Suffering a spinal injury can be life-changing. In some cases, it may take you years of intense physical therapy to make a full recovery. In other instances, recovery may not be possible at all.
Of course, no two spinal injuries are identical. However, just about all of them fall into one of two categories – incomplete spinal cord injuries and complete spinal cord injuries.
Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries
An incomplete spinal injury is one which partially severs the cord. If you suffer an incomplete spinal cord injury, you will likely retain at least some level of functionality in your body. Some examples of these injuries might include:
- Brown-Sequard syndrome – an injury to one particular side of the spinal cord. This injury may allow you to retain full motion on one side of your body while losing functionality on the other.
- Anterior cord syndrome – an injury to the front of the spinal cord. This injury often damages your sensory pathways.
- Central cord syndrome – an injury to the center of the spinal cord. This injury may impair your fine motor skills, cause you to lose bladder and bowel control, or result in paralysis of the arms.
Complete Spinal Cord Injuries
A complete spinal injury is one which severs the cord entirely. As you might expect, they tend to be much more serious than incomplete injuries and can completely eliminate bodily function. Some of the most common complete spinal cord injuries include:
- Paraplegia – an injury to the thoracic spinal cord. This injury is likely to cut off functionality from the lower half of the body.
- Tetraplegia – an injury to the cervical spinal cord. This injury is likely to remove all sensation and movement below the site of the injury. As well as causing paralysis, tetraplegia may also eliminate bowel and bladder control as well as causing respiratory issues.
How Do Spinal Injuries Occur?
Spinal injuries can occur in a number of different ways. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, the most common causes include:
- Vehicle crashes
- Sports and recreation
- Medical errors
How are Spinal Injuries Treated?
The treatment you receive for your spinal injury will depend on the nature and severity of your injury. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for spinal injuries. Generally speaking, however, most treatment plans will include a selection of the following:
- Physical therapy
- Blood transfusions
- Diet and lifestyle changes
- Palliative care
- Care for associated issues (such as a ventilator to help you breathe)
Who is Responsible for Your Medical Bills?
If your spinal issues were caused by your own mistake or error, or an unavoidable accident, then you will most likely be responsible for your own costs (to the extent they are not covered by your health insurance policy). However, there are numerous scenarios in which you may be entitled to compensation to cover your medical bills, including:
If your injury occurred as a result of another individual or company’s negligence, you may qualify for compensation. For instance, if you fall and injure your spine because of a loose tile at a convenience store, you might have a case.
If a defective product was the cause of your injury, you may be owed some compensation. For example, if your seatbelt malfunctions in a car crash and causes you to suffer an injury to your spine, there is a good chance that you will have a case against the manufacturer.
If your spinal injury is caused by someone committing a crime, you may be able to obtain compensation. For instance, if you get shot and injure your spine during a robbery, you might be eligible to receive a financial settlement.
Of course, the only way to know for sure if you should file a claim for compensation is to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. They will be able to make sure that you receive every penny you deserve.
Let the Attorneys at Doehrman Buba Help You
The attorneys here at Doehrman Buba understand how traumatizing a spinal injury can be. As such, we want to fight on your behalf to get you the compensation you need. To set up a consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us or give us a call at (888) 494-3765.