If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious accident that resulted in a spinal injury, you may suffer from physical and emotional consequences that will last a lifetime. Depending on the type of accident and the extent of your injury, you may have damages from medical bills, lost wages, and extensive pain and suffering.
Dealing with a spinal injury is never a simple matter. If your condition has resulted from someone else’s negligent or careless actions, you have the right to make a claim for full and fair compensation. You must also face caring for your injuries and take every possible step to rebuild your life after this traumatic event.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Spinal Injuries
If you were involved in an accident, you might have received immediate medical care by emergency medical personnel. Hospital staff will decide whether to test for spinal and spinal cord injuries based on several factors: the type and location of the injury, and any symptoms. Anyone who loses consciousness, fallen, or suffers a blow to the neck or back is in danger of a spinal injury. Common symptoms include loss of movement, tingling, headaches, difficulty breathing, and trouble moving.
No single test is used to assess all spinal injuries. Instead, physicians will rely on various protocols that include clinical evaluations and different imaging tests. Your doctor may order imaging tests such as x-rays, CT-scans, and an MRI to view your spinal column and spinal cord.
The treatment for spinal injuries is going to vary depending on the nature of your condition. The nerves that travel from your brain through your spinal cord also branch out into your arms, legs, and abdomen. Disruption of those nerves can impact your body’s vital functions such as your bladder, lungs, bowels, heart, and the movement of your arms and legs.
Unlike other parts of the body, the spinal cord cannot repair itself, so medical care is vital when an injury occurs. The first priority after an accident is stabilization, and sometimes emergency surgery is necessary to minimize further damage if there is compression of the spine. The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation reports that medical care after a spinal cord injury can be costly. For example, a high tetraplegia injury could cost $4.7 million in lifetime medical care for a 25-year old accident victim, and this is before any other costs such as lost wages.
How to Cope with a Spinal Injury
When you are accustomed to being able to move freely without pain, dealing with a spinal injury can be difficult for both you and your loved ones. Some of the tips that various experts have produced for coping with spinal injuries include:
- Allow time for grief. A period of grief and mourning is common with people who have suffered a spinal injury as well as their loved ones. The five stages of grief are denial, sadness, anger, bargaining, and acceptance. Understanding that you may go through these stages after an injury can help you make progress and reach acceptance.
- Educate yourself. Learn as much as you can about your spinal injury, the types of treatments available, and the accommodations that can be made to make your life enjoyable again.
- Accept support. When you are used to being independent, it can be difficult to ask for help. Spinal injury victims need to know when and how to ask for help when they need it.
- Move forward. Once the shock of the accident and injury wear off, it’s essential that you keep moving forward. You may not be able to change the past, but you can control your attitude and can still have a rewarding future.
Speak with an Experienced West Virginia Spinal Injury Attorney
If you or someone you care about is the victim of a spinal injury due to someone else’s negligence, you should not have to endure these financial and emotional hardships without help. A qualified Charleston spinal injury lawyer will have the resources and experience necessary to hold the responsible party liable for your damages.
At Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C., our dedicated personal injury attorneys have been working on behalf of injured clients and their families for over 40 years. When you are doing everything possible to rebuild your life and recover from your injuries, let us be your strongest legal advocates. Contact our office now at (304) 345-0346 or reach us online to schedule a free consultation.