The spinal cord is the bundle of nerves that runs down the middle of your back, shielded by bone discs known as vertebrae. The spinal cord is among the body’s most critical components because it carries messages from the brain to the body. When the vertebrae become fractured or dislocated due to an injury, they can tear into your spinal cord, short-circuiting that line of communication between the brain and body.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are divided into two types: incomplete and complete. Directly after an accident, it can be very difficult to distinguish which one you have. It’s critical to get immediate medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Here’s a closer look at these two types of spinal cord injuries.
With incomplete spinal cord injuries, the spinal cord’s function is only partially compromised. This can result in a variety of different symptoms to include:
- Back and neck pain
- Muscle spasms
- Partial sensation loss below the injury site (though feeling may come and go and be weaker than it used to be)
- Partial loss of movement below the site of injury. The extent of movement may vary as well as the degree to which you can control it. It is common for someone with an incomplete spinal injury to have no movement at first, but then gradually get at least some of it back.
- Chronic pain below the injury site
With a complete injury, the brain can no longer send signal down the spinal cord below the site of the injury. This can lead to:
- Complete loss of sensation below the injury site
- Complete loss of motion below the injury site
- Difficulty controlling bladder and bowels
- Difficulty breathing (if the injury is high enough)
Insurance companies don’t like spinal cord injury cases because they can be very costly. They will try to get you to settle quickly and for less than you are entitled to. A qualified spinal cord injury lawyer can help you accurately assess your pain and suffering and damages, accounting for future medical costs.
Spinal Cord Injury Causes
Spinal cord injuries are commonly caused by:
- Car accidents
- Slips and falls
- Sports injuries
- Trampoline accidents
- Birth injuries
If you are injured in an accident, it’s imperative that you are examined by a medical doctor right away. Spinal cord injuries often go undetected at first. A doctor can assess your spinal cord health and diagnose damages that you may be unaware of.
If you sustain spinal cord injuries due to the negligence of others, enlist the help of an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer. A lawyer who specializes in these injuries can help you get the benefits that you are owed. These may include compensation for:
- Medical treatments
- Loss of current and future income
- Loss of retirement benefits
- Specialized equipment like wheelchairs
- Customized vehicles or home renovations to accommodate your equipment
- Loss of ability to engage in beloved hobbies or pastimes
- Pain and suffering
A qualified injury lawyer knows how to negotiate shrewdly and persistently until they get you the settlement that you deserve, and they will not be fooled or intimidated by the tactics of insurance companies. Many spinal cord injury lawyers work on contingency fees, which means that they don’t get paid until you have won your case. They can also help point you to the best medical specialists to hasten your healing process.