Spinal Injuries

By John Cooper, Virginia Beach Spinal Injury Attorney

Spinal cord injuries are one of the most serious injuries we see as experienced Virginia Beach car and truck accident attorneys. Car, truck and motorcycle crashes are one of the major causes of this traumatic injury.

See this video about spinal cord injuries.

 

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center in Alabama, there are about 12,000 new spinal injuries each year.

Spinal cord injuries are one of the most serious injuries we see as experienced Virginia Beach car and truck accident attorneys. Car, truck and motorcycle crashes are one of the major causes of this traumatic injury.

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center in Alabama, there are about 12,000 new spinal injuries each year.

The center says there about 259,000 people in the United States who suffer from spinal cord injuries.

A Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) is defined as damage to the spinal cord leading to immobility or a loss of function. We see car accidents on the streets of Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake, VA, that lead to spinal injuries, on a regular basis. Car accidents are the cause of about 42 percent of spinal injuries.

Falls, gunshot wounds or diseases may also result in spinal cord injuries. There’s sometimes a misunderstanding about this injury. Many people assume the spinal cord has to be severed for it to stop functioning. In fact, most people who suffer a spinal cord injury do not experience a severing. Rather damage to the spinal cord leads to a loss of function.

“A person can ‘break their back or neck’, yet not sustain a spinal cord injury if only the bones around the spinal cord (the vertebrae) are damaged, but the spinal cord is not affected. In these situations, the victim may not experience paralysis after the bones are stabilized,” the website spinalinjury.net states.

The spinal cord is approximately 18 inches long. It runs from the base of the brain, down the middle of the back, to the waist area.

The spinal cord is packed with nerves, which makes spinal cord injuries so complex and painful. The nerves within the spinal cord are known as upper motor neurons (UMNs). They carry messages from the brain to spinal nerves along the spinal tract.

Other spinal nerves branch out from cord to the other parts of the body. These are lower motor neurons (LMNs).

“The sensory portions of the LMN carry messages about sensation from the skin and other body parts and organs to the brain. The motor portions of the LMN “send messages from the brain to the various body parts to initiate actions such as muscle movement,” spinalinjury.net states.

Rings of bone called vertebra surround the spinal cord. They constitute the spinal column and are commonly known as back bones.

Spinal cord injuries are usually caused by a blow that fractures or dislocates the bones that make up the spine known as the vertebrae of the victim. Spinal cord injuries can cause damage when pieces of vertebrae tear into cord tissue or push onto nerve areas that carry signals.

In a complete spinal cord injury, the cord loses its ability to relay messages below the level of the injury. The result is paralysis below the area of the injury. In an incomplete injury, the patient may have some movement and sensation below the injury.

Paraplegia is one serious and permanent potential result of a spinal injury. It affects the legs and possibly also the trunk, but not the arms. The extent the trunk is affected depends on the level of spinal cord injury. Paraplegia is caused by damage to the cord at T1 and below. As well as the paralysis it can affect bowel and bladder control and sexual functioning.

Quadriplegia, now more commonly known as Tetraplegia, is the paralysis of all four limbs. People who suffer injuries above the C-4 level may need a ventilator or electrical implanted device to breathe, because the diaphragm is controlled by spinal nerves exiting at the upper level of the neck.

Christopher Reeve, the Superman actor is the most famous quadriplegic in recent years. Reeve broke his neck and damaged his spine in a riding accident in Virginia in 1995.

The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation is a nonprofit that funds research into spinal cord injuries research.

Victims of spinal cord injuries often require round the clock care and their lives are never the same again. But if your spinal injury is not severe you may make a complete recovery. If you suffer a spinal injury in a car accident it’s crucial that you are examined by a medical professional as soon as possible.

If you suffer a spinal injury in a car, truck or motorcycle injury you should also consult an experienced Virginia Beach spinal injury attorney.

DM

The Virginia Beach personal injury law firm, Cooper Hurley, handles car, truck, and motorcycle injuries as well as brain injury, wrongful death, railroad workers’ injuries (FELA) mesothelioma and medical malpractice cases.

John Cooper grew up and was educated in Virginia Beach and handles many cases from the city. John Cooper and his partner Jim Hurley have more than 40 years of combined experience in handling personal injury claims.

John Cooper has been named to Virginia “Super Lawyers” since 2010 and has been a member since 2011 of the Multimillion dollar Advocates Roundtable. Cooper Hurley represents people hurt in accidents in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News and throughout Virginia as well as in north eastern North Carolina. We always put the best interests of our clients first. The firm is recognized by other lawyers as “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell, a national attorney rating service, for our top level of legal skill and highest ethical standards. If you need help or advice about a serious injury, please call us at (757) 309-4711 or make an appointment to visit our Virginia Beach office at 4445 Corporation Lane, Suite #187, Virginia Beach, VA, 23462. For a free consultation with a specialized Virginia Beach, VA personal injury lawyer contact us through this website