Spinal cord injuries result in a number of substantial life challenges that can significantly disrupt a person’s daily existence. To make matters worse, there are a number of events that can result in severe spinal injuries and paralysis, ranging from car accidents to being struck by falling objects.
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Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Two of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries are car accidents and falls. Spinal cord injuries related to car accidents often result from neck and back trauma created by the force of the vehicle collision. According to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, approximately 42,966 motor vehicle accidents occurred in 2013, with a large number of these resulting in spinal cord injuries. Many of these car accidents that cause spinal injuries are the result of motor vehicle operators driving in a careless or negligent manner.
Slip and fall accidents are also a common cause of spinal cord injuries. Some of the factors known to cause slip and fall accidents to include liquid spills, inadequate lighting, obstacles on the floor, uneven flooring surfaces, and loose handrails.
Some of the other common causes of spinal injuries and paralysis include the following:
- Acts of violence, which comprise gunshot wounds and knife wounds
- Falls from heights
- Construction accidents, which frequently involve ladders and scaffolding
- Recreation injuries
- Sports injuries, which can include hockey or swimming-related accidents
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Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
There are many different types of spinal injuries and resulting paralysis, which most commonly include the following:
- This is a type of paralysis that only impacts one body part. In some cases, people diagnosed with monoplegia later regain feeling in most of their body but do not have feeling in that one area.
- This is a type of paralysis that is often associated with cerebral palsy or stroke. This condition impacts only one side of a person’s body but impacts both an individual’s arm and leg.
- Representing approximately 52% percent of all spinal cord injuries, paraplegia occurs when the area below the cervical section of a spinal cord is injured. As a result of this injury, a person ends up losing control over the lower half of the body, which leads to difficulties with bladder and bowel functioning.
- A large number of spinal cord injury victims end up facing quadriplegia, which involves paralysis of all four of a person’s limbs or an individual’s entire body. Individuals with quadriplegia often need assistance with breathing because they lose control of their lungs and diaphragm. Some of the other conditions faced by people with quadriplegia include bowel dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, deep vein thrombosis, and hypothermia.
- Incomplete spinal cord injuries. The exact nature of this condition depends on what part of a person’s body is injured. Some of the conditions that can result in incomplete spinal cord injury include anterior cord syndrome, brown sequard syndrome, central cord syndrome, and posterior cord syndrome.
How Spinal Cord Injuries Lead to Paralysis
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs down a person’s back and neck as well as through the spine. These nerves carry signals between a person’s body and brain. When the spinal cord is damaged, these nerves are unable to relay signals to one, some, or all of a person’s body parts, which can, in turn, lead to paralysis.
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Signs of Spinal Cord Injuries
Unfortunately, it is sometimes the case that a spinal cord injury later results in paralysis. There are some signs to look for that may suggest that a spinal cord injury might lead to paralysis. Some of these signs include:
- Changes in sensitivity
- Difficulty breathing
- Exaggerated reflexes
- Extreme back pain
- Loss of control of the bowel or bladder
- Loss of movement in a person’s body
- Loss of sensation
- Numbness in the extremities
- Pain or stinging sensations
- Weakness or lack of coordination in certain body parts
Why You Need a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Victims who experience spinal cord injuries that lead to paralysis often end up needing long-term care, which can result in substantial costs. Consequently, spinal cord victims are often left wondering how they can best obtain compensation for the resulting damages.
Insurance companies are frequently hesitant to pay out the full amount that victims deserve. For people who choose to fight without the assistance of a lawyer, it is common to feel pressured to accept an inadequate settlement from the insurance company. An experienced accident lawyer has the knowledge and skill necessary to make sure that you reject inadequate offers and have the best possible chance to obtain the compensation you need to live your best life.
Speak with an Experienced Accident Lawyer
At Preszler Law Firm, we focus on helping accident victims obtain the results they deserve. This includes fighting for the highest amount of compensation possible for victims of spinal injuries that have resulted in paralysis. Contact our law office today to schedule your free initial case evaluation.