Spinal cord damage is one of the most traumatic and devastating injuries that a person can sustain in an accident. Many patients with spinal cord injuries will experience symptoms for the rest of their lives. In extreme cases, patients may be partially or totally paralyzed as a result of the injury.
Every spinal cord injury victim will face a long road to recovery that may include surgery, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. Medical bills will quickly begin to pile up, and victims may not be able to perform the duties of their job now that they have a spinal cord injury. Luckily, spinal cord injury victims may be able to recover compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering with the help of a personal injury attorney.
How Do Spinal Cord Injuries Occur?
There are an estimated 17,000 new cases of spinal cord injuries in the United States every year. Some of the most common causes of these injuries include:
Accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. In fact, it’s estimated that traffic accidents account for nearly 35% of new spinal cord injuries every year.
Slip and Falls
People who are over the age of 65 are most likely to suffer a spinal cord injury in a slip and fall accident.
Violent acts are another leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the U.S. This can include a blow to the spinal cord or damage caused by knives or bullets.
Unfortunately, many people suffer spinal cord injuries while being treated by a healthcare professional. It has been reported that medical malpractice is the fourth-leading cause of spinal cord injuries among women.
Most people are not at a high risk of being hit by a falling object, but construction workers certainly are. A falling object can severely damage the spinal cord—especially if the object is heavy—and unfortunately, safety gear worn by construction workers will not do much to protect them from this injury.
Spinal cord injuries can occur in many different ways, but they all have one thing in common—negligence. If you have sustained a spinal cord injury because of someone’s negligence, it’s imperative that you speak with a personal injury attorney right away.
Incomplete vs. Complete Spinal Cord Injuries
Complete spinal cord injuries occur when the spinal cord becomes compressed or severed. After a complete spinal cord injury, the brain will not be able to communicate with any part of the body that is below the injury. Some of the symptoms of a complete spinal cord injury include loss of sensation and movement, and difficulty controlling the bladder and bowels.
On the other hand, an incomplete spinal cord injury occurs when the spinal cord is only partially compressed or severed during an accident. The brain will still be able to communicate with parts of the body below the injury, so victims should still have sensation and some movement. It’s possible that the sensation will not be as strong and the movement will not be as controlled as it was before the injury.
Legal Representation for Spinal Cord Injury Victims
A spinal cord injury can greatly affect the quality of your life. Some victims may never recover from a spinal cord injury, and may have to live the rest of their lives partially or completely paralyzed. Regardless of the severity of your injury, if it was caused by someone else’s negligence, contact Carpenter, Zuckerman, and Rowley to review your case.