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Spinal cord injuries are catastrophic, life-changing traumatic injuries that affect the lives of the victim and their loved ones forever. Your spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs down the middle of your back. It carries signals back and forth between your body and your brain. A spinal cord injury disrupts the signals. A spinal cord injury occurs when the cells inside a person's spinal cord are damaged, disrupting the relay of signals from the brain to the rest of the body.

Spinal cord injuries can be complete or incomplete. With a complete spinal cord injury, the cord can't send signals below the level of the injury. As a result, you are paralyzed below the injury. With an incomplete injury, you have some movement and sensation below the injury.

Spinal cord injuries can be caused by others, whether by surgical error, birth injury, train accident, car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle collisions, construction site accidents, playground accidents, slip and fall accidents, defective products or machinery failures.

What Should I Do If I’ve Suffered a Spinal Cord Injury?

If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, the attorneys at Gentry & Ashton Law are ready to help you. We recommend you take the following steps:
  • SEEK OUT IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION: Spinal Cord injuries are among the most painful and traumatizing injuries a person can suffer from. It is extremely important to immediately seek medical attention in order to prevent the injuries from worsening.
  • DOCUMENT THE SCENE: If possible, document any witnesses and obtain their names and contact information. Take pictures of the site where the accident occurred. If you are unable to do these things due to your injury, ask a friend or family member to do so.
  • CONSULT AN ATTORNEY: Once you have seen the doctor, your next step is to call a spinal injury attorney. We can help you determine what your next actions will be.
The resulting effects of a spinal cord injury can range from chronic pain to complete paralysis. If you have been injured as the result of someone else's negligence, it is important that you understand what legal actions are available to you.

Spinal cord injuries are often catastrophic because they have long-term or permanent consequences. With regard to injury claims, a catastrophic injury claim will likely be worth significantly more than other types of injury claims. This is because a catastrophic injury will affect the victim's quality of life as well as his or her ability to make a livelihood and provide for his or her family. In such cases, support needs to be available to cover not only the immediate medical bills, but also lost future income, the cost of medical treatment and physical therapy that will be needed years after the accident.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

There are a number of different types of spinal cord injuries. A "complete spinal cord injury" is one that results in the loss of sensation and motor ability. Whenever there is significant bruising, loss of blood or an increased amount of pressure on the spinal cord, a total loss of movement and sensation below the site of the injury can occur. An "incomplete spinal cord injury" will affect the victim's ability to feel and move but some sensation below the site of the trauma will remain.

If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, it may result in:
  • Paralysis: This refers to loss of muscle function that is often accompanied by sensory loss.
  • Quadriplegia: Also known as tetraplegia, this is when trauma to the spinal cord in the neck results in partial or total loss of function in all four limbs.
  • Paraplegia: This is when a spinal cord injury results in impairment of motor or sensory function of the lower half of a person's body.
  • Anterior cord syndrome: A loss of sensation and movement can occur when the motor and sensory pathways in the anterior areas of the spinal cord are damaged.
  • Central cord syndrome: When the center of the cervical area of the spinal cord is damaged, the signals sent from the brain to the body to control bodily movement can be affected.
  • Spinal contusions: This is when the spinal cord is bruised but not severed. The amount of inflammation and bleeding will affect the severity of the symptoms.
If you have suffered a spinal injury, you need a dedicated attorney by your side. An experienced spinal cord attorney can get you the help you need. At Gentry & Ashton Law, we have handled numerous spinal cord injury cases and we have the knowledge and experience necessary to help navigate this difficult time for you and your loved ones.  Contact us today at (714) 541-4161 to schedule your FREE consultation and case evaluation.