A spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage to the spinal cord that results in loss of function or mobility. Approximately 270,000 people in the U.S. are living with a SCI, and 12,000 new incidents of SCI occur each year according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
Personal injury law typically categorizes these types of injuries as catastrophic injuries. When SCI is caused by another individual’s (or organization’s) negligence, it can result in a personal injury lawsuit and in the case of a surgical error, a medical malpractice claim. These injuries can also lead to product liability lawsuits, if they were caused by defective products, such as faulty seat belts.
Different Types of SCI
Complete SCI is one in which the victim has no sensation or voluntary motor movement on either side of the body below the level of the injury.
If the victim has some feeling or partial movement, it is called an incomplete SCI.
Unlike other, less severe, personal injury claims, damages for SCI claims can exceed recovery of medical expenses and pain and suffering. The damages may include compensation for long-term effects, such as rehabilitation and home aid, cost of wheelchairs and other devices and the expense of adding ramps and stair lifts to the victim’s home and vehicle. In addition, the spouses of SCI victims may also sue for loss of household services, loss of consortium and loss of spousal intimacy.
Signs of Serious Injury
Auto accidents are the primary cause of SCIs. Falls and sports accidents also cause significant amounts of SCIs each year. Though many of the activities associated with SCI are voluntary, a spinal cord injury lawyer will help you learn if another’s negligence entitles you to monetary damages.
An SCI typically involves spinal cord swelling, which affects the entire body. As the swelling decreases, the victim may regain function months or years after the injury, but regaining complete functioning is sadly rare. Treatment presently consists of stabilizing any broken vertebrae, maintaining the patient, preventing movement to the injured area and reducing swelling. Although stem cell research has shown some promising signs for the future, there is still no cure for SCI.
Protect Your Rights
The Texas spinal cord injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Garcia & Ochoa can help answer all of your legal questions. We recognize that everyone is an individual and that not every case is the same. We start by listening, gathering evidence and fighting hard to make sure our clients obtain the justice they deserve so that they can get back to feeling a sense of normalcy and get back to living their lives.
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury due to the negligence of another party, please contact our catastrophic injury lawyers here at Garcia & Ochoa. Schedule a free consultation, and we’ll sit down with you and discuss the particulars of your individual case, and help you determine the next, best step for you and your family.