The spinal cord extends from the lower part of the brain to the end of the lower back. Damage to the compact bundle of nerves and cells that send and receive signals to the brain and the rest of the body can result in a spinal cord injury (also called an SCI).
These injuries can be caused by direct damage to the spinal cord or the tissue and bones (vertebrae) surrounding the area. This can result in permanent or temporary changes in movement, sensations, strength, or body functions below the injury site.
Types of Injury
Spinal cord injuries are classified into two groups:
- Incomplete injury- this is when this spinal cord can still transmit some messages to or from the brain. Victims of incomplete injuries are usually able to regain some form of sensory functions and have slight control of muscle activating below the injury site.
- Complete injury - this means there is no nerve communication and the victim's sensory and motor functions below the site are completely lost.
When examining the damages of a spinal cord injury, the hurt individual can suffer from either primary damage (immediate and caused directly by the injury), or secondary damage (a result of inflammation and swelling that puts enormous pressure on the spinal cord and vertebrae).
The severity of disability generally depends on where along the spinal cord the injury occurred and how bad the injury was.
Some injuries with little to no nerve cell death may allow an almost complete recovery. Injuries that happen higher on the spinal cord can cause paralysis in the majority of the body and affect all limbs, and this is called tetraplegia or quadriplegia. When the injury to the spinal cord occurs in the lower regions, it may cause paralysis to the lower body and legs, which is often referred to as paraplegia.
Causes of SCI
The most common cause of spinal cord injuries are motor vehicle accidents. In most cases, the crash's impact results in direct damage to the victim's spinal cord. Following car accidents, other causes of these injuries are sports accidents, medical malpractice, industrial accidents, or acts of violence (such as gunshot wounds and assaults).
Contact a Lawyer
If you or someone you know has experienced an SCI due to another's negligence, contact us right away. You may be eligible for financial compensation. Here at Warner Law Offices, PLLC, we have decades of experience on our side to help us fight cases just like yours. You are not alone.
Contact us today at (304) 449-3505 or visit us online to schedule a free case review with one of our award-winning attorneys.