The spinal cord is one of the most important – and in many ways, delicate – parts of the body. It is responsible for carrying information between the brain and the nervous system. The spinal cord consists of 13 segments. An injury at any point along the system can be catastrophic and may result in long-term complications and severe impairment. This includes total paralysis and partial paralysis. Below is information about how the medical community defines a spinal cord injury and what you should know if you’ve suffered an injury because of someone else’s negligence.
Any Damage to the Spinal Cord Constitutes a Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal Cord Injury Ontario defines a spinal cord injury as any “sustained damage to the spinal cord or any part of it, or the nerves at the end of the spinal cord.” Damage to the spinal cord can be complete or incomplete, and will result in an impairment or marked effect on motor ability, strength, sensation and/or other function. The impairment level depends on the degree of injury and the point of injury.
An Incomplete vs. a Complete Spinal Cord Injury
An incomplete spinal cord injury leaves a victim with some – but limited – motor and sensory functions below point of injury. A complete spinal cord injury, on the other hand, means that all abilities to control motor function have been impeded, and no sensation or motor abilities remain below the affected area.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury usually results in some degree of paralysis. The two main types of paralysis that may occur from a spinal cord injury are tetraplegia and paraplegia. The former refers to paralysis that affects the arms, legs, hands, feet, and pelvic organs. The latter refers to paralysis that affects the legs, feet and pelvic organs only. Tetraplegia is also called quadriplegia, meaning that all four limbs are affected by the paralysis.
Recovering Damages for a Spinal Cord Injury
If you’ve sustained a spinal cord injury and are hoping to recover damages for the injury, you will have to prove the extent of your injury before a court. This will involve providing medical evidence detailing your injury, as well as the extent of your limitations. What’s more, you’ll also need to prove that another person’s negligent actions were the direct cause of your accident and spinal cord injury. Your claim for damages must be filed within two years’ time under Ontario’s Limitations Act.
Damages for a spinal cord injury usually include both general and compensatory damages, or damages that are paid for both economic and non-economic losses. Because a spinal cord injury usually results in long-term medical expenses and loss of earning capacity, recovering damages is often critical to a plaintiff’s financial wellbeing.
What an Attorney in Ontario Can Do For You
A spinal cord injury lawyer can help you to prove that another person caused your injury, that you have been severely impaired as a result of the injury and that your impairment is just cause for receiving damages. The Ontario spinal cord injury lawyers at Preszler Law Firm provide compassionate but aggressive representation for victims who have suffered injuries similar to your own. Learn more during a free case consultation: 1-800-JUSTICE.