Being injured due to a fall or as the result of an accident can leave you dealing with a host of problems. Aside from the physical pain and discomfort you’re in, there’s also the consideration of doctor and hospital bills, as well as lost wages. Your injuries may require ongoing treatment or physical therapy. Some types of injuries can have a more permanent impact on your health and livelihood. One of the most severe types of injuries are those affecting the spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries can leave the injured person paralyzed and susceptible to a number of serious and life threatening conditions.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
The National Spinal Cord Injury Association estimates that approximately 450,000 people in this country live with some sort of spinal cord injury. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, most of these injuries are caused by some sort of trauma to the vertebral column. This affects the spinal cord’s ability to send and receive message between the brain and the body’s systems that control both movement and function. Spinal cord injuries (SCI) are highest among young people ages 16-30, though older adults are at risk also. Common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Car accidents;
- Motorcycle accidents;
- Pedestrian and bicycling accidents;
- Slips and falls; and
- Medical/surgical complications.
Sporting accidents are another common cause of spinal cord injuries. Diving accidents are the fourth leading cause of SCI for men, and the fifth leading cause for women.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
The Reeve Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for spinal cord injuries, while improving the quality of life for people who suffer SCI. The group was started by actor Christopher Reeve, who suffered a debilitating spinal cord injury as the result of a fall from a horse. Spinal cord injuries vary in severity, and the location where the spinal cord is injured dictates which parts of the body will be affected. Reeve’s injury left him paralyzed, and he required a respirator to breath. SCI can cause 2 types of paralysis: paraplegia, and quadriplegia. Paraplegia occurs when the legs are paralyzed. Quadriplegia, which was the type of paralysis Christopher Reeve suffered from, includes both the legs and arms. Spinal cord injuries are classified in two ways:
- Incomplete: this means that the ability of the brain and spinal column is not completely lost, therefore there is still some possible sensory or motor function below the level of the injury; and
- Complete: This involves a otal lack of sensory or motor function below the area of the injury.
Secondary conditions associated with SCI include respiratory and heart problems, problems with bowel and bladder function, and depression.
Contact Our Experienced Florida Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, contact our experienced Florida personal injury attorneys today. At Hogan Frick, our attorneys understand the impacts this type of catastrophic injury has. Our attorneys will provide the caring, compassionate client service you deserve, and the aggressive legal representation you need to recover damages for your injuries. Call us for a free consultation on your case at one of our many offices.