Spinal cord injury (SCI) is one of the most devastating types of injury a person can suffer. As personal injury lawyers who specialize in cases involving SCIs, we know that the effects of a spinal cord injury on a person’s life, and the lives of their loved ones, is catastrophic. If your life has been changed by a spinal cord injury you suffered in an accident that should have been prevented, contact a Cincinnati spinal cord injury lawyer from Bey & Associates. For every client we represent, we make it our mission to ensure that the financial future of that individual and their loved ones is never in jeopardy.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that as many as 500,000 individuals suffer spinal cord injury each year. In the United States, recent statistics published by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center show that over 200,000 people are living with SCIs in our nation today. Research conducted by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has also found that a significant percentage of U.S. veterans suffer from SCIs.
A majority of spinal cord injuries are sustained in preventable accidents like motor vehicle crashes, falls, and acts of violence. In addition to the physical effects of a SCI—which often involve permanent disability and partial or complete loss of mobility—the Mayo Clinic has listed the mental, emotional, and social symptoms associated with SCI among the most life-altering consequences of this type of injury.
The attorneys at Bey & Associates work hard to protect our neighbors and community members in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, and the surrounding areas of the state of Ohio. We practice personal injury law because we believe in justice, accountability, and standing up for those who have been harmed by the wrongful actions of others. When we take your spinal cord injury case, you are more than just a client to us. When you are represented by a Cincinnati spinal cord injury lawyer from our firm, you know you have a skilled and experienced legal advocate who cares as much about the outcome of your case as you do.
The Most Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
Spinal cord injury is a leading cause of permanent disability and fatality in both children and adults in the United States. While there are types of spinal cord damage that can be congenital (present from birth) or the result of illness or infection, a high percentage of SCIs are acute, meaning they are caused by a traumatic injury. Acute spinal cord injury results when an outside force to the body bruises or tears the spinal cord, leaving severe and usually permanent damage.
The Cleveland Clinic lists motor vehicle accidents as the most common cause of acute spinal cord injury. The following list contains the most common causes of spinal cord injury:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian-struck-by-vehicle accidents
- Acts of violence, including gunshots and stab wounds
- Sports injuries
- Horseback riding accidents
- Diving injuries
- Recreation accidents, including trampoline injuries
- Slip and fall accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Birth injuries
- Surgical complications resulting from medical malpractice
- Injuries sustained in military combat
Types of Spinal Cord Injury and Symptoms
Spinal cord injuries are generally classified as complete or incomplete. A complete injury results in total paralysis on both sides of the body below the point of injury, including a complete loss of feeling and function. Incomplete injuries allow for some limited functioning on one or both sides of the body below the point of injury. Paraplegia refers to complete loss of function of the lower half of the body (legs, pelvic organs, and all or part of the torso). Quadriplegia (or tetraplegia) is paralysis in all four limbs (both arms and both legs), trunk, and pelvic organs, usually meaning a complete loss of feeling and function from the neck down.
Depending on whether the spinal cord injury is complete or incomplete, injury victims may experience a variety of initial symptoms suggesting spinal cord damage, as well as a number of long-term complications that are permanent and generally irreversible. It’s important for an accident victim to remain motionless after suffering an injury that may have resulted in spine damage. Movement can worsen an injury and lead to more permanent and severe damage. Call 911 and do not attempt to move until under the care of experienced medical professionals.
Immediately after suffering an injury, the following symptoms can indicate spinal cord damage:
- Difficulty moving or walking
- Loss of balance
- Pain (especially extreme pain) or pressure in the neck or back
- Numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in the limbs, hands, or feet
- Difficult breathing
- The presence of lumps along the spine
- Twisting in the back or neck
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Weakness in the limbs
Long-term complications associated with SCIs can include:
- Total or partial paralysis
- Loss of sensation
- Inability to regulate body temperature
- Pain and stinging sensations from nerve damage
- Uncontrolled reflexes
- Inability to regulate blood pressure
- Heart and circulatory problems
- Sexual dysfunction
- Difficulty breathing or coughing, and risk of lung problems
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Chronic pain
- Pressure sores on the skin
- Spasms and uncontrolled tightening of muscles
- Risk of obesity or diabetes from lack of mobility
- Depression and other emotional and psychological complications
Spinal cord injury victims may require surgery and intense, long-term physical rehabilitation. Varying therapies may be used in order to help restore some nerve functioning in incomplete injuries, and to improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, and repair any tissue damage. Depending on the completeness of the injury, the goals of SCI treatment may aim toward mitigating future health complications, maintaining wellness and proper nutrition, enhancing independence, promoting mental health, and improving overall quality of life.
No matter what type of spinal cord injury you sustained, the recovery process will be involved, lengthy, and inevitably costly. Your team of healthcare professionals will work with you to ensure that you are getting the best treatment for your condition. With the help of a Cincinnati spinal cord injury lawyer, you can be assured that cost will never stand in the way of your recovery. When your life has been impacted so drastically by the negligent actions of another party, there are legal provisions to make sure that you are financially provided for, after so much has already been taken from you.
Get the Help of an Experienced Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
If you have suffered severe back trauma in a preventable accident, reach out to Bey & Associates for experienced legal guidance. We will meet with you and your family to hear your story and get an understanding of how your life by has been impacted by an act of negligence. We work tirelessly to make sure that you are cared for and considered in every step of the legal process.
It’s our honor to represent people who want to use their stories to make a difference. When we work together to hold others accountable for actions that cause harm, we can make our roadways, cities, neighborhoods, and places of work in Cincinnati safer for all of us. Reach out to begin a conversation about how a Cincinnati spinal cord injury lawyer may be able to help you after a spinal cord injury.