Spinal cord injuries (SCI) can be some of the most debilitating injuries that you can sustain. When the spinal cord is damaged, it can leave victims with permanent immobility or the inability to control their own bodily functions. An injury this severe can have a lasting impact on the victim and their family. In the aftermath of the accident that caused the injury, it is critical that you secure caring and experienced legal representation to help you through the difficult times ahead.
The New Orleans spinal cord injury attorneys at Cueria Law Firm have thirty years of experience in successfully helping spinal trauma victims recover the financial compensation that they deserve. The rehabilitation process will be costly. With the help of the spinal cord injury attorneys at Cueria Law Firm, you may be able to receive a substantial settlement to help you down the path to recovery. Our attorneys want to work to hold the offending parties accountable, so no one else has to endure the same trauma in the future.
What is Spinal Cord Injury?
Spinal cord injury is any damage to the spinal cord that results in loss of function. Damage may occur in the form of contusions, partial tears, or complete tears. It is not necessary for the spinal cord to be completely severed for the victim to sustain serious, long-term disabilities. The spinal cord is responsible for sending messages between the brain and the many body systems. When the spinal cord is damaged in any way, these messages cannot be sent or received properly. Trauma to the spinal cord can result in impairments in sensory control, motor function, or nerve function.
In the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center’s 2018 report, it was estimated that there were about 17,700 new spinal cord injury cases each year. They also reported that approximately 288,000 people are living with spinal cord injury in the United States, with about 78% of those cases involving male victims.
The statistics are staggering, especially since most spinal cord injuries are often the result of traumatic accidents or attacks. Spinal cord injury is one of the leading causes of permanent injury or death among children and adults.
Types of Spinal Cord Injury
The actual damage that results from the injury depends on the location of the injury on the spinal cord. Typically, the higher up the injury is on the spinal cord, the more of an adverse effect it will have on the body and mobility. As such, there are three general classifications of spinal cord injury.
A loss of movement or feeling in all four limbs and all areas below the shoulders due to an injury in the neck region of the spine. Also known as the cervical spine, the neck region of the spine controls the diaphragm and may result in breathing difficulties.
A loss of movement or feeling in the lower part of the body and legs due to an injury to the thoracic or lumbar areas of the spine. Generally, the arms and hands are left intact.
A loss of movement or feeling in one arm and both legs typically due to an incomplete spinal cord injury.
Complete and Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are further classified as complete or incomplete. A complete SCI is characterized by total loss of movement and sensation below the level of the spinal injury on both sides of the body. Complete spinal cord injuries can happen at any level of the spine and often do not involve a complete transection of the spinal cord. An incomplete spinal cord injury leaves some remaining function or sensation to the victim below the level of injury. The function and sensation may be faint and not even on both sides of the body.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injury
There are many possible causes of spinal cord injuries because they can occur anytime the spine or neck is bent or compressed in an unnatural way. Some of the most commonly reported causes of a severe spinal cord injury include:
- Motor vehicle or motorcycle accidents
- Birth injuries
- Violence including gunshots and stabbings
- Medical or surgical complications
If you sustained a spinal cord injury in any of these ways, you might be able to file a personal injury claim for the damages that you have suffered. Contact our Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Cueria Law Firm right away to be sure you file your claim within the one-year window set by the state of Louisiana.
Our skilled attorneys know the law and understand the immense impact this kind of injury can have on your quality of life. We are motivated to hold those responsible accountable and to make sure you get the money you need to recover.
Complete Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys
In their 2018 data sheet, the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center estimates that about 300,000 people are living with spinal cord injury in the United States. Most people who sustain a spinal cord injury were involved in a motor vehicle accident or a fall. Spinal cord injuries can have a life-shattering impact on the victim and their family.
If you have suffered a complete traumatic spinal cord injury, your life will change dramatically. It is essential to seek help from a strong team of medical doctors and rehabilitation professionals, and then seek the legal representation of an experienced spinal cord injury attorney like our team at Cueria Law Firm in Louisiana.
What is a Complete Spinal Cord Injury?
The spinal cord is responsible for sending and receiving messages between the brain and the body systems that control movement, sensation, and the reflexes. When the spinal cord is injured, it may lose some or all of its ability to send and receive messages resulting in decreased motor, sensory, or reflex function. An injury that leaves the victim with absolute and permanent loss of motor, sensory, or reflex function is called a complete spinal cord injury.
A complete spinal cord injury is a severe injury. The victim loses function below the level of the injury. Generally, a complete spinal cord injury occurs when the injury is located in the cervical spine, or the area of the neck. The higher up the damage on the spine, or the closer to the brain, the more serious the effects of the injury. An injury of this type can be considered complete paraplegia or complete quadriplegia.
