Almost every type of personal injury that involves impact or unnatural movement can result in a spinal cord injury. While your spinal cord is protected by the vertebra in your spine, severe injury to the area can still cause damage. Complications from spinal cord injuries can be permanent and life-altering.
The severity and long-term impact of a serious spinal cord injury can cost you tens of thousands of dollars in immediate surgery and medical costs, rehabilitation and long-term care. In addition, you will likely incur other expenses, such as having to install a wheel chair ramp at your home or purchasing special equipment for your car. A Chicago personal injury attorney can help you file an Illinois personal injury case to help you recover the funds necessary to deal with these unexpected costs.
Definition and Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are diagnosed as damage or severance of the soft spinal cord tissue. Damage to the tissue crushes and destroys the axons, which are the tiny extensions of nerve cells that act as the transport system for messages up and down the spine.
Because your spine holds the bulk of the axons that run your central nervous system, and therefore all the other parts of your body, any spinal cord injury has the potential to effect other parts of your body both internally and externally. Depending on the damage to the axons, a spinal cord injury may be treated through rehabilitation or become a permanent disability.
Spinal cord tissue can be damaged when there is a sudden, traumatic blow to the spine that fractures or dislocates your vertebra. If the vertebra is fractured, tiny bone fragments can tear or even sever the spinal cord. Dislocation can also cause disc material or ligaments to bruise or tear the spinal cord. The most common incidents resulting in spinal cord injuries are car accidents (36%) and slip-and-fall accidents (21.2%).
Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries
Depending on the severity of the injury, there are many symptoms you may experience including:
- Loss of range-of-movement
- Loss of sensation
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of bowel function
- Chronic pain and/or burning sensations
- Sexual dysfunction or fertility issues
- Blood pressure complications
The severity and symptoms of your spinal cord injury depend on both how damaged the soft tissue was and where the damage took place on your spine. Severe spinal cord injuries to the upper portion of the spine can result in complete paralysis with the need of breathing assistance.
Because of the wide range of complications and the difficulty of recovery from spinal cord injuries, many victims must file for permanent disability and depend on a personal injury settlement to provide for themselves and their family. Continue reading to learn more about rehabilitation options and how a Chicago personal injury attorney can help you with seeking compensation.
Treatment of Spinal Cord InjuriesIn the best case scenarios, a spinal cord injury that is caused by swelling of bruised or agitated spinal cord tissue will gradually subside on its own, sometimes returning to a near-normal state. A steroid drug, methylprednisolone, has been found to be effective at reducing the swelling damage if administered within the first 8 hours after the accident. Unfortunately, there is no cure for spinal cord injuries.
The most common treatments focus on stabilizing the affected body systems, such as breathing and cardiovascular complications, and helping the victim adapt to their limitations. Physical therapy and skill-building activities can help repair some of the range-of-motion loss in less severe cases. An experimental drug called Sygen has shown some signs of restoring loss of function and is undergoing additional clinical testing.
Life with a Spinal Cord Injury
Many people who suffer from a spinal cord injury can go on to live long, full lives with the help of modern medicine.
Unfortunately, the expenses associated with life after spinal cord injuries are costly. Medical treatments, mobility equipment, and lost wages are all expenses your family may face if you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury because of an accident.
A Chicago personal injury attorney can help you determine liability in your accident and assist you with filing an Illinois personal injury claim to recover compensation that can pay for your medical costs and related accident expenses.
Consulting a Chicago Personal Injury Attorney
Insurance companies will try to sell you short and pressure you into settling for less than your injury is worth. Having an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney on your side that has experience working with cases involving severe spinal cord injuries can help you build a solid claim and force the insurance companies to take you seriously!
The Chicago personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, P.C. know how life-changing a spinal cord injury can be and can help you file an Illinois personal injury claim. Contact us today for a free case evaluation – (312) 263-1080