Spinal cord injuries can be devastating and can cause lasting effects for victims of car accidents. As an established trial lawyer in the state of Nevada, Adam Kutner has represented numerous clients to ensure the maximum compensation for their spinal cord injury cases. Understanding the nature of these injuries can help families and patients manage the recovery process more effectively.
An Overview of Spinal Cord Injuries
In a high-speed collision, the twin forces of inertia and impact can crush vertebrae and put pressure on the spinal column that can cause serious damage to the spinal cord. The severity and effects of spinal cord injuries depend on the area that is injured and the strength of the forces at play during the accident. Spinal cord injuries are usually categorised as complete or incomplete:
• Incomplete spinal cord damage allows for some feeling and motor activity despite the injury. In these cases, the spinal cord is still partially functional and may allow a degree of movement and sensory perception below the area of injury.
• Complete spinal cord damage does not allow for any voluntary movement or sense perception below the area damaged in the accident.
Patients with injuries to the lower spinal cord typically experience loss of mobility and control over their legs and pelvic region; upper spinal cord injuries can result in the loss of feeling and mobility in the arms, legs, pelvis and trunk. Other symptoms include the following:
• Jerking motions or uncontrolled spasms
• Pain in the back, neck or hips
• Incontinence or loss of bowel control
• Transient or progressive loss of feeling and mobility
• Problems with breathing or coughing
These symptoms may occur immediately or may become evident within hours or days of the initial accident.
Assume the Worst
According to medical experts, obtaining immediate treatment for patients can provide the best chance of preventing additional injuries after the initial trauma. If a spinal cord injury is suspected, the accident victim should not be moved unless a hazardous condition exists in their current position. For example, patients should be moved if the vehicle is likely to catch fire, if gasoline fumes are present in the area or if the vehicle is in the direct line of oncoming traffic. Otherwise, the injured individual should not be moved until first responders arrive on the scene to evaluate his or her condition. Basic first aid treatments can be provided for the injured person as long as the head, neck and back are not moved.
While new treatments do offer some hope for added mobility, damage to the spinal cord cannot be reversed. Loss of mobility and significant lifestyle changes are likely for patients who sustain spinal cord injuries in an accident. In many cases, medical attention and care will be required throughout the patient’s life.
As a Las Vegas personal injury attorney, Adam Kutner can help patients and their families obtain the compensation necessary to pay for medical care and ensure that insurance companies and at-fault drivers provide the maximum possible settlement for these catastrophic physical injuries. This cannot compensate for the losses sustained by spinal cord injury victims. However, adequate financial resources can ensure that accident victims can afford the best care possible for their ongoing physical problems.