A spinal cord injury occurs when any part of the back, lower back, neck, vertebrae, connective tissues, or surrounding muscles are damaged. Spinal cord injuries can lead to a number of disabilities, including paralysis, and in the most tragic cases, death.
If you suffered a spinal cord injury due to someone’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation for your subsequent losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and more. An experienced attorney can explain your legal options and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can result from a number of situations, including:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home neglect and abuse
- Dangerous premises
- Defective products
Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury can affect your life in several ways. Some of the most common effects of spine injuries include:
- Chronic pain
- Muscle spasms
- Difficulty breathing
- Numbness or loss of feeling
- Sexual dysfunction
Spinal Disc Injuries
Spinal discs rest between each vertebrae, serving as cushions that allow your spine to bend and twist. When these discs are harmed, the spinal nerves or spinal cord can become pinched or compressed. This can result in a number of debilitating and painful symptoms the back, legs, and arms. Common spinal disc injuries include:
- Herniated disc:When the inner cartilage of a disc tears through the disc’s outer layer.
- Bulging disc:When more than half of a disc’s cartilage extends into the spinal column.
- Protruding disc:When less than half of a disc’s soft cartilage extends into the spinal column.
Spinal Facet Joint Injuries
Facet joints stabilize vertebrae and provide improved back and neck mobility. Facet joint syndrome, also known as facet arthropathy, occurs when a facet joint’s protective cartilage wears down and becomes inflamed. Symptoms of cervical facet joint injuries include:
- Pain in the thighs, groin, bottom, or hips
- Arm or leg pain
- Muscle spasms or stiffness
- Dull ache in the lower back and buttocks, or the back of the head and shoulders
- Ringing in the ears
- Discomfort when leaning backward
Pinched Nerve or Cervical Radiculopathy
Cervical radiculopathy is the medical term for a pinched nerve. These injuries result from nerve irritation in the cervical spine and can cause shooting pains through the neck, arms, and shoulders.
Symptoms of a pinched nerve include:
- Pain in the neck, shoulders, upper back, chest, and arms
- Muscular weakness
- Coordination problems
- Hot and cold sensations
- Poor reflexes
Paralysis is categorized along a spectrum, based on its severity.
- Paraplegia:Loss of feeling and function in areas of the body below the waist, and occasionally in the torso
- Quadriplegia:Loss of feeling and function in all parts of the body below the shoulders
A standard of “completeness” is used by medical professionals to determine the severity of damage to the spinal cord and the paralysis it creates. Injury victims with incomplete paralysis retain partial feeling and function in damaged areas, while complete paralysis is characterized by complete sensation and movement disability.
The neck is one of the most vulnerable areas of your body. It involves an intricate system of vertebrae, muscles, nerves, soft tissue, and cartilage. Injury to the neck can result in pain, stiffness, paralysis, and death. Common neck injuries include:
- Neck strains and sprains
- Disc injuries
- Damaged trachea or larynx
- Broken vertebrae
- Pinched nerves
Whiplash occurs when the body is violently jolted forward and backward. This intense motion can simultaneously hyper-flex the bones in your upper neck and hyper-extend the bones in your lower neck, damaging facet capsules, ligaments, and muscles.
Whiplash can cause a number of symptoms, including:
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Back pain
- Ringing in the ears
- Vision problems
- Arm discomfort
- Jaw pain
Damages In a Spinal Cord Injury Case
Compensation in a spinal cord injury lawsuit may include:
- Emergency room bills
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Adaptive equipment and technology
- In-home care and assistance
If a spinal cord injury led to the death of a loved one, you may be entitled to damages in a wrongful death claim. Compensation in wrongful death cases may be pursued by a spouse, child, or other dependent of the deceased. Damages in these cases can cover end-of-life expenses, medical bills, and lost financial contributions of your loved one.
How an Attorney Can Help You
Following a spinal cord injury, you may be facing pain, disability, mounting medical bills, and time away from work that you and your family can’t afford. An experienced attorney can help to:
- Explain your legal rights and options
- Investigate the details of your injury and hold the responsible parties accountable
- Pursue the maximum compensation you deserve
- Stand up to insurance companies
- Handle your case so you can focus on healing
Spinal Cord Injury Case Evaluation
An experienced attorney can assess the merits of your case and explain your legal options. If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury, it’s important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible for a case evaluation.