What Are the Effects of a Spinal Cord Injury?

Injury Attorneys | Restoring LivesTM

The types of spinal cord injuries that we see can be quadriplegia, which means that a person has lost the ability to control their arms and their legs, partial quadriplegia, in which they may have some ability to control their arms or legs but only partial ability, or paraplegia, which means that the person has the ability to use their arms but does not have the ability to use their legs.

The different types of injuries are really governed by where on the spinal cord the injury occurs. The higher the level of the spinal cord injury, the more debilitating it is to the person, because it’s really from that level down that the person loses sensation and loses function.

Those are the various types of injuries that we see.

There oftentimes can be surgery that is attempted to solve the problem. There almost always is a period of rehabilitation. The victim usually goes to a rehabilitation hospital where nurses and doctors are specially trained along with therapists to help somebody learn how to live with a spinal cord injury. They learn how to maneuver as well as they can. They learn how to use their legs to the extent that they can. They learn how to manage their daily functions, which can be very difficult if you’re paralyzed at any level from a spinal cord type injury.

After rehab, the person is then sent home, typically, to care for themselves, oftentimes with home healthcare assistance. They have to learn things, like how they transfer from the bed to the wheelchair and from the wheelchair back to the bed. Oftentimes, they have trouble with bladder control, so they have to learn, sometimes with the assistance of others, how to manage that, which can oftentimes be a lifelong type of situation.

Persons with spinal cord injuries can get pressure sores, because if you lie for a certain length of time on one part of your body, you’re going to develop a sore there. They have to be able to be aware of that and try to manage that to avoid those pressure sores, because once those happen, they can be very, very difficult to treat.

There’s really a lifetime of care that is required for spinal cord injured persons. This can include equipment costs, such as the cost of wheelchairs and other equipment or bowel and bladder equipment that is needed for a lifetime.

Not to be ignored is the emotional support that somebody needs. If you’ve lost your ability to use any part of your body, that’s a tremendous burden to carry from an emotional standpoint. That’s a tough thing for people to deal with, so there’s a lot of support, not just physically but also emotionally, to deal with this.

When we have a case like this, we want to make sure that we pay attention to these lifelong consequences so that, in the end, if the case is settled or goes to verdict, the insurance company and the jury knows about all of these various consequences that can occur to anybody with a spinal cord injury.

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