Virginia Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one have suffered a debilitating spinal cord injury (SCI) as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, it may be in your best interest to contact a Virginia spinal cord injury lawyer as soon as possible. A personal injury attorney can work with you to investigate your case and plot a course toward compensation for the injuries that you have wrongfully sustained.
What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
The spinal cord is responsible for relaying messages from the body to the brain and vice versa. While this bundle of nerves is protected within the spinal column, a blow so traumatic that it fractures or dislocates the vertebrae can cause irreparable damage to the spinal cord. Any injury to the spinal cord requires immediate medical attention. With proper and immediate care, the long-term effects of such an injury may be limited. Not all spinal cord injuries are treatable, however, and when they are not, they may result in life-altering complications.
In addition, a spinal cord injury may be classified as a traumatic injury or a non-traumatic injury. Non-traumatic injuries may be caused by health conditions such as cancer, inflammation, arthritis, infections, or disc degeneration of the spine. Such causes often result in more incapacitation than a traumatic injury.
A traumatic injury to the spinal cord often results from a sudden, traumatic blow to the spine that may crush, dislocate, fracture or compress one or more vertebrae. A wound that penetrates the body and cuts the spinal nerve bundle is another common cause of traumatic SCI.
When you first begin working with a Virginia spinal cord injury lawyer, he or she will ask you about the circumstances that led to your injury. This is because the events or actions that caused the injury often hold the key to determining the responsible party or organization. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the four most common causes of traumatic SCI in the United States include the following:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are the underlying cause of nearly half of all spinal cord injuries, making it the leading cause of SCI by far. Studies indicate that the likelihood of SCI is reduced by up to 60 percent with the use of a vehicle safety belt. When a seatbelt and airbag are used in tandem, there is a total reduction in risk of roughly 80 percent.
A fall is the cause of spinal cord injury for nearly one-quarter (1/4) those suffering from SCI. In those over the age of 65, falls are the leading cause of such injury.
Acts of Violence
Gunshot wounds, knife wounds, and other forms of violence are responsible for a large percentage of spinal cord injuries each year. When a bullet or knife enters the spinal column and severs or damages the spinal cord, irreversible damage often occurs.
Sports and Recreational Injuries
Athletic activities, most notably impact sports involving person-to-person collisions, are responsible for a portion of SCI cases each year. Diving into shallow water is another common cause of spinal cord injury.
A Virginia spinal cord injury attorney can look into any of these sorts of accidents to identify the key facts that will need to be laid out in an effective personal injury claim. Call our law offices to speak with our legal team and complete your free initial consultation.
The Physical Impact of a Spinal Cord Injury
When the spinal cord is torn, compressed, severed, or otherwise damaged, the body’s ability to carry signals from the brain to the rest of the body is compromised. The injury itself may be considered complete or incomplete. In the case of an incomplete SCI, the injured person maintains some mobility and sensation below the injury site. In the case of a complete SCI, however, the individual becomes paralyzed from the injury location and below. Complete spinal cord injury results in a loss of muscle control and creates sensory blocks preventing one’s brain from registering feelings of pain, cold/hot, pressure, and body or limb position. A complete spinal cord injury often results in paraplegia, or paralysis of the legs, or quadriplegia or tetraplegia, paralysis of the entire body below the cervical vertebrae where the damage occurred.
Urgent treatment may involve the use of medication, traction or braces used to stabilize the spine, and surgery. Follow-up and long-term treatments may include physical and rehabilitative therapies, mobility aids, and medicines.
Virginia Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers Can Help
A spinal cord injury can reduce one’s quality of life by impacting the injured person’s independence, financial status and earning potential, emotional outlook, and much more. Such injuries often require costly medical care, expensive devices, and reliance upon loved ones or caretakers. If you or someone you love sustained a spinal cord injury through the reckless, careless, negligent, or malicious act of another person, financial compensation may be available through the skillful legal representation of an experienced Virginia spinal cord personal injury attorney. To find out more, contact a Virginia spinal cord injury lawyer today.