Long Term Spinal Cord Injury Consequences

October 5, 2021 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Long Term Spinal Cord Injury Consequences

Dealing With Disability Caused by a Spinal Cord Injury

Getting injured in an accident is often extremely inconvenient since it can interrupt your life in numerous ways ranging from your career to relationships. Many accident injuries can take this even farther when they cause permanent damage that results in lifelong disability. Disabling injuries often arise in the most extreme of accidents and injuries that tend to affect vulnerable parts of the human body. One of the most commonly injured in this way is the spine and spinal cord resulting in severe damage that can inflict lifelong disability. 

Spinal Cord Injuries

The human spine is composed of segments of bone called the vertebrae that flex and twist to allow humans the ability to walk upright. Aside from the structural rile our spines play in our lives, they also occupy a special role in our nervous systems. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that the vertebrae encase and they travel the length of the spine carrying information to and from the brain to various organs. Like all nerves, the spinal cord is particularly sensitive and vulnerable to damage. Thanks to the vertebrae that encase the spinal cord, most damage is absorbed by the bone and tissue that form a protective barrier. However, in more severe accidents that inflict intense trauma, even this is not enough to stop damage to the spinal cord.  Spinal cord injuries that people suffer as a result of accidents will typically involve severe trauma inflicted to the back that either directly damages the spinal cord or damages the vertebrae or surrounding tissue in a way that compromises the spinal cord. For example, a bad fall can cause someone to land on their back and fracture one of their vertebrae which puts pressure on the spinal cord and damages it. Similar types of injuries can involve slivers of bone from broken vertebrae cutting into a spinal cord, slipped discs causing pressure to be put on the spinal cord or a buildup of fluid near the spinal cord that causes damage.

What Happens if You Damage the Spinal Cord?

Spinal cord damage can have a wide array of effects that all change depending on the nature, location, and intensity of the damage in addition to the previous condition of the injured and their risk of complication. Regardless of these factors, spinal cord damage is always serious and can almost always come with the potential of getting much worse if immediate medical treatment is not sought out immediately. This is why in the aftermath of an accident that inflicts trauma to your back you should always get checked out by a doctor.  Since the spinal cord is a part of the nervous system, damage to it can have an effect on this system's functions such as the relaying of sensory information to and from the brain and control of the organs. In most cases, this manifests as issues with control of the limbs, a person's ability to feel physical sensations, as well as loss of control of certain bodily functions. 

Spinal Cord Damage Permanence

Naturally, all of this is extremely debilitating but what makes it worse is the fact that spinal cord injuries tend to be permanent. The spinal cord is a delicate organ similar to the brain in that we still do not have a way to manually repair its tissue due to its complexity. There are no cures for spinal cord damage and treatment options are limited although they get better as time wears on. Those dealing with spinal cord damage are faced with the prospect of possibly suffering severe disability with little to no prospect of getting better which can be emotionally compromising to say the least. 

Disability Caused by Spinal Cord Damage

Spinal cord injuries will often lead to some degree of sensory issues. One of the most common symptoms is loss of sensation in the extremities, tingling sensations, or strange sensations of cold-like icy water across the fingers or feet. These symptoms often act as a prelude to further loss of sensation that can affect entire limbs. In other cases, loss of sensation can occur much more instantly and lead to things like loss of control as well. Loss of strength in the limbs, as well as difficulty controlling them, is a common side effect of spinal cord damage. 

Spinal Cord Injury Paralysis

One of the worst things that can happen when one suffers a spinal cord injury is paralysis. This is an unfortunately common effect of damage to the spinal cord and in most cases it is permanent. Paralysis can affect singular limbs to whole segments of the body such as the waist down. 

Spinal Cord Injury Loss of Organ Control

In addition to paralysis, one of the worst disabilities that can affect someone that has suffered a spinal cord injury is the loss of control over certain organs. For example, incontinence can occur among those that suffer these kinds of injuries when abdominal organs are no longer controllable. In worst case scenarios, critical organs such as the heart or lungs may be affected by issues generated by a spinal cord injury as well. 

Spinal Cord Injury Disabilities and Damages

These disabilities are not just impactful upon a person's quality of life but upon their financial wellbeing as well. Economic damages are often significant when spinal cord injuries are involved and especially so when these injuries inflict permanent disability. Medical expenses alone are quite intense when one considers the recurring costs of prescriptions, medical devices, and checkups related to managing the symptoms of these disabilities. They can also ruin someone's career and any potential income may be lost. The non-economic damages are also significant since these injuries can lead to intense emotional and psychological anguish.

Seek an Experienced Spinal Cord Injury Attorney

If you have been involved in a car accident that you believe was caused by the negligence of another party, you should speak to a car accident injury attorney about your case. It is often helpful to do this even before speaking to the insurance company as an attorney experienced in car accident cases will not only provide guidance through the insurance claims process but will also be able to help you determine what the value of your damages is and can begin negotiating with the insurance company for a fair settlement. As a client of Dolman Law Group, you can expect your spinal cord injury attorney to be communicative and compassionate when answering questions about your case, and aggressive when representing you during the insurance claims process or the filing of a personal injury lawsuit. We are diligent investigators, comfortable with analyzing crash scenes to determine liability and analyzing potential insurance resources in order to help you to obtain the maximum award available to you. There is never a convenient time to deal with the aftermath of a car accident; accident injuries can change your way of life and cause significant time away from work. Focus on your recovery and leave the legal process to us. To schedule your free consultation and case review, you can either call our Clearwater office at (727) 451-6900 or fill out a contact form online. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 N Belcher Rd Clearwater, FL 33765 (727) 451-6900 https://www.dolmanlaw.com/car-accident-lawyer/


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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