Even a relatively minor spinal injury can dramatically alter your life. Your spinal cord connects your body to your brain. As a result, if a portion of the cord is damaged so that your brain cannot communicate with other parts of the body, then you might experience a loss of strength, sensation or other functions of your body below the injury. Spine injuries can cause extensive pain and impair your mobility. You may even have to change where you live and how you work. Losing your freedom of movement can also affect you emotionally. You might feel angry, depressed, or anxious as you learn to cope with the changes to your body and abilities. You probably also have a lot of unpaid medical bills.
If you believe that another person is responsible for the damage to your spine, you should discuss your concerns with a Philadelphia spinal cord injury lawyer. A skilled catastrophic injury attorney could help you seek monetary compensation in a personal injury claim.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
A potential result of a catastrophic event such as a car or truck accident, is an injury to the spinal cord. Since the spinal cord is part of your central nervous system, a spinal cord injury can lead to devastating limitations and permanent disabilities such as full or partial paralysis. The spinal cord might be affected whenever someone has a neck or back injury. This is why, after a car accident, the EMTs will stabilize your neck and beck until they are certain you do not have a serious injury.
Complete vs. Incomplete Spinal Injuries
The spinal cord controls how signals communicate with the rest of the body. Therefore, when the spine suffers an injury, the parts of the body below the damaged area can also suffer. Some people sustain complete spinal cord injuries in which they lose all sensation and ability to move below the damaged area. Others suffer incomplete spinal cord injuries and can retain some degree of control and feeling below the damaged area.
Paraplegia and Quadriplegia
Depending on your spinal damage, you might suffer from paraplegia, which is paralysis of part (or all) of the body’s trunk, legs and pelvic organs. You can also suffer from quadriplegia (tetraplegia) which means both your upper and lower limbs are affected, as well as your trunk and pelvic organs. Aside from paralysis, some results of an injury to the spinal cord include:
- Loss of feeling or sensation
- Partial or complete paralysis
- Difficulty maintaining body temperature
- Inability to control breathing
- Bone degeneration
Depending on the type of spinal cord injury you have suffered, a lawyer in Philadelphia could help you pursue compensation.
Common Causes of Spine Injuries
The vast majority of spinal injuries occur in:
- Motor vehicle accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, or buses
- Premises liability incidents, in particular, slip and fall accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Dangerous product incidents
- Workplace accidents
- Instances of medical or surgical malpractice, including birth injuries
- Sports or recreational accidents
- Intentional violent acts, in particular involving gunshots or stabbings
Our dedicated team of compassionate Philadelphia attorneys have vast experience helping families affected by spinal cord injuries. We could use our experience to investigate how the injury occurred and identify if anyone bears legal and financial responsibility.
Financial Issues Resulting from Spine Damage
Spinal injuries can cause many long-term problems. In addition to causing chronic pain, these injuries can impair a person’s motor function and lead to paralysis. Some people who sustain damage to their cervical spines experience difficulty breathing and require the assistance of a respirator. Spine injuries can also cause a person to lose control of their bladder or bowels. Many people also experience a loss of sexual function and fertility.
Additionally, many survivors of spinal cord injuries are unable to care for themselves independently. They might need the assistance of a home healthcare aide, or their family members might need to sacrifice their own careers to care for them. Some individuals who have suffered damage to their spinal cord may need to renovate their house to make it more handicapped accessible, such as by installing wheelchair ramps. An injured person may require long-term (or life-long) medical care, physical therapy, and assistive technology such as a special van or other tools to help in their day-to-day life. They may not be able to work, or if they can, they may require occupational therapy as well. As a result, they will find it expensive to live within a reasonable standard of life.
Contact a Philadelphia Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
Given the cost, anyone who has suffered a spinal cord injury due to the negligence of another person should not have to pay these additional expenses on their own. Rather, the individual who caused the harm should be responsible. Because of all of these serious effects that a spinal cord injury can have on a person’s life, the costs can be significant. A qualified team of Philadelphia lawyers could use their experience and speak with medical experts to carefully assess and evaluate a spinal cord injury to accurately value the claimant’s case.
A spinal cord injury can have devastating effects on you and your family. If you suffered this type of harm in an accident resulting from another person’s negligence, contact the Philadelphia spinal cord injury lawyers of Lowenthal & Abrams, Injury Attorneys, P.C. Tell us what happened and we will give you our honest opinion about your case.