Spinal cord injury has the potential to completely change lives. A spinal cord injury can leave the injured completely helpless, and he or she may be dependent on assistance for the rest of their lives. Due to concerns and implications it is no surprise that personal injury cases yield the highest amount of monetary settlements out of all the different injuries one can get. In fact, lawyers typically set a benchmark of more than 1 million dollars in compensation for such cases.
A number of varying mishaps can cause spinal cord injuries; however, the most notorious are motor vehicle accidents. Medical malpractice during a surgery, car accidents, diving accidents, athletic related accidents, and even assaults are synonymous with spinal cord injuries. Yet, nearly half of the spinal cord cases in the country stem from motor vehicle accidents.
Understanding the Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord contains a lot of nerve endings, crucial for relaying signals between the brain and the body. When the nerves of the spinal cord are damaged, it affects the communication between the body and brain. As a result, people are at serious risk of losing control over certain parts of the body. The vertebra is crucial in this equation, as it shells the spinal cord. It acts as a protector of the nerves. Therefore, if your vertebra is damaged but the nerves are not, one has significantly stronger odds of recovery.
Complete vs. Incomplete Injuries
For litigation purposes, these injuries fall under one of two categories - complete and incomplete. Complete injuries leave the victim unable to move or sense the muscles below the level of the spinal cord injury. In incomplete spinal cord injuries, the victim maintains the ability to function on his/her own accord, below the point of the injury.
Crucial Areas Of The Spine
There are three sensitive areas of the spine, which, once injured, can have a detrimental impact on the life of the affected person.
The Cervical Spine
In layman's terms, this is the back of the neck. Again, this area is rich with nerve endings and any injury to cervical spine can have serious health and life implications for the victim. Any injury to the area has serious potential to cause complete paralysis and quadriplegia, which is a term to describe complete control of all four limbs.
This is the center of your back - the area that lies between the abdomen and the bust. An injury to the thoracic spine can also ultimately result in paraplegia, thus rendering your lower body useless.
This is the lower part of the spine, though not as detrimental as higher up the spine, injury to this area can still lead to loss of some movement and may even impact the functionality of other vital organs of the body.
The American Spinal injury association has come with its own system for classifying the severity of each individual, these categorizes range from A to D, with A being complete spinal cord injury while B, C, D are based on the amount of damage the spinal cord sustained.