What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
A spinal cord injury is any damage to the spinal column or nerves, resulting in permanent changes in strength, sensation, and other body functions below the injury site. Spinal cord injuries are classified into one of two categories: complete or incomplete.
A complete spinal cord injury causes all feeling and ability to control movement below the injury site to be lost. In an incomplete spinal cord injury, some motor and sensory function remains below the injury site. The ‘completeness’ of a spine injury depends on how severely the spinal cord is damaged.
Spinal cord injuries can occur at any level in the spine, and the severity and level of paralysis varies depending on the location of the injury site. In general, the higher up the spinal column the injury occurs, the more paralysis will be present.
Damage to the cervical nerves (C1 – C8) can cause quadriplegia, or tetraplegia, which is the loss of function in both arms and both legs. Spinal cord injuries to the thoracic nerves (T1 – T12) can result in paraplegia, or loss of function from the middle of the chest or below the waist, including the legs. When the lumbar nerves (L1 – L5) are damaged, paraplegia may occur as well.
Although spinal cord injuries can occur without causing paralysis, symptoms can have a devastating impact on a person’s quality of life. Beyond paralysis, spinal cord injuries are associated with other serious health complications, including:
- Respiratory problems
- Bladder control
- Blood circulation issues
- Persistent pain
In some cases, spinal cord injuries can even result in death. Damage to the high cervical nerves (C1 – C4) result in ventilation dependency or coma and are usually fatal.
Spinal Cord Injury Causes
According to Mayo Clinic, the most common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Sports and recreational activities
- Alcohol is a factor in approximately 25% of all spinal cord injuries
- Disease (cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis)
In the United States, there are approximately 282,000 people living with a spinal cord injury, with 17,000 new spinal cord injury cases occurring each year.
Handling Spinal Cord Injury Cases with Care
Cases involving spinal cord injuries can be complex, and each patient’s injury is different. Our firm works with a host of spinal injury experts to determine the severity of the injury and what sort of surgeries, treatments, and rehabilitation will be required for the rest of the client’s life. We want to ensure that our clients receive the proper treatment respective to their level of injury and see the specialists that they need. In addition, we are dedicated to achieving the compensation they need to cover all past and future medical costs related to the spinal cord injury.
People who suffer spinal cord injuries oftentimes cannot return to work following their accident. Only one third of people return to work following a spine injury. Financial hardships are further exacerbated when a person cannot continue to earn a living. In a spinal cord injury case, in addition to medical costs, pain and suffering, and mental anguish, we seek to recover lost wages and future earning capacity.
Record of Success Representing Clients with Spinal Injuries
Our firm has the legal and financial resources that are necessary to pursue the compensation you deserve and protect your rights as a victim of a serious injury.
In 2014, Thomas J. Henry represented a one-year-old boy who suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury in a motor vehicle accident caused by a defective ignition switch in his great-grandmother’s vehicle. The accident claimed the lives of his great-grandmother, his 13-year-old aunt, and the driver of the other vehicle. The boy survived the crash but was left permanently paralyzed from the waist down, requiring intubation and a feeding tube to keep him alive.
Thomas J. Henry resolved the case and secured a result in the amount of $30.2 million for the child ($20,121,960.57 net to client). The one-year-old boy now has the necessary means to cover the future treatments, surgeries, and rehabilitation that he needs.
Advocating for Spinal Cord Injury Sufferers
If you or a loved one have suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury due to the negligence of an individual or business, you may be entitled to compensation. Spinal cord injuries can steal a person’s quality of life, cause lasting physical pain and mental anguish, and leave them with mounds of medical costs for surgeries and rehabilitation. Thomas J. Henry has experience representing clients with severe spinal cord and back injuries and a proven record of achieving the compensation they deserve.
Call our law offices and speak with a spinal cord injury attorney today for a free case review. We are dedicated to fighting for the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries.