The spinal cord is one of the most important parts of the body’s nervous system. Since the spinal cord connects the brain to the nerves in the rest of the body, injuries that affect the spine can disrupt the messages sent and received by the brain. Depending on the location of the injury and the extent of the damage, a person may experience severe pain, tingling, or numbness. In severe cases, a spinal cord injury may result in partial or complete paralysis that affects different parts of the body, and the loss of use of these body parts will likely result in permanent disabilities.
While some spinal cord injuries may occur because of diseases or health conditions, in many cases, another person is to blame for causing physical harm to a person. Car accidents are a common cause of injuries to the spine. People may also suffer spine injuries in slip and fall accidents, and elderly people are especially susceptible to serious harm in these cases. Those who have suffered serious injuries because of someone else’s negligence or intentional actions will want to work with an attorney to determine how they can receive financial compensation that addresses the harm done to them and their family.
The Extent of Spine Injuries Depends on the Level Where the Injury Occurred
While the vertebrae in the spine protect the spinal cord, the impact by a heavy object or projectile may cause the vertebrae to be crushed, damaging the nerves. In some cases, an impact may sever the spinal cord completely. Unnatural motions, such as extreme bending of the neck or back, may stretch or compress the spinal cord, causing irreparable damage to the nerves.
A spinal cord injury will be considered “incomplete” if some signals can still be sent through the nerves. This will often result in partial paralysis and the loss of some control in the parts of the body that were affected. A “complete” spinal cord injury, on the other hand, will prevent any messages from being sent through the spinal cord below the level of the injury, and this will cause total paralysis.
The parts of the body affected by a spine injury will depend on the level of the spinal cord that was injured. Cervical spinal cord injuries that take place in the vertebrae in the neck are the most serious, and they may result in quadriplegia or tetraplegia, or paralysis in the arms, legs, and torso, potentially even restricting a person’s ability to breathe without assistance. Thoracic spinal cord injuries that take place in the vertebrae in the upper back may result in paraplegia, or paralysis in the legs, while leaving a person with some control of their arms and upper body. Lumbar and sacral spinal cord injuries that affect the vertebrae in the lower back and tailbone may cause partial paralysis in the lower body, but a person may retain some function in their legs and be able to walk with assistance.
Contact Our Palatine Spine Injury Lawyers
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury that occurred because of the negligence of another person or company, Newland & Newland, LLP can help you determine your best options for recovering compensation. We will work to ensure that the costs of your past and future medical expenses are covered and that you will receive payments to address your loss of income and pain and suffering. Contact our Arlington heights spinal cord injury attorneys at 847-797-8000 to arrange a free consultation today.