Spinal Cord Injuries
The Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy are known for protecting the rights of accident victims in Southern California. We have extensive experience handling serious and catastrophic injury cases, including cases involving spinal cord injuries.
What is a spinal cord injury?
According to the Mayo Clinic, a spinal cord injury (SCI) refers to any injury to the spinal cord or the nerves at the end of the spinal cord that is caused by trauma instead of disease. Damage to the vertebrae, ligaments, or disks of the spinal column may also result in an SCI. When an SCI occurs, the damage affects the nerve fibers passing through the injured area and may impair part or all of the corresponding nerves and muscles below the injury site. “Completeness” refers to the severity of the injury, and is classified as either complete or incomplete depending on whether some motor or sensory function exists below the affected area.
In addition to classification as complete or incomplete, paralysis from a spinal cord injury may be referred to as tetraplegia or quadriplegia, which indicates the arms, hands, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs are all affected by the SCI, or paraplegia, which means all or part of the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs are affected (but not the arms or hands).
What are the causes and symptoms of SCIs?
The Mayo Clinic reports that automobile accidents are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States, accounting for more than 40 percent of new SCIs each year. For a person who sustains a spinal cord injury in an accident, loss of movement, or paralysis, is just one symptom of spinal damage; others include:
• Tingling or loss of sensation, including the ability to feel heat, cold, and touch
• Loss of bladder or bowel control
• Exaggerated reflexes or spasms
• Weakness or incoordination
• Changes in sexual function, sensitivity, and fertility
• Pain or an intense stinging sensation
• Impaired breathing or difficulty breathing, coughing, or clearing the throat
Because the signs and symptoms of SCI vary in strength and obviousness, it is imperative to seek immediate medical evaluation for anyone who experiences significant trauma to the head or neck in an accident. Talking to an experienced personal injury lawyer is also important to ensure that you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries. The costs to treat an SCI are often staggering, and such a serious injury may change one’s life forever. Strong legal support can help ease the burden on accident victims and their families.
Seek Experienced, Knowledgeable Representation
If you or a loved one has sustained a spinal cord injury due to the negligence, recklessness, or wrongdoing of another, please contact the Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy. For more than 60 years, we have been helping accident victims in Southern California.