Spinal cord injuries are among the most severe and life-altering injuries an individual can suffer. Spinal cord injuries can result in a wide range of symptoms, from chronic pain and mobility issues to complete paralysis. The medical expenses associated with these injuries can be astronomical, and many victims find themselves unable to work or support their families. In addition to the physical and financial toll, spinal cord injuries can also take a significant emotional toll on the victim and their loved ones.

At Davis Law Center, we understand the challenges faced by those who have suffered spinal cord injuries, and we fight for the compensation they deserve. Led by attorney Neil Davis, our firm has over 30 years of experience representing injured individuals who have been harmed by the negligence or wrongdoing of others. We have witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of spinal cord injuries on our clients and their families, and our Michigan spinal cord injury attorneys are committed to holding those responsible accountable for their actions.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can be categorized based on their location and severity. The higher up on the spinal cord the injury occurs, the more extensive the damage and potential paralysis. There are two main types of spinal cord injuries:

  • Complete Spinal Cord Injury: A complete spinal cord injury occurs when there is a total loss of sensory and motor function below the level of the injury. This means that the brain’s signals cannot be transmitted past the point of damage, resulting in paralysis and loss of sensation in the affected areas. Victims with complete spinal cord injuries may require lifelong care and assistance with daily activities.
  • Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury: An incomplete spinal cord injury occurs when partial damage to the spinal cord allows some signals to pass through the injured area. Victims with incomplete spinal cord injuries may retain some sensory and motor function below the level of injury, depending on the severity and location of the damage. While recovery and rehabilitation are possible, the extent of improvement varies from case to case.

Spinal cord injuries can also be classified by the region of the spine affected:

  • Cervical Spinal Cord Injury: Injuries to the cervical region (neck) of the spinal cord can result in tetraplegia or quadriplegia, affecting all four limbs and potentially affecting respiratory function.
  • Thoracic Spinal Cord Injury: Injuries to the thoracic region (upper back) of the spinal cord can cause paraplegia, affecting the legs and lower body.
  • Lumbar and Sacral Spinal Cord Injuries: Injuries to the lumbar (lower back) and sacral regions of the spinal cord can result in decreased control of the legs, bladder, and bowels, as well as sexual dysfunction.

Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

At Davis Law Center, our legal team advocates for the rights, interests, and future of clients who have suffered life-altering spinal cord injuries in accidents such as:

Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries

The symptoms of a spinal cord injury can vary depending on the severity and location of the damage. Some signs may be immediately apparent, while others may develop over time. It is crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an accident to diagnose and treat any potential spinal cord injuries. Common symptoms include:

  • Loss of Movement: Paralysis is one of the most recognizable symptoms of a spinal cord injury. Victims may experience a complete or partial loss of movement below the level of injury. The extent of paralysis depends on whether the injury is complete or incomplete and the location of the damage along the spinal cord.
  • Changes in Sensation: Spinal cord injuries can cause numbness, tingling, or a burning feeling in the affected areas. Some victims may experience a complete loss of sensation, while others may have heightened sensitivity to touch or temperature.
  • Pain and Spasms: Chronic pain is a common symptom of spinal cord injuries, which can be difficult to manage and may require ongoing medication or therapy. Victims may also experience muscle spasms or exaggerated reflexes below the level of injury.
  • Difficulty Breathing: Injuries to the cervical region of the spinal cord can affect the muscles that control breathing, making it difficult for the victim to breathe independently. In severe cases, the victim may require a ventilator to assist with respiration.
  • Bowel and Bladder Dysfunction: Spinal cord injuries can disrupt the signals that control bladder and bowel function, leading to incontinence or difficulty emptying the bladder or bowels. This can increase the risk of urinary tract infections and other complications.
  • Sexual Dysfunction: Damage to the spinal cord can affect sexual function, causing decreased sensation, difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection, or challenges with fertility.
  • Psychological Distress: The physical and emotional impact of a spinal cord injury can be overwhelming, leading to symptoms of depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Victims may struggle with adjusting to their new reality and require ongoing mental health support.

