The spinal cord is comprised of some of the most important nerves in the body: the nerves that carry messages from the brain to the rest of the body. When this channel is impaired because the spinal cord is injured, the brain is no longer able to communicate with the body from the point of the injury downwards.
As such, a person may suffer from partial or full paralysis. While the science is promising, there is currently no cure for a spinal cord injury.
Spinal cord injuries are arguably one of the most tragic and severe of all injury types. If you or a loved one has suffered a spine injury, the team at Joye Law Firm in Charleston will advocate for you.
While nothing can undo the damage that you have suffered, we can help you to recover the compensation that you need to seek the best treatment, and maintain a high quality of life.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can occur in a variety of accident types.
Some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Traumatic injury by force. If the neck, head, chest, or back is impacted by an object that is traveling at force, the spinal column and spinal cord may be injured. This type of trauma can happen in a car accident, slip and fall accident, or roller coaster accident.
- Bullet or stab wound. MedlinePlus explains that if the spinal cord is stabbed or pierced by a bullet, a spinal cord injury may result. A person who is the victim of a serious back injury caused by this accident type may be able to file civil charges against their assailant.
- Extreme twisting of the spine. If the back and spine are twisted into an extreme and unnatural position (which could result in a variety of accident types, including a car accident or a fall from a high height), the spinal cord may be impacted.
- Electric shock. A severe electric shock may damage the spinal cord.
- Trauma to the head. If the head is severely impacted, such as it might be in a sports injury or a diving accident, the spinal cord may be harmed.
Some of the accident types above occur for reasons that cannot be predicted nor explained. In most cases, however, there is a clear connection between the negligence of one party in the accident and (spinal cord) injury of another.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are described in terms of completeness – a complete spinal cord injury results in the total loss of sensory and motor function from the site of the injury downwards.
On the other hand, an incomplete injury is one where the injury victim retains some feeling or/and control below the injury site. Both types of injuries are traumatic and extremely challenging to live with.
A spinal cord injury may result in quadriplegia, where all four limbs and all organs are affected by the injury, or paraplegia, where the legs and pelvic organs are affected.
A spinal cord injury is characterized, according to the Mayo Clinic, by:
- Loss of feeling and sensation;
- Inability to move;
- Loss of bowel and bladder control;
- Trouble breathing;
- Pain; and
- Changes to sexual function or fertility.
Because a spinal cord injury prevents your brain from being able to communicate with the rest of the body, a person with a spinal cord injury will likely suffer from muscle spasms, and the inability to control their bowel movements or bladder.
Further, a back injury may also result in respiratory problems, circulatory problems, muscle atrophy, weight loss, pain, and psychological illnesses, like depression.
How to Seek Damages for a Spinal Cord Accident
The first part of a civil claim for a spinal cord injury is calling an experienced attorney who has represented spinal cord victims in the past. Your attorney will work with you form a case that asserts that:
- The defendant (the person whom you are suing) had a duty of care to you;
- The defendant breached this duty of care (acted negligently);
- The breach of the duty of care resulted in your accident and injury; and
- You have suffered damages as a result.
Some types of damages that you have likely suffered, and for which you deserve recompense, include:
- Medical bills – medical bills for a spinal cord injury victim often total in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and are usually ongoing, as a back injury victim will require lifelong treatment;
- Lost wages – if you are paralyzed or partially paralyzed, you likely are unable to work or return to a job where you were making a wage similar to that which you were making before the accident;
- Permanent disability – you may seek noneconomic compensation for the fact that you have suffered a permanent and extremely impairing disability;
- Pain and suffering – another noneconomic damage which you are allowed to seek is compensation for pain and suffering.
In some cases, you or your family members may also be able to seek damages for loss of consortium.
Our Charleston Spine Injury Attorneys Want to Help
A spinal cord injury is most people’s worst nightmare. If you are living that nightmare, our lawyers at Joye Law Firm want you to know that we are here for you. We will do everything that we can to help you build a successful claim where you are paid the settlement that you desperately need and deserve.
We know that it can be emotionally challenging to take action after a spinal cord injury has left you immobile. We encourage you to find the strength to reach out and take action. We are ready to help – contact our compassionate Charleston injury attorneys today for a free case consultation.