A spinal injury can have significant consequences and the potential to drastically change your life. What begins as a normal workday, a drive to the store, or some other innocent activity, could end with a catastrophic accident that will affect you and your loved ones physically, emotionally, and financially.
Your spinal cord is the complex core of nerves that begins at your brain and runs down your vertebral canal to your tailbone. It is part of your body’s essential collection of nerves, referred to as the central nervous system, paired with the brain.
Your body relies on its spinal column for its main structural support. This allows you to stand upright, twist, and bend, while also protecting your vertebrae from injury. If your spinal cord suffers damage, it can lead to permanent changes in the body’s sensation, strength, and some other essential functions.
Common Accidents That Lead to Spinal Injuries
There are over 12,000 spinal injuries that occur each year in the U.S. Of the people injured, roughly 82% are male, and the average age of an injury victim is 42. Some of the typical ways that these injuries occur include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Medical errors
- Maritime accidents
- Sports and recreation accidents
Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms
An injury affecting the body’s spinal cord can lead to loss of mobility or sensation. The nerves in the spinal cord are also responsible for some of the body’s vital systems, so damage can lead to severe and dangerous medical conditions. Some of the symptoms of spinal injuries include:
- Loss of feeling and mobility in extremities
- Pain, tingling, or burning sensation
- Inability to feel hot, cold, pressure
- Muscle spasms
- Difficulty with balance or walking
- Bowel and bladder dysfunction
- Inability to regulate circulation and blood pressure
- Inability to control respiration
- An oddly positioned back or neck
- Sexual dysfunction
The Serious Implications of Spinal Injuries
Even a minor spinal injury can produce significant pain and limitations for the victim. Unfortunately, some of these injuries will not improve with time but will require long-term medical treatment and care. The most common types of serious spinal injuries are:
- Paraparesis. This is a spinal injury resulting in partial paralysis of the lower body.
- Paraplegia. This is an injury that results in full paralysis of the body’s lower extremities.
- Quadriparesis. This spinal injury results in partial paralysis of all four of the body’s extremities.
- Quadriplegia. This type of spine injury is the most severe and results in full paralysis of all four extremities.
These conditions could require a lifetime of medical care, home and lifestyle accommodations, and result in lost earning capacity.
Who is Liable in Spinal Injury Cases?
If another party caused your spinal injury, they could be legally held responsible for your damages. If your accident took place at work or while in the course of doing your job, you would have to file a worker’s compensation claim with your employer. When a third party is also involved, you might have an additional claim for damages as well.
Outside of workplace injuries, you might have several different types of personal injury claims. If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, the other driver or a parts manufacturer could be liable for your injuries. You might have a premises liability case if you were hurt on someone else’s property. A healthcare provider who injures you or worsens your condition could be subject to a medical malpractice claim.
Speak with an Alabama Spine Injury Attorney About Your Rights
At Burge & Burge, P.C., we are dedicated to helping victims injured in car and truck crashes, workplace accidents, medical malpractice incidents, fall accidents, and other types of injury cases. Our aim to help you achieve a fair settlement or a large enough jury verdict so that you will always be able to afford to care for yourself and your loved ones.
Contact our Birmingham office today at 205-251-9000 or reach us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our Alabama injury attorneys. We will review the circumstances of your accident and let you know your legal options.