A spinal cord injury can be devastating, often leading to permanent loss of sensation and function of the arms and legs, or even impacting a person’s ability to breathe without assistance. Victims of spinal cord injuries are typically unable to return to work and also require lifelong medical care, which can be an emotional and financial burden. When such an injury is the result of another’s negligence, the burden can be even more difficult to bear. If you or a loved one has sustained a spinal cord injury, you may be entitled to significant compensation.
Sherman Law Firm is a premier personal injury law firm serving clients in Harris County, Montgomery County and throughout the Houston area. We frequently represent victims of spinal cord injuries arising from a wide range of negligent acts. Our legal team will work to make sure you receive the medical care that you need and the compensation you deserve.
What is a spinal cord injury?
A spinal cord injury is one in which the spinal cord, nerves in the spinal canal, vertebrae, ligaments, or disks of the spinal column are damaged. Such injuries are usually the result of a traumatic blow to the spine or a violent wound that severs the spinal cord. At times, bleeding, swelling and fluid buildup in the spinal cord can also occur. If the nerve fibers in the spines are damaged, all of the muscles and nerves below the injured area may be impaired.
While a severe injury can lead to complete paralysis, lesser injuries may result in partial loss of movement and sensation. An injury that occurs to the neck can affect arm movements as well as the victim’s ability to breathe, while an injury to the chest or lower back can affect the torso, legs, bladder, bowel function and sexual capacity.
Although most spinal cord injuries are life-altering and irreparable, experimental treatments are being explored. Promising developments in medicine and assistive devices are making it possible for spinal cord injury victims to function more independently than ever before. Nonetheless, spinal cord injuries continue to be traumatic for injury victims and their loved ones.
Common Causes of a Spinal Cord Injury
The most common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents — Automobile and motorcycle accidents account for the majority of spinal cord injuries
- Falls — Falls from ladders and other heights, as well as slip, trip, and fall accidents cause numerous spinal cord injuries; those over the age of 65 are especially vulnerable
- Acts of violence — Violent crimes account for many spinal cord injuries, usually due to gunshot or knife wounds
- Sports and recreation injuries — Contact sports, such as football, soccer, wrestling, and other athletic activities, or diving into shallow water may also be causes of spinal cord injuries
How are Spinal Cord Injuries Classified?
The severity of a spinal cord injury is classified by the degree to which the victim loses the ability to control his or her limbs. In a complete spinal cord injury, all feeling and ability to control movement below the injury are lost. The injury is considered incomplete if some motor or sensory function below the affected area remains; however, incomplete spinal cord injuries vary by degree.
Additionally, spinal cord injury may lead to paralysis. If the arms, hands, legs, trunk and pelvic organs are all affected, the paralysis is referred to as quadriplegia. A paralysis to all or part of the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs is known as paraplegia.
Signs and Symptoms
Spinal cord injuries may involve a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Loss of movement
- Loss of sensation
- Pain or intense stinging sensations
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Sexual dysfunction
- Extreme back pain
- Pressure in the neck, head or back
- Weakness, lack of coordination or paralysis in any part of the body
- Difficulty balancing and walking
- Twisting of the neck or back
Contact Our Houston Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Through the years, spinal cord injury victims have come to the Sherman Law Firm with diminished hope for the future as their lives have been permanently reshaped by physical disability. Faced with the need for long-term medical care and staggering medical costs, many are left frightened and alone. While money can’t buy miracles, it can help to provide for your future medical and financial needs.
Our legal team will take the time to understand the circumstances that led to your accident and work to show how the other party was liable. If you sustained a spinal cord injury in a car accident, for example, we will obtain a copy of the police report, examine the accident scene, and work to show how the other driver was responsible.
Regardless of the nature of the accident, we will work to help you obtain just compensation. You may be entitled to damages such as lost wages, loss of future earnings, medical expenses, and the costs of long-term care, rehabilitation, assistive devices (e.g. braces, crutches, wheelchairs) or required modifications to your residence. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident resulting in spinal cord injury, we can help. Contact our office today to speak with one of our attorneys.
The Sherman Law Firm serves clients in Harris and Montgomery Counties and throughout the Houston area.