Laying down and standing up are basic movements that we complete every day. Even those who do not have the ability to stand up, lay down in their beds every night, and get up in some fashion. The structure which helps us do these movements is our back and more specifically our spine. Many people underestimate the power of the spine. They forget that it is considered the communication between the brain and everywhere else in your body.
A major injury to your spine can lead to a lifetime of illness and injury. It can lead to loss of movement and loss of feeling independent. At the least, 18 months is the average time in which someone can recover from a spinal cord injury. This means that you are 18 months without a job, 18 months without pay, and 18 months without feeling like your normal self.
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal injury due to negligence or other wrongdoing of another, our attorneys want to help you. We can seek compensation that covers treatment of the injury, including surgeries, rehabilitation, assistive devices, and medications. We can also seek recovery for lost income, pain and suffering, and any other damage caused by the injury. When you are ready to take legal action, contact a Los Angeles spinal cord injury attorney at JML Law.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Depending on what happened, there are two major types of spinal cord injury categories: complete and incomplete. Each of these categories is defined by how much feeling or function your body has on or below the injury. In a complete spinal cord injury, there is no feeling or function below the injury that is felt on both sides of the body. So, if you are injured on your neck then you may be faced with quadriplegia, which means that you do not have control of your core body or your limbs. You may also require a breathing ventilator.
An incomplete injury is when you have suffered an injury and you can feel some or part of your body if functioning while the other is not. You may even be able to feel your limbs, but you may not be able to move them. Incomplete injury is still as traumatic, but there is the likelihood that you can recover some feeling and function with an incomplete injury. Whichever the doctor diagnoses, it is completely traumatic and will take more than a year to recover. Some spinal cord incidents occur from auto accidents, but most come from falls. Falling accounts for 15% of spinal cord injuries.
In addition to the two-broad overview of a spinal cord injury, there are more specific “levels” of a spine injury. The level of spine injury describes the point along the spinal column/cord where the injury occurred. The higher the point of injury (closer to the brain stem), the more serious it will be. The vertebrae are divided into five regions, and these regions are used to describe the level of the spinal injury, those being (from head to tail):
- Cervical—seven bones, C1 to C7. These bones support the head’s weight. A cervical spinal cord injury will result in total or partial loss of feeling and use in both the arms and legs. This condition is called tetraplegia or quadriplegia.
- Thoracic—twelve bones, T1 to T12. These bones hold the rib cage and protect one’s heart and lungs. A thoracic spinal cord injury may result in either tetraplegia or paraplegia, which is the loss of feeling and motor control in the legs.
- Lumbar—five bones, L1 to L5. These bones bear the body’s weight and absorb stress when lifting and carrying. A lumbar injury typically may result in paraplegia.
- Sacrum—five bones, S1 to S5. These bones connect the hip bones to the spine and are fused together. A sacral spinal cord injury can cause paralysis or weakness in the legs and hips.
- Coccyx—four bones that are fused and make up the “tailbone.” Most injuries to this area will be severe bruising, or in worse cases, dislocation or fracture. This is usually a result of a fall and will cause severe discomfort while sitting and strained or painful bowel movements.
If a spinal accident has occurred, it is best to keep the body stable and call for emergency attention. A spinal injury victim should not be moved, remain in a laying down position, and do not sit up or try to walk.
Possible Recovery Costs for a Spinal Cord Injury
The severity of the spinal cord injury will determine the costs and amount of compensation you may be owed. Most spinal cord injuries require extensive treatment, and the bill can be astronomical. The following is the U.S. average yearly cost for a spinal cord treatment:
|Incomplete Motor Function
The treatments and costs that go into these figures above include:
- Immediate care
- Surgical costs
- Assistive devices
- Living needs
Additional costs should also be considered when suffering a spinal injury. Those costs should include loss of income, inability to earn future wages, and pain and suffering (only for a private civil suit, you cannot recover for pain and suffering in a workers’ compensation claim).
What To Do
If you or someone you love has suffered an accident resulting in a spinal cord injury then you cannot afford to have your workers’ compensation claim delayed or denied. The best way to avoid a situation like this is to hire a specialized attorney who works in workers’ compensation claims. Our Los Angeles spinal cord injury attorneys at JML Law, a Professional Law Corporation in Los Angeles are well versed in the laws and regulations around workers’ compensation. We have a healthy track record of working with clients through their major injuries and winning just compensation for their injuries.
We can help you get the financial stability needed to pay for medical bills, travel expenses for medical treatment, loss of wages, and help for short or long-term disability. Call 818-610-8800 or click here to start a conversation with our professional workers’ compensation attorneys at JML Law, a Professional Law Corporation.
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