Did you know that approximately 12, 500 spinal cord injuries occur in the U.S every year? This leaves the injured parties, their families and friends the burden of having to deal with the aftermath of the accident that led to the injury. If you plan to pursue a lawsuit to get compensation for your injuries, you might need to hire spinal cord injury attorney who will protect your rights and get you the compensation that you deserve.
Learning about your injuries can feel a bit like going to medical school. In fact, you may spend hours Googling spinal cord injuries to find out details about your injury. Although we advocate for everyone to learn about their specific conditions, we always recommend that you seek medical advice. Medical checkups are necessary if you want your personal injury claim to be successful.
The Anatomy of Your Spinal Cord
The spinal cord is a column of nerves enclosed in the spine and it connects nearly all parts of your body to the brain. Your spinal cord is divided into four regions:
- Cervical spinal cord. This is where your neck connects to your back and your spine connects to your brain.
- Thoracic spinal cord. This is the middle part of your spinal cord.
- Lumbar spinal cord. This is the lower part of your spine where it begins to bend.
- The sacral spine. This is the lower triangle-shaped region of your spine that bends slightly outward.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
There are two broad categories of spinal cord injuries:
Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries
This is whereby your spinal cord is only partially damaged but you are able to retain some degree of function. The amount of functionality you retain will depend on the extent of your injuries. Incomplete spinal cord injuries account for more than 60% of spinal cord injuries thanks to increased knowledge and better treatment. Some common types of incomplete spinal cord injuries include:
1. Anterior Cord Syndrome
This occurs when blood flow in the artery that runs on the front of the spinal cord is interrupted. Most accident victims who suffer from anterior cord syndrome experience paralysis below the spine where the injury occurred. Anterior cord syndrome cannot be cured but you may experience some improvement.
2. Central Cord Syndrome
This type of injury occurs in the middle part of the spinal cord. It usually happens to people who have underlying conditions or when their necks get hyperextended during impact in an accident. Victims are less likely to suffer paralysis in the legs and feet but they are more prone to suffer paralysis in the hands and arms.
They may also suffer loss of sensation in the bladder. You might have to spend several months in the hospital treating the condition. Not only is this time consuming and expensive but you might also not make a full recovery.
3. Posterior Cord Syndrome
It’s much less common than the central cord or anterior cord syndrome. The front end of your spinal cord won’t be injured but the back end will be damaged. The back end of your spinal cord is responsible for sensory input. Therefore, when you suffer from posterior cord syndrome, you will retain motor function but lose your sensory input.
4. Brown Sequard Syndrome
This is when the right or the left side of your spinal cord is injured. You will only experience paralysis on the side that is injured but you may also lose sensation on the other side.
Complete Spinal Cord Injuries
These injuries occur when the spinal cord is completely severed. You might be able to regain some function with treatment and physical therapy but it’s not a guarantee.
Claiming Compensation After a Spinal Cord Injury in Hyannis
Depending on the extent of your injuries, you might need surgery. You will also need medication, go through rehabilitation therapy, acquire assistive devices among other needs. All this can be very expensive. You will also need to take time off work while undergoing treatment and in most instances, you might not be able to go back to the same job.
If your accident was as a result of someone else’s negligence, you will need to contact a qualified and experienced attorney to help you recover damages. For more information about how to protect your legal recovery, contact us at 508-775-1660 or visit our offices today.