One of the most common types of personal injuries that people experience in a car accident is spinal cord injury. Unfortunately, in some situations, spinal cord injuries can lead to long-term conditions that substantially impact the quality of a person’s life as well as the person’s ability to work. In many cases, the more promptly a person responds to a spinal cord injury by seeking medical treatment, the more likely it is that he or she will be able to present strong evidence to a court of law. To fully appreciate the dangers of spinal cord injuries, this article reviews some of the important details to understand about the risk of spinal cord injuries.
What is the Spinal Cord
The spinal cord and the brain make up the bodies central nervous system. In the most basic sense, the spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs from the brain to rest of the body. These nerves help the brain communicate with the rest of the body. The spinal cord is protected by ring of bone known as vertebrate.
The spinal cord runs from the base of the brain down the back to around waist level. The medical community refers to different sections of the spine as follows:
- Cervical (neck)
- Thoracic (chest)
- Lumbar (abdominal)
- Sacral (pelvic)
- Coccygeal (tailbone)
Common Types of Spinal Injuries
Spinal injuries are one of the most serious types of injuries. Some of the most common ways these injuries are known to occur include the following:
- Medical malpractice. Injuries cause by medical malpractice, particularly those involving childbirth, have the potential to cause spinal injuries in both infants and mothers.
- Motor vehicle accidents. Car accidents cause a large number of spinal cord injuries.
- Slip and fall accidents. Accidents that occur when a person is not able to maneuver around a house or reach certain items can lead to serious injuries. These accidents are also sometimes caused by obstructions on stairways or in a person’s walking path.
Complete and Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are commonly divided into two main types:
- Incomplete spinal cord injuries. These injuries can be caused by bruising of the spinal cord, partial severance of the spinal cord, stretching, having something pressed against the spinal cord, or bone fragments that affect the area. This category of injuries is referred to as incomplete because it is not as substantial as a complete spinal cord injury.
- Complete spinal cord injuries. A complete spinal cord injury leads to permanent damage of the spinal cord. These injuries are referred to as complete because they involve the impairment of a person’s entire set of motor and sensory skills below the affected area.
Other terms used to describe the severity of spinal cord injuries include:
- Tetraplegia. Also known as quadriplegia, this means your arms, hands, trunk, legs and pelvic organs are all affected by your spinal cord injury.
- Paraplegia. This paralysis affects all or part of the trunk, legs and pelvic organs.
Additionally, the International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury grades spinal cord injuries on a scale ranging from A to E, with each level depend on the severity of a person’s condition. While grade A suggests that a person is suffering from a complete lack of sensory motor functions, grade E suggests that a person does not experience a loss of either motor or sensory functions.
Additionally, Johns Hopkins University reports that the most common areas of the spines that are injured include cervical and thoracic regions, which are the top and secondest highest levels of a person’s spinal cord.
Speak with an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
When an accident occurs due to the fault of another person that leads to substantial spinal cord injury, it is critical to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to help fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact Kruger & Hodges today to schedule an initial consultation.