Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer: Cleveland
Spinal cord injuries are devastating, life-altering, and the most serious type of catastrophic injury. Spinal cord injuries touch approximately 11,000 people annually. If you or someone you love has experienced a spinal cord injury, you know it doesn’t just affect the injured person, but that person’s entire family.
Spinal Cord Injuries Result in a Lifetime of Physical and Psychological distress. Paralysis injuries include:
Monoplegia is a condition characterized by paralysis affecting only one limb, such as an arm or a leg. It is typically caused by damage to the nerves or muscles controlling that specific limb, resulting in the loss of movement and function in that particular area while the rest of the body remains unaffected.
Hemiplegia refers to paralysis on one side of the body, affecting both the arm and leg on that side. It is usually caused by damage to the opposite side of the brain, resulting in the loss of voluntary muscle control and coordination on the affected side. This can potentially lead to difficulties with activities like walking or using the affected arm.
Paraplegia is a form of paralysis that involves the lower half of the body, typically including the legs and sometimes parts of the trunk. It commonly occurs due to spinal cord injuries below the neck level, resulting in a loss of sensation, motor function, and control below the level of injury, which can significantly impact mobility and daily activities.
Quadriplegia is a condition characterized by paralysis of all four limbs as well as the trunk. It usually arises from spinal cord injuries above the first thoracic vertebra, impacting sensation and motor control in the arms, legs, and torso. Individuals with quadriplegia often experience significant limitations in mobility and require assistance with daily living activities.
The most common causes of spinal cord injuries:
Car Accidents cause approximately 50% of all spinal cord injuries
Falls account for 22% of spinal cord injuries
Acts of violence, i.e. gunshots and stabbing
Sports-related injuries, such as football and gymnastics
Victims may file a spinal cord injury claim, as they are forced to change the entire course of their lives. They often can no longer work, drive, care for themselves, their children, or engage in recreational activities. They become permanently disabled, requiring 24 hour care, continuous hospitalizations, physical and occupational therapy, and even a new residence that is wheel-chair accessible. The long-term care required for a spinal cord injury depends on the severity of the paralysis.
Other Types Of Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal Cord Compression
Spinal cord compression refers to the compression or pressure on the spinal cord, which can lead to injury. Causes can include spinal tumors, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or trauma such as fractures. Long-term effects may include pain, weakness, numbness, difficulty walking, and impaired bowel or bladder control, depending on the severity and location of the compression. Although not a complete sever of the spinal cord, medical attention may still be necessary for a long period of time.
Spinal Cord Contusion
A spinal cord contusion is a bruise or localized injury to the spinal cord resulting from trauma or impact. Causes can include motor vehicle accidents, falls, or sports-related injuries. Long-term effects may vary but can include motor and sensory impairments, loss of muscle function, and altered reflexes. Additionally, potential complications such as spasticity, chronic pain, or bowel and bladder dysfunction may occur.
Spinal Cord Laceration
A spinal cord laceration refers to a tear or severing of the spinal cord caused by traumatic events like motor vehicle accidents, falls, or penetrating injuries. Long-term effects depend on the severity and location of the laceration but may include paralysis, loss of sensation, impaired motor function, changes in reflexes. Incomplete spinal cord injuries can lead to potential complications such as respiratory difficulties, blood pressure instability, or bowel and bladder dysfunction.
Spinal Cord Ischemia
Spinal cord ischemia occurs when there is a lack of blood supply to the spinal cord, leading to tissue damage. This could be caused by a spinal cord injury associated with surgery, which may be the result of a medical mistake. Long-term adverse effects may include paralysis, loss of sensation, motor impairments, chronic pain, and potential complications such as muscle spasticity, sexual dysfunction, or respiratory difficulties.
Central Cord Syndrome
Central cord syndrome is a type of incomplete spinal cord injury that primarily affects the center of the spinal cord. It is often caused by hyperextension injuries, such as falls or trauma. Long-term effects can include weakness or paralysis that is more pronounced in the upper body than the lower body, impaired fine motor skills, sensory disturbances, and potential complications such as bowel and bladder dysfunction or pain.
With more than 40 years of experience as an injury lawyer in Cleveland, I’ve handled many spinal cord injury cases. The lifelong challenges that come with spine injuries can be horrific, and you need my help. You have to focus on healing, and I have to focus on your case! Call me today, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Treatment For Spinal Cord Injuries
Surgery is often performed to stabilize the spine, remove any bone fragments or herniated discs pressing on the spinal cord, and to promote healing. The duration of treatment can vary depending on the specific surgical procedure for your unique condition. Possible side effects may include surgical site infections, bleeding, blood clots, nerve damage, or complications associated with anesthesia.
Medications may be prescribed to manage pain, reduce inflammation, control muscle spasticity, prevent infections, or manage other specific symptoms related to your spinal cord injuries. The duration of treatment can vary depending on your needs and response to treatment. Possible side effects may include gastrointestinal issues, drowsiness, dizziness, impaired kidney or liver function, or allergic reactions.
Rehabilitation therapy aims to help you regain function, improve mobility, and adapt to your new circumstances. It typically involves physical therapy, occupational therapy, and sometimes speech therapy. Rehabilitation therapy can vary significantly, ranging from weeks to months or even longer, depending on the extent of the injury and your progress. Side effects may include muscle soreness, fatigue, joint stiffness, or exacerbation of pain during therapy sessions.
