Spinal cord injuries are the leading cause of paralysis and chronic back pain among accident victims in Canada. As a spinal cord injury victim, the damage to the spine can affect your life in various ways, including your ability to work, walk, or enjoy life. Apart from the physical effects of spinal cord injuries, the financial and emotional repercussions can be immense for the injured persons and their families.
As a spinal cord injury victim, you may be entitled to compensation to cover your treatment costs, lost income, expenses resulting from the injury, in addition to any emotional and physical suffering. To ensure that you obtain the maximum award that you deserve, it’s advisable to retain an experienced Toronto personal injury lawyer.
Bergel Magence LLP is a dedicated personal injury law firm that protects the rights of spinal cord injury victims in Toronto. Call us at 416.665.2000 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our personal injury law team members.
What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
The spinal cord is a tight bundle of nerves carrying impulses to and from the brain to the rest of the body. This bundle of nerves is protected by the vertebrae or spinal column (ring of bones) that runs from the skull base to the tailbone. A spinal cord injury (SCI) is any damage to this bundle of nerves resulting from direct trauma to the spinal cord itself or the bones (vertebrae), blood vessels, or soft tissue surrounding it. Car accidents, slip and fall accidents, and assault are some of the traumatic incidences that can cause severe spinal injuries.
The subsequent repercussions of a spinal cord injury can be short-term, long-term or permanent, depending on the location and severity of the damage. Without proper diagnoses and medical care, the extent and severity of a spinal injury can increase, leading to a longer recovery time. Therefore, it’s essential to seek immediate medical assessment after an accident to decrease risks of long-term issues and address life-threatening complications. After a thorough medical checkup, contact a Toronto personal injury lawyer to start your claim process.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are classified based on the “completeness” of the injury.
I. Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury
In an incomplete spinal cord injury, the spinal cord suffers partial damage, leaving the injured person with some degree of motor and sensory function below the affected part.
II. Complete Spinal Cord Injury
A complete spinal cord injury means that the spinal cord incurs damage to the extent that there’s no sensory or motor function below the trauma site.
Depending on the location of a complete SCI, the injured person may suffer one of the following types of paralysis:
- Tetraplegia or quadriplegia: This is the paralysis of all four limbs. The trunk and all the pelvic organs are also affected by the injury.
- Paraplegia: This is when part or all of the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs are affected by the spinal injury.
Complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries have a range of emotional, physical, and financial consequences on the victims and their families. As a spinal cord injury victim, you may require long-term rehabilitative care, including occupational therapy and physical therapy, to aid in recovery and improve the quality of life. To cover these medical expenses, supplement your income, and get restitution for pain and suffering, it’s necessary to file a spinal cord injury claim with the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal injuries can present varying symptoms depending on the location and severity of the injury. These symptoms include:
- Loss of or reduced sensation
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Intense stinging sensation due to nerve fibre damage
- Difficulty breathing
- Partial or complete loss of movement or control of any part of the body
- Reduced or total loss of sexual function and sexual sensitivity
- Abnormal pain and pressure in the thorax
The above are some of the most common spinal injury symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms after a motor vehicle accident, catastrophic fall, or any other mishap, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Retain Qualified Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys
Sustaining a spinal cord injury can impact your life, in addition to the lives of your family members, as the after-effects often present a whole set of unique and complex challenges. For most spinal injuries, injured persons require ongoing rehabilitative care, which becomes necessary for recovery and the adjustment to a new way of living. If you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury, an experienced and committed personal injury lawyer will help you navigate the legal process, deal with any insurance companies or other parties that may be involved, and ensure that you get fairly compensated.
Get in touch with a team member at Bergel Magence Personal Injury Lawyers for sound legal advice and dedicated representation. Our firm has a proven track record of successfully obtaining substantial financial awards for our injured clients.
Are spinal cord injuries permanent?
Unfortunately, complete spinal cord injuries are usually permanent. On the other hand, some individuals with incomplete spinal injuries gain some functional improvement over time while others make a full recovery.
What damages can I receive in a spinal cord injury claim?
The compensation that one can receive from a spinal cord injury claim varies depending on the severity of the injury, lost wages, emotional impact, and many other factors. The more serious the injury, the higher the compensation, as the effects are most likely long-term or permanent. Some of the damages you may receive cover lost wages, medical and rehabilitative expenses, and pain and suffering.
Feel free to contact our Toronto personal injury lawyers to find out if you have a viable claim and what you may receive as compensation.
How long does a spinal cord injury take to show signs or symptoms?
Most spinal cord injuries present immediate signs and symptoms, including difficulty in breathing, pain or pressure in the neck or back, inability to control parts of the body, numbness, loss of bladder and bowel control, loss of sensation, and headache, among other symptoms.