Complete paraplegia is an injury that leaves the victim with paralysis and loss of sensation in the lower part of the body. Victims of this type of injury will not have full function of their legs. Typically, the injury occurs in the thoracic or lumbar areas of the spine.
Complete quadriplegia is the most severe consequence of a spinal cord injury as it results in total loss of motor function and sensation in all four limbs. The injury affects the body below the neck and shoulders. In general, the damage occurs in the cervical spine, or the neck. Due to its proximity to the brain, the overall injury is much more severe.
Most victims of a spinal cord injury will not know the true extent of the injuries until about 6-8 weeks after the initial injury. During this time, the body is in a shock-like state that may mask the actual trauma sustained in the accident. A doctor may order a series of computerized tomography (CT or CAT scans) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the spine to verify the location of the injury.
General Symptoms of Severe Spinal Cord Injuries
The symptoms of a spinal cord injury depend on the location of the injury on the spinal cord as well as the severity of the damage. If you or someone you love may have suffered a spinal cord injury, look for some of these initial symptoms of a spinal cord injury:
- Muscle weakness
- Breathing problems
- Loss of bowel or bladder function
- Low blood pressure
- Chronic pain
If you sustained a complete spinal cord injury in an accident or a fall that was the fault of someone else, you must secure legal experts who understand spinal cord injury and know the law in Louisiana. The road to your recovery will be long and difficult. Don’t worry about how you will pay for your rehabilitation and take care of the ones you love. The skilled spinal cord injury attorneys at Cueria Law Firm work hard to make sure you get the settlement you deserve and the peace of mind in knowing that those responsible are held accountable for their negligence.
Contact Cueria Law Firm today for a free consultation with our spinal cord injury attorneys.
Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys
Incomplete spinal cord injuries account for approximately 70% of the spinal cord injuries in the United States since 2015. Although all spinal cord injuries are serious, incomplete spinal cord injuries leave the injury victims with some motor or sensory function below the point of the injury. Advances in medical care and the speed with which first responders arrive on the accident scene has dramatically reduced the fatality rate of spinal cord injuries overall.
Did you suffer a spinal cord injury in a car accident? Did you sustain an injury to your neck, back, or spinal cord in a fall that was due to the negligence of another person? Do not hesitate any longer to retain the representation of the experienced spinal cord injury attorneys at Cueria Law Firm. Our New Orleans attorneys have helped many accident victims recover the fair compensation they deserve after a debilitating spinal cord injury. Our team understands the pain and suffering that you and your family are going through. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn how we might be able to get you the settlement you need and deserve.
What is an Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury?
An incomplete spinal cord injury is an injury in which the person retains some function below the level of the injury. In other words, the damage from the injury is not absolute as it is in a complete spinal cord injury. Instead, the injured person may still have some motor function, sensation, and reflexive response in the body. The function may come in many forms since everybody is different and every injury is unique. For example, a person may have feeling in one arm and not the other. Another person may have more function on one side of the body than the other.
There are several different types of incomplete spinal cord injuries based on where the spinal cord sustained the injury.
Anterior Cord Syndrome
This occurs when the front of the spinal cord is injured. Typically, a person who has experienced an injury to the anterior part of the spinal cord will notice an impact in their ability to feel or sense pain and temperature.
Central Cord Syndrome
When injury occurs in the center part of the spinal cord, the nerve fibers that carry messages from the cerebral cortex are impacted. Results of this injury include paralysis in the arms and hands as well as possible bladder control difficulties.
Posterior Cord Syndrome
Injury to the back of the spinal cord often results in deficits in coordination. Typically, people with a posterior cord injury will maintain their strength and ability to recognize temperature sensations.
A relatively rare disorder, Brown-Sequard Syndrome is when one side of the spinal cord is injured, often due to a puncture to the neck or back. Motor function and some sensation will be lost on the side of the body with the injury but retained on the other side. However, on the opposite side of the injury, the victim may experience loss of pain and temperature perception.
Treatment After an Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury
Some incomplete spinal cord injury victims have the potential to make improvements in their motor or reflex control functions. The ability to regain function entirely depends on the severity of the injury and the location of the injury. Typically, with time and consistent rehabilitative care, many people can see some gains in their abilities.
Rehabilitation for an incomplete spinal cord injury will be time-consuming and difficult. Victims of this type of injury will work with many medical professionals during their recovery including physical therapists and occupational therapists as well as their neurologists and possibly orthopedic surgeons. Recovery will be expensive, and many victims of spinal cord injury wonder how they will pay for the treatment they need.
Contact the professional spinal cord injury attorneys at Cueria Law Firm in Louisiana today. In your free consultation, one of our experienced New Orleans attorneys will review your case with you and help you determine if you can take legal action against the party at fault for your injury.
Don’t hesitate to fight for the money you deserve. Call our office today.