Different parts of the spinal cord affect different bodily functions. The spinal column consists of a cervical section at the top, followed by the thoracic, lumbar and sacral sections. Generally, the higher the location of the spinal cord injury, the more severe the resulting consequences are. Damage to the Cervical or Thoracic sections typically results in some form of paralysis.
Each year, nearly 200,000 people suffer from a spinal cord injury (SCI) in the US. Spinal cord injuries generally occur as the result of trauma, or a sudden blow to the spine. The leading cause is auto accidents, which account for about 45% of spinal cord injuries. Other causes include falls such as ladder accidents, as well as swimming pool accidents, construction site accidents, violence and sports.
There is currently no cure for spinal cord injuries. The goal of treatment is to prevent further injury. After a spinal cord injury, some swelling of the spinal cord typically occurs, affecting the entire body. Some function may be regained over time as the swelling subsides. Among others, spinal cord injuries may affect:
- Body temperature
- Blood pressure
- Sexual function
- Sensory perception
- Bowel and bladder control
- The ability to walk
- Susceptibility to respiratory disease
For more information, see Questions About Spinal Cord Injuries
If you or a loved one has suffered from a spinal cord injury due to the fault of another, you may have a legal claim to damages and other compensation. This may be the case, for example, if the injury was at least in part the responsibility of a car or truck driver, a defective product or a hazardous property condition. When seeking legal representation, be sure that the lawyer or team of lawyers is experienced in spinal cord injuries.
Search our national directory of attorneys to find an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer near you.