for your spinal cord injury should include damages such as:
Medical expenses (past and future)
Lost earnings from missed work and future earning capacity
Pain and suffering
Physical impairment and/or disfigurement
Loss of quality of life
If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury, you may be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn. You may be wondering how you will support yourself and your family if you can no longer work. You may be concerned about how you will pay for your medical expenses. A spinal cord injury attorney can help get you the financial compensation you need to cover your medical expenses, lost income, and other damages.
It’s important to work with a personal injury attorney who will effectively handle your case. You deserve the highest compensation available in your situation.