Why Do You Need a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer?
You need a spinal cord injury lawyer to ensure that your legal claim is complete and legally accurate. There’s only one chance to handle this life-changing event in the best possible way. Technical mistakes in the legal process can result in no compensation at all. You may not even know what mistakes you’re making until it’s too late.
However, our experienced Utah spinal cord injury lawyers for accident claims are knowledgeable in legal claims. We know how to spot important legal issues and build critical scientific evidence in a serious injury case. We understand the long-term implications of a spinal cord injury, and we have the skills to ensure that your claim receives the expertise, time, and determination you deserve to get results.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
There are two broad categories of spinal cord injury:
- Complete spinal cord injury – With complete spinal cord injury, the cord is severed. It can’t send signals below the level of the injury, which results in paralysis or a total lack of sensory and motor function below the injury.
- Incomplete spinal cord injury – An incomplete injury means that the ability of the spinal cord to convey messages to or from the brain is not entirely lost. It is possible that there is still some sensation and movement below the level of injury. Symptoms and movement may vary considerably between victims.
Common Terms Used in Spinal Cord Injury
Common terms in spinal cord injury are paralysis, paraplegia, and quadriplegia, or tetraplegia.
- Paralysis: an inability to voluntarily move all or part of the body.
- Paraplegia: a term used to describe the inability to move the lower parts of the body voluntarily. The areas of impaired mobility usually include the toes, feet, legs and may or may not include the abdomen.
- Tetraplegia or quadriplegia: a term used to describe the inability to voluntarily move the upper and lower parts of the body. The areas of impaired mobility usually include the fingers, hands, arms, chest, legs, feet, and toes. It may or may not include the head, neck, and shoulders.
The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation defines paraplegia as a loss of bodily control caused by lumbar level injuries and thoracic level injuries. Lumbar level injuries result in paralysis or weakness of the legs. Loss of physical sensation, bowel, bladder, and sexual dysfunction can occur. This spinal cord controls signals to the lower parts of the abdomen and the back, the buttocks, some parts of the external genital organs, and parts of the leg. Injuries may require surgery and external stabilization.
Thoracic level injuries are less common because of the protection given by the rib cage. Thoracic injuries can cause paralysis or weakness of the legs, along with loss of physical sensation, bowel, bladder, and sexual dysfunction. This spinal cord controls signals to some of the muscles of the back and part of the abdomen. Most patients initially wear a brace on the trunk to provide extra stability.
According to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, tetraplegia is a cervical spinal cord injury involving C1 – C8. Sometimes, this type of injury is accompanied by a loss of physical sensation, respiratory issues, bowel, bladder, and sexual dysfunction. This area of the spinal cord controls signals to the back of the head, neck and shoulders, arms and hands, and diaphragm. Since the neck region is so flexible, it is difficult to stabilize cervical spinal cord injuries. Patients with cervical level injuries may be placed in a brace or stabilizing device.