Hire the Best Spinal Corn Injury Attorneys in New Mexico
You deserve justice and fair compensation for your losses
According to the United Spinal Association, approximately 17,700 Americans suffer a spinal cord injury every year. This type of injury occurs when the spinal cord or a nerve attached to it is damaged, and can be the result of trauma, disease, or a degenerative disorder.
Spinal cord injuries can have life-changing implications, including debilitating pain and loss of mobility. They can be costly to treat, and long-term assisted care may be required in some situations.
If you or a loved one has experienced a spinal cord injury due to someone else's negligent action or inaction, you should not have to bear the financial burden.
An experienced spinal cord injury lawyer can help you obtain the meaningful compensation you deserve. Contact us today to get started.
We Want to Hear Your Story – and We Want to Help
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that transmits signals between the brain and the rest of the body. Because of this connection, damage to the spinal cord can also affect brain function. The spinal column protects these nerves, but it is not impenetrable.
There are a total of 31 pairs of spinal nerves that extend out from the spinal cord to various parts of the body. These nerves control body movement and other functions.
Because different nerves touch different parts of the body, not all spinal cord injuries are the same.
The term used to describe a particular spinal cord injury is based on its location and severity, and the type of injury you’ve suffered will impact how much compensation you are entitled to.
Your spinal cord injury lawyer will encourage you to seek a diagnosis if you have not already done so. These are some of the most common types of spinal cord injuries.
Complete Injury of the Spinal Cord
When spinal nerves are severed completely or so badly bruised that they do not function properly, the injured victim may experience paralysis below the location of the injury.
Both situations can compromise blood flow and are considered complete spinal cord injuries.
Incomplete Injury of the Spinal Cord
Cases with some loss of function below the injury, but the spinal cord was not completely damaged or disrupted, are considered incomplete injuries.
For example, a victim who loses all function of their left leg but whose right leg functions normally would be considered to have an incomplete spinal cord injury.
Myelin is the fatty, insulating substance that covers nerve cell fibers. Inflammation across the spinal cord can damage or destroy this protective layer, resulting in a neurologic condition called transverse myelitis.
The damaged myelin can create scars on the nervous system that disrupt communication between the spinal cord and the body. This condition may be manageable with early diagnosis and treatment.
A bruised spinal cord is also called a spinal contusion. In many other cases, bruises on the body are just sore, but spinal contusions involve inflammation and bleeding from the delicate blood vessels in and around the cord.
This is often a temporary condition; symptoms often last only a few days before the feeling returns to the affected area. Still, tingling and jolts may persist long after the bleeding and inflammation have subsided.
Though rare, spinal transection is a tear that often results in permanent loss of central control of motor, sensory, and autonomic functions below the injured segment. The severity of this injury corresponds with the size and location of the tear.
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How Are Spinal Cord Injuries Diagnosed and Treated?
Any type of spinal cord injury constitutes a medical emergency, so receiving medical attention as soon as possible is essential. In some cases, you may be able to minimize the impact.
Any time a spinal cord injury is suspected, it should be taken very seriously. After an initial exam, a doctor may recommend imaging diagnostics such as X-rays, CAT scans, or MRIs to better understand what is happening inside the body.
Treatment will depend on the diagnostic findings. In some cases, emergency surgery may be necessary. In others, the doctor may recommend stabilizing the injury site and managing pain and inflammation with rest and medication.
Depending on the nature of the accident and other damage to the body, it may be difficult to understand the extent of what has happened to the spinal cord and how it will impact your brain and your mobility.
It is important to follow all of your medical provider’s instructions and attend all follow-up visits. Make sure to keep a detailed record of all treatment and related expenses to help your brain and spinal cord injury lawyer determine the value of your claim.
Compensation for Spinal Cord Injuries
Victims of spinal cord injuries caused by another person or entity’s careless or intentional actions may be entitled to compensation for the physical, mental, emotional, and financial damage they have sustained.
Compensation often includes the following:
- Reimbursement of past medical expenses related to the injury,
- Payment of future project expenses for injury treatment,
- The cost of medical equipment and physical therapy.
- Lost wages while the accident victim was recovering and unable to work,
- Lost future earning capacity if the victim is unable to return to work or unable to earn the same wage because of the injury,
- The cost of institutional care or in-home care if the victim can no longer live independently,
- Pain and suffering,
- Post-traumatic stress,
- Depression, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Your spinal cord injury lawyer will rely on medical professionals to accurately calculate past and future medical expenses based on your prognosis.
They will rely on vocational experts to calculate your loss of future wages if you cannot return to your previous employment.
Though slightly more complicated, they will also help you assign a dollar amount to the trauma you have endured and the ways in which your life has been affected because of the spinal cord injury.