A spinal cord injury is very different from a back injury. A back injury typically involves bruising, stretching, or tearing of the muscles and tissues in the back. A spinal cord injury specifically refers to damage to the spinal cord and the nervous system within it. Few injuries are as serious and potentially devastating as spinal cord injuries.
Approximately 17,000 people incur new spinal injuries annually in the U.S. There are hundreds of thousands of Americans living with spinal cord injuries today.National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center
The spinal cord is one of the key parts of the body responsible for mobility and proper nerve and motor function, and organ function. Damage to this area can have disastrous consequences which last for the duration of a person’s life. Paraplegia, quadriplegia, and even death can occur if the injury is severe enough or left untreated.
Spinal cord injuries have numerous causes, including long term stress or degeneration of the spine. However, negligence is also a leading cause of spinal cord injuries, such as falls, vehicular collisions, pedestrian accidents, and bicycle accidents.
In those cases, the trauma to the back or spine causes the spinal cord to twist, bend, or be completely severed.The vertebrae surrounding the cord may shift and pinch it, tear it, or cut through the cord itself. This can immediately or over time cause serious issues such as numbness and tingling in extremities, paralysis, or shutdown of major body systems.
Spinal cord injuries may not manifest symptoms for days or even weeks. But spinal cord injuries must be treated immediately. Injuries left untreated can have catastrophic effects. The delay itself can cause further or more severe injury.
A spinal cord injury can cause extreme physical, mental, and emotional hardship. The pain and suffering experienced by the victim and their family is great, and the financial toll is extremely hard to bear. Medical expenses for the continued treatment and care of such an injury are very expensive, and the victim could lose substantial income from an inability to work. There may also be a need for long term care and assistance, or a complete change in the future of the victim and their family, which must be factored into compensation for a spinal cord injury.
Handling a spinal cord injury is extremely technical and cannot be handled the same way as a whiplash, fracture, or soft tissue cases. Treatment must be managed properly, the right experts should investigate and report on the case, and only experienced attorneys should present the factual background of the injury, as well as the future needs, to the insurance company or defense attorney. If any component of this equation is missing, valuable compensation may be lost.
If you or a loved one think there may be a brain injury component to your suffering, contact our team immediately. The sooner we get the right personnel involved, the earlier we can begin to manage the important pieces of the puzzle. Your case is different from most, and it should be handled that way.