Hanover Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys, York County, PA

Representation for victims with spinal cord injuries in South Central Pennsylvania

Spinal cord injuries are always catastrophic. Not only are they permanent and expensive to treat, but they also affect every aspect of a victim’s life. One may be unable to work in the job they love, unable to live independently or the same way they were accustomed to living, and may even be unable to enjoy the same level of intimacy with their spouses or significant others.

If you sustained a spinal cord injury of any sort due to the negligent or reckless actions of another, you deserve to justice. At KBG Injury Law, our Hanover personal injury attorneys know how to hold the liable parties accountable and get you the compensation you need.

What is a spinal cord injury?

The National Institutes of Health defines a spinal cord injury (SCI) as “damage to the tight bundle of cells and nerves that sends and receives signals from the brain to and from the rest of the body.” It is not always caused by a direct injury to the cord itself. Sometimes, the damage is to the bone and tissue around the spinal cord.

When this happens, in either form, it triggers a domino effect that can impact the entirety of the body. From changes in sensation, movement, strength, and body functions to total bodily paralysis, it is very rare for one of these injuries to be anything less than catastrophic. That is to say, only the most minor spinal injury cases allow for recovery. A spinal cord injury, however, is permanent.

SCI are classified in two ways: incomplete and complete.

Incomplete spinal cord injuries refer to cases where the victim is able to retain some feeling and movement below the affected area, while complete spinal cord injuries mean the victim has lost all feeling and ability to control movement. Immediately following the accident, the differences between the two may be indistinct, but become clearer over time. For example, those with incomplete spinal cord injuries may experience chronic pain below the injury, while those with complete damage will not. Complete spinal cord injuries often come with loss of bladder and bowel control, difficulty breathing, and complete loss of motion and sensation. Meanwhile, those with incomplete spinal cord injuries may retain at least some motion and sensation below the affect area.

Classifications of paralysis

Both complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries have further subsets within themselves, describing more specific and common ways these catastrophic damages may afflict someone. These consequences are, more often than not, some form of bodily paralysis.

Paralysis refers to a lack of function in a specific part of the body, generally due to nerve damage. Though there are many types of paralysis, it is generally classified in four ways:

  • Monoplegia, or paralysis of one part of the body
  • Hemiplegia, or paralysis of body parts on the same side of the body
  • Paraplegia, or paralysis affecting the lower half of the body
  • Quadriplegia (tetraplegia), or paralysis affecting all four limbs

Paralysis can also be complete or incomplete. For example, one may have complete paraplegia or incomplete paraplegia. If it is complete paraplegia, this would mean all function, sensation, and control of the legs is lost, and it is this subset that often includes bowel and bladder disfunction. Incomplete paraplegia would mean there is at least some sort of function and sensation remaining in either one or both legs.

What complications can result from spinal cord injuries?

Part of the devastation associated with injuries to the spinal cord is the permanence of the damage; the other is just how many complications an SCI patient may have to address. Our spine is responsible for controlling and regulating more than one may think, and once that has been compromised, the rest of the body is as well. These complications can include any of the following:

  • Loss of bladder and/or bowel control. Your spinal cord is the “message carrier” from your brain to your organs. When that is damaged, your brain may not be able to signal to your bladder correctly, leading to incontinence and increased risk of kidney stones and urinary tract infections. SCI victims also have an increased risk of constipation and bowel impaction.
  • Pressure ulcers/sores. Spinal cord injuries often result in some or total skin sensation loss. This means you may be unable to feel pain alerting you to move or shift positioning, especially if you are bedridden, resulting in painful sores and bruises. These leave patients open to infection.
  • Poor circulatory control. When your blood circulation is damaged or thrown off balance, you could face issues such as low blood pressure, suddenly high blood pressure, and swelling of your extremities, increasing your chances of blood clots. These issues can be life-threatening on their own.
  • Respiratory system failures. Breathing may be more difficult after a spinal cord injury, and you may have a higher chance of catching pneumonia and other lung problems. For SCI patients on a ventilator, there is an increased risk of life-threatening respiratory conditions such as Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), sepsis, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), pulmonary embolism, barotrauma, and pulmonary edema.
  • Decreased bone density. Fractures and osteoporosis below the level of injury are common.
  • Muscle atrophy or spasms. These issues either manifest as uncontrolled flexing or motion in the muscles, or limp, soft muscles with no tone at all. Atrophy like that can lead to lifelong, painful problems and lack of function.
  • Decline in fitness and wellness. Those with limited mobility after their spinal cord injury are likely to lead more sedentary life, possibly leading to either extreme weight loss or extreme weight gain. Both have their own complications, including diabetes, heart failure, and more.
  • Decreased sexual health. Ability to participate in relations with your significant other may be damaged, whether you are a man or a woman. Many people with complete SCI experience total loss of function, though it is not guaranteed. Some patients may be able to engage in sexual relations, though they lack the sensation.
  • Pain. Victims may experience joint, muscle, and nerve pain from a spinal cord injury above the line of function.
  • Depression. The effects of an injury this severe can uproot and change every aspect of your life. It is all too easy for this to lead to a depression — especially if you are no longer able to do the things you love.

What are common causes of spinal cord injuries?

According to the Mayo Clinic, motor vehicle accidents are among the most common causes for spinal cord injuries in America, along with catastrophic falls. Other causes of SCI include:

If you have been involved in an accident that leads to permanent ramifications to your health, KBG Injury Law wants to help. Our Hanover, PA spinal cord injury attorneys have decades of experience representing SCI victims in jury trials and in settlement negotiations.

What are the signs and symptoms of spinal cord injuries?

Spinal cord injuries may present in different ways depending on the circumstances. It may seem like such a serious injury would be immediately apparent — especially to the victim — but because a hallmark of such injuries is a loss of sensation, it may take some time for the issue to be fully realized. For example, whiplash injuries to the neck (cervical hyper-flexion/extension) can stretch, tear, or compress the spinal cord, resulting in a progressive loss of control in walking.

If you have any loss of sensation following an accident of any sort, seek medical attention immediately. Only a trained healthcare professional can accurately diagnose and treat you, and only if it is done in time. Waiting too long to seek help can result in permanent sensation loss that may have otherwise been regained and a higher risk of further complications.

What are the long-term effects of a spinal cord injury?

Many who suffer spinal cord injuries end up needing some form of assistive care, and it is usually for the rest of their lives.  Those with complete tetraplegia may be entirely dependent on caretakers and nurses, a situation with its own traumas and upsets.

These types of needs can create a substantial financial burden for victims and their families. Not only are the medical costs expensive and ongoing, but a family will lose the income the patient provided – perhaps even two incomes, if a spouse or a child becomes a permanent caretaker. At KBG Injury Law, our Hanover SCI attorneys work closely with financial planners and medical experts to assess the true cost of your injury, so that we can present it to a jury.

How long do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit in Hanover, PA?

In the state of Pennsylvania, victims generally have two years following an accident to file a personal injury claim, but exceptions do exist. No matter how long it’s been, it can never hurt to have a free consultation with a Hanover personal injury attorney to explore your options and possible compensation entitlements.

How can a Hanover, PA spinal cord injury attorney help my case?

When you hire a spinal cord injury attorney, you are giving yourself the best chance possible to receive the compensation you are owed for your pain and suffering. The law is complex and difficult, even when it is in your favor, but skilled, experienced representation knows how it works. More importantly, we know how to make it work for you. With a competent, zealous advocate on your side, you can focus on your treatment and recovery while we work to provide for your future.

Is there a Hanover, PA spinal cord injury attorney near me?

KBG Injury Law is located at 250 York Street in Hanover, PA, only a few blocks east of the Square.

Let our Hanover, PA spinal cord injury attorneys represent you

If you or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord injury in any capacity due to the reckless or negligent actions of another, you want the compassionate team at KBG Injury Law on your side. We understand the importance and severity of your situation and we have the knowledge to help. We maintain offices in Hanover, York, Lancaster, Gettysburg, and Harrisburg, , and serve clients throughout South Central Pennsylvania. For a free consultation, call our Hanover spinal cord injury lawyers today at 717-848-3838 or use our contact form.