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Dallas, Texas Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
The spine is the central support system for your body. It’s the main frame, to which your other body parts are attached. The spinal cord, the name for the bundle of nerves that runs from your brain, down through your spinal cord, is like the central networking center for your body. All of the signals that originate in your brain travel down through the spinal cord, and out to the other parts of your body.
Everything, including your heart, lungs, hands, and legs are all dependent on the signals that go through your spinal cord. This means that if something interferes with that signal, you may experience numbness, pins-and-needles feelings, or completely lose the function of parts of your body. This is why spinal cord injuries are so dangerous. They are one of the most serious injuries you can face.
Car accidents, a fall from a ladder, an injury in a sporting activity, or even a simple slip and fall can cause a back injury. More severe forms of back injuries can cause your spine to go out of alignment and pinch off the nerves in your spinal cord. Even worse injuries may sever the spinal cord altogether, leaving victims paralyzed. If you or a loved one is facing a spinal cord injury, and wants help exploring your legal options, Queenan Law may be able to help. This guide is designed to help you understand spinal cord injury (SCI) a little better, and help you understand your legal options.
What is Spinal Cord Injury?
Spinal cord injury, or SCI, is simply that: an injury to any part of your spinal cord. Your spine itself, the bones in your back, are a series of small, tube-like bones called vertebra (and the singular form is “vertebrae”). Between each bone is a piece of tissue that pads the bones from rubbing together, called a disc. Running down through the column of vertebra is your spinal cord. While it is called a “cord,” it is actually a whole bundle of small nerves.
As the spinal cord runs down your back, it branches out into the rest of your body. This means that the spinal cord near your shoulders branches out to the nerves that control your shoulders, and extends down your arms to the nerves that control your fingers. The same is true of the spinal cord in your lower back, which extends out from your spine and into your legs and feet.
Sometimes, especially due to sudden force on your body, the vertebra in your spine go out of “alignment.” While many people experience misalignment and some level of back pain in their everyday lives, sudden impact on the spine can cause a much more extreme misalignment. If the alignment is severe enough, the vertebra itself can push on the spinal cord. This can cause the signals in the spine to be cut off, like bending a hose to cut off the flow of water.
Even worse injuries may shift the vertebra so much that the bones actually cut the spinal cord, or stretch it to such a degree that it destroys the cells. If this happens, your spinal cord can no longer send signals from your brain down past the cut. That means that any part of your body controlled by the spinal cord below that point will no longer receive signals from the brain and cannot move.
This is one of the common ways that people become paralyzed. The term “quadriplegia” (which generally means the same thing as “tetraplegia,”) means that all four of your limbs (both arms and both legs) have lost the ability to move. This usually results from a spinal cord injury near the neck or upper back. An injury that occurs lower down the back may result in “paraplegia,” where only your legs lose function, and the function in your arms remains.
Unfortunately, unlike broken bones and cuts, injuries to the nerve tissue in your spinal cord cannot heal. This means that most severe spinal cord injuries are irreversible. Luckily, though, misalignments and pinched nerves may heal to a point where movement is restored, and may even heal enough that numbness and pins-and-needles symptoms also go away.
What Compensation Can I Get for Spinal Cord Injuries in Texas?
Unfortunately for most who experience severe spinal cord injuries, the road to recovery is long, if recovery is even possible. With most spinal cord injuries, it is difficult to tell if recovery will be possible. Even if recovery is possible, it is a long, hard road of rehabilitation, physical therapy, surgery, and hard work.
Fortunately, if you were injured by the bad actions or negligence of someone else, a court may be willing to make them pay for your recovery. Medical bills are expensive, especially for the treatment of bad spinal cord injuries and paralysis. All medical expenses, including ambulances, physical therapy, occupational therapy, X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and even equipment like wheelchairs and ramps should be recoverable from the person who harmed you.
Additionally, especially in cases of paralysis, a spinal cord injury is likely to force you to miss work to seek treatment, or may make you completely unable to work in the case of severe injury. Victims of spinal cord injury can rest easy knowing that any lost wages due to the injury may be recovered from the defendant. That means that not only missed work, but future lost wages, can be reimbursed.
Because debilitating spinal cord injuries can leave people in severe pain for many years, the personal experience of pain and suffering is quite high. In most states, you can also recover from the defendant money to compensate you for this pain and suffering. In Texas, there is no limit or cap on how much a plaintiff can win for pain and suffering damages. As such, juries often work hard to give victims what they deserve, which, for spinal cord injuries, can be quite high amounts.
Contact a Knowledgeable Dallas, Texas Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one is suffering from a spinal cord injury after a motor vehicle or other accident, Queenan Law can help you hold the responsible parties accountable for their harm. For legal representation that can help you recover money for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, call Queenan Law’s experienced personal injury attorneys at (817) 719-8082.