In a moment, a spinal cord injury can change your life. Simple tasks seem impossible. The mind fixates on the pain. Relationships become strained. The future looks murky.
If a spine injury has derailed your life, you’re not alone. Sadly, 30 new spinal cord injuries occur each day in America. Many are caused by the negligence of someone else. If you’re one of these victims, turn to the personal injury lawyers at Teddy, Meekins & Talbert. Based in Shelby, North Carolina, we guide people from throughout the region in finding answers and seeking justice. You’ll like our client-centered approach.
The more you know about spinal cord injuries in general – and yours in particular – the more you can assist in getting better and determining your best options.
The spine is a workhorse, running from the base of the brain to the lower back. It shares sensory information among the skin, joints, internal organs and the muscles of the trunk, arms and legs. Many routine activities like breathing and walking can’t happen effectively without solid communication up and down the spine.
Like the brain, the soft, gel-like spinal cord is enclosed in three membrane layers. It’s protected by 33 rings of bone called vertebrae, which form the spinal column. Each vertebra has a circular hole, so when the rung-like bones are stacked one on top of the other there is a long hollow channel, with the spinal cord inside.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the vertebrae are named and numbered from top to bottom according to their location along the backbone:
The spinal column is not all bone. Between the vertebrae are discs of semi-rigid cartilage and narrow spaces that act as passages through which the spinal nerves travel to and from the rest of the body. These are places where the spinal cord is particularly vulnerable to direct injury.
The outcome of any injury to the spinal cord depends on the level at which the injury occurs in the neck or back and the degree of damage. Loss of neurologic function occurs below the level of the injury, so the higher the spinal injury, the greater the loss of function.
Physicians and surgeons worldwide use a five-point scale to categorize the extent of neurologic damage following a spinal cord injury, according to the NIH. The most severe is classified as A. The least severe is E.
Alcohol use is a factor in about one of every four spinal cord injuries, according to the Mayo Clinic. Pain and limited movement may not occur immediately. It may take weeks and months before their full effects are detected.
On the other hand, when an injury occurs, a patient may not be able to move or may have lost feeling in the affected area. A common perception is that the cord must be severed for feeling to be lost. This is not the case. Most injured people have a cord that is intact.
It’s worth noting that a spine injury is not the same thing as a back injury, which typically result in ruptured discs, spinal stenosis or pinched nerves that cause severe pain.
When you’re living with a spinal cord injury, the days are long. The nights are even longer. Your body is fighting on all fronts to restore itself. A few of the most common symptoms that go along with this condition:
There is no cure for spinal cord injury, but there are effective treatments and rehabilitation options. However, significant research is leading to promising results. Ask your doctor about clinical trials that may give you new hope. Or check out the possibilities at clinicaltrials.gov, a clearinghouse operated by the National Library of Medicine.
If legal action is required to help you address someone else’s negligence that caused your spine injury, monetary damages can be awarded as a means of restoring you to your pre-accident condition. In addition, since a spinal cord injury can have permanent and life-altering effects, you may be entitled to payments for ongoing health care, devices to help you get around, accessible ramps and stair lifts so you can live comfortably, and more.
Don’t wait to seek legal representation if you’ve been hurt. Get relief knowing you chose trial lawyers who realize that, more than just winning, justice matters. Our attorneys will fight for your rights.
You’ll need an experienced legal team to fully address the complexities and inter dependencies of your case. You can be sure the other side will mount a vigorous defense. You need our team on your side.
A spinal injury can significantly alter your life. It may have serious impacts on your loved ones and those who depend on you.
If the negligence of someone else played a part in causing your injury, it’s worth an objective evaluation by the team of personal injury experts with Teddy, Meekins & Talbert. We can help you seek just compensation to help with medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering. We’re the locals’ choice.
Contact us now for a free consultation.