Our spinal cord relays messages from our brain to our body. The spinal cord is protected by layers of tissue, as well as a vertebrae column that surrounds and protects the spinal cord. Most spinal cord injuries are the result of a sudden impact to the vertebrae. The damaged vertebrae bones then cause damage to the nerves and the spinal cord. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury following an accident due to negligence, contact a Fort Worth spinal cord injury lawyer from our team.
When the spinal cord is severely damaged or severed, paralysis can result. A spinal cord injury can be complete, causing total paralysis and loss of function below the injury, or incomplete, resulting in some remaining functions. Spinal cord injuries are often the result of motor vehicle accidents, but can also be caused by falls, sports injuries, complications from surgery, gunshot wounds, or violent assaults.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, sports and recreational activities are the fourth-leading cause of spinal cord injuries. The sport that causes the highest number of spinal cord injuries is diving, followed by skiing, other winter sports, horseback riding, rodeo, cheerleading, bicycling, hockey, and football.
If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, and you are now suffering from a spinal cord injury, a Fort Worth spinal cord injury lawyer from Noteboom—The Law Firm can help you through this difficult time. We understand that you are dealing with your injuries, you are unable to work and make a living, and you are looking at a future that has been forever altered. We have been helping people just like you since 1982 and can help you as well.
Spinal cord injuries are either complete or incomplete. An incomplete spinal cord injury is more common—over 60 percent of all injuries to the spinal cord are incomplete, with three types of incomplete injuries: anterior cord syndrome, central cord syndrome, and Brown-Sequard Syndrome. The anterior injury is at the front of the spinal cord, damaging motor functions and sensory pathways. A central injury is at the center of the cord, involving nerve damage. When only one side of the spinal cord is injured, it is known as a Brown-Sequard injury.
Complete spinal cord injuries are less common—but much more severe. The three types of complete spinal cord injuries include triplegia, paraplegia, and tetraplegia. Tetraplegia is the most severe type of complete spinal cord injury, causing paralysis (usually from the neck down) and potentially affecting every limb, depending on the location on the cervical spine. Paraplegia causes loss of complete movement and sensation, usually below the waist. Triplegia can result from complications of an incomplete spinal cord injury.
A spinal concussion can be complete or incomplete, however, the dysfunction of the spinal cord usually resolves within a day or two. Football players are particularly susceptible to spinal concussions which can cause burning in the extremities, electric shock-like sensations, numbness, and tingling. An open or penetrating injury to the spinal cord—especially those caused by firearms—can present its own unique challenges.
Gunshot wounds to the spine are usually considered “stable,” because there is less risk of paralysis. The patient may be immobilized with a brace or collar for several weeks or months so that the part of the spine fractured by the bullet can heal. Surgery to remove the bullet may not result in many benefits—and can actually result in additional risks, such as leaking of cerebrospinal fluid, bleeding, and infection. Surgical decompression may be required to optimize the outcome of a gunshot wound to the spine.
Most times, a spinal cord injury will be apparent, but in some cases, following a trauma, the individual is not aware of the spinal cord injury until they experience:
Any of these symptoms require immediate medical assistance. A doctor will evaluate neurological function by testing the strength and sensation in the patient’s arms and legs. If the weakness is apparent, the patient may be kept on a spinal board and rigid cervical collar until a full radiological evaluation can be done. This may start with x-rays, but more likely the entire spine will be imaged via a CT scan to identify fractures, then an MRI may be used to look at the spinal cord and detect herniated discs, blood clots, or compression of the spinal cord.
Generally, the statute of limitations (the window of time in which a victim of a personal injury has to file a claim for damages) in the state of Texas is two years from the date of the injury. This means you must file your personal injury claim no later than two years following the event that caused your injuries. Should you fail to bring your lawsuit within the statute of limitations, you may be forever barred from bringing a lawsuit against the negligent party.
Because of this relatively short amount of time, you must seek legal representation as soon as possible and have your claim for damages filed. There are certain exceptions to the statutes, but they are rare and very specific. If you have a legal disability, the statute of limitations may be extended, as well as when you are the victim of a violent or sexual assault. Speaking with a Fort Worth spinal cord injury lawyer from Noteboom—The Law Firm can help you determine when your spinal cord injury claim must be filed.
A spinal cord injury accident can have a monumental impact on your life and your future. A personal injury claim can help you obtain the compensation you need to work toward your recovery. A knowledgeable Fort Worth spinal cord injury attorney from Noteboom—The Law firm will show the damage to your spine was the result of negligence and that all your medical expenses are directly linked to the accident. The Noteboom legal team has extensive experience in spinal cord injury claims and will see your case through from beginning to end. We know the exact approach that will result in a fair settlement that will pay your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury due to the negligence of another, contact Noteboom—The Law Firm today.