Any injury can be serious, but some of the worst ones affect the spinal cord. Because the spinal cord plays such a vital role, any damage to it can have significant physical effects on one’s life. This is not to mention the difficulty of recovery and the financial costs associated with it. If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury because of another person’s negligence, you deserve compensation. The personal injury attorneys of Cooper Schall & Levy are here to make sure that the responsible party is held accountable and that you can get back to your life.
The Importance Of The Spinal Cord
The spinal cord is made up of nerve bundles that run from the brain, through the center of the spine, and to most parts of the human body. This complex system transmits sensory information throughout the body and therefore helps control such functions as:
- Motor functions. These are voluntary muscle movements, including walking.
- Sensory functions. These include touch, pressure, pain, and temperature sensation.
- Autonomic functions. Among these are bladder and bowel movements, blood pressure and blood flow, and heart rate.
If the spinal cord becomes injured, the brain cannot relay vital information throughout your body. This is why injuries to the spinal cord have such significant and often debilitating effects on a person’s bodily functions.
Types Of Injuries That Can Damage The Spine
Layers of tissue and membrane protect the spinal cord, but only to an extent. The following injuries can cause damage to the spinal cord:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Slips and falls
- Workplace accidents
- Sports injuries
- Swimming pool injuries
- Boating accidents
- Violent crime such as stabbings and firearm injuries
- Medical malpractice
If you’ve suffered any of these or other serious injuries, seek immediate medical treatment and follow all doctor’s orders. It is possible to avoid aggravating the damage to your spinal cord, but the injury requires professional attention.
Symptoms of A Injury To The Spinal Cord
Spinal cord injuries can range in degree from mild to severe, depending on the nature of the injury and the victim. Any of the following symptoms may suggest damage has occurred:
- Reduced movement or weakness
- Trouble walking or balancing
- Numbness in the arms, legs, fingers, and toes
- Loss of sensation
- Loss of urinary or bowel control
- Severe headache
- Trouble breathing
- Unnatural head or neck positioning
If you believe someone has suffered a spinal cord injury, seek immediate medical attention. Do not attempt to move the victim, which can cause further damage. An accident or injury victim will likely require hospitalization and frequent monitoring to ensure further complications don’t develop.
Consequences of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injury victims can suffer paraplegia or quadriplegia, which are forms of paralysis. They will need ongoing medical treatment as well as physical therapy and rehabilitation. Wheelchairs, walkers, and other forms of physical assistance – including from trained medical professionals – will also be required. Victims find it difficult to adjust to these changes, which can have an impact on even the simplest daily routines.
These injuries can also spell the end of a person’s career. While this is certainly true for athletes and others engaged in physical labor, a spinal cord injury victim will still find it difficult to work at the same level as before. A victim may even find it challenging to take care of him- or herself. Loss of career and loss of independence can lead to further psychological problems, including loss of self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and mood and behavioral disorders.
While the victim him- or herself will be the one to take the brunt of the injury, the victim’s family will also be affected. Marriages and relationships often suffer. Victims who were the family breadwinners are no longer able to provide or provide at the same level, which affects spouses and children.
How Our Attorney Can Help
Any major accident or injury, especially one affecting a person’s spinal cord, will have permanent consequences. Although nothing can return a person to the life they had before, they can get a measure of justice from the courts. That’s why spinal cord injury victims should turn to an experienced, aggressive attorney who will fight for them. A Pennsylvania spinal cord injury attorney can help you:
- Handle the insurance companies. After an accident or injury, you are likely to be contacted by the responsible party’s insurance company. But remember, insurance companies are businesses. Their goal is to settle for the lowest amount as quickly as possible, and they are not on your side. They might even attempt to deny liability altogether. Don’t settle for an unreasonably low amount that won’t adequately compensate you. We will deal with the insurance companies.
- Investigate and gather records. Your attorney will work to find out what exactly happened that caused your spinal cord injury. Further, your lawyer will gather the necessary medical records, witness statements, and other documentation you need to prove your case.
- Build a case with expert witnesses. Your attorney’s job is to demonstrate the nature of your spinal cord injury to the court, including the effect it will have on your quality of life. Physicians, surgeons, therapists, vocational experts, and others may be called upon, and your attorney will work with them to put together a compelling case in court.
- Understand and argue the law. Our attorneys know the relevant laws and cases that will apply to your spinal cord injury claim. We understand what is needed to prove negligence, and how to demand the following damages:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation expenses
- Costs for medical devices and equipment
- Expenses for caregivers
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
Contact Our Philadelphia Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Today
Spinal cord injuries are serious, and they demand serious legal representation. Turn to Cooper Schall & Levy. We will go to work for you and make sure you get the justice you deserve. Give us a call today or fill out the contact form on our website.