Our attorneys seek justice for injury victims in the San Diego and Riverside areas.

What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?

| May 2, 2014 | Catastrophic Injuries

A personal injury accident can cause a virtually limitless number of injuries to the victim. Some injuries are relatively minor while others are catastrophic. A spinal cord injury falls into the latter category. A spinal cord injury often leaves the victim with a mountain of medical bills and a significantly diminished quality of life. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury because of the negligent conduct of another party you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. Only an experienced California personal injury attorney can evaluate your case and provide you with legal advice; however, a better understanding of spinal cord injuries in general may be helpful in the meantime.

The human spine is truly an amazing structure. Though we are hardly the only animal within the animal kingdom that has a spine, ours is by far the most developed and most functional. Your spine allows you to stand upright, bend forward, and flex your body in ways that other animals cannot. More importantly, your spinal column protects your spinal cord – the nerves center for your entire body.

Your spinal cord begins at the base of your skull and extends down to about your waist. Inside your spinal cord are nerves that act as conduits for signals sent from your brain to the various parts of your body and back. For example, your brain sends out a command to pick up and object that is sent through the nerves in the spinal cord to your hands. Your hand then picks up the object. If the object is hot, a signal is then send back through the spinal cord to your brain where the message is registered and acted upon if necessary. Of course, these messages are sent and received faster than the human mind can perceive and are sent and received millions of time each day.

An injury to the spinal cord can be devastating, causing anything from weakness and numbness of a limb to complete paralysis. If the cord is damaged, but the victim does not suffer a “complete” injury, a victim may suffer from a herniated disc and/or nerve damage. This can cause a range of symptoms from pain and numbness to weakness and tingling in the affected limb. If a victim suffers a “complete” injury, paralysis will result. The extent of the paralysis will depend in where along the spinal cord the injury occurs. Although “incomplete” spinal cord injuries may heal with proper treatment, some victims live with complications of the injury for life. Unfortunately, paralysis cannot be cured. Once the spinal cord has suffered a “complete” injury the victim will live with the resulting paralysis for life.

If you suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident, slip and fall accident, workplace accident, or any other type of “accident”, you could be entitled to compensation to help cover the often exorbitant costs associated with an injury of this sort. You may also be entitled to pain and suffering compensation. Contact an experienced San Diego personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case and your legal options.