Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)- Basic Information
“Spinal cord injury” (SCI) is a term used to describe any injury involving the nerves within the spinal cord. The spinal cord is made of nerve fibers which are responsible for the body’s ability to feel, move and perform functions such as breathing and walking. The spinal cord is protected by bone segments called the vertebral or spinal column. Loss of function following an SCI depends on the location and seriousness of the impact on the vertebral column.
What types of Spinal Cord Injury are there?
Paraplegia is a form of SCI that usually results from an injury to the lower part of the spinal cord- such as the thoracic or lumbar region. The paralysis that results from paraplegia generally affects just the legs and/or lower parts of the body. On the other hand quadriplegia is a form of SCI that usually results from an injury to the upper part of the spinal cord – such as the cervical region (the neck). Quadraplegia generally affects both the arms and legs – although it may cause more disability on one side of the body compared to the other. An SCI, depending on where it is occurs, will affect the movement and sensation of particular parts of the body or lead to a complete loss of movement and/or sensation in those areas. Many spinal cord injuries, like paraplegia and quadraplegia, are very serious conditions that require permanent care and life-long support.
There are many causes of paraplegia and quadraplegia that are accidental. The leading causes of SCI include vehicle crashes, violence, falls, and sports. Depending on the location of the SCI, the patient can become permanently paralyzed. An SCI causing paraplegia allows just forty percent of such patients to return to their jobs and one causing causing quadriplegia allows only about thirty percent of the patients to return to some sort of employment over time. In addition to the pain and suffering that an SCI creates, such an injury can also create large financial problems for the patients and their families.
The Deadline to File a Spinal Cord Injury Claim
The deadline for filing most SCI claims in court in Hawaii is two (2) years from the date when (a) the victim was exposed to the danger and (b) SOME injuries resulted therefrom. The time may NOT be measured as two years from when a spinal cord injury actually becomes full-blown – if that is later – so it is best to contact an attorney promptly after the first signs of the injuries. It should be noted, however, that there are exceptions to this rule – for example, claims against the City and County of Honolulu and the various other Counties are supposed to be filed with the appropriate agency within six (6) months of the date of the accident. You must file your claims in court prior to the expiration of such deadlines, or your claims may be lost – regardless of their merit. To be wise it is recommended that you immediately contact an attorney after an accident giving rise to SCI occurs. Please do not hesitate to :
Contact Hawaii Injury Lawyer | Attorney now for a free evaluation of your case.
Spinal Cord Injuries – Hope
Medical advances have made it possible for many of those with spinal cord injuries to live an essentially normal life span, and to lead a full, meaningful and productive life. Inevitably, however, spinal cord injury superimposes special considerations on the routine activities of life, and activities that might once have been easy can in many cases be considerably more difficult. There are additional medical and nonmedical problems that individuals with SCI face as they age and wise medical and legal counsel will help the SCI victim to tackle the challenges of health, the social support system, aging and finances.
Unquestionably, SCIs change lives. Our clients with spinal cord injuries and their families often must deal with permanent disabilities that may require significant medical and legal needs. Hawaii attorney William H. Lawson consults with medical doctors, other lawyers, therapists, life care planners, support personnel and others to assist our injured clients with making decisions relating to both medical treatment and legal issues. We work with victims and their families to determine the need for further medical evaluation of their physical conditions as well as the psychic trauma that often accompanies SCI, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), phobias or anxiety disorders.
An experienced SCI attorney will properly investigate an accident to identify the parties responsible for causing the accident. An aggressive SCI lawyer will seek the damages to which the patient and his family are entitled. Because an SCI can drastically alter a person’s life and since the majority of SCI patients suffer the accident at a relatively young age, there is much at stake and many issues must be addressed.
There is hope for those who suffer spinal cord injuries. Such patients are thrown into a world of sudden and overwhelming change. They start from trauma and confusion with their vision of the future challenged to the core, but ultimately arrive at a place in which each of them in their own way has made the “adjustment to disability.” This is often a place of re-employment, renewed family life and new dreams for the future. The toughest part of it all is what lies in between – the actual journey to adjustment, acceptance, meaning, and possibilities. Having the resources to cope with the process and promptly obtaining the information on what steps to take is a lifeline that can help spinal cord injury patients return to productive, healthful lives.
For further information about spinal cord injury, you may wish to: Contact the United Spinal Association for more information.
To confer with a spinal cord injury attorney, please contact us.