It is devastating to lose a large portion of your physical abilities and to be forced to change how you live your life. You may lose a great deal of your independence, be unable to work, and require consistent help and care.
When facing such a catastrophic injury because of someone else’s negligence, you should speak with a highly experienced and aggressive personal injury lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. We have years of experience handling claims involving spinal cord injuries. We are well-versed in the medical terminology and jargon, which helps us prove your case and establish your damages in court. We are prepared to fight hard for you to receive the maximum amount of compensation possible for your injuries and altered future.
I was involved in an accident back in February I retained their services. I was immediately helped professionally by their staff setup for physical therapy. They handled all of my paperwork & correspondence between the insurance company. In as little…
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Awesome! Everyone I spoke to at the office was very helpful and my phone calls were returned promptly. I was a pedestrian in a hit and run downtown in August 2018 and within 90 days, Staver Law Group was able…
I can not say enough good things about Staver and specifically, Patrick. Not only did they have great communication but they handled EVERYTHING including the negotiations with Blue Cross Blue Shield once I received my settlement. They were realistic and…
Staver Law Group did an excellent job with handling my injury case! I sustained minor injuries from an automotive accident. I walked away with about $16,000 after the firm took their share of the $25,000 total settlement. I have no…
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What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?
A spinal cord injury is any type or amount of damage to the spinal cord, which results in temporary or permanent changes to your bodily functions. The spinal cord is a long, tube-like structure that begins at the end of the brain stem and travels down the back to the end of the spine. It runs through the spinal canal, which is at the center of the spine. The vertebrae in the spine protect the spinal cord, which is also covered by three layers of tissue known as meninges.
The spinal cord consists of a bundle of nerves, which transmits messages between the brain and the rest of the body. Sensory nerves transmit information from various parts of the body to the brain and motor nerves transmit commands from the brain to the body. It is responsible for many bodily reflexes, mobility, and sensation.
At the end of the spinal canal, the nerves branch off down the buttocks, groin, legs, and feet. This bundle of nerves is known as the cauda equina.
If you are currently dealing with a spinal cord injury that is the result of another person’s negligence, do not hesitate to contact our Springfield spinal cord injury attorneys. We have years of experience handling personal injury claims involving catastrophic harm like spinal cord injuries, and we will fight hard for you to receive appropriate compensation.
Levels of Spinal Cord Injuries
There are many types of spinal cord injuries. Some injuries are known as complete, which means the spinal cord is fully severed. You will experience a complete loss of function and sensation below the injury point. Other spinal cord injuries are incomplete, and the amount of motor function and sensation you lose or retain can vary greatly.
While physicians discuss spinal cord injuries in terms of “completeness,” you are more likely used to the terms used to describe different degrees of paralysis:
- Paraplegia: This type of paralysis affects all or a part of a person’s trunk, legs, and pelvic organs. This is typically understood to mean someone is paralyzed from the waste down, though where a person’s injury begins depends upon where the spinal cord was injured.
- Tetraplegia/Quadriplegia: This type of paralysis affects a person’s arms, hands, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs. In this condition, the spinal cord is injured much higher up in the body, such as in the neck or upper back. This means all of the nerves that spread out from the spine and into the arm and hands, upper back and chest, torso, and lower extremities cannot communicate with the brain.
Whether you are dealing with partial loss of sensation or mobility, or you have been diagnosed with paraplegia or quadriplegia, do not hesitate to call our Springfield spinal cord injury lawyers to discuss your rights and legal options.
Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury
According to the Mayo Clinic, signs of spinal cord injury include:
- Partial or full loss of movement
- Loss of sensation, such as the inability to feel touch, heat, or cold
- Loss of bladder control, which may result in incontinence or retention
- Loss of bowel control
- Exaggerated reflexes and spasms
- Loss of sexual sensitivity and function
- Changes to fertility
- Tingling or numb sensation
- Difficulty breathing or coughing
There are also signs of a spinal injury for which you should seek emergency medical attention immediately. Go to the emergency room if you:
- Feel extreme pain or pressure in your head, neck, or back
- Are in an odd position or twisted at the neck or back
- Experience weakness, lack of coordination, or paralysis in any part of your body
- Have trouble walking or balancing
- Experience numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in your groin, legs, feet, toes, hands, or fingers
- Are unable to control your bladder or bowel movements
- Have trouble breathing after an accident or injury
It is important that you know a spinal cord injury does not automatically result in an immediately loss of sensation and movement. You may be able to walk and feel after your spinal cord is injured, but there will be other, serious symptoms. If you or a loved one experience any of these signs in the hours or days after an accident, it is best to go to the emergency room as soon as you can. Then, contact our spinal cord lawyers in Springfield, IL to discuss your options.
Treating Spinal Cord Injuries
The degree to which you may recover from a spinal cord injury depends on the type of spinal cord injury, the completeness of the injury, and the time it takes for you to receive appropriate treatment.
