The spinal cord injury symptoms you might experience after an accident can include pain or numbness, spastic or weak muscles, and bladder and bowel issues. Some symptoms may mimic other injuries, and some, such as a total loss of sensation below the injury site, are immediately recognizable. A spinal cord injury can be life-threatening and lead to costly medical care.
Seek medical care immediately after experiencing any of these warning signs or symptoms. Common symptoms of a spinal cord injury after an accident require prompt diagnosis, which can help you avoid making the injury worse. If you or a loved one suffered this injury because of another person’s or entity’s negligence, a personal injury lawyer in Florida can seek financial compensation from the at-fault party.
Immediate Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury After an Accident
A medical professional should assess the pain and other symptoms you experience after an accident. Some will immediately alert you and others to a possible spinal cord injury. According to the Mayo Clinic, they include:
- Difficulty maintaining balance
- Excruciating upper or lower back pain
- Impaired breathing after injury
- Muscle weakness or spasticity
- Numbness of tingling of your digits
- Numbness or tingling of your limbs
- Paralysis immediately afterward
- Pressure in your neck or back
- Unusual positioning of your neck or back
When the police respond to the accident scene, emergency medical first responders will assess your condition. If they notice any of these signs, they may stabilize and immobilize your neck and body. Accept any emergency medical care offered, including transportation to the nearest emergency room.
Potentially Hidden Spinal Injury Symptoms After an Accident
Because a traumatic accident, such as a motor vehicle collision, can leave you with multiple injuries, it can be challenging to identify them and understand their symptoms right away. The following symptoms could also indicate a spinal cord injury:
- Sensation changes
- Difficulty distinguishing touch
- Difficulty breathing without support
- Difficulty detecting heat or cold
- Intense tingling or stinging sensations
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Loss of movement or mobility
- Trouble coughing or clearing your lungs
Get medical help if you notice any of these signs, including otherwise unexplained changes in your sexual health. This can include the ability to engage in sexual activity, loss of sensitivity, and infertility.
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Types of Accidents that Could Result in a Spinal Cord Injury
As the Cleveland Clinic notes, a spinal cord injury can occur as the result of a car, truck, or other motor vehicle accident. If you suffered a spine injury, you can pursue compensation as a driver or passenger in a car accident. You can also seek personal injury compensation after a slip and fall accident.
Understanding your spinal cord injury’s cause is important. If another person’s or entity’s negligence caused it, your personal injury attorney will help you identify the at-fault party and take on their insurance company, including building a strong case for financial compensation.
Treating a Spinal Cord Injury Can Be Costly and Extensive
Effective treatment for a spinal cord injury starts with a definitive diagnosis. It can include a physical examination, including a motor function assessment. Doctors may also request imaging exams, including X-rays, MRI, and CT scans. Additional diagnostic tests can include electromyography (EMG), nerve conduction studies, breathing assessment, pulmonary function tests, and bladder and bowel function tests.
Treatment can include:
- IV and prescribed medications
- Long-term coping skills
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Psychological care
- Spinal column realignment
- Spinal fusion and other surgeries
- Traction and immobilization
If a catastrophic injury lawyer represents you, they will request copies of your medical records and bills to document your immediate and ongoing medical needs. Their goal is to recover these costs from the at-fault party.
Your lawyer will also request a written prognosis to determine the costs of care you will require after reaching a settlement. This step can avoid having your case undervalued or underpaid and help you avoid out-of-pocket expenses later.
Compensation for a Spinal Cord Injury After a Negligence-Based Accident
A catastrophic injury can leave you with medical bills, including various therapies and mental healthcare to help you cope with your injury and the subsequent changes to your lifestyle.
- Current and future income loss, including loss of future earning ability
- Current and future medical treatment throughout your recovery (including pain medication)
- Lasting physical disabilities and disfiguring injuries
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering throughout your recovery
- Physical pain and suffering resulting from your injury and its treatments
- Property damage, loss, or diminished value
The spinal cord injury lawyer who handles your case will carefully detail your financial expenses and losses. They will explain the types of damages you can recover and will handle each step of the negotiation process from start to finish.
You Have a Limited Time to File a Lawsuit After a Spinal Cord Injury
You can hold the at-fault party accountable if negligence caused your spinal cord injury. This will usually involve filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
A recent change in Florida law means you could have as little as two years to file your lawsuit, according to Florida Statutes § 95.11. If your lawsuit is not filed on time, you could be prohibited from filing it at all. A lawyer can help you understand how the filing deadline applies to your case. They can also explain any exceptions that, toll (pause) the statutory clock, according to Florida Statutes § 95.051.
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If you or a loved one received a life-changing diagnosis after experiencing the symptoms of a spinal cord injury after a negligence-based accident, our law firm will advocate for you.
We want you to focus on your recovery. While you do, Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers will pursue the best possible financial outcome for you with a personal injury lawsuit. Our family-owned law firm will fight for your full recovery. Contact our consultation and strategy team for your free case review today.
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