According to information from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), there are two different types of spinal cord injuries:
- Tetraplegia is when the patient no longer has sensation, feeling, or movement in the upper body (including the head, neck, and shoulders), but might also lose mobility in their arms, chest, or legs.
- Paraplegia is when a patient no longer has sensation, feeling, or movement in the lower body, including their torso, pelvic area, legs, and feet.
From the same source, there are also two different degrees of spinal cord injuries:
- Complete spinal cord injuries mean the patient will retain little to no feeling, function, or muscle control.
- Incomplete spinal cord injuries mean the patient will lose feeling and movement at any point below the site of trauma.
If you or a family member sustained a spinal cord injury, your health care team will help you understand not only what are the different types of spinal cord injuries, but also the severity of your condition, prognosis, and treatment plan.
Depending on the details of your situation, another party’s negligence may be responsible for your present medical condition. If so, you may be able to recover the cost of your medical care through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Lifelong Impacts of a Spinal Cord Injury
A spinal cord injury can lead to long-term medical expenses. The cause of your spinal cord injury can play an important role in your ability to collect financial compensation that covers the cost of medical treatments.
Per the NICHD, some causes of spinal cord trauma include:
- Vehicle, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian collisions
- Workplace accidents
- Trip, slip, and fall accidents
- Errors caused by medical malpractice
This is not meant to list all of the possible circumstances that can lead to a spinal cord accident.
Diagnosing a Spinal Cord Injury
The severity of your spinal cord injury, prognosis for recovery, and the scope of your treatment plan will all depend on a thorough and comprehensive diagnosis by a medical professional.
Johns Hopkins Medicine reports that a spinal cord injury is diagnosed using the following tests and exams:
- Blood tests
- Computed tomography (CAT) scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
A spinal cord injury might not be immediately clear. When you notice the signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury, seek immediate medical attention. After you are diagnosed, you should hold onto all items and paperwork regarding your care, as this may prove useful later on if you choose to pursue litigation.
The Costs of Treating a Spinal Cord Injury
Treating a spinal cord injury will depend on the type, degree, and severity of your injury. The emergency treatment you receive for a spinal cord injury may include immobilization with an inflexible collar and backboard along with breathing assistance.
The NICHD reports that ongoing treatment each patient will receive for different types of spinal cord injuries might include:
- Steroid medication
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Vocational therapy
- Assistive devices
- Adaptive devices
The treatment plan and prognosis your doctor recommends will vary according to the type and degree of your spinal cord injuries. Your medical team might also suggest diet and nutrition choices, exercises, and coping strategies that help patients live full and productive lives.
Possible Recoverable Damages After a Spinal Cord Injury
The treatments that follow a spinal cord injury can temporarily or permanently alter your life and your ability to care for yourself, make a living, or enjoy a physically active lifestyle.
Spinal cord injuries can also impact your finances. For this reason, you may opt to pursue financial recovery if another party is found to be responsible for your present condition.
If your case is successful, you may be able to recover the cost of:
- Current and future medical bills
- Current and future lost income
- “Pain and suffering” and inconvenience
If your spinal cord injuries were caused by a car accident, fall, or physical assault, the at-fault party could be financially responsible for your trauma. The Parrish Law Firm, PLLC can guide you through the process of filing a personal injury claim for compensation.
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A spinal cord injury can leave you or a family member with lifelong consequences. It can rob you of the ability to control all or a part of your body while placing stringent limitations on your quality of life. This condition can also take a life-changing financial toll on you and your family.
If the injuries you sustained were the result of an accident caused by another party’s negligence, the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC can help you recover from the financial impact of the accident. Call our legal team today at (571) 229-1800 to learn more.