Any injury to your head or spinal cord is a potentially serious injury. A spinal injury, depending on which part of the cord is injured, could be totally paralyzing, partially paralyzing, and could affect your ability to breathe among other things. Spinal cord injuries can be complete or incomplete; a complete injury meaning that the person is paralyzed below the point of the spine injury and incomplete meaning that there is some movement or feeling below the injury point.
Spinal injuries are not always apparent so when a person has a motor vehicle accident, penetrating back injury, trauma to the head or neck or if the injury was from falling or diving, an injury to the spine needs to be ruled out as soon as possible . At this point the spine should be completely immobilized and the person transported in a safe manner to the hospital for further diagnosis. Doctors will use the x-ray, MRI and CT scan technology to discover where the injury is and how severe it is. The initial prognosis is often determined by how much movement and sensation the person has. If this is in the first week after the injury, then recovery chances are good and if after approximately 6 months there is not return to movement than the disability is more likely to be permanent.
According to the Merck Medical Manual, "During a typical year, there are about 11,000 spinal cord injuries in the US. Nearly 48% occur in motor vehicle collisions, and 23% result from falls. The remainder is attributed to violence (14%) , sports (9%), and work-related accidents. About 80% of patients are male. " Looking at these statistics it would seem that a spinal injury is likely to involve other people and in the case of a motor vehicle collision, violence, and work-related accidents, there may be someone at fault due to negligence. Spinal injuries are expensive. There is the initial hospitalization, medical and possibly surgery to consider. After that there is the cost of rehabilitation so that the victim can gain back as much of former mobility as possible. At the same time, the victim is unable to work and may not ever be able to go back to the same level of functioning without help that must be paid for. The victim and their family needs to find help to overcome these burdens with community resources and excellent legal help to take action to recover any compensation that they and their family deserve. Not only can the victim receive compensation for their medical expenses etc., but their families can receive compensation for their loss of the victim as a full wage earner and supporter.