Spinal Column Injuries

Charleston, South Carolina Spine Injury Attorney

Spine injuries take a variety of forms. The most serious of which involve injury to the spinal cord, often due to physical force. When the spinal cord is injured temporary – and sometimes permanent – paralysis can occur. Other symptoms of spinal cord injury include:

  • Loss of bladder control
  • Changes in sexual function
  • Nerve pain
  • Loss of sensation throughout the body

The spine runs from the base of the skull all the way down to the lower back, and is responsible for carrying nerve signals from the brain to muscles throughout the body. The spine consists of over 30 individual bones, the vertebrae, through which the spinal cord passes. In between each bone are intervertebral discs which help to hold the vertebrae together and prevent them from rubbing against each other. These intervertebral discs also help to cushion the impact from moving.

Frequently, doctors may not initially understand the extent of a spine injury and may not be able to accurately forecast an accident victim’s likelihood of recovery. About ten days after the injury, doctors can conduct a neurological exam to determine the extent of the injury and whether it is “complete” or “incomplete.” An incomplete injury is one in which the affected part of the spinal cord is still able to send and receive messages from the brain. Complete injuries prevent all nerve transmissions at and below the injury site.

Causes of Spine Injuries

Spine injuries can occur after almost any type of accident. Below is a list of the most common types of spine injuries:

Car Accidents: Many car accidents result in an occupant being jerked from front to back, or side to side. Either of these motions can seriously damage the spine as well as the spinal cord. Even in less serious cases of whiplash, permanent injuries may still occur.

Slip-And-Fall Accidents: Falls are a leading cause of accidental injury in South Carolina and across the United States, and cause approximately 25 percent of all spinal injuries. Depending on how an accident victim falls, a slip-and-fall accident can easily end in a herniated disc or fractured vertebrae.

Sports Injuries: More than 3.5 million children and teens each year suffer some form of injury while playing sports. Many of these are spine injuries. While any sport can result in serious injury, gymnastics, football, skiing, basketball and cheerleading are the most likely to cause a spinal injury.

Workplace Accidents: Americans spend the majority of their waking hours at work. An injury can occur at any workplace.

Damage to the spinal cord, as well as other types of back injuries, often change the lives of an accident victim. Those affected by a spine injury are encouraged to reach out to a dedicated Charleston personal injury attorney to discuss their case.

Spine Injury Statistics

The spine is one of the most crucial structures in the human body, and damage to it frequently results in serious, irreparable injury. The spinal cord is a soft, gel-like structure that runs from the base of the neck all the way down the back. The spinal cord is responsible for transmitting nerve signals between the brain and the muscles throughout the body. Thus, spinal cord injuries frequently impact an accident victim’s ability to move – either temporarily or permanently.

An estimated 450,000 people in the United States live with a spine injury. Each year, an additional 17,000 people suffer from a spine injury.

According to the most recent data from the National Spinal Cord Statistical Center, the most common causes of spinal injuries are:

  • Vehicle accident – 38.5 percent
  • Slip and fall accidents – 31.6 percent
  • Violence – 13.8 percent
  • Sports-related accidents – 8.2 percent

Spinal cord injuries are serious:

  • The average length of a hospital stay is 11 days.
  • The average length of stay at a rehabilitation facility is 34 days.
  • Due to advancements in medical care over the past few decades, these figures decreased from 24 days and 98 days, respectively.

At the time of hospital discharge, less than 1 percent of people experienced complete neurological recovery

  • 58.7 percent experienced tetraplegia
  • 40.6 percent experienced paraplegia

Approximately 30 percent of sine injury victims are re-hospitalized within a year, resulting in an average hospital stay of 22 days.

After a spine injury, most people return home, however, approximately ten percent of spin injury victims are transferred to a nursing home, group home or another hospital.

Approximately 20 to 30 percent of spine injury victims show signs of clinical depression.

Nearly 60 percent of spine injury victims cannot work and collect unemployment.

Those with a spinal cord injury are two to five times more likely to die prematurely than those who do not have a spinal cord injury.

Contact a South Carolina Car Accident Law Firm for Help

At the Steinberg Law Firm, we represent clients who recently suffered a spinal injury. Our dedicated team of injury advocates help clients recover fair compensation for what they have been through, as well as the impact that the accident will take on the rest of their life. We handle all types of spine injury cases across South Carolina, including motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries and slip-and-falls. Unlike other law firms that pick and choose only the cases with the highest potential payouts, we pride ourselves in helping as many people as we can get their life back on track after a serious accident.

Steinberg Law Firm attorneys are skilled negotiators as well as aggressive litigators, meaning you will not need to accept a settlement offer for less than you deserve. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation, call 843-720-2800, or contact us through our online form. We have offices in Summerville, Charleston, Goose Creek and represent clients throughout South Carolina. Calling is free, and because we offer a No Fee Promise, you do not pay unless we win. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you and your family through the recovery process.

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