Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal Cord Injury


spinal cord injury (SCI) is any type of damage to the central nervous system housed within the spinal cord. The spine is responsible for sending signals back and forth between the body and the brain. It is your spine that allows you to move and feel different sensations. Injuries to the spinal cord can break this connection and interrupt one’s ability to move and feel below the point of damage. Spine injuries are serious and often leave victims permanently paralyzed. Car and motorcycle accidents account for more than 35% of new spinal cord injuries each year. Such a catastrophic form of injury comes with its own laws in the civil system. In legal terms, a “catastrophic” injury is one that leaves permanent damage, pain, or disability to the victim. Spine injuries, brain trauma, and amputations are examples of these types of injuries. Due to the extreme nature of these injuries, the law takes them very seriously. It is important, however, to retain a personal injury attorney with experience handling catastrophic injury accidents.

High-Cervical Nerves (C1-C4) Injury Risks

  • most severe of the spinal cord injury levels
  • paralysis in arms, hands, trunk, and legs
  • patient may not be able to breathe on his or her own, cough, or control bowel/bladder movements
  • ability to speak is sometimes impaired or reduced
  • may result in the patient becoming tetraplegic or paraplegic 
  • may require assistance in daily life (eating, dressing, bathing, etc.)
  • may need the assistance of powered wheelchairs with special controls to move around on their own
  • will not be able to drive a car 
  • may require 24/7 personal care

Low Cervical Nerves (C5-C8) Injury Risks

C5 Spinal Injury

  • Victims of this type of injury are likely to have some, or total paralysis of the wrists, hands, trunk, and legs
  • Can speak and use diaphragm, but breathing will be weakened
  • will need assistance with most daily activities, but will likely be able to move from one place to another independently with the assistance of a power chair

C6 Spinal Injury

  • wrist extension is affected
  • paralysis typically found in hands, trunk, and legs
  • weakened breathing
  • can move in and out of wheelchair and bed with assistive equipment
  • will be able to drive an adapted vehicle
  • involuntarily control of bladder and/or bowel, but may be manageable with special equipment

 C7 Spinal Injury

  • can control elbow extension and some finger extension
  • will be able to drive an adapted vehicle 
  • little to no voluntary control of bowel and bladder movements, but may be manageable with special equipment 

C8 Spinal Injury

  • should be able to grasp and release objects 
  • can do most daily activities independently, but may need assistance with more difficult tasks
  • may be able to drive adapted vehicle
  • little or no voluntary control of bowel or bladder, but may be able to manage with special equipment 

Thoracic Nerves Injury Risks

T1-T5 Spinal Injury

  • muscles, upper chest, mid-back and abdominal muscles are affected
  • arm and hand function is usually normal 
  • most likely to use a manual wheelchair
  • can learn to drive a. modified car
  • may walk with braces

T6-T12 Spinal Injury

  • affect muscles of the trunk (abdominal and back muscles) depending on the level of injury
  • typically results in paraplegia 
  • normal upper-body movement
  • ability t control and balance trunk while in the seated position
  • little to no voluntary control of bowel or bladder movements, but manageable with special equipment
  • can learn to drive a modified car 
  • may be able to walk with braces

Get Help From Murphy Law Firm

After a severe car accident that injures your spinal cord, get help from the personal injury lawyers at Murphy Law Firm. We have over 150 years of combined litigation experience between our personal injury attorneys. We have seen how devastating spinal cord injuries are, and how they can effect your life. Don’t be a victim twice! Our skilled personal injury lawyers take an aggressive approach to getting you maximum compensation for your injuries. Get in touch with our personal injury attorneys today at (225) 928-8800


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