Bergeron Law Firm – Serving all of Northern VA
Spinal cord injuries are some of the most traumatic and life-changing injuries an accident victim can suffer. These injuries can result in significant impairment, permanent disability, and even death. Injured accident victims often need considerable compensation to help pay for medical expenses both now and in the future.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, there are an estimated 17,700 new spinal cord injury cases every year. Currently, more than 300,000 people are living with a spinal cord injury in the United States. Sadly, the majority of spinal cord injury victims are males.
What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
A spinal cord injury is an injury that damages part of the spinal cord. The signs and symptoms you experience will depend largely on the place of the injury and the severity of the injury to your spinal cord. In general, there are two types of spinal cord injuries: incomplete and complete.
- Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury – an incomplete spinal cord injury results in a partial loss of motor and sensory function. There are varying degrees of incomplete injury; however, injured accident victims will retain some sensation and movement below the injury.
- Complete Spinal Cord Injury – a complete spinal cord injury results in a complete loss of motor and sensory function. These injuries are often permanent, and accident victims can not feel sensation or control movement below the injury.
Signs and Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury
Symptoms of a spinal cord injury are largely dependent on the site of the injury. Accident victims who suffer an injury to the upper portion of the spinal cord (cervical or upper thoracic) may experience loss of sensation and movement to all their extremities. This is also known as tetraplegia or quadriplegia. It means that the arms, hands, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs are all affected and compromised because of the spinal cord injury.
Accident victims who suffer an injury to the lower portion of the spinal cord (lumbar or lower thoracic) may experience a loss of sensation and movement to their lower extremities. This is also known as paraplegia.
Spinal cord injury victims may experience one or more of the following signs and symptoms:
- Loss of sensation
- Loss of movement
- Loss of bowel control
- Loss of bladder control
- Pain or stinging sensations in nerves
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty coughing
- Numbness or tingling
- Difficulty with balance
- Weakness in a part of the body
A spinal cord injury isn’t always apparent. Injured accident victims who suffer an injury may not experience signs and symptoms for hours. As the inflammation worsens, the signs and symptoms of the spinal cord injury may also worsen.
If you believe you have suffered a spinal cord injury – no matter how minor – it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Call 911 or your local emergency medical assistance number and stay still until the paramedics arrive.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
There are numerous causes of spinal cord injuries. However, the most common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents – motorcycle, car, and truck accidents account for almost 50 percent of all spinal cord injuries.
- Falls – falls from high places or elderly victims who suffer a fall account for 31 percent of all spinal cord injuries.
- Violence and assault – acts of violence, such as gunshot wounds and assaults, cause over 13 percent of all spinal cord injuries.
- Sports injuries – contact sports, such as football and hockey, can result in serious injuries to the spinal cord. Sports and recreational accidents account for nearly ten percent of all spinal cord injuries.
- Alcohol – sadly, it is estimated that alcohol use is responsible for 25 percent of all spinal cord injuries. Whether its a drunk driving accident or an assault, the consumption of alcohol is a main factor in accidents that result in spinal cord injuries.
- Disease – cancer and osteoporosis are just two of the diseases that can cause spinal cord damage.
A Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Can Help
If you have been injured in an accident and suffered a spinal cord injury, it is important to know where to turn for help. If another person’s negligence resulted in your accident and subsequent injuries, you may have cause to file a personal injury lawsuit.
A spinal cord injury lawyer can help you seek compensation for your injuries and damages. You may be able to receive money to help pay for:
- Medical expenses – both past and future
- Rehabilitation costs
- Long-term care
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
Contact Our Virginia Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers Today
If you or someone you love suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident, we can help. At Bergeron Law, we know that a spinal cord injury can jeopardize your entire future and result in serious and long-term impairment. That’s why we work tirelessly for all our injured clients and their families. Attorney Steve Bergeron is a powerful legal advocate for injured accident victims and their families. Call Steve today at (703) 813-6460 or fill out the confidential contact form for a free initial consultation and review of your case.