Various assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, braces, walkers, or orthotic devices, can help improve mobility and independence for individuals with spinal cord injuries. The need for assistive devices can be long-term or permanent, depending on the individual’s needs. You may experience skin irritation or pressure sores from prolonged device use, discomfort or difficulty adapting to the device, or limitations in certain activities.
Electrical stimulation techniques, such as functional electrical stimulation (FES) or epidural stimulation, aim to activate muscles or nerve pathways to restore or enhance function. The frequency of electrical stimulation treatments can vary, and multiple sessions may be required. Possible side effects may include muscle spasms, skin irritation, discomfort, or rare instances of autonomic dysreflexia (a potentially dangerous condition characterized by sudden high blood pressure).
While these treatments give hope for improvement after experiencing a spine injury, they are also very expensive. If you have suffered a devastating injury like this, you need to call me. I want to help you get your life back, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Mobility limitations resulting from a spinal cord injury can significantly impact your life. You may require the use of assistive devices like wheelchairs, braces, or crutches, and may face challenges with tasks that were once effortless, such as walking or navigating stairs. Physically, you may experience reduced independence and increased reliance on others for mobility. Time management may be affected as tasks that were previously simple may now require more time and planning. Emotionally, adjusting to these limitations can be challenging, leading to frustration, a sense of loss, and a need to adapt to a new way of living.
Urinary and Bowel Management
Spinal cord injuries can affect bladder and bowel control, resulting in the need for specialized management techniques. This may involve the use of catheters, medications, or bowel programs to regulate and maintain regularity. Physically, this change requires you to learn and adapt to new routines for emptying the bladder and bowels.
Pressure Ulcer Prevention
Individuals with spinal cord injuries are at a higher risk for developing pressure ulcers (bedsores) due to prolonged sitting or lying in the same position. Preventive measures such as regular repositioning, specialized cushions, and diligent skincare routines are necessary to reduce the risk of developing these wounds. You must prioritize pressure relief techniques and skincare to avoid the development of pressure ulcers.
Adapted Physical Activity
Engaging in adapted physical activity is crucial for maintaining physical health, strength, and overall well-being after a spinal cord injury. This may involve exercises targeting specific muscle groups, cardiovascular training, or participating in adaptive sports. Physically, adapted physical activity helps improve strength, mobility, and cardiovascular fitness, but it requires finding suitable accessible facilities or specialized equipment.
Following a spinal cord injury, the patient needs to navigate and adapt to various accessibility challenges in their environment. This includes ensuring accessible transportation, modifying living spaces, and considering accessibility in public places. They must navigate barriers and make modifications to their home, workplace, and public spaces to ensure accessibility.
If You’re Spinal Cord Injury Resulted From Someone Else’s Mistake, Call Me for a Free Consultation – I’ll Come to You!
Damages For Spinal Cord Injury Victims
Medical Expenses: The compensation for past, current, and future medical expenses related to the spinal cord injury. It covers costs for surgeries, hospitalization, medications, assistive devices, physical therapy, rehabilitation programs, and other necessary medical treatments. Compensation for medical expenses helps you by ensuring you have access to the medical care and interventions needed to manage your condition, promote recovery, and improve your quality of life.
Lost Wages and Loss of Earning Capacity: This compensation is to recoup the income the person lost due to their inability to work after the injury. It also considers reduced future earning capacity if the injury has permanently impacted their ability to earn income. This financial support helps the individual with the spinal cord injury cover their daily living expenses, maintain their financial stability, and plan for their future needs.
Pain and Suffering: These damages are intended to compensate the person for the physical and emotional pain, trauma, and distress caused by the spinal cord injury. It acknowledges the physical limitations, chronic pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, as well as the overall impact on their well-being. These damages aim to provide some measure of solace and recognition for the challenges they face due to their spinal cord injury.
Rehabilitation and Assistive Devices: Compensation for rehabilitation and assistive devices covers the costs associated with specialized therapies, adaptive equipment, mobility aids, home modifications. Also, other resources necessary for the person’s rehabilitation and functional independence. It helps them access the required assistive devices, therapies, and support services that aid in their recovery, mobility, and overall well-being.
Home Care and Assistance: Damages for home care and assistance provide compensation for the costs of hiring caregivers, personal assistants, or healthcare professionals to assist with activities of daily living, home modifications, and other support services required due to the spinal cord injury. This financial support helps ensure the injured person can receive the necessary assistance to maintain their independence in their home environment.
Emotional Distress and Mental Health Treatment: Compensation for emotional distress and mental health treatment covers the costs associated with counseling, therapy, and mental health support required as a result of the spinal cord injury. It helps address the emotional impact, mental health challenges, and psychological trauma individuals may experience after such a traumatic event, aiming to facilitate their emotional well-being and psychological recovery.
I’ll Make Them Pay!®
You should not have to suffer the financial burden alone. I can help you obtain the compensation you deserve to live as normal of a life as possible after your injury. I will find out exactly what happened to you, and then I’ll Make Them Pay!®
I will meet with you any time and any place that is convenient for you. I will be in your corner fighting for you. As your catastrophic injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®