According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Association some 250,000 to 400,000 individuals have spinal cord injuries. Every year, 11,000 people sustain new spinal cord injuries. It is estimated that 60 percent of these individuals are 30 years old or younger, with the majority of them being men. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of spinal cord injury, followed by acts of violence, falls, and sports related injury.
The mechanisms of spinal cord injury include direct traumatic injuries, such as dislocation of vertebrae or vertebral fracture, and indirect traumatic injuries such as hemorrhage or other disturbances that result in infarction of the spinal cord. Given the different mechanisms of injury, spinal cord injuries can vary in degree. Medical professionals tend to classify spinal cord injuries into two classifications; complete and incomplete. Complete spinal cord injury is a situation resulting in no nerve signals passing below the level of the injury. Incomplete spinal cord injury is the situation resulting when some, but not all nerve signals are able to pass below the level of the injury.
Paraplegia is commonly associated with thoracic or lower area's of spinal cord injury. Paraplegia will generally affect the legs and lower parts of the body. Paraplegia affects movement and sensation and generally leads to a complete loss of these functions. Factor's resulting from paraplegia includes loss of controlled function of the bladder and the bowels. Paraplegia is a serious condition that often requires permanent care.
Quadriplegia is commonly associated with spinal cord injury to the cervical spine (neck), which affects the arms and legs. Quadriplegia generally affects both the upper and lower portions of the body. It is usually associated with loss of feeling and movement of both upper and lower body, and associated impairment to arms and legs. Depending on the individual, factors resulting from quadriplegia can have devastating consequences. Some factors include, requiring a respirator if there is loss of sensation in the chest muscles, ulcers or sores from prolonged external pressure from lying or sitting in the same position for extended periods of time, and of course the issues of bladder and bowel functions.
If You Are a Victim
If you or a loved one is the victim of an incident resulting in a spinal cord injury, your life has been significantly altered. Apart from the economic consequences of the injury, the recovery and rehabilitation necessary to recover enough to be afforded a useful life will require teams of specialists, both medical and legal. At Polewski & Associates we have the expertise and understanding necessary to fully represent victims of spinal cord injury. We understand that victims of spinal cord injury not only have to endure the physical aspects of the injury, but the emotional aspects as well. In presenting your case before a jury, we understand that it is important to balance the presentation of the evidence in order to convey an understanding of the social, economic, physical, and emotional impact of your injury If you suffer from a spinal cord injury that resulted from the negligence of another party, give us a call. We can help.
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Have you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident? Please contact Polewski & Associates today to schedule a consultation.