For example, you may be involved in a serious car accident, which results in a herniated disc in your lower back. In the days following the crash, you may begin to experience a tingling sensation down your buttocks, groin, and legs, reduced feeling in your skin, and difficulty controlling your bladder. These are signs of a spinal cord injury known as cauda equina syndrome, and the symptoms are due to the bulging disc pressing on and damaging your nerves. The sooner you see a physician and have diagnostic tests performed, such as a MIR, the sooner you may undergo surgery to remove the herniated disc and take pressure off the nerves. The longer your nerves are damaged by the herniated disc, the longer it may take you to fully recover, or you may be left with long-term or permanent side effects.
However, many of the cases our Springfield spinal cord injury lawyers handle are acute injuries. These a sudden and serious injuries due to a traumatic event. For example, a catastrophic car accident can cause a partial or full tear of your spinal cord. In this situation, spinal cord surgery may be required to repair the surrounding tissue, remove herniated discs, remove foreign objects, and set broken vertebrae. However, there is no surgical procedure to repair the spinal cord. There are treatments that may promote spinal cord healing and regeneration, but there is no method for a surgeon to repair spinal cord damage.
Following the diagnosis of a spinal cord injury and any necessary surgeries, treatment focuses on treating your symptoms and physical therapy. Rehabilitation is essential the healing process and enabling you to regain as much mobility and sensation as possible.
Spinal cord injury rehabilitation may include:
- Mobility skills
- Pain management
- Muscle spasticity management
- Caring for your physical health
- Self-care and hygiene skills
- Promoting lung health
- Verbal and written communication skills
- Vocational training
- Psychological counseling
- Family support and education
Spinal Cord Injury Complications
When you suffer from a spinal cord injury, you are forced to deal with many complications, including:
- Bladder control issues: Because your brain cannot control your bladder, you may deal with urine retention and/or incontinence. Loss of bladder control often results in stones, urinary tract infections, and kidney infections. You will need to learn new ways to empty your bladder, such as catheters.
- Bowel control issues: You will not be able to identify when you need to have a bowel movement, which requires you to learn new techniques to regulate your bowel function.
- Changes in skin sensation: What and how you feel will change. You may lose all or a great deal of skin sensation, which means you will be unable to feel hot, cold, pressure, or cuts. You will have to be careful to visually check your skin for issues. You also will need to be cognizant of changing position to avoid pressure sores.
- Circulatory issues: Spinal cord injuries can result in circulatory problems, including low blood pressure and swelling in your legs and feet. You may face an increased risk of blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolus, and autonomic hyperreflexia.
- Muscle deterioration: You may experience spasticity, which is the uncontrolled tightening of your muscles and flaccidity, which is soft muscles that lack muscle tone. Rehabilitation will provide ways to prevent and respond to these issues.
- Respiratory issues: Depending on the placement of your spinal cord injury, you may have trouble breathing, coughing, and clearing your lungs on your own. This can put you at increased risk for pneumonia.
- Sexual dysfunction: As a man with a spinal cord injury, you may face changes associated with getting and maintaining and erection and ejaculation. As a woman with a spinal cord injury, you may experience changes in lubrication and difficulty or an inability to orgasm.
- Physical pain: Spinal cord injuries are often misunderstood in the sense that a lack of sensation and movement is associated with a lack of pain. However, you may experience muscle pain, joint pain, and nerve pain.
- Immunodeficiency: Spinal cord injuries can disrupt your white blood cells and place you at a greater risk for infections.
- Depression: It can be difficult to cope with a sudden and drastic change in your physical capabilities. Spinal cord injuries are often linked with depression and other mental health issues.
It is in part because of these many and serious complications that it is important for you to work with our Springfield spinal cord injury lawyers. We take all of these future possibilities into account when calculating your damages.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injury
Some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Assault, gunshot wounds, and other violent acts
- Birth injuries
- Medical malpractice
- Sports and athletic activities (diving, trampoline)
- Workplace accidents
- Alcohol use
Medical conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, and cancer can lead to spinal cord injuries without anyone being at fault. However, many spinal cord injuries are the result of carelessness, recklessness, and intentional or malicious conduct. At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we routinely handle claims in which our clients suffered a spinal cord injury due to another party’s negligence. We represent car crash victims, those injured in falls on dangerous properties, victims of medical malpractice, and much more. Any time you believe your or your loved one’s spinal injury is another person or business’s fault, call us to discuss your options.
Let us Fight For Your Compensation
When you are suffering from a spinal cord injury, it is essential that you work with an experienced attorney to obtain as much compensation as possible from the at-fault party. Due to the nature of your injury, you will have extensive medical bills now and in the future. You will have many lost wages, and if you are disabled, an obvious reduced earning capacity. You also are going through a physically and emotionally painful situation, and you can anticipate pain in your future.
You are suffering a tremendous amount of damages, and by working with Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., you are in the best position to fight for the maximum amount of compensation possible.
At Staver, we have the awards that matter to you.
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If you’ve been hurt, it can be hard to know where to start. We begin every case with a free, no-risk evaluation. We’ll discuss your situation, answer your questions, and determine what comes next. Act now and get the recovery you deserve.
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