If you or a loved one experiences any of these symptoms after an accident, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent further damage and improve the chances of recovery.

Treating Spinal Cord Injuries

Treating spinal cord injuries requires a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach that addresses both the immediate medical needs of the victim and the long-term challenges of rehabilitation and recovery. The goal of treatment is to minimize further damage, optimize the victim’s functional abilities, and improve their quality of life. Treatment options may include:

  • Emergency Medical Care: Immediately after a suspected spinal cord injury, emergency medical personnel will work to stabilize the victim’s condition, immobilize the spine, and prevent further damage. This may involve the use of a rigid neck collar, backboard, or other stabilizing devices.
  • Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove bone fragments, foreign objects, or herniated disks that are compressing the spinal cord. Surgery can also be used to stabilize the spine and prevent further injury.
  • Medication: Various medications may be used to manage the symptoms of spinal cord injuries, including pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, and antibiotics to prevent infection. In some cases, steroids may be administered to reduce swelling and inflammation around the spinal cord.
  • Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation is a critical component of treating spinal cord injuries. Physical therapy can help victims maintain and regain strength, flexibility, and mobility, while occupational therapy can assist with adapting to daily tasks and using assistive devices. Speech therapy may be necessary for victims with breathing difficulties or communication challenges.
  • Assistive Devices: Depending on the extent of paralysis, victims may require assistive devices such as wheelchairs, crutches, or braces to aid in mobility. Other devices, such as specialized computer equipment or voice-activated technology, can help victims maintain independence and quality of life.
  • Mental Health Support: Coping with the physical and emotional challenges of a spinal cord injury can be difficult for both victims and their loved ones. Mental health professionals can provide counseling, therapy, and support groups to help individuals process their emotions and develop coping strategies.
  • Ongoing Medical Care: Spinal cord injury victims may require ongoing medical care to manage complications such as pressure sores, urinary tract infections, or respiratory issues. Regular check-ups with a specialist can help monitor the victim’s condition and address any developing concerns.

Treating spinal cord injuries can be a long and expensive process, often requiring a lifetime of care and support.

Compensation Available in a Spinal Cord Injury Claim

After an accident causes you to suffer a spinal cord injury, you may have the right to pursue claims against those responsible for the accident and your injuries and losses. You could seek compensation for losses you incur due to your injury, including:

  • Medical treatment and rehabilitation expenses
  • Long-term disability and home care
  • Lost wages/income from missed work or loss of earning capacity due to disabilities
  • Physical pain and anguish
  • Emotional trauma or distress
  • Reduced quality of life caused by physical disabilities or visible disfigurement/deformity

Deadlines for Filing Spinal Cord Injury Claims

If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury due to the negligence of another party in Michigan, it is crucial to be aware of the deadlines for filing a legal claim. These time limits vary depending on the circumstances of your case and can significantly impact your ability to seek compensation for your injuries.

In Michigan, the general statute of limitations establishes the time limit for personal injury claims, including those involving spinal cord injuries, as three years from the date of the accident or injury. 

This means that you have three years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit against the responsible party. If you fail to file your claim within this time frame, the court will refuse to hear your case, and you may lose your right to seek compensation.

Contact Davis Law Center Today to Discuss Your Legal Options

With over 30 years of experience fighting for the rights of injured victims in Michigan, attorney Neil Davis has the knowledge, skills, and resources to build a strong case on your behalf if you or a loved one suffered a spinal injury due to someone else’s negligence.

We understand that no amount of money can erase the pain and suffering caused by a spinal cord injury. However, fair compensation can help alleviate the financial burden of medical expenses, lost wages, and ongoing care, allowing you to focus on your recovery and rebuilding your life.

Don’t let the negligence of others define your future. Take action and call a Michigan spinal cord injury lawyer today at (248) 927-2515 or fill out our online contact form to get started.

Davis Law Center: your trusted partner for personal injury accident cases. Serving Detroit, Farmington Hills, Southfield, Macon County, Wayne County, Oakland County, and all of Michigan.