Spinal cord injuries (SCI) occur when the nerves that run up and down the spine are damaged. An injury to the spinal cord affects other areas of the body because the spinal cord is how the brain communicates with the body. Those communications control motor, sensory and autonomic nervous system functions.
The location of an SCI determines where in the body function will be impaired. Generally, function is only affected that is below the injury site. About 17,000 SCI occur every year in the US and most are caused by trauma to the spine. There is no cure for an SCI and recovery can be a slow, difficult process. Most spinal cord injuries result in some permanent disability.
Salango Law, PLLC represents people who have suffered severe spinal cord injuries in accidents. Our Charleston spinal cord injury lawyers know how completely life can change as a result of an SCI. We are committed to helping our clients recover the maximum compensation so that they have sufficient resources to get the best treatment and care possible.
Salango Law Is the Firm You Want Handling Your Spinal Cord Injury Case
We have the experience, depth of knowledge and track record you can trust to get you the best results.
- We understand the complexities of spinal cord injuries.
- We get to know everything about your injuries and how they affect you.
- We have been very successful in getting large damage awards for our clients.
What a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Will Do for You
If you’ve been in an accident and injured your spinal cord, you need to focus all of your attention on your recovery. It’s important that you do everything you can to minimize the possibility of secondary injury. Adding the stress of dealing with a claim against the party responsible for your injuries will not help you heal.
A spinal cord injury attorney will work with your medical professionals to understand the full extent of your injuries and how they will impact your life in the future. Then your attorney will negotiate on your behalf to secure you the most compensation you are entitled to for each element of your claim. You can relax and know that your best interests are being vigorously advocated.
How Spinal Cord Injuries Occur
Spinal cord injuries usually occur when some type of external force impacts the spine damaging the vertebrae which surround the spinal cord. Motor vehicle accidents are the primary cause of spinal cord injuries. But falls, especially for older persons, also result in a significant number of spinal cord injuries. There are four main causes of spinal cord injuries.
- Motor vehicle accidents – 39.3%
- Falls – 31.8%
- Acts of violence – 13.5%
- Sports/recreation – 8%
Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries
Any of the following symptoms might indicate a spinal cord injury.
- Numbness or tingling
- Loss of ability to move
- Pressure or pain in the head, neck or back
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Difficulty breathing – pressure or pain in the chest
Who Is Most Likely to Have a Spinal Cord Injury
- 80% of spinal cord injuries occur in men
- more than 50% of all SCI happen to persons ages 16 – 30
- persons over age 65 are most susceptible to SCI from falls
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
The type of spinal cord injury sustained corresponds to the region of the spine that is injured. The vertebrae that make up the spine are grouped into four regions as they descend the back – cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral.
- Complete – No ability to feel or move below the point of injury.
- Incomplete – Partial ability to feel or move below the point of injury.
How Spinal Cord Injuries Affect the Body
The higher up the spine an injury occurs, the greater the damage to bodily function. The cervical vertebrae run down the back of the neck to the top of the shoulders. Damage to these vertebrae causes the most serious spinal cord injuries. Injuries to the sacral vertebrae – bottom of the spine – have the least impact on mobility.
Cervical spinal cord injury – Results in paralysis in arms, trunk, and legs. The ability to breathe, cough, control bladder and bowel functions are impaired. Injuries often result in permanent and complete disability requiring full-time care.
Thoracic spinal cord injury – Results in paralysis in the legs but arm and hand function remain. Chest and abdominal muscles can be affected. And voluntary bladder and bowel control is lost.
Lumbar spinal cord injury – There is some loss of function to the hips and legs but walking may still be possible with assistance. Bladder and bowel control is impaired.
Sacral spinal cord injury – Some impairment to hips and legs but walking is usually possible. Bladder and bowel control are likely impaired.
Recovering From Spinal Cord Injuries
The greatest amount of recovery from a spinal cord injury will usually occur in the first 6 months following the injury. There is no current medical treatment that can repair a damaged spinal cord though research into better treatments – including nerve cell regeneration – continues. Treatment focuses on preventing further injury and improving quality of life.
Initial treatment for a spinal cord injury may involve surgery and the use of medications. Once a level of medical stability is achieved, a patient may move on to rehabilitative therapy. Spinal cord injuries are considered to be catastrophic because they almost always result in some type of permanent disability.
Statistics show that the longer a person lives after an SCI, the longer that person is likely to continue living. If a person with an SCI lives through the first 24 hours, there is an 85% chance the person will be alive 10 years later.
Getting Compensation for Your Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries are devastating and permanent. When someone else causes you to suffer a spinal cord injury, the compensation you receive will be a large amount. You will need a lot of resources for your care and treatment throughout your life.
You are entitled to recover for all of your medical expenses and for the money you are not able to earn. You also get amounts to compensate for your pain and suffering and for how your ability to enjoy life has been negatively affected.
To ensure you are awarded the maximum amount possible, you need to work with an attorney who is familiar with spinal cord injuries, understands how you are affected, and knows the resources you are going to need throughout your life.
Contact Us for Assistance
The spinal cord injury lawyers at Salango Law, PLLC have won over $100,000,000 for our clients. We take your case on a contingency basis so you don’t pay us until you get paid. And we offer a free consultation to help you better understand how to proceed with your claim. Contact us by clicking here or call our Charleston office at 304-342-0512.