We work with clients who have endured all types of auto accidents – ranging from the most severe to the relatively minor. What continues to surprise us, and many of those in the medical community, is the occasional seemingly minor accident that results in unthinkable, lifelong injuries to the victim – namely by way of spinal cord damage. The opposite has also occurred, where a vehicular accident appears to be unmistakably fatal in nature, and the individuals involved seem to be unscathed, but where there is long-term spinal damage.
The law recognizes the need for financial recovery in both types of accidents. Additionally, it is no defense that a particular injured plaintiff was a fragile person or was susceptibly prone to injuries beyond that of an average person. Therefore, even if your accident appeared relatively minor to the untrained eye, you could still have sustained lifelong spinal and nerve injuries for which you should be rightfully compensated.
Nature of Spinal Cord Injury Cases
Spinal cord injuries can span the spectrum in terms of severity and limitations. Accordingly, injures are categorized in terms of complete and incomplete. A complete spinal injury is one in which the brain cannot send messages through the nerves past the point of the injury. The result of a complete spinal injury is complete paralysis below the damage point. An incomplete spinal injury is one in which the nerves can move partially past the point of injury, thereby allowing the victim partial movement.
In addition, the location of the injury on the spine can give some indication as to the victim’s eventual ability to regain motor function. Injuries high on the spine or in the neck (e.g., a “broken neck”) present a high likelihood of total incapacitation, including the potential need for breathing assistance. These injuries affect the entire body’s ability to move and feel. Conversely, injuries occurring lower on the spine toward the tailbone may present a risk of difficulty walking and using the legs and feet, but generally do not cause total paralysis and do not affect the victim’s ability to breathe.
The severity of a spinal injury is also affected by the nature and immediacy of the initial medical response. Injuries that are immediately stabilized and treated stand a much better chance of recovery than those that linger untreated. Treatment for a spinal injury can range from a simple brace or medication to traction and invasive surgery. For the victim plaintiff, spinal cord injuries represent some of the most costly and enduring injuries, often resulting in the need for financial compensation.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
As you recover from a spinal cord injury, you may not consider a civil lawsuit as within your realm of possibilities. We are here to help you. We can meet with you at a convenient and comfortable location to review your options and help you decide the best course of action for your case. To make an appointment, contact Nelson C. Barry today.