The attorneys at Hall Law are experts in spinal cord cases and have experience handling such cases from both the plaintiff and defense sides of personal injury litigation. As a result of this dual perspective, we are well acquainted with the complex damages issues presented by such claims and are uniquely positioned to ensure our clients receive the best possible result for their individual circumstances. Spinal cord injury cases regularly involve significant current and future damages, and it is important that the injured party receive proper representation by an experienced spinal cord injury attorney.
In serious accidents the spinal cord can be damaged, anywhere from the neck down through the lower back. The spinal cord is designed to transmit both feeling and control between the brain and the rest of our body. If a traumatic event damages the spinal cord, communication between the brain and other parts of the body can be cut off, resulting in varying levels of paralysis and loss of function. Obviously, such injuries can be devastating to the injured party and his or her loved ones.
Spinal cord injuries fall into two category types, complete and incomplete. A complete injury is associated with the total loss of function below the level of injury. In such cases there is no sensation, nor voluntary movement below the level of injury. An incomplete injury is characterized by partial function below the level of injury. An individual suffering from incomplete paralysis can experience an array of symptoms including partial voluntary control, feeling in areas that cannot be controlled voluntarily, or the ability to control one side of the body and not the other.
How an individual’s body is affected by a spinal cord injury is generally dependent on the level of injury. Typically, the higher up a spinal injury occurs, the more widespread the effect on the body. Usually, cervical (neck) injuries result in quadriplegia, involving loss of function in both the upper and lower extremities. Injuries above the C-4 vertebrae may even require use of a ventilator to assist with breathing. C-5 injuries can result in retention of shoulder and upper arm control, but a lack of control in the lower arm and hands. C-7 injuries usually allow some level of control in the hand and fingers despite problems with dexterity.
Lower level spinal damage which occurs in the thoracic level and below can result in paraplegia. Paraplegia is generally associated with the loss of use of the legs. However, paraplegia can also result in a myriad of other conditions including: poor muscle control in the trunk, dysfunction of the bowel and bladder, sexual dysfunction, blood pressure problems, inability to properly regulate body temperature, and chronic pain.
At Hall Law our attorneys work with injured people throughout Minnesota. We understand that an individual with paraplegia or quadriplegia will face enormous challenges and costs for the duration of their life. In calculating a damages award where a spinal injury is involved, it is critical that future costs be anticipated and accounted for. Our spinal cord injury attorneys consult with qualified life care planners who have years of experience in the field can anticipate the challenges and needs unique to spinal cord injury patients.
Preventing Spinal Cord Injuries
Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of spinal cord injury. Wear a seat belt every time you are in a motor vehicle. Make sure that your children are properly buckled into a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt as appropriate.
Keep firearms and ammunition locked in a cabinet or safe when not in use. The second leading cause of spinal cord injury is violence, most often related to firearms use.
Prevent falls using a step stool with a grab bar to reach objects on high shelves; installing handrails on stairways; installing window guards to keep young children from falling out of windows; and using safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around.
Play sports safely. Wear all required safety gear, and never engage in head-first moves, such as spearing (in football, using the helmet to tackle) or sliding headfirst into a base. Avoid hitting the boards with your head in ice hockey. Insist on spotters when performing new or difficult moves in gymnastics.
The personal injury attorneys at Hall Law are experienced, have a thorough understanding of spinal cord injuries and have a record of successfully representing clients with spinal cord injuries. Let us take care of all the issues involved in the legal process so you can concentrate on your recovery and rehabilitation.