North Port Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center estimates that nearly 300,000 Americans are currently living with some type of spinal cord injury (SCI). The numbers suggest that another 17,700 people get diagnosed with an SCI every year. Spinal cord injuries can happen when you least expect them. But when they happen, they can have a dramatic effect on your life. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury because of someone else’s negligence, the lawyers at Boohoff Law can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
The Mechanics of a Spinal Cord Injury
The spinal cord is part of the central nervous system. It transmits messages from the brain to the rest of the body. The spinal cord runs from the brain stem until the L1 vertebrae, which are located just below the rib cage. Beyond L1, spinal nerves extend down the spine. The cord is surrounded by 33 vertebrae that run from the base of the skull to just below the hip, protecting the cord. While the vertebrae offer a great amount of protection, severe injuries can bruise or sever the spinal cord.
Contrary to popular belief, the spinal cord does not need to be severed to cause paralysis. In fact, most injuries happen because of a bruise, contusion, or lack of blood flow. The degree of paralysis will depend on the location and type of injury. If the patient has an incomplete SCI they may retain some level of movement on one side, below the point of injury. If there is a complete SCI, there will be a complete loss of movement and sensation on both sides, from the point of injury and below.
While there currently is no cure for a spinal cord injury, knowing what to look out for and recognizing symptoms early can prevent further damage. Common symptoms of a spinal cord injury include:
- Numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation
- Intense back pain
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Inability to walk
- Difficulty breathing
- An obvious neck or back injury
If you experience any symptoms of an SCI, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. Its also important to recognize the potential signs of a brain injury also because spinal cord injury victims often are involved in accidents that potentially could damage the brain also.
How Spinal Cord Injuries Happen
Spinal cord injuries can happen any time there is a strong blow or penetrating wound to the cord. The leading cause of spinal cord injuries for most adults is motor vehicle accidents. For adults over 65, slip and falls are the primary cause of spinal cord injuries. Other causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Pedestrian accidents: In one recent year, 9,331 accidents involved pedestrians in Florida. Unprotected pedestrians are vulnerable to large vehicles. The force of the collision is enough to cause a serious spinal cord injury in some cases.
- Swimming pool accidents: Diving is the fourth leading cause of paralyzing spinal cord injuries. Swimming is a popular recreational activity in North Port, but many residents don’t know the risks that come with jumping in the pool. Diving into any body of water head first is dangerous. If you land on your head, a compression fracture can put pressure on the cord and cause paralysis. If you land on the back, the force alone is enough to fracture your spine and cause damage to the cord.
- Acts of violence: Acts of violence account for over 13 percent of spinal cord injuries. These injuries are most commonly caused by gunshots. Stab wounds to the back can also cause a spinal cord injury.
- Sports injuries: High-impact sports are hard on the back. One hard blow or one bad fall can be enough to cause permanent damage. At-risk sports include football, swimming, hockey, and horseback riding.
Treating a Spinal Cord Injury
There is no cure for a spinal cord injury. But that does not mean that there is no treatment available. After a spinal cord injury, your doctor will likely do surgery to relieve pressure on the spine. This will prevent further damage. If the doctor elects not to perform surgery, they may do traction instead. Other treatment options after a spinal cord injury include:
- Physical therapy: The degree of paralysis will depend on the location of the injury. Someone who suffers a cervical injury will not be able to move from the neck down. On the other hand, someone who has a lumbar injury may be able to move their upper body, just not their lower extremities. Physical therapy works on regaining and retaining strength in the areas of the body that are not paralyzed, as well as improving mental health.
- Counseling: A disabling injury can be difficult to cope with. Paralysis means you have to change the way you go about doing everyday things. This may mean a change of jobs, a change of routine, and even a new home. This can be a lot to deal with. Mental health counseling can be very beneficial and help you adjust to your new life.
- Follow-up care: Paralysis increases the likelihood of medical complications like pneumonia and deep vein thrombosis. This is why regular physicals are an important part of your recovery.
The Cost of Spinal Cord Injuries
The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation estimates that a spinal cord injury can cost anywhere from $1.5 million to nearly $5 million during a patient’s lifetime. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury because of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for financial compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you recover damages related to your injury. Common costs include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
Contact Boohoff Law’s North Port Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys
At Boohoff Law, we know that a spinal cord injury can change your life in the blink of an eye. We understand that personal injury cases involving this degree of injury can be an emotional experience. Our North Port spinal cord injury lawyers will treat your case with the compassion and respect it deserves. Our experienced trial lawyers will fight for your rights and work diligently to secure you a fair and reasonable settlement.
If you were in a North Port accident that resulted in a spinal cord injury, you have rights. Contact Boohoff Law at (877) 999-9999 or contact us online to request a free consultation.
Boohoff Law North Port
14900 Tamiami Trail
North Port, FL 34287