Each year more than 17,000 people receive spinal cord injuries, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC). Spinal cord injuries are typically life-changing. Nearly every function in life can be impacted by injuries to the spinal cord. Our Belleville personal injury lawyers understand how devastating these injuries can be. Let us deal with the legal issues of a personal injury claim while you focus on your recovery. Call The Cates Law Firm, LLC at 618-277-3644 to find out how we can help you.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can occur in a variety of ways, many of which may be due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness. Common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Assault & battery
- Birth injuries
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slips and falls
- Surgical errors
- Workplace accidents
- Other trauma causing back injury
Classifying Spinal Cord Injuries
The American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) has determined a schedule for diagnosing spinal cord injuries and their severity based on neurological responses and touch. The guidelines for diagnosis require pinprick sensations to be tested in each dermatome (an area of skin mainly supplied by a single spinal nerve), and further measuring the strength of ten pre-selected muscles on both sides of the body.
There are 5 categories of traumatic spinal cord injury recognized by ASIA as the International Spinal Cord Injury Classification System:
- Classification A – This is a “complete” spinal cord injury in which there is no motor or sensory function in sacral segments S4-S5. This may include quadriplegia or paraplegia.
- Classification B – This is a type of “incomplete” spinal cord injury in which there is sensory function but no motor function below the neurological level, including sacral segments S4-S5. Some motor function may be recovered after an initial Class B diagnosis, which is why a Class B is often known as a transient phase. Should motor function return, the spinal injury will then be reclassified. This may include quadriparesis or paraparesis.
- Classification C – This is a type of “incomplete” spinal cord injury in which there is motor function below the neurological level, and more than 50 percent of the key muscles beneath the neurological level are given a muscle grade below 3. This indicates that there is active movement accompanied by complete range of motion against the force of gravity.
- Classification D – This is a type of “incomplete” spinal cord injury in which there is a preservation of motor function below the neurological level, and as distinguished from Class 3, at least 50 percent of the key muscles will have a muscle grade of at least 3.
- Classification E – This is a type of spinal cord injury called “normal” in which all motor and sensory scoring is in the normal range.
Some of the most devastating types of spinal injuries may result in a severing of the spinal cord or intense trauma. In these situations, no motor or sensory function is possible below the level of the injury, and paralysis may occur. Even in those cases where a spinal cord injury is not “complete,” there is still often a loss of some motor control or sensory ability at, and below the level of the injury.
It is possible to have a spinal cord injury without the traditional outward manifestations that are usually associated with such an injury. It should be noted that there may still be neurological impairments that accompany such an injury, but deficits will not be translated into sensory or motor impairment.
Compensation After a Spinal Cord Injury
We know that the most pressing concern after a spinal injury is seeking the proper medical care to ensure the best chance of a recovery. We also know that tasks ahead can seem daunting as doctors explain symptoms, disabilities, and necessary future costs. You should work with an attorney to determine if you have any legal recourse.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of spinal cord injury due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you may be able to recover the following past and future losses:
- Emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life or loss of a normal life
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
- Wage loss
How A Belleville Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Can Help You
We know that dealing with a lawsuit after an injury is one more stressor that victims and their families often feel is overwhelming. We are here to help. We will fight to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve to help minimize the financial impact caused by a spinal cord injury.
We strive to ensure that every victim, and, if appropriate, their loved ones, receive compensation for their losses as a result of their injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered a back or spinal cord injury, we are here to speak with you. Call our Belleville personal injury lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC today at 618-277-3644 or contact us online to let us know how we can help you.