The spinal cord is one of the most important parts of the central nervous system. Even minor spinal cord injuries can result in lingering medical conditions requiring long-term and exhaustive care. In the event of an accident caused by another’s negligence, a qualified San Francisco attorney can help advise victims and their families about spinal cord injury lawsuits.
Spinal cord injuries are acute injuries to the nerves carrying signals inside the spinal column. In catastrophic injuries, the bones of the spine may fracture or herniate, cutting through or putting pressure on these vital nerves.
Most spinal cord injuries are permanent and full recovery is rare. Severe spinal cord injuries may leave individuals permanently disabled and unable to work. Financial hardship may be compounded by the victim’s physical pain and suffering as well as the mental anguish of being unable to take part in once-daily activities.
Types of spinal cord injuries
Spinal cord injuries are generally categorized into two groups: complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries. Experts classify complete spinal cord injuries as the absence of sensory and motor function of the bowels, and injury victims with partial function are classified as having incomplete spinal cord injuries. The type of spinal cord injury will determine whether the victim will regain movement or sensation in the traumatized areas of the body.
Severe spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis: the inability to move part or all of the body. Paralysis below the waste is called paraplegia. Affected areas of the body may include the legs, feet, toes, or bowels. Paraplegics may be confined to wheelchairs for the rest of their lives or need assistance walking.
Quadriplegia or tetraplegia is the inability to move neither the upper or lower body. Experts classify victims paralyzed from the shoulders down as a complete C4 level spinal injury. Spinal cord injuries with this condition may require round-the-clock assistant to perform even the most basic of tasks.
Consequences of spinal cord injuries
Paralysis, loss of movement, or lingering pain of a spinal cord injury can leave injury victims at risk of developing certain serious medical conditions. Considerations must be made to the health of the individual to prevent further harm from occurring.
Injuries and daily pain management may leave victims with the diminished capacity to perform basic tasks like getting dressed and undressed, getting in and out of bed, or preparing meals. Hygiene concerns like preventing skin and bladder infections are extremely important as many victims are unable to care for themselves in this capacity.
Spinal cord injury victims confined to wheelchairs or bedridden are at-risk of weight-gain issues or developing bed sores due to their immobility. Situations like these may require significant care from a personal care assistant.
San Francisco spinal cord injury attorneys
If you or a loved one was hurt in the Bay Area, you should strongly consider speaking to a San Francisco spinal cord injury attorney about your injury. Victims hurt in an accident by the negligence or carelessness of another are eligible under the law to file lawsuits to reclaim damages. Hospital bills, lost wages, medical costs, and pain and suffering are just some of the damages you may recover for by filing a spinal cord injury lawsuit. Speak to an attorney as soon as possible about your case.