What causes spinal cord injuries?

In the United States, nearly 40% of spinal cord injuries occur in vehicle accidents according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC). Below are the most common causes for spinal cord injuries:

Categories of Spinal Cord Injuries

In the medical field, spinal cord injuries are classified by which part of the spine they affect, the symptoms they cause, and the extent of the damage to the function of the cord. The two main categories of spinal cord injuries are complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries. It is very important to hire a knowledgeable spinal cord injury attorney. Spinal cord injury attorneys should not only be knowledgeable about the laws in your specific state, but also about the different medical terms used when describing the spinal cord injury. For example, if your attorney fails to describe the spinal cord injuries actually and instead uses generic terms, you could potentially recover a smaller amount of damages.

  • Complete injuries cause a total disruption to the function of the cord from the point where the injury occurred onward. These injuries create a total loss of function and sensation for different parts of the body.
  • Incomplete injuries can include the loss of sensation and function, but may not always take away both. In some cases such as with Anterior Cord Syndrome, the body’s movement may be restricted, but is still able to maintain feeling.

To sue for back and spinal cord injury in any of these situations, your legal team must be able to prove that a negligent party’s actions directly caused the injury. A negligence claim must be supported by the four elements and must prove that: the defendant had a duty to operate or drive in a safe manner, the defendant breached that duty, the defendant’s actions are what caused the accident to occur, and that the accident was the direct cause of the spinal cord injury.

For example, if a driver failed to bring their car to a halt at a stop sign and hit a pedestrian who suffered injuries, the driver would be responsible for negligently breaching their duty to operate their vehicle in a safe manner. Since the driver caused the accident which injured the pedestrian, they may be able to be held liable for covering the costs of the victim’s losses that were suffered as a result of the injury. On the other hand, for defective products that lead to a spinal cord injury, it must be instead proven that the product was in some way defective and that the defect caused the accident or injury to occur. In these cases, the product manufacturer, repair shop, or distributor may be able to be found at fault for overlooking the defect, intentionally or otherwise, which lead to the injury.

Do I Need an Attorney for a Spinal Cord Injury?

If you have suffered an injury in California or Nevada, contact our spinal cord injury attorneys today for a free no risk consultation. During this consultation, we could determine what the medical issues would be, along with the potential damages you could receive.

Our skilled spinal cord injury attorneys also have access to several different types of experts that can be able to prove and explain the type of injuries you are suffering. This includes experts in the field of neurology, physical therapy, and chiropractors. These experts will be needed to testify in court and describe the damages that you have suffered.

Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms

With many different types of back and spinal cord injuries, the symptoms can vary wildly depending on how severe the damage is and where on the spine the trauma occurred.

Symptoms of mild spinal cord injury can include tingling, reduced coordination, muscle weakness, and pain. Swelling after the accident, spinal shock, and incomplete spinal cord injuries can lead to these types of symptoms.

Severe spinal cord injuries can result in symptoms such as a loss of sensation below the injury, trouble breathing, paralysis, loss of bladder & bowel control, and death. Victims who suffer a complete injury that occurs at the Cervical vertebrae toward the top of the spinal cord often require ventilator assistance to be able to breathe.

Injuries of the spine are also broken up into further classifications including:

  • Triplegia – Loss of feeling in three limbs.
  • Hemiplegia – Total paralysis that is restricted to one side of the body.
  • Tetraplegia or Quadriplegia – Loss of sensation and movement in all four limbs. These injuries tend to occur when the spinal cord closer to the head/neck is completely damaged.

What Kind of Damages Could I Receive from a Spinal Cord Injury?

There are several different damages you could potentially receive from a spinal cord injury. Although it differs from person to person, the most common damages received from a spinal cord injury include:

  • Property damage
  • Psychological counseling
  • Chiropractic services
  • Medical equipment
  • Medications
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Future lost wages
  • Home care

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

There are several different types of spinal cord injuries. Our firm has represented all different types of spinal cord injury victims. We have been representing spinal cord injury victims for decades. The most common spinal cord injury types we have seen include:

  • Paralysis: This occurs when the nervous system undergoes severe impact. This can cause the inability to move around or feel. Paralysis could affect the entire spinal cord or even a single muscle.
  • Disc replacement
  • Lumbar disc herniation
  • Herniations that need fusion surgeries: Fusion surgeries are the most common surgeries associated with spinal cord injuries. During a fusion surgery, rods and screws are placed in the spinal cord vertebrates to hold the back together and prevent any weakness in the spine.
  • Whiplash: Whiplash is the most common neck injury that a victim of a car accident suffers. This usually occurs because of the instant impact of the car accident. The impact causes the neck to overextend. Whiplash may require months of therapy, sometimes even surgery.

The above injuries could usually be treated without injury. However, if the accident and impact was very severe, and this has led to extensive nerve damage, you most likely have to undergo surgery. The surgery will be able to relieve any pressure or pain that your spinal cord experiences following the accident.

Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms

The spinal cord injury symptoms you could potentially suffer differ depending on the impact and the severity of the accident. We have had victims that experience very mild symptoms after an accident. Healing from such injuries could take a couple months to a year. We have also had victims who have had permanent spinal cord injuries. They may require years of future physical therapy in order to get around and try to resume their normal life. Many are not able to completely be as active as they were prior to the accident. In the medical field, injuries of the spine are also broken up into further classifications including:

  • Triplegia – Loss of feeling in three limbs.
  • Hemiplegia – Total paralysis that is restricted to one side of the body.
  • Tetraplegia or Quadriplegia – Loss of sensation and movement in all four limbs. These injuries tend to occur when the spinal cord closer to the head/neck is completely damaged.

What happens after a spinal cord injury?

If you have suffered from a spinal cord injury, contact your medical provider immediately to determine the severity of the damages you have suffered. Even if you believe that you have not suffered any injuries, it is still important to seek medical care. Studies have shown that spinal cord injury symptoms can begin to show about a couple days to a week after an accident. During an accident, the victim is usually in shock and so they may not be able to feel all the injuries until a couple days later.

Legal Help is Just a Call Away

Insurance companies will almost always try to downplay their claims and damages as much as possible. They will try to find ways in which they could get you to admit liability or potential fault. You don’t have to face the insurance companies alone. We always advise our clients to never speak to the other party or their insurance company. Our attorneys will assist you in communicating with the other parties while you focus on healing.

A California spinal cord injury attorney can aid you in gathering the videos, photos, witness testimony, and investigative experts needed to prove causality in your personal injury case. You need someone with experience navigating the complex legal environment of spinal cord injury cases. California and Nevada have very specific types of laws regarding personal injury cases. That is why it is very important to hire an experienced spinal cord injury attorney that is well-versed in California and Nevada laws.

Let a team of personal injury attorneys with a long track record of success handle your spinal cord injury case and get you the compensation that you’re owed. Give us a call at Heidari Law for a free consultation today. 1-833-225-5454