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Life Redefined: Charting Your Path After Spinal Cord Injury

What You Need to Know:

A spinal cord injury (SCI) can abruptly alter the course of one’s life. In a split second, injury victims are left grappling with the long-term physical, emotional, and financial aftermath of these catastrophic injuries. With ever-multiplying construction zones and growing numbers of distracted and irresponsible drivers, North Texans are at risk of spinal cord injuries every time they get on the road.

The journey after a spinal cord injury is difficult. It requires resilience, positivity, and hope for the future. This is because spinal cord injuries often require life-long changes in health and lifestyle. 

Life Redefined: Charting Your Path After Spinal Cord Injury

With an injury as catastrophic as a spinal cord injury, survivors not only need immediate and ongoing medical treatment but emotional and legal support as well. In North Texas, there are many resources for spinal cord injury victims to use while they rebuild their lives.

As spinal cord injury attorneys, we have helped clients with spinal cord injuries and are all too familiar with the recovery process after a spinal cord injury. Whether you’re a recent SCI survivor or a family member seeking guidance, we’re here to help.

What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?

The spinal cord is a band of tissue that connects your brain to your lower back. The spinal cord carries messages to and from the brain and the body, kind of like a telephone line. The nerve messages carried by the spinal cord help you move and feel. Because of the importance of the spinal cord to the overall function of the body, any damage to it is severe.

Spinal cord injuries refer to any damage done to the spinal cord, including the actual spinal cord and all surrounding tissue and bones. They are classified as complete or incomplete. If there is no nerve communication below the point of injury, that is a complete injury because feeling and movement are completely cut off. Common spinal cord injuries include whiplash, disc injuries, and spinal fractures.

SCIs can result from many different types of incidents, including auto accidents, pedestrian accidents, 18-wheeler accidents, commercial vehicle accidents, and more. In a crash, the body is subjected to a variety of forces. An occupant can absorb a lot of energy from the crash and also come into contact  with objects or surfaces and damage the spinal cord. Whether it’s a catastrophic crash or a seemingly minor incident with lasting consequences, the impact of an SCI on an individual’s life can be profound, affecting mobility, sensation, and overall quality of life.

Symptoms of spinal cord injuries may include:

  • Pain in the neck, head, or back
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Weakness or loss of control in body parts
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low body temperature
  • Trouble with balance
  • Trouble breathing
  • Difficulty controlling bladder or bowel function
  • Paralysis
  • Spasticity
Life Redefined: Charting Your Path After Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injury victims are at risk of additional complications after a spinal cord injury. The immune system is combating the damage done to the spinal cord, leaving the body more susceptible to disease or other injuries. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, respiratory complications, most commonly pneumonia, are the leading cause of death in SCI victims.

