Spine traumas are some of the most devastating injuries suffered as a result of accidents. According to 2020 data from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, 38.6% of spine injuries result from vehicle crashes, with falls coming in a close second. After a serious accident, you may require years of medical treatment and rehabilitative therapy.
If your injury was caused due to the negligent actions of another party, it is essential that you consult with an Arizona personal injury attorney. The physical, mental and emotional harm that results from spinal cord injuries leaves many victims feeling overwhelmed and not knowing how to manage. Seeking damages in a personal injury claim is an important step toward getting the care and compensation you need to move forward in life.
How Does a Spinal Cord Injury Happen?
An SCI occurs when the spinal column is damaged as the result of a forceful impact. This action may crush or displace the protective structure of the spinal column, injuring or severing the cord that runs through the cervical, thoracic, lumbar or sacral regions. People involved in traumatic accidents that involve jolts to the back, neck or head are at high risk of spine injuries.
What Are Types of Spinal Cord Injuries?
Damage to the spine from an accident ranges from mild to severe. In many cases, the damage results in chronic pain and loss of mobility. In catastrophic cases, an individual may become permanently disabled. These are five types of spinal cord injury that people suffer as a result of accidents:
Whiplash is the most commonly occurring spine injury from car accidents. The rapid whipping motion of the head and neck from impact in a crash can cause trauma to the vertebrae in the cervical spine, injuring the spinal cord. Cervical vertebrae that are misaligned or damaged can press on the spinal cord, causing serious implications to your health. These are signs and symptoms that can result:
- Neck pain (dull or sharp)
- Shoulder and arm pain
- Numbness that radiates through arms
- Mobility impairment
- Decreased range of motion
In the most severe cases, people experience these issues:
- Visual problems
- Tinnitus (ear ringing)
- Sleep disruptions
- Mental health issues
- Focus and memory problems
People generally experience a combination of symptoms because one issue tends to trigger others. An Arizona personal injury lawyer knows how spinal cord injuries affect the quality of life. Cervical trauma from whiplash can leave you with nerve complications for years to come. Get legal advice about your rights after an accident.
2. Spinal Column Fracture
You may have spinal damage from stretches, tears or contusions that cause permanent damage to the cord. Even with medical treatment, many injuries are never completely repaired or healed. While it is rare for the spinal cord to be completely severed, spinal contusions may crush the cord and obstruct blood flow to the affected area.
This may cause an incomplete SCI where some limbs function better than others or one side of the body has less mobility than the other. Almost 50% of injuries to the spinal cord are complete, with a total loss of function below the injury site.
Spinal cord injuries, incomplete or complete, can lead to these types of paralysis:
- Tetraplegia: This condition, also known as quadriplegia, affects a person’s entire trunk, limbs and pelvic-region organs due to spinal cord damage. This is a catastrophic injury that usually requires mechanical ventilation to breathe.
- Paraplegia: This condition affects the trunk (partially), limbs and pelvic-region organs due to spinal cord damage. Depending on where the injury occurs in the thoracic spine, there can be breathing difficulties associated with paraplegia.
3. Disc Herniation
The rubbery cushions that separate the vertebrae from rubbing together and allow smooth spinal movement can be ruptured in an accident. This is known as disc herniation. A herniated disc bulges outward due to a tear in the disc exterior.
This painful condition could require a lengthy healing time under a physician’s care or surgery. Depending on the location of the damage, this condition can lead to spinal cord injuries. Herniated discs can cause numbness or weakness due to the cervical spine vertebrae impinging on the spinal cord.
4. Spinal stenosis
This spine injury narrows the spaces in the spinal column putting direct pressure on the spinal cord. It mainly affects the neck and lower back. It is essential after an accident to have a thorough examination to determine the extent of your injuries. Spinal stenosis has the potential to cause nerve damage, paralysis and death if not treated.
Spondylolisthesis happens when vertebrae move out of place and put direct pressure on the nerves of the spinal canal. Traumatic lumbar spondylolisthesis can lead to permanent spinal cord injury. If vertebrae fracture or slip, surgery could be required for stabilization.
How Can an Arizona Personal Injury Attorney Help With Spinal Cord Injuries?
Injuries that involve the spine, no matter how minor they seem, need immediate assessment and treatment after an accident. Some such injuries are painful, while others go undetected but are still dangerous. A personal injury attorney in Arizona with experience in spinal injury cases knows how to represent you effectively. There are essential elements that must be met to assign liability to another party, and a lawyer knows how to bring all the pieces together when handling a lawsuit.
Choose the Right Attorney After a Spinal Cord Injury Accident
Sargon Law Group is here to help Arizona accident victims handle legal issues after spinal cord injuries cause them harm. You need a legal team on your side that understands what you are going through and gives you and your case the utmost attention. We care about our clients and work to protect your interests when another party impairs your quality of your life and puts your future in jeopardy.
As our client, you have direct contact with your attorney. We are responsive to your inquiries because you deserve to know what is happening with your case. We offer a free consultation to begin the process. Contact us about your situation, and we’ll set up an appointment.