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Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Tom Metier with Metier Law Firm.

Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
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Spinal cord injuries (SCI) include any kind of damage to the spinal cord or nerves in the spinal canal. SCIs can be extremely dangerous with severe injuries resulting in paralysis and even death. The spine is one of the most sensitive parts of the human body, and very fragile. This is why it is important to exercise caution whenever engaging in work or an activity that could put the spine at particular risk of injury. These injuries can affect not only a person’s ability to move, but even their ability to feel and taste.

If you suspect you might have suffered a spinal cord injury, call your doctor immediately. Additionally, if you or a loved one suffered from a spinal cord injury as a result of another party’s negligence, you might be eligible to seek legal compensation for not only your past and current medical bills, but all future medical bills, life expenses, and non-economic damages as well.

According to the Mayo Clinic, common causes of spinal cord injuries include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents: This is the most common cause of SCIs.
  • Falls: This is the most common cause of SCIs for people over the age of 65 and the second most common cause of SCIs for everyone else.
  • Violence: Violence resulting in gunshot wounds or even knife wounds make up about 10% of all SCIs.
  • Sports and recreation: High impact sports and diving are unfortunately common causes of SCIs, especially in youth.
  • Alcohol: The use of alcohol is a factor in 1 out every 4 SCIs.
  • Disease: Health conditions such as cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, and inflammation of the spinal cord can all be responsible for SCIs.

If you have experienced one of the above situations or fear you might have suffered an SCI another way, seek immediate medical attention.

Symptoms indicating the presence of an SCI include but are not limited to:

  • Loss of movement
  • Loss of sensation
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Muscle spasms
  • Changes in sexual function/sensitivity
  • Pain or intense stinging sensation
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty coughing
  • Intense pain or pressure in the neck, head, or back
  • Sudden lack of coordination
  • Numbness or tingling in the extremities
  • Oddly positioned back or neck

These are not the only symptoms of a spinal cord injury. If there is any suspicion that you or a loved one suffered an SCI, take a moment to contact your doctor.

Spinal cord injuries incur their own unique set of damages which could potentially be compensated in a successful legal claim.

There are two categories of damages which can be compensated in a successful personal injury claim. The first category includes economic damages; these damages can easily be assigned an exact monetary value and includes expenses such as medical bills, rehabilitation and therapy costs, vocational rehabilitation, lost wages, and impairment of earning capacity to name a few. However, the other category of damages is just as important; non-economic damages refer to any loss a person experiences in their life due to their injury.

In general, non-economic damages are much harder to assign a value to and often requires the evaluation and insights of experts to quantify. Some common non-economic damages include pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. For example, if a parent suffers an SCI and as a result is no longer able to pick up or hug their child, this is a significant loss that should be compensated in a personal injury claim.

The majority of personal injury attorneys offer free consultation and work on contingency.

If you or a loved one suffered an SCI, contact an attorney to learn what they can do for you. Most reputable personal injury attorneys offer free consultations and can walk you through the process and provide you with resources for recovery and also to help evaluate the damages of your claim. Additionally, these attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t be expected to pay them anything unless and until they win your case, at which point they would be paid out of a previously agreed upon percentage of the winnings. This allows victims of an SCI to focus on their healing and recovery while an experienced attorney does the footwork on their behalf. SCIs can be terrifying, life-changing ordeals. If this describes your situation, it’s important to remember that you are not alone.

To learn more about spinal cord injuries and/or your eligibility for compensation, seek legal counsel.

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