Tuesday, October 4, 2016
How A Spinal Cord Injury Can Affect Your Life
Being involved in an accident is always a jarring experience. If that accident results in serious, long-term damage such as a spinal cord injury,1 the aftermath of the accident can stay with you for life. If you have suffered such an injury, it is important to understand what has happened to you and how it will affect your day-to-day functioning.
What Is A Spinal Cord Injury?
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs down your back and carries signals between your brain and the rest of your body. A spinal cord injury disrupts these signals and results in a loss of function.
Spinal cord injuries usually occur after some trauma to the back that fractures or dislocates the vertebrae of the spine, commonly caused by falls, auto collisions, and other similar accidents. Spinal cord injuries can be classified as follows:
Complete: If a spinal cord injury is complete, the brain is unable to send signals to any parts of the body below the injury. This type of injury causes paralysis.2
Incomplete: If the spinal cord injury is incomplete, some signals can still be sent through the injured section of cord and full function has not been lost.
It is important to note that spinal cord injuries are different from other types of back injuries. The spine is separate from the spinal cord and has separate injuries, treatments and effects. For example, a dislocated vertebra is a spinal injury and may not always affect the spinal cord.
What Happens After the Injury?
Depending on where the injury occurred, the body may be affected differently. Generally, injuries to the lower half of the spinal cord will affect the legs. On the other hand, injuries to the upper half up to the brain stem could potentially affect the entire body. The extent of the damage done to the nerves ultimately determines the extent of the loss of function. In more minor injuries, a person might only lose sensation in the affected areas. As the injuries start to become more serious, however, there will start to be complete loss of sensation, loss of use of limbs, and total paralysis in the affected areas. In the most severe cases, a person may lose control of his bladder and bowels, as well as have difficulty breathing or the inability to breathe altogether without a breathing aid. Prompt treatment is critical in minimizing the damage done and increasing the likelihood of recovery.
Living With A Spinal Cord Injury
Because there is no cure for spinal cord injuries, the effects of these injuries can be lifelong. While some people who suffered minor injuries may be able to lead mostly normal lives with little to no help from others, those with moderate to severe spinal cord injuries will require assistance and with everyday activities. There are a variety of mobility aids and other assistive devices designed to help victims of spinal cord injuries resume as much of their regular activity as possible, however, they can be costly.
Those who have suffered more serious spinal cord injuries are also more likely to die earlier than those without spinal cord injuries as the respiratory and circulatory systems become weakened. Death from pneumonia and heart disease is common among those with more serious spinal cord injuries.
The physical, emotional, and mental toll that a spinal cord injury takes on the injured party, in addition to his or her family, is great. The financial toll can be just as great. It is important that if you or someone you know suffers a spinal cord injury due to the negligence of someone else, that they contact an experienced Florida personal injury attorney. Your attorney will be able to ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve for your injury, meaning that all of your current and future medical care is taken care of, as well as your lost current and future earnings and pain and suffering damages.
Contact a Clearwater Spinal Injury Attorney Today for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident and has suffered a spinal cord injury, contact a Clearwater, Florida spinal injury attorney at Dolman Law Group right away. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call our office today at 727-451-6900 or send us an email through our online contact form.