If you have suffered injury to your spinal cord, you likely experience pain and symptoms that people with healthy spines cannot relate to. The skilled Alabama spinal cord injury attorneys at Cross & Smith have substantial experience with spinal cord injury cases in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham and understand the traumatic impact this injury can have on your life.
Spinal cord injuries occur in a number of ways. The most common sources of injury are through automobile accidents and workplace accidents. Trauma and jarring of the spine can routinely lead to injury to the spinal cord. Other common sources of spinal cord injuries are falls and sports activities.
Spinal cord injuries do not always manifest as pain in the back itself. The spinal cord is a set of nerves running up and down the length of the spine inside the spinal column, sending and receiving neural messages to your legs, arms, and other parts of the body. Traumatic injury to the cervical spine can lead to burning, tingling and numbing pain to either arm or hand, as well as to the neck and head. Injury to the lumbar spine can frequently cause pain in the sciatic nerves running down each leg. Long-term effects of these injuries can lead to wasting of muscle mass in one extremity, as traumatic spinal cord injuries frequently affect one side of the body more than the other side. Other serious symptoms include loss of bladder control and loss of sexual functions.
While spinal cord injuries are not uncommon, they can frequently be difficult to prove. In cases of quadriplegia or paraplegia, there can be little doubt about the severity of the injury and the cause of the injury. But in cases where symptoms are not as profound, there may be questionable objective evidence of injury. Unlike a broken bone, which can be shown through an x-ray to be either broken or not, x-rays, CT scans and MRIs do not always provide definitive evidence of injury. The spinal column is exceedingly complex, and evidence of soft-tissue injury to discs or of impingement on the cord itself can be ambiguous. Often, subjective complaints of symptoms are the best evidence of injury due to trauma, and these complaints can be corroborated through objective tests and imaging studies.
Spinal cord injury refers to traumatic injury to the spine, as opposed to harm caused by degenerative changes. However, in nearly all adult individuals there will be some presence of degeneration in the spinal column prior to the traumatic event. Common degenerative conditions include arthritis, stenosis (or narrowing of the spinal canal), and pre-existing compression or herniation of the discs between each vertebrae. Insurance adjusters, defense attorneys, and defense medical experts routinely point to pre-existing degenerative conditions as the cause of your current symptoms. An experienced trial attorney knows how to counter these arguments, using medical evidence as well as common sense.
An experienced Alabama spinal cord injury attorney should have a well-developed understanding of the anatomy and functioning of the spine. At Cross & Smith, our attorneys have successfully represented many people with spinal cord injuries in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. We regularly consult with top expert doctors in the field, and understand how to present complex spinal injuries to a jury. If you or a family member has suffered a spinal cord injury, call our office today at (877) 791-0618 for a free confidential consultation.