Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

Spinal cord injuries are usually caused by impact between the body and another object that fractures or dislocates vertebrae, which are the bones that make up the spine, and surround the spinal cord. This kind of injury disrupts communication between the brain and the body, and is manifested in a range of bodily control losses, including the loss of bladder control and changes in an individual’s sexual drive or function. Following an accident or physical impact the most common symptoms of spinal cord injury are weakness or loss of sensation in the limbs or extremities, back or neck pain, and/or difficulty breathing.

If the injury was caused by the negligence or intentional act of another person, the injured person, with the assistance of an Irvine spinal cord injury lawyer, may be able to file a claim for compensatory damages. These types of injuries can place an unfair financial burden on families involved, making it important a catastrophic injury attorney is contacted as soon as possible.

Common Causes

The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) attributes most injuries of this type to vehicle crashes. Anyone who has a head or neck injury should seek medical attention immediately because damages to the spinal cord may not be immediately apparent, and lead to a more severe injury.

The NSCISC states that there are an average of 12,000 new spinal cord injuries that occur every year in the US, with people ages 16 to 30 at the most risk, and those age 65 and older being the next highest risk.

Impact of Spinal Injuries

A total loss of function below the point of the injury constitutes a complete spinal cord injury, or paralysis. Paraplegia is a category of paralysis that only impacts the lower extremities and can also be classified as complete or incomplete.

Complete paraplegia is the total loss of sensory and motor skills, which would result in a person being unable to use or feel sensation in the lower limbs. Incomplete paraplegia is found when the area where the spinal cord injury occurred is not completely damaged. For example, an individual may lose the ability to move lower limbs, but does have feeling in that area.

Quadriplegia and tetraplegia are used interchangeably to refer to the most serious type of spinal cord injury that warrants contact with an Irvine spinal injury attorney. A complete spinal cord injury leaves the victim with a total loss of motor skills, or paralysis, in all limbs and extremities and may have difficulty breathing. A person suffering with this type of injury is unable to live independently and has a greater risk of complications because of the inability to move anything below their neck.

Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury

Incomplete spinal cord injuries are distinguished by the spinal cord being moderately compromised, and has a greater chance for recovery. This type of injury occurs when the spinal cord is damaged, but the brain retains the ability to send signals below the injury site. The effects of an incomplete injury may be so mild that impairment is not noticeable.

There are four types of incomplete spinal lesions: anterior cord syndrome (ACS), posterior cord syndrome (PCS), central cord syndrome (PSS), and Brown-Sequard syndrome (BSS). Damage near the front of the spinal cord, leaving the individual with a loss or an impaired sense of sensation below the injury, constitutes ACS. PCS, as an Irvine spinal injury lawyer can explain, often leaves an individual with impaired coordination of the limbs, but does not typically impact a person’s ability to feel sensation.

CCS occurs when there is damage to the center of the spinal cord, which may result in loss of control or function of the arms. BSS often impairs movement to the side of the spinal cord that is injured, while the damage to the other side may be limited to a loss of some sensation.

Role of an Attorney

If you or a loved one has recently experienced a spinal cord injury due to another’s negligence or intention, please contact an experienced Irvine spinal cord injury attorney. Often these injuries leave a large financial burden on the families of the injured due to recovery time, medical expenses, and loss of wages. We can work with you to build a strong claim and work towards receiving financial compensation for the injury and relieve some of your financial woes.