The spine is made up of 26 bone discs (vertebrae) that protect the spinal cord and allow you to bend and straighten. Trauma to the spinal column can impair the ability of the spinal cord to send and receive messages from the brain to the body.
If you have suffered spine injury through someone else’s negligence, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. At The Law Offices of Willie D. Powells III and Associates, PLLC, we are tough advocates for injured people. Our spine injury lawyer in Houston will fight vehemently for your rights and give your case the care and attention it deserves.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Spine Injury?
According to the Shepherd Center, the most common causes of spinal cord injury in 2016 were:
- Automobile accidents – 38%
- Falls – 30.5%
- Violence (mainly gunshot wounds) – 13.5%
- Sports injuries – 9%
- Medical and surgical complications – 5%
- Other causes – 4%
Car Accidents and Spine Injuries
Car accidents are a common cause of injury to the spine. Trauma to the spinal column in a collision can cause fractures that require immediate surgery to prevent further spinal cord damage. Spinal cord injuries causing paralysis are catastrophic injuries sustained in automobile crashes with long-term consequences for the victim.
Sections of the Spine
The spinal column is divided into four sections of vertebrae, any of which could sustain injury causing paralysis:
- Cervical vertebrae – in the neck
- Thoracic vertebrae – in the upper back, attached to the ribcage
- Lumbar vertebrae – in the lower back
- Sacral vertebrae – in the pelvis
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
The higher on the spine the SCI is located, the more it affects the functions of the body. Paraplegia, involving paralysis of the legs and lower body, results from spinal cord injuries in the lumbar or thoracic sections. Tetraplegia (also known as quadriplegia) results from injury to the cervical spine and affects all four limbs.
Levels of SCI
Spinal cord injury can be complete or incomplete.
- Complete SCI results in total loss of sensory and motor function below the level of the injury.
- With incomplete SCI, there is some function remaining below the level of the injury.
Recovering Compensation for Spine Injuries
A violent automobile collision can cause serious damage to the spine including fractured vertebrae, ruptured discs, and spinal cord injury. If you have suffered serious spine injuries in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. Damages you may be entitled to claim include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Other damages