Can I recover damages for a spinal cord injury?
Many accidents victims suffer spinal cord injuries. When the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal are damaged, there may be permanent changes to a person’s strength. In addition, there may be loss of sensation or body functions below the injury site.
Classification of Spinal Cord Injuries
The degree to which a person loses the ability to control his or her limbs depends on the severity of the injury and the location of the injury along the spinal cord. Moreover, severity is classified as complete or incomplete.
A complete spinal cord injury means that all feeling and ability to control movement below the injury are lost. On the other hand, if there is some motor or sensory function below the affected area, the injury is called incomplete. There are varying degrees of incomplete injuries, however.
In addition, a spinal cord injury may lead to paralysis. When the arms, hands, legs, trunk and pelvic organs are all affected, the paralysis is known as quadriplegia. A paralysis that affects all or part of the trunk, legs and pelvic organs is referred to as paraplegia.
Signs and Symptoms
Spinal cord injuries involve a wide range of sign and symptoms, such as loss of movement, loss of sensation, pain or intense stinging sensations, difficulty breathing, loss of bladder or bowel control, changes in sexual function, extreme back pain or pressure in the neck, head or back, weakness, un-coordination or paralysis in any part of the body, difficulty balancing and walking, and a twisted neck or back.
The most common causes include:
- Motor vehicle accidents – Automobile and motorcycle accidents are a leading cause.
- Falls – Falls from ladders, down steps, or other slip, trip and fall accidents cause numerous injuries and people over the age of 65 are especially vulnerable.
- Acts of violence – Violent criminal encounters account for many spinal cord injuries whether from gunshot or knife wounds.
- Sports and recreation injuries – Certain contact sports, such as football, soccer, wrestling, and other athletic activities, as well as diving in shallow water.
In the end, a spinal cord injury can have long lasting consequences and permanently alter a person’s life. If the injury was caused by the negligent or reckless conduct of another, it may be possible to recover damages. The J&Y Law Firm fights for the rights of injury victims in Northern and Southern California.