X-Ray of a person's spinal cordIf you have suffered a spinal cord injury due to an accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. Navigating the legal system while recovering from a severe injury can be challenging — but you don’t have to do it alone. The dedicated team at Mann Wyatt Tanksley Injury Attorneys wants to help you pursue the financial relief you need after an accident. Contact us today to speak with a Wichita spinal cord injury lawyer during a free consultation.

How Can a Spinal Cord Injury Change Your Life?

The spinal cord is a thick bundle of nerves running from the base of the brain down the length of the spine, relaying messages from the brain to the body. An injury to the spinal cord can disrupt the transmission of these messages. This isolates areas of the body from the brain and leads to significant medical complications.

Minor injuries to the spinal cord can cause loss of sensation and lifelong pain, making performing daily tasks a challenge. More serious spinal cord injuries can lead to paralysis, loss of sensation, and loss of control of bodily functions. Managing a debilitating spinal cord injury can also lead to mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Even minor spinal cord injuries can require extensive medical treatment, sometimes costing thousands of dollars. Managing traumatic spinal cord injuries that result in paralysis can cost even more. Data from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation estimate that the average costs associated with the most severe spinal cord injuries can be over $1 million in the first year of diagnosis. Loss of motor function at any level can cost more than $300,000 within the first year.

Symptoms of a Spine Injury

Because injuries to the spinal cord do not always result in immediate loss of mobility, it’s essential to recognize these symptoms of a spine injury:

  • Pain in the head, neck, or back
  • Muscle weakness in the extremities
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Loss of sensation
  • Loss of mobility
  • Difficulty with balance or walking
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
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Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

The types of spinal cord injuries vary depending on the severity and location of the damage. A complete injury occurs when all sensation and motor functions below the injury are lost. An injury is incomplete when there is still some sensory or motor function below the injured area.

The location of a spinal cord injury may determine its severity. Spinal cord injuries can be classified by which area of the body is paralyzed, such as the following:

  • Hemiplegia — This is paralysis occurring on the same side of the body. For example, paralysis of the right arm and right leg is hemiplegia.
  • Monoplegia Loss of mobility in one limb is referred to as monoplegia.
  • Paraplegia — Paraplegia is the loss of function in the legs and lower portion of the body.
  • Quadriplegia Paralysis that impacts all four limbs is quadriplegia. People with quadriplegia generally lose control of the arms, legs, and torso and have little to no feeling below the neck or chest.

Treatment for a Spinal Cord Injury

The treatment for a spinal cord injury will vary depending on the severity of the injury. A medical professional will assess the damage using diagnostic tests such as a CT scan or MRI. If vertebrae in the spine are broken, they may need to stabilize the bones to prevent further injury to the spinal cord. Severe breaks may require surgical intervention and metal pins, screws, and rods to support the spine. Patients may need surgery to relieve pressure on the spinal cord. Medication like corticosteroids may also help.

However, surgery and medical treatment cannot reconnect the nerves if the spinal cord is completely severed. Depending on the location of the injury, a person may need a mechanical ventilator, feeding tube, or bladder catheter as components of their continued treatment and care.

The body may be able to heal an incomplete injury over time. With patience, rehabilitation, and physical therapy, a person may regain movement and sensation in the extremities impacted by the injury.

What Accidents Can Cause a Spinal Cord Injury?

Our Wichita spinal cord injury attorneys see a variety of accidents leading to these severe injuries. Accidents that have the potential to cause significant spinal cord injuries include:

Who Can Be Liable for a Spine Injury?

Typically, the person that caused the accident that led to the injury is liable for its consequences. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you might be able to pursue compensation from any of the following parties:

  • An at-fault driver in a car accident
  • A property owner who doesn’t fix a hazardous condition
  • A surgeon who commits medical malpractice
  • Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer

However, you may have to prove that the at-fault party was negligent. A spinal injury attorney can review your case, determine any responsible parties, secure evidence to support your claim, and demand compensation for your losses.

What Damages Can I Recover in a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit?

A personal injury lawsuit may be your best chance to seek compensation for your spinal cord injuries. While the value of every case varies, you can typically pursue the following compensation in a spinal cord injury lawsuit:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Costs of in-home healthcare
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Pain and suffering

Contact Mann Wyatt Tanksley Injury Attorneys Today for Help

If a spinal cord injury has changed your life, you could be entitled to compensation. The compassionate spinal injury lawyers with Mann Wyatt Tanksley Injury Attorneys want to help you pursue the money you need from the person responsible for your injury. Contact our Wichita office today to set up a free initial consultation.