Around 17,000 people in the United States will suffer a spinal cord injury this year. (NIH, Spinal Cord Injuries). For these victims, life will never be the same.
Spinal cord injuries result from car accidents, workplace incidents, falls, and even as a result of violence. Our Coral Gables personal injury lawyers explain spinal cord injury and your legal rights.
Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries
What is the function of the spinal cord?
The spinal cord is the nerve tissue that runs from the base of the skull down the back. The spinal cord sends messages between the brain and the body. It transports senses and commands so that the body can move and feel. Along with the brain, the spinal cord is part of the central nervous system.
Are all spinal cord injuries the same?
There are different types of spinal cord injuries. While all spinal cord injuries interfere with movement and feeling, spinal cord injuries vary in their severity and parts of the body affected. Tetraplegia, also known as quadriplegia, affects all four limbs and the torso, while paraplegia affects the lower extremities.
- Complete: When a spinal cord injury is complete, the victim loses all feeling and motor control below the point of injury. Generally, complete spinal cord injuries are permanent, although quality of life may be addressed.
- Incomplete: An incomplete spinal cord injury impacts feeling and function below the point of impact. Patient improvement may be possible.
How do incomplete spinal cord injuries occur?
An incomplete spinal cord injury may occur because of the following:
- Partial severance
- Something pressing against
- Embedded foreign objects
While any injury to the spinal cord is likely to cause significant disruption in body function, a victim may suffer from complete loss of feeling and movement or partial loss of varying degrees.
Causes of spinal cord injury
Top causes of spinal cord injury:
- Car accidents (38%)
- Falls (30%)
- Violence (13%)
- Sports (9%)
- Medical, including disease and surgical (5%)
Identifying spinal cord injury
Spinal cord injury impacts a victim in many ways. The person may experience:
- Inability to voluntarily move muscles
- Changes in feeling of hot and cold, inability to perceive touch
- Muscle spasms and reflex abnormalities
- Sexual dysfunction, changes in fertility
- Feeling of stinging, numbness, or tingling
- Trouble breathing, difficulty clearing fluid from the lungs
- Pain or pressure in the head or back
- Balance and coordination problems
- Visibly twisted or oddly positioned back, head or neck
Any possibility of a spinal cord injury should be treated as a medical emergency. Don’t move the injured person. Call 911 or another emergency number. Provide first aid, if necessary, without moving the head or neck.
Legal Help for Spinal Cord Injury Victims in Coral Gables
A person who suffers a spinal cord injury because of the actions of others may claim financial compensation. There are varying standards of legal responsibility – from negligence that may apply for a car accident, intentional conduct for assault and battery or gun violence, and even strict liability in the case of a malfunctioning product. A victim of a spinal cord injury may claim financial compensation based on the legal standard that applies to their case.
Compensation for a spinal cord injury may help a victim tremendously. Following an injury, they are likely to have short-term and long-term medical care needs. They may have significant expenses relating to quality of life and personal care. In addition, a victim may claim compensation for pain and suffering and the drastic change in lifestyle they are likely to experience. For a spinal cord injury, these losses are likely to be significant.
Lawyers helping people with spinal cord injuries
If you or a family member have suffered a spinal cord injury, here’s what our lawyers want you to know:
- You may have the right to financial compensation if someone else is legally at fault for your injury
- There are lots of different legal standards and circumstances that a claim may be based on. Don’t assume that you don’t have a case or give up if the other side tries to blame you for what happened. Our legal team can give you a personalized consultation. We will do everything we can to protect your rights
- You must prove that your injury is the result of the actions of the other party. For this reason, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, in addition to it being critical for your health and safety
- Spinal cord injury claims often have a high dollar value. The value of the case must be proven with detailed evidence. Our lawyers work with a team of experts to understand and explain your long-term prognosis to make your claim complete
- Multiple injuries and losses often occur from a single incident. Our lawyers can address your entire situation and the damages that may be appropriate to claim
Talk to Our Lawyers in Coral Gables for a Spinal Cord Injury Claim
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, we are truly sorry. We invite you to talk to our team of legal professionals at Maderal Byrne & Furst PLLC. Come for a personalized consultation and see how we may help you seek justice and compensation. Contact us today.