A spinal cord injury (SCI) can be life-altering as you face the possibility of impaired motor function. You may need help with simple tasks you previously took for granted.
If someone else’s reckless actions caused your debilitating injuries, you may want to hold them accountable to pay for your future needs. A Bala Cynwyd spinal cord injury lawyer can determine if you are eligible for financial compensation and help you seek damages from the negligent party. By working with a skilled injury attorney, you put yourself in a better position for a positive resolution to your case.
Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries
Many people think of the spinal cord as a single, snakelike rope running up the back, but it is actually made up of numerous nerves encased in a protective sheath of myelin, further protected by 31 vertebrae. There are four sections to the spinal cord, and knowing where an injury is located helps medical professionals diagnose and treat a patient. The four areas of the spine are:
- The cervical spinal cord, running from the brain to the top of the back, with the topmost eight vertebrae
- The thoracic spinal cord, along the middle back, containing twelve vertebrae
- The lumbar spinal cord, which bends inward, with five vertebrae located in the small of the back
- The sacral spine, the lowest region of the back with five vertebrae, bending slightly outward but with nerve roots and no actual spinal cord
After an accident in which the spinal cord is damaged, hospital staff will determine which region is affected and how complete the injury is. Complete injuries occur when the patient is paralyzed below the injury site. Incomplete injuries happen when the patient has some mobility below the damage.
Quadriplegia or tetraplegia means the body’s four quadrants are paralyzed. With paraplegia, the lower body is paralyzed. The degree of paralysis is essential to know so that a local attorney could calculate how much financial compensation a SCI victim will need for continued care, retrofitting the home, specialized equipment, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and lost future earnings.
Common Spinal Cord Accidents
Vehicular accidents are a common cause of spinal cord injuries, but an individual could suffer one in various situations. Other causes include:
- Falls, which is a common cause among senior citizens and can occur senior living facilities
- Recreational and sports activities, such as horseback riding, skydiving, auto racing, diving, football, cheerleading, and gymnastics
- Violent acts such as shootings, beatings, and violence in the home
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle accidents
Alcohol is a factor in one out of every four spinal cord injuries.
A nearby lawyer knowledgeable about spinal cord injuries could review the evidence and build a lawsuit for compensation from the negligent party.
No Cure for Spinal Cord Injuries
Although stem cell research has been promising, there is no cure for spinal cord damage. Depending on the region and completeness of the injury, treatments are available. In some cases, allowing time for the swelling to subside in the traumatized area can cause a victim to regain some or all mobility. If the spinal cord is crushed or severed, a lifetime of therapy may be the only treatment. Physicians could also consider prescribing pain medication or performing back surgery.
Victims who are facing permanent spinal cord injuries should consult a Bala Cynwyd lawyer in the area who could help them receive the financial compensation needed for a lifetime of care.
Statute of Limitations in SCI Cases
The statute of limitations is the amount of time the state allows a plaintiff to file a civil court lawsuit. Pennsylvania personal injury lawsuits generally must be filed within two years of the accident. Limiting the time to file ensures that evidence is fresh, and the threat of a lawsuit does not last forever.
A Bala Cynwyd Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Is Waiting for Your Call
Spinal cord injuries can change a victim’s life, as well as the lives of their family members who may have to oversee a lifetime of care for their loved one. That care can be expensive, and recovering damages in a personal injury case could allow you to pay for it. A Bala Cynwyd spinal cord injury lawyer can help you seek justice and compensation from the person who caused your injury. Call today to schedule an initial consultation.