A spinal cord injury is life altering, and many victims require ongoing treatment if not permanent medical care. If the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal are damaged, an injury victim may experience permanent changes in strength, loss of sensation, or loss of body function. When a spinal cord injury is caused by another’s negligence, a defective product or an unsafe condition on another’s property, injury victims have the right to file a civil lawsuit to obtain compensation.
How are spinal cord injuries classified?
In short, spinal cord injuries are classified by the degree to which a persona loses the ability to control his or her limbs, either complete or incomplete:
- A complete spinal cord injury — all feeling and ability to control movement below the injury are lost
- Incomplete spinal cord injury — some motor or sensory function remains below the affected area, however, incomplete injuries vary by degree
Depending on the circumstances, a spinal cord injury may lead to paralysis. A spinal cord injury
that affects all or part of the trunk, legs and pelvic organs is termed “paraplegia” while an injury that affects the arms, hands, legs, trunk and pelvic organs is known as quadriplegia.
Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries involve a variety of sign and symptoms:
- Loss of movement/sensation
- Pain or intense stinging sensations
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of bladder/bowel control
- Changes in sexual function
- Extreme back pain
- Pressure in the neck, head or back
- Weakness, un-coordination
- Paralysis in any part of the body
- Difficulty balancing and walking
- A twisted neck or back
Common causes of spinal cord injuries
According to the Mayo Clinic, the leading causes of spinal cord injuries are:
- Motor vehicle accidents — car accidents and motorcycle accidents frequently result in injuries to the spine
- Falls — falls from ladders, steps, and other slip and fall accidents, individuals 65 and older are especially vulnerable
- Acts of violence — violent crimes that involve the use of a deadly weapon (e.g. a gun, knife)
- Sports and recreation injuries — contact sports (e.g. football, soccer, wrestling) and other sports and recreational activities, or diving into shallow water
Why This Matters
A spinal cord injury can have devastating consequences and permanently alter the way a person functions. If the injury was caused by the negligent or reckless conduct of another, it may be possible to recover damages, with the help of an experienced Texas personal injury attorney.
Posted in: Personal Injury