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Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries result from a severe blow or other form of trauma which damages the vertebrae (bones of the spine) to the extent that it brings pressure on or send pieces into the spinal cord. The spinal cord isn’t usually severed, but the injury can cause complete or partial paralysis below the point of impact or damage.

The spinal cord is responsible for carrying electrical signals from the brain to the rest of the body, which dictate sensations and voluntary movement. When the cord is damaged, therefore, the signals are totally or partially blocked, depending on the extent of the injury. Unfortunately, there is no treatment available to repair spinal cord injuries.

There are many ways one can injure the spinal cord, but a majority of cases are due to sudden and violent traumatic incidents, such as car accidents, falls, or assault. Emergency medical treatment is indicated for any suspected spinal cord injury as immediate professional attention can significantly reduce the extent of the damage.

Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries may not be immediately apparent after a traumatic event. The following are signs and symptoms of possible spinal cord injury and should be closely monitored following an accident:

  • Numbness
  • Incontinence
  • Paralysis
  • Spastic movements
  • Acute back pain
  • Pressure in the back, head or neck
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Loss of balance

Costs Associated with Spinal Cord Injury

Depending on the extent of the injury, a victim may expect a minimum of $15,000 in medical costs a year, and over $500,000 over a lifetime. This does not include the costs of emergency medical treatment and hospitalization following an accident, the loss of future income, or the psychological and emotional effects of partial or total paralysis.

If you or someone you know has suffered from spinal cord injury due to the negligence or recklessness of a third party, it is possible to get compensation. You could contact personal injury attorneys to get their advice on what should be done. They will be able to offer extensive services that may dramatically improve the chances of success in the courtroom or avoid the need to go to court altogether.

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