At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, our Tulsa spinal cord injury lawyers represent many clients who have been injured in serious accidents. Besides a brain injury, one of the most serious injuries you can sustain is damage to the spine.
WHAT IS A SPINAL CORD INJURY?
In a spinal cord injury, the cord is not actually cut. Injury occurs when the thin fibrous extensions of nerve cells surrounded by the vertebrae are crushed and damaged. The axons of the nerve cells in the spinal cord are disrupted when it is injured. Consequently, the victim will then lose sensation and control over their body. The degree of damage determines the severity of the injury.
The spinal column is the highway of information between the brain and body, which means that these types of injuries are often among the most serious and damaging. If you or a loved one has suffered such an injury, you need top medical care and therapy. When you retain our firm, we will work tirelessly to help you recover the compensation you need and deserve.
TYPES OF SPINAL CORD INJURIES
As we have previously covered on our blog, there are two categories of spinal cord injuries: complete (total) and incomplete (partial). This blog post will be focusing on complete spinal cord injuries, which totally paralyze the area below the site of the trauma that hurt the spine.
There are three main types of complete spinal cord injuries:
- Quadriplegia: Also known as tetraplegia, this type of spinal cord injury occurs when a spinal cord injury results in loss of movement and sensation in all four limbs.
- Triplegia: The loss of movement in three limbs; for example, the right leg, the left leg, and the left arm.
- Paraplegia: Occurs when a spinal cord injury results in the loss of movement and sensation in the lower half of the body.
These types of spinal cord injuries may be the direct result of illness or negligent act by a liable person. Victims of a spinal cord injury should seek both medical and legal assistance after an accident.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A SPINAL CORD INJURY?
It can be difficult to know the extent of a spinal cord injury at first. However, the following are symptoms which may indicate a spinal cord injury:
- Loss of bowel and bladder function
- Loss of feeling in the chest, arms, or legs
- Loss of voluntary muscle movement in the chest, arms, or legs
- Muscle weakness
- Problems breathing
If you experience these symptoms after an accident, you should seek medical attention immediately. Your medical professional will conduct tests which may include blood tests, MRIs, X-rays, or CT scans.
OUR FIRM HAS RECOVERED OVER $100 MILLION
Our attorneys have a long track record of victories since founding our practice in 1984. Over the course of our firm’s history, we have successfully recovered more than $500 million in a wide variety of record-breaking verdicts and settlements. Our passion is standing up for rights of the injured and bereaved in Tulsa, and we take great pride in helping these individuals seek justice.
WHAT ARE THE LEADING CAUSES OF SPINAL CORD INJURIES?
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the types of accidents which cause most spinal cord injuries are:
- 38% of spinal cord injuries are caused by vehicular accidents
- 30% of spinal cord injuries are caused by falls
- 14% of spinal cord injuries are caused by violence, but mainly gunshot wounds
- 9% of spinal cord injuries are caused by sports / recreational activities
- 5% of spinal cord injuries are caused by medical/surgical accidents or malpractice
- 4% of spinal cord injuries are caused by other causes not listed above
Men are far more likely to suffer spinal cord injuries, with men making up 82% of these victims. This correlates to the higher proportion of men who suffer in car accidents, falls, and sports injuries. Every year, about 12,500 new spinal cord injuries occur. As of 2015, as many as 337,000 people in the United States are now dealing with the reality of spinal cord injuries. Of these injured individuals, about 52% are paraplegic, and 47% are quadriplegic.
WHY LEGAL ADVOCACY FOR SPINAL CORD INJURIES MATTER
Serious accidents can happen to anyone, but only about 52% of those affected by spinal cord injuries have health care coverage when the injury happens. The initial hospital expenses alone for a spinal cord injury are $140,000—first-year costs reach almost $200,000 on average. For quadriplegics, that number is typically quadrupled.
This high cost of care means that if you’ve been injured, you need an attorney who will fight tirelessly for your fair compensation. If your injury was caused by another person’s negligence, you deserve to know your legal rights. At Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, our Tulsa spinal cord injury lawyer is passionate about taking on tough cases and winning when it counts most.