Spinal Cord Injury
Every year, approximately 11,000 Americans suffer a traumatic spinal cord injury. Car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. Other major causes include work injuries, falls, acts of violence, and sports injuries. In many cases, these injuries are the fault of someone other than the victim. Spinal cord injury victims are often faced with a lifetime of medical and rehabilitation expenses, loss of income and pain and suffering. Because of their significant damages, victims should select a spinal cord injury attorney that has extensive expertise, resources and an established record of significant results. The spinal cord injury attorneys at San Diego Injury Law Center represent clients in San Diego, and throughout Southern California. Contact us today for a free consultation (619) 338-8230.
About the Spinal Cord
The spinal cord runs from the base of the brain, down the middle of the back, and ends just above the waist. It consists of a bundle of nerves, which sends information back and forth between the brain and the rest of the body. The spinal cord is protected by thirty-three ring-shaped bones, or vertebrae, making up the spinal column. A sudden, traumatic blow to the spinal column can fracture or dislocate the vertebrae, damaging nerves in the spinal cord that do not regenerate once they have been injured.
The extent and area of the body affected by damage to the spinal column depends upon the location of the injury. Generally, trauma results in loss of movement, or paralysis, as well as a loss of sensation in the body below the point of injury.
Classifications of Spinal Cord Injury
Tetraplegia: Tetraplegia is also known as quadriplegia. It is usually caused by an injury to the spinal cord in the neck region and causes the loss of use and sensation in the body below the neck, including both arms and legs.
Paraplegia: Paraplegia is caused by an injury to the spinal cord below the neck level and causes the loss of use and sensation in the lower part of the body, including the legs. In addition to the loss of movement and sensation, other difficulties may arise. For example, a victim may be unable to breathe without a ventilator. There may be a loss of involuntary functions, such as the inability to regulate blood pressure and body temperature. Spinal injuries can also result in the loss of bladder and bowel control. In men, there may be a loss of sexual function.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are classified as complete or partial, depending upon the extent of the nerve damaged.
Complete: There is no sensation or voluntary movement below the point of injury and both sides of the body are affected.
Partial: There is some function and feeling below the point of injury. The victim may be able to move one limb more than the other or have more sensation on one side than the other.
Whether an injury is complete or partial may determine the outcome of the injury. Many individuals with partial spinal cord injury may experience significant recovery, while victims with complete spinal cord injury are often permanently paralyzed.
The Outcome of These Injuries
While there currently is no way to reverse damage to the spinal cord, the goal of rehabilitation focuses on preventing further injury and teaching people how to return to an active and productive life. A rehabilitation team can work to improve remaining muscle strength and teach the injured person new techniques to accomplish day-to-day activities.
Advances in modern technology can also assist the victim. Modern light-weight wheelchairs can improve mobility. Voice-activated technology and computer-controlled devices can help with daily tasks such as dialing a phone or using a computer. Recent research has even provided sophisticated devices that can be implanted in the body and restore movement or assist with breathing in some cases. Research to assist those living with spinal cord injuries is ongoing and technology is always improving, but the costs to the injured party can be substantial.
How to Choose a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Because of the great damages that result from spinal cord injuries, it is particularly important that the injured person retain an attorney with extensive experience in spinal cord injury cases, as well as exceptional expertise and a consistent record of significant results in catastrophic injury cases. A case in the hands of an insufficiently qualified lawyer can result in great loss to the case’s value. These cases also require large sums of money to prosecute and the claimant should ensure that the law firm has ample financial resources to invest in the case. A successful and resourceful law firm staffed with spinal cord injury lawyers can help victims recover the type of compensation needed to pay for a lifetime of medical costs and living expenses. 24/7 Free Case Evaluation 619-338-8230.
Contacting a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
San Diego Injury Law Center is a well-established law firm with a long record of successes in catastrophic injury cases in San Diego, including back and spinal cord injuries. We understand spinal cord injuries and have the financial strength to battle and prevail against large insurance companies and well-financed corporate defendants. 24/7 Free Case Evaluation 619-338-8230.