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Louisiana Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys

Experienced Spine Injury Lawyers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The spine is one of the body's most critical components. Each piece of the spinal column provides a protective structure for function and movement. As a result, injuries to the spinal column have serious repercussions. Our Louisiana spinal cord injury attorneys have the experience and care required to help those who have suffered catastrophic injuries—fighting to get them medical care while holding their wrongdoers accountable.

Facts from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC):

  • Nearly 18,000 people experience a spinal cord injury each year in the United States.
  • Approximately 288,000 people with spinal cord injuries are currently living in the U.S.
  • Vehicle collisions are the leading cause of spinal cord injury.

Have you been injured? Contact a Baton Rouge spine injury lawyer: (888) 493-1629.

Catastrophic Injury Attorneys

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Why Spinal Cord Injuries Are Serious

Spinal injuries often occur when trauma compresses the vertebrae in the neck. Once this happens, irreversible damage may be done. Like brain injuries, spinal cord injuries are serious because they can change the rest of a person's life. However, a common misconception is these injuries only result from a severed spine. In actuality, they are often the result of compressed vertebrae and destroyed axons (components of a nerve that carry key impulses down the spine). Once an axon is damaged, it can no longer effectively transmit signals for movement.

Depending on the location of damage to the spinal cord, different areas of the body may be affected. Quadriplegia is the loss of motor function in all four limbs and the trunk, while paraplegia is the loss of function in the lower limbs.

Representing Victims of Spine Injuries & Paralysis in Louisiana & Nationwide

Paralysis is the complete loss of nerve and muscle function in one or more limbs. Roughly 1 in every 50 Americans live with paralysis—27% of these cases are caused by spinal cord injuries. Paralysis profoundly affects a person's life and career. For those with jobs involving physical labor, including commercial fishermen, construction workers, contractors, truckers, or oil and gas industry workers, paralysis means the end of a stable income. For everyone, paralysis demands a significant shift in how they live and work. That shift is costly—emotionally, physically, socially, and financially.

Types of Paralysis

Paralysis can affect any area of the body—it can be localized or generalized, partial or complete, and temporary or permanent. Localized paralysis affects only one part of your body, such as your face or hand. Different types of localized paralysis are often described by the number of limbs affected. For instance, cervical spine injuries (C1-C8) affect the spinal cord's upper portion and leave victims with lost function in the arms and legs.

Thoracic spinal cord injuries (T1-T12) are the most common spinal injuries and affect the middle portion of the spine. This causes paralysis in the legs. Injuries below the thoracic spine are called lumbar spine injuries (L1-L5) and cause loss of motor function in the legs, leaving the upper limbs functional.

The following is a breakdown of how the location of the injury will impact the body:

  • Cervical Section (C1 to C8): Controls the upper body, including the head, neck, and shoulders.
  • Thoracic Spinal Nerves (T1 to T12): Controls the chest, portions of the back, and abdomen.
  • Lumbar Spinal Nerves (L1 to L5): Supports the lower abdomen, back, legs, and genital organs.
  • Sacral Spinal Nerves (S1 to S5): Sends signals to the thighs, feet, and anus.

Spinal Fractures

When vertebrae are fractured, it is usually caused by trauma violent enough to damage the spine's generally resilient bones. Fractured vertebrae often result from falls, car accidents, assaults, or sports injuries. These injuries are often painful, cause numbness, may result in a high fever, and cause the loss of motor control.

Types of spine fractures include:

  • Compression Fracture: This happens when a vertebra has its frontside broken while the back remains undamaged. 
  • Axial Burst: An axial burst happens when the entire vertebra collapses.
  • Flexion-Distraction: Often seen with seatbelt injuries or whiplash, this occurs when a vertebra is pulled apart.
  • Transverse Process: This involves a rotation of the vertebra.
  • Fracture-Dislocation: This injury involves a broken vertebra and torn ligaments.

Spinal Cord Injury Complications

Spinal injuries are devastating as they may result in more than losing the victim's ability to move. These injuries may also significantly change the way the body can accomplish basic functions. Injury complications include:

  • Loss of full respiratory function, requiring a ventilator. 
  • Irregular heartbeat, which may also be accompanied by low blood pressure.
  • Muscle spasms, which occur when the brain can no longer send signals to specific destinations.
  • Severe and/or chronic pain, caused by damaged nerves.
  • Risk of blood clots, which often form in limbs that can no longer function.
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control, as well as loss of sexual function.

Treatment for Spinal Cord Injuries

Immediate medical attention should be sought after a spinal cord injury. Notably, the victim's spine should be immobilized by qualified emergency responders using a neck collar and carrying board. Treatment for spinal cord injuries is generally focused on restoring the patient's life with as much comfort and function as possible. Rehabilitation often focuses on breathing, preventing shock, and avoiding future damage and complications. A patient may also be given methylprednisolone within 8 hours of the injury to reduce swelling around the spinal column, relieving pressure and preventing further nerve damage. Finally, surgery may be required to decompress and stabilize the spine.

Rehabilitation for People with Paralysis

Although there is no cure for paralysis, rehabilitation can improve a patient's quality of life. The sooner muscles start working again after the spinal cord injury, the better the chances are of recovery.

Multiple specialists may be needed to ensure an effective recovery, including:

  • Psychiatrists can help develop a long-term plan for handling the pain and emotional struggles.
  • Rehab nurses can help with areas such as nutrition, self-care, breathing, and education.
  • Occupational and physical therapists can encourage movement through everyday routines.

Physical Therapy

One of the most challenging aspects of the recovery process is physical therapy. Physical therapists focus on strengthening muscle function and teaching fine motor skills the individual may have lost. Additionally, therapists seek to help the victims learn how to live with their new challenges. Though it is necessary, some patients find the process's physical requirements and time commitments challenging. Ultimately, this process can be extremely costly as it can require expensive custom equipment and numerous doctors and specialists.

The cost of care for a spinal cord injury, not including lost earnings, can add up to millions of dollars over a survivor's life. As Louisiana spinal cord injury lawyers, we recognize the importance of securing full and fair compensation for clients who have suffered this type of life-changing injury. That is why we take on the biggest opponents and fight with all of our knowledge and resources to reach the best possible outcome for every person we represent. No matter what.

Check out the Reeve Foundation's brief look at the lifetime cost of paralysis treatment.

About Baton Rouge, LA

Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana and the second-largest city in the state. Located about 79 miles from New Orleans and 56 miles from Lafayette, it is considered a central transportation hub between these metropolitan areas as well as Houston, Texas, and Jackson, Mississippi. Baton Rouge is known for its history and diverse cultural background, which can be experienced through the city’s many museums, art galleries, and restaurants. Some of the most popular attractions, for residents and tourists alike, are Baton Rouge’s parks and recreation areas, the warship turned museum, the USS Kid, Louisiana’s Old State Capitol building, and the Baton Rouge Zoo, which features more than 1,800 species.

Baton Rouge: Helpful Resources

Our Louisiana Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers Fight to Make Recovery Possible

Those who have sustained a spinal cord injury or are helping a loved one recover from this type of trauma must face many difficult choices during a highly tumultuous time. Patients and family members must often make quick medical decisions that will affect the injured person's long-term prognosis, even as they struggle to accept the reality of the situation. When a spinal cord injury results from another person's negligence, it is vitally important to hire a lawyer with a track record of winning these types of cases. At Arnold & Itkin, our Louisiana injury attorneys have won more than $20 billion—helping our clients receive the best available care to ensure a better quality of life.

For a free consultation and to find out how a Baton Rouge spine injury lawyer can help you, call (888) 493-1629 or contact us online. If we take your case, you only pay if we win.

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