SCI – Spinal Cord Injury
Serious spinal cord injury often leads to life changing consequences with a loss of physical mobility, bodily function and chronic pain. Such injuries are commonly caused by automobile or motorcycle collisions, and workplace accidents.
The National Spinal Cord Injury Center reports that in the United States, 12,000 people sustain spinal cord injuries every year. A quarter of a million Americans live with spinal cord injuries. Annually, approximately $4 billion is spent in providing daily care for the victims.
How Spinal Cord Damage Occurs
Any physical trauma which crushes or compresses the vertebrae can cause irreversible damage at that level and below. The spine is divided into three sections – the cervical or neck, the thoracic (or shoulder/middle area), the lumbar (or lower back) and sacral (pelvis region). Cervical injuries can lead to quadriplegia or loss of function (although not necessarily complete) in the arms and legs. Injuries to the middle and lower back can lead to paraplegia or loss of complete or partial function of the lower extremities and possibly, bowel and bladder function.
Spinal Cord Damage Treatment and Rehabilitation
Recovering from a spinal cord injury begins with initial diagnosis and treatment plan that often requires surgery to stabilize the spine at the injury site. Next comes rehabilitation, which can be a lengthy and arduous process. Mobility issues are addressed. Life skills training is routinely needed. At home adaptations are commonly required in the case of a paraplegic or quadriplegic making a return. While returning home is usually the goal, it is sometimes not possible, and an alternative safe living environment needs to be made available.
Ongoing Care Needs
Independent living is what everyone wants. It is what spinal cord injury victims strive for through the recovery process. Depending on the severity of the disability, loss of income typically occurs. In the home, support is required to varying degrees for the activities of daily living and the administration of daily medical and personal needs. Family members become care givers. Outside nursing or caregiving assistance is often necessary.
Pursing a Legal Claim for a Spinal Cord Injury
When the injury that occurred was a result of someone else’s negligence, then the law prescribes remedies for the victims in recovering their damages for medical care costs (past and future), lost wages (past and future), pain, psychological support, loss of consortium and loss of enjoyment of life.
However, the burden of proof rests with the plaintiff and an experienced legal advocate is critical to successfully pursue a claim for full compensation. Our firm treats its client like family. We rigorously investigate the case, filing a lawsuit, developing the evidence, discovery of documents, employing top experts in their fields, taking of sworn depositions, mediation, and if necessary, a trial in a court of law.
IN THE NEWS…
Vigna Law Group: Cauda Equina Failure to Timely Diagnose and Treat
Cauda equina syndrome causes compression of the spinal nerves. It's a neurological emergency that must be identified and fast tracked to the operating room. “The failure to timely diagnose and treat acute cauda equina [...]
Vigna Law Group: Missed Spinal Cord Injuries…How and Why
Dr. Greg Vigna comments on hospitals' failure to diagnose spinal cord injuries, leading to catastrophic repercussions for the patient. “Approximately 50% of patients who sustained a spinal cord injury that were misdiagnosed by hospital [...]
Red Flag Warning: Subacute and Acute Cauda Equina Syndrome
In practice, many patients with CES have presentations that are chronic or subacute that are indolent and often overlooked by careless medical providers. Acute cauda equina syndrome (CES) is a neurosurgical emergency that requires [...]
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