Compensation for a Spinal Cord Injury in Alabama
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, you may be entitled to compensation that includes:
- Medical expenses, including hospital stays, doctor’s office visits, surgery, prescription medication, rehabilitation and therapy, mobility and other medical equipment, and home alterations to accommodate disabilities caused by your injury
- Lost wages for when you are out of work
- Lost earning capacity if your injury prevents you from going back to your job or working as many hours as you did before you were harmed
- Pain and suffering, which covers the emotional and physical distress brought on by a spinal cord injury
- Lost quality of life, including any injury-related disability or your inability to perform daily tasks or participate in normal, pre-injury activities
- Loss of consortium, which compensates your spouse for the loss of your intimate relationship and companionship
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can arise from various accidents and incidents. Common causes include:
- Motor vehicle accidents – Car crashes are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, resulting in almost half of all those injuries each year.
- Falls – In fall accidents, many spinal cord injury victims are senior citizens. Falls account for approximately 15 percent of all spinal cord injuries.
- Sports and recreational injuries – Impact sports, winter sports, biking, skating, and diving annually account for about 10 percent of new spinal cord injuries.
- Acts of violence – About 12 percent of spinal cord injuries result from violent attacks, usually from gunshot and stab wounds.
- Alcohol – Alcohol use is a factor in approximately one in four spinal cord injuries.
- Disease – Spinal cord damage can result from various illnesses, such as cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, and inflammation
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are medically classified as “complete” or “incomplete.” The classification often depends on the location and severity of the injury.
- A complete spinal cord injury is one where all sensation and motor functions are lost below the level of the spinal cord injury.
- An incomplete spinal cord injury is one where sensory and motor functions have been partially affected.
Signs and Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries
In some instances, a spinal cord injury may not be obvious to an observer – or even the victim. It is rare for a person to be immediately paralyzed by a spinal cord injury. However, without medical treatment, numbness and tingling that arise immediately after an injury can gradually worsen into paralysis.
Signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury include:
- Severe pain or pressure in the head, neck, or back
- Weakness, poor coordination, or paralysis of any part of the body
- Numbness, tingling or loss of sensation in fingers, hands, toes, or feet
- Difficulty with balance or walking
- Impaired breathing
- Difficulty coughing or clearing secretions from the lungs
- An oddly-positioned neck or back
- Loss of motor function
- Loss or altered sensation, such as the inability to feel heat, cold or touch
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Exaggerated reflexes or muscle spasms
- Changes in sexual function
Seek medical treatment immediately if you have suffered from serious trauma to your head, neck or back and are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms.
Treatment for Spinal Cord Injuries
Unfortunately, no complete remedy exists for a spinal cord injury. However, recent developments in treatments and rehabilitation allow a victim to regain some sensation and motor function. Those treatments can allow victims to lead an independent and productive life.
Treatment for spinal cord injuries include:
- Immobilization – Immobilization and traction of the neck and spine may be required to bring the spine into proper alignment and to allow the body to rest and reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Surgery – A surgical procedure may be required. Surgeons may need to remove bone fragments or foreign objects, and repair fractured vertebrae and herniated discs.
- Experimental treatments – Doctors are experimenting with techniques such as lowering the body temperature; the doctors’ aims are to reduce inflammation to prevent cell death and give the body a chance to heal itself.
- Rehabilitation – Rehabilitation can teach a spinal cord injury patient how to cope with the effects of the condition and prevent complications; new techniques may allow the victim to regain as much independence as possible — and even return to work or school or participate in sports or recreational activities.
- Medication – Prescription drugs may be used to control pain and muscle spasticity and improve bladder and bowel control or sexual function.
Unfortunately, treatment for spinal cord injuries can take months or even years. Victims and their families will ultimately face substantial medical bills.
Talk to a Montgomery Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Now
When you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury through no fault of your own, you deserve to be fully compensated for the lifelong expenses that you will incur.
Contact the Montgomery spinal cord injury attorneys at Stokes Stemle, LLC today. Call to schedule a free, confidential consultation. You will learn how our firm can fight to get you the full range of money damages that you deserve. One of our Alabama spinal cord injury lawyers will personally respond to you to set up an appointment.