Nobody wakes up in the morning and expects their life to be completely changed in one instant. A spinal cord injury can be the most catastrophic injury a person may experience — leaving behind a life-changing impact on victims and their families. In the aftermath of a catastrophic injury, many people will require on-going medical care for the rest of their lives, which is why it is important to have an experienced Missouri spinal cord injury attorney at your side when disaster strikes.
Understanding the Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord transmits messages between a person’s brain and the rest of the body. If someone sustains a catastrophic injury to the spine, it may impact their spinal cord, vertebrae or nerves that are attached to the spine. The areas that can be affected during an accident are the cervical (neck), thoracic (middle of back) and lumbar (low back) vertebrae.
The severity of spinal cord injuries may vary depending on the location in the spine and the severity of the injury. Spinal cord injuries may be complete or incomplete. A complete spinal cord injury will result in total paralysis below the injury level of the spine. It can also result in quadriplegia, which is paralysis to all four limbs or paraplegia, which is paralysis to the lower portion of the body. A person with an incomplete spinal injury could still have some motor or sensory body function.
Common Conditions of Spinal Cord Injuries
Car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in Missouri and the Midwest. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, 38.6% of spinal cord injuries since 2015 were caused by vehicle crashes. Falls from ladders and construction site injuries are also common causes of trauma to the neck and back.
Most spinal cord injuries are caused by a traumatic blow to the vertebrae, the bones in the spine. A fracture or break in the vertebrae may damage the spinal cord and the nerves leading to a complete or incomplete spinal cord injury.
In addition to paralysis, spinal cord injuries may also leave other life-long conditions in their wake. Some of the common after effects of spinal cord injuries include:
- Loss of bowel control
- Exaggerated reflex activities or spasms
- Changes in sexual function
- Difficulty breathing
- Pressure sores (bedsores)
- Circulatory system issues
- Loss of muscle
Hiring a spinal cord injury attorney after receiving necessary medical treatment for a spinal cord injury will help you understand the evidence you should compile and how to navigate filing a catastrophic injury claim.
Contact a Missouri Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury during a tractor trailer accident, construction site accident or a car crash, you need an experienced Missouri lawyer who understands all the legal implications of spinal cord injuries. At MHM, we have worked with countless victims of spinal cord injuries and helped them earn justice for the suffering they have faced. Our lawyers have handled cases in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Jefferson County, Franklin County, and throughout Missouri. Additionally, we have also handled cases throughout the Midwest, including Illinois, Arkansas and Kansas.