Denver Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys
The spinal cord is a delicate bundle of tissue and nerves contained within and protected by the vertebrae of the spine. It is responsible for sending messages between the brain and every part of the body. These messages enable us to feel pain, move our limbs, and experience sensation. When the spinal cord is injured, it may no longer effectively transmit these messages, resulting in loss of mobility and sensory function. This kind of disability can impact your ability to got to work, play with your children, even just take your dog for a walk.
Given our many years of experience as Denver personal injury lawyers, we at Leventhal & Puga, P.C. have seen just how devastating a spine injury can be. So many accidents lead to spinal injuries, and thus, lead to a life changing disability. Many of our clients have come to us after being left unable to walk, experience sensation, or even breath on their own, because someone else made a reckless decision. If you or a loved one are suffering from a spinal injury that was caused through an act of negligence, call our firm at (303) 759-9945 or toll-free at (877) 433-3906 to find out how we can help you.
“Spinal cord injury” is more of a blanket term, and it may not accurately describe what you are experiencing. The severity of your injury, the parts of your body that it impacts, and the care and support you need will all depend on which vertebrae have been impact by the accident. An injury to the base of your spine will have a much different impact than an injury to the section of the spine in your neck.
The Severity of the Injury
Injury to the spinal cord can be complete or incomplete. With complete spinal cord injury, all sensation and motor function are lost below the neurological level of the injury – the lowest normal part of the spinal cord. When the injury is incomplete, some sensation and mobility remain below the level of injury. Degrees of incomplete spinal cord injury vary widely.
Areas Affected by Paralysis
Paralysis caused by spinal cord injury can affect different areas of the body, depending on what part of the spinal cord was injured. The higher the level of the injury, the more areas of the body are affected.
- Paraplegia: This condition involves paralysis affecting all or part of the trunk, the pelvic organs, and the legs.
- Tetraplegia: Also called quadriplegia, tetraplegia is when the arms, hands, trunk, pelvic organs, and legs are affected by paralysis.
Damage to the spinal cord can result from many different types of injuries. There is no saying how you may experience a spine injury, when it will happen, or how it will impact your body. It may be caused by a traumatic blow to the spine, a knife or gunshot wound, or medical malpractice. Knowing the potential causes may help you keep an eye out for dangerous situations in the future. Common causes include:
- Motor vehicle collisions
- Medical errors in administering spinal blocks or spinal anesthetics
- Failure to diagnose tumors or infections that injure the spinal cord
- Medical errors in performing orthopedic surgery or neurosurgery
- Birth injuries
- Failure to diagnose spinal cord infection or epidural abscess
How ever your spine was injured, the fact remains that the damage caused will likely have a seriously negative impact on your life. It could mean that you are no longer able to walk and must rely on a wheelchair for mobility. Your ability to drive or transport yourself to different locations could be taken away, and with it, your independence. On top of that, treatments for a spinal cord injury are costly, and may result in heavy medical bills. Speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney can help get you the compensation you not only need, but also deserve.
Symptoms of spinal cord injury may vary, depending on the location and severity of the injury. While spine injuries are often immediately noticeable, as the spine helps control your ability to move and feel, you may not realize exactly what your experiencing relates to an injury in your spine. Following an accident, you should keep the symptoms of a spine injury in mind. They may include:
- Pain or intense stinging caused by damage to the nerves in the spinal cord
- Loss of or altered sensation, including touch, and the ability to feel heat or cold
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Loss of mobility
- Difficulty breathing or coughing
- Changes in sexual sensitivity, function, and fertility
If you experience any of these symptoms, especially after a catastrophic accident, then you should seek medical help immediately. Even if these symptoms are mild, or you find them livable, by not getting them treated you could actually cause your spine to become more injured. When it comes to spinal cord injuries, medical assistance is key to preventing further damage.
Currently, medical science has no way to reverse damage to the spinal cord. Although research continues, until further advances are made, ongoing treatment for spinal cord injury is focused on preventing further injury and helping the injured person return to an active life. Emergency medical attention is required at the time the injury occurs to minimize the effects of head or neck trauma. The treatment may involve immobilizing the spine, maintaining the ability to breathe, preventing shock, and avoiding potentially serious complications, such as deep vein thrombosis and cardiovascular problems.
Injury to the spinal cord leading to paralysis can have life-altering consequences, impacting every aspect of a person’s life. It can affect the victim’s ability to earn a living and perform routine daily tasks, and will significantly impact the quality of life. If you or your loved one has sustained spinal cord injury through someone else’s negligence, contact a Denver personal injury lawyer at Leventhal & Puga, P.C. Call our office at (303) 759-9945 or toll-free at (877) 433-3906 to schedule an initial consultation at no charge.