For many people, spinal cord injuries are their biggest fear. Within moments, you can go from being a fully capable person to being almost entirely dependent on others. While you can regain some independence over time, the spinal cord does not regenerate, meaning most of these injuries will last a lifetime.
In addition to being physically and emotionally overwhelming, these injuries can be financially overwhelming. Medical bills, lost wages, and loss in earning capacity are only the tip of the iceberg. People with spinal cord injuries may need corrective equipment, medical aids, and even modifications to their homes. Some may never be able to live at home and may need funds for lifelong care.
A Bee Cave spinal cord injury lawyer can review the circumstances of your injury and determine if you have any options for financial recovery. Our catastrophic injury attorneys can handle your claim while you focus on recovery.
Many people use the spine and back interchangeably. They may not understand the difference between something like a muscle strain and a spinal injury. The spine refers to the bones—vertebrae—that go from the base of the skull to the small of the back. It encloses the spinal cord, transmitting messages from the body to the brain. Spinal cord injuries can include fractures or dislocations, but the damage to the vertebra is not the worst part.
It is when these injuries damage the soft tissue of the spinal cord that someone is really at risk. These injuries can lead to muscle weakness, tingling, inability to control voluntary bodily movements, and more. When the event severs the spinal cord, it can lead to immediate and total paralysis for the body parts controlled by nerves underneath that section.
There are five potential types of paralysis, which depend on the injury’s location. Paraplegia is paralysis in both legs, quadriplegia is paralysis in all four limbs, monoplegia is paralysis in one limb, diplegia is paralysis at the same location on both sides of the body, and hemiplegia is paralysis on one side of the body.
In addition to impacting voluntary muscle movements, spinal cord injuries can also affect involuntary activities. They can impact bowel and bladder control, sexual functioning, trouble regulating body temperature and blood pressure, and even a person’s ability to breathe. A Bee Cave attorney with experience handling spinal cord injury cases can help a person estimate the actual costs of such an injury.
Medical professionals use the Frankel Scale to label the severity of a spinal cord injury. Unlike grades, an A is the worst because it indicates a complete injury under L4 or L5 with little feeling or motor function. B is an incomplete injury where the person has little movement but retains sensation. C is an incomplete injury with some function and sensation but weakness. D has a minor impairment.
While the spine does not regenerate, physical therapy can help people deal with the injury. Sometimes, physical therapy focuses on assisting people to improve function in other parts of their body to compensate for the spinal injury. Other times, physical therapy focuses on rebuilding strength and coordination in the area.
While physical therapy can be beneficial, sometimes health insurance companies are reluctant to pay for it. Once they see someone’s progress slow, they may discontinue therapies. However, plateaus can be a regular part of the healing process, and continued therapy can be helpful. One goal that a Bee Cave attorney will have is ensuring a person has the funds to pay for physical therapy after a spinal cord injury.
Spinal cord injuries hurt more than the victim. They change their entire lives, disrupt their families, and can leave them financially and physically vulnerable. When someone else is responsible for the injury, they should compensate the injured person. Medical bills, lost wages, loss in earning capacity, loss in quality of life, pain, and suffering may not restore abilities but can ease the adjustment to a post-injury life.
A Bee Cave spinal cord injury lawyer can help you get compensation. Schedule a consultation to review your case. We can examine the circumstances of your accident and review your injuries. With that information, our team can advise you on how to protect your rights.