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Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers in St. Louis
Helping Clients Navigate Complex Injury Claims
A spinal cord injury occurs when the nerve tissue responsible for transmitting messages to and from the brain and the rest of the body, is damaged in some way. Made of axons and neurons (the same cell types that make up the brain), the spinal cord is especially vulnerable to injury. If it is stretched, compressed, or partially or completely severed, the victim may suffer symptoms including:
- Loss of ability to feel pain
- Loss of ability to sense heat and cold
- Decline in motor function
- Paralysis (tetraplegia or paraplegia)
If you or a loved one have suffered a severe spinal cord injury in an accident or other ordeal caused by another’s negligence or wrongdoing, our attorneys can offer information and guidance through the process of filing a claim for compensation. We work to help you seek damages including medical expenses, continued treatment, physical therapy, lost wages, and more so you are not forced to shoulder the economic burden of injuries you have suffered through no fault of your own.
Call our St. Louis spinal cord injury attorneys to learn more: (800) 391-4318.
How Do Spinal Cord Injuries Happen?
Spinal cord damage is less prevalent than some other catastrophic injuries, with between 17,000 and 18,000 new cases each year, but for those victims, it is a tragedy. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), the leading causes of spinal cord injuries are car (or other vehicle) accidents, falls, violent attacks, and sports injuries. The spine can also be injured by demanding or repetitive physical labor.
Such incidents can result in direct trauma to the spine or in stretching or compression that damages cells. If the injury is severe enough, the spinal cord may sustain permanent harm, potentially leading to paralysis injuries such as paraplegia and tetraplegia (also known as quadriplegia).
After a spinal cord injury, a victim’s life—and that of their family—may change immensely. Sadly, the proportion of spine injury victims that do not develop paralysis is under 1%. Even for patients who are able to take full advantage of rehabilitation and respond quickly to treatment, partial paralysis can change day-to-day life and introduce other medical complications.
Immediate, intensive care is a necessity after any spinal cord injury. The NSCISC found, on average, victims of such damage require an 11-day hospital stay. After, they will need rehabilitation, which lasts an average of 34 days. This care is not only expensive but also disrupts their earning potential and may impact the work schedules of loved ones who pitch in to provide care. Its financial burden may place additional stress on both the injury victim and their family.
Rehabilitation is necessary, however, to help those with spinal cord injuries regain as much function as possible. Some cell injury is irreversible with current medical technologies, but undamaged neurons in the spinal cord may be able to adapt and take on new roles to help the body regain function. A patient’s ability to recover depends on factors including:
- Severity of injury
- Location of injury
- Presence of neural growth inhibitors
They will likely work with physical therapists as well as specialists to help them regain skills important for the workplace and recreational activities. Psychologists can help spinal cord injury victims cope with the emotional and mental toll of the disability, and social and case workers can help them re-enter society when they are ready.
Lifelong Complications Lead to High Costs
Recovery from the initial injury can last for months or even years—but patients may also face complications associated with spinal cord injury for the rest of their lives. Many will suffer from chronic pain, in some cases so intense it may make the patient consider ending their life. For those patients who cannot move themselves, pressure ulcers (also known as bed sores) are a constant concern; these injuries can cause extreme pain and introduce the risk of infection.
Paralysis of any sort blocks the nerve signals to and from the brain, making it impossible for a victim to move their limbs. This loss of motor control, whether partial or total, can affect both muscle tone and circulatory health. Unfortunately, it may also have an impact on subconscious processes, such as bladder and bowel control or sexual response. Patients may therefore need daily assistance and/or face an additional mental toll.
Our team at Meyerkord & Kurth works with injury victims because we believe no one should be forced to pay medical bills caused by someone else’s negligence. The direct healthcare costs alone can run into the millions of dollars for injuries of this type. Victims will also suffer a loss of earning potential and are likely to experience pain and suffering. If you are in this situation, you could be able to recover compensation for all of this.
Discussing your legal rights and options with a personal injury attorney can help you gain more clarity on your next steps, even if you do not plan to sue. We want to make sure you have all the information you need to make the decision that’s right for you. If your injury was caused by another person's carelessness, recklessness or even intentional wrongdoing, you may have the right to seek justice with a personal injury claim. Our team can provide a free consultation to answer your questions and give you advice.
We’re serious about helping spinal cord injury victims receive fair compensation for all they have suffered. Our team will come meet you wherever is most convenient.
Call our team now at (800) 391-4318 to schedule your free consultation.
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