The spinal cord is a vital piece of the central nervous system, and serves 3 important functions:
- To send motor commands from the brain to the body
- To send sensory information from the body back to the brain
- To coordinate reflexes
A spinal cord injury (SCI) is an injury to the spinal cord that can cause permanent changes in strength, sensation, and other body functions below the site of the injury. SCIs are typically caused by trauma such as a car accident or fall. Depending on where along the spine the damage occurs, symptoms may range from mild to severe and can result in partial or complete paralysis.
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury due to a car accident, it is important that you seek the advice of an experienced and knowledgeable spinal cord injury attorney in Chicago. Spinal cord injuries can range from mild discomfort to complete paralysis and require specialized medical attention. Knowing your legal rights after suffering such an injury is critical for obtaining fair compensation for damages incurred as a result of another person’s negligence or recklessness.
A qualified spinal cord injury attorney will be able to evaluate your case and provide sound legal counsel on how best to proceed in order to ensure maximum protection under the law so that you receive proper compensation for any losses resulting from your injuries.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can be classified into two categories: complete and incomplete. A complete SCI means that all communication between the brain and body has been severed below the point of impact, resulting in total paralysis below that level. An incomplete SCI means some degree of movement or feeling remains intact beneath the site of injury; however, this varies greatly depending on individual cases.
Other classifications for spinal cord injuries include:
- Tetraplegia/quadriplegia (paralysis affecting both arms and legs)
- Paraplegia (paralysis affecting only one side)
- Brown-Sequard Syndrome (injury to one side causing weakness but not loss of sensation on opposite side)
- Anterior cord syndrome (loss of motor function but preservation of pain and temperature sensations)
- Central cord syndrome (weakness more pronounced in upper extremities than lower extremities).
The most common type of spinal cord injury is a contusion, which occurs when an area of tissue on or near the spine is bruised due to trauma such as a fall, car accident, or sports-related incident. Contusions can cause swelling and bleeding that puts pressure on nerves within the spine and disrupts nerve signals traveling between your brain and body parts below your waistline. This can lead to paralysis if not treated quickly enough.
Another type of spinal cord injury is a compression fracture, which occurs when vertebrae are crushed together due to trauma such as a fall from height or direct impact from an object like a baseball bat during sports play. Compression fractures can also cause swelling and bleeding that puts pressure on nerves within the spine leading to paralysis if not treated quickly enough.
A third type of spinal cord injury is called an avulsion fracture, which occurs when part of a vertebra breaks off due to extreme force being applied directly onto it such as during contact sports activities like football or rugby where players may collide with each other at high speeds resulting in severe damage to their spines. Avulsion fractures can also cause swelling and bleeding that puts pressure on nerves within the spine leading to paralysis if not treated quickly enough
Spinal cord injuries can vary in severity and type, ranging from temporary to permanent paralysis. Knowing the different types of spinal cord injuries is important when seeking legal help for a personal injury claim.
The Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are typically caused by trauma, such as car accidents, falls, sports injuries, or other kinds of physical trauma to the spine.
Car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injury in the United States and account for more than 40% of all cases. This is attributable to the fact that the spinal cord is a delicate and vulnerable structure that runs down the center of the back, and the high-impact force associated with the impact in a collision can cause a substantial amount of damage to it.
Falls are also a common cause of spinal cord injury, accounting for approximately 25% of cases. Sports-related activities can also lead to traumatic spinal cord injuries due to contact with another player or an object such as a ball or bat. Violence is another leading cause of spinal cord injury; gunshot wounds and other forms of physical assault can result in severe damage to the spine and nervous system.
In addition to trauma-related causes, medical conditions such as tumors or infections can also damage the spinal cord and lead to paralysis or other disabilities. Tumors that grow on the spine may compress nerves within it, resulting in pain and loss of sensation below the site where they occur. Infections like meningitis can inflame nerve tissue along the spine which may lead to permanent neurological damage if not treated promptly with antibiotics.
Spinal cord injuries can be caused by a variety of accidents and situations, so it is important to understand the potential risks. A spinal cord injury attorney can provide guidance on how best to pursue legal action for those affected.
How Can a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Help?
Spinal cord injuries (SCI) can be devastating, leaving victims with permanent physical and emotional disabilities. If you or a loved one has suffered an SCI due to the negligence of another party, it is important to seek legal advice from a qualified personal injury attorney.
A spinal cord injury attorney will provide experienced legal counsel on how best to proceed with your case. They will review all relevant medical records and evidence related to the accident to determine who may be liable for damages incurred as a result of the injury. An experienced injury attorney will also be able to obtain and preserve the evidence necessary to prove your case, to obtain any necessary expert witnesses, protect your legal rights in court, and negotiate settlements with insurance companies and other parties involved in order to ensure that their client receives fair compensation for their losses and suffering.
In addition, an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer can provide guidance on managing any future medical expenses associated with the injury such as rehabilitation costs or long-term care needs. They are also knowledgeable about state laws regarding personal injury claims which could affect the outcome of your case. Furthermore, they understand how insurance companies work and can use this knowledge when negotiating settlements on behalf of their clients.
Seek Legal Representation Today
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident that resulted in a spinal cord injury, it is important to seek the help of an experienced spinal cord injury attorney who can provide guidance and support throughout the legal process without delay. A qualified attorney will have the knowledge and resources necessary to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive fair compensation for your injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your legal options and how we can assist you.