Many of us spend much of our time preparing for the future. But life can change in an instant, and there’s no way to prepare for something as traumatic and catastrophic as a spinal cord injury. Many scientists believe that one day, it will be possible to repair spinal cord damage—but currently, spinal cord injury victims face an uphill battle when it comes to recovery. Thankfully, in many cases, spinal cord injury victims are able to recover compensation for their losses—both economic and noneconomic—under Indiana law.
What is Spinal Cord Injury?
Simply stated, spinal cord injury is damage to any part of the spinal cord or spinal nerves. Such injuries are often debilitating and life-changing. Their physical and emotional tolls are cataclysmic. After spinal cord injury, the ability to move depends (of course) upon where the injury occurred on the spinal column and the severity of the injury. In an incomplete spinal cord injury, victims still have function below the site of the injury. In a complete spinal cord injury, on the other hand, victims are paralyzed and have no sensation below the site of the injury.
Common signs and symptoms that indicate spinal cord damage include:
- Lost or diminished sensation, such as touching, or feeling hot or cold temperatures
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Spasms or reflexes
- Sexual sensitivity or dysfunction
- Intense pain or stinging (caused by nerve fiber damage)
- Difficulty breathing, coughing or clearing lungs
- Loss of movement
Typical Causes of Spinal Cord Damage
Unlike many medical conditions, spinal cord damage is often preventable. Eighty percent of victims are male, the average age is about 42, and more than one-third are caused by car accidents. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) estimates that more than 250,000 Americans today suffer from spinal cord injuries.
The most common causes of spinal cord injuries (in descending order) result from:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Gunshot wounds
- Diving injuries
- Medical / surgical complications
- Falling objects
- Bicycle accidents
- Person-to-person altercations
- Pedestrian injuries
Debilitating Injuries, but There is Hope
Spinal cord damage is caused by trauma. Paralysis (complete or partial, temporary or permanent) is most common. And there is a laundry list of other complications: breathing problems, pneumonia, loss of sexual function, circulatory problems, bladder and bowel problems, pain, and of course depression.
Research advances give hope that spinal cord injuries will eventually be repairable. There are new surgical techniques and developments (spinal nerve regeneration, cell replacement, neural techniques) that spur cautious optimism.
If You or a Loved One Has Suffered a Spinal Cord Injury, Call an Indianapolis Personal Injury Lawyer Today
At the Law Office of William Hurst, we are committed to helping injured victims obtain the compensation they are due. We will review the facts of your case at no cost to you and only collect legal fees if we are able to secure a settlement or award on your behalf. To schedule a free consultation with one of our Indianapolis injury attorneys, call us today at (317) 636-0808 or send us an email through our online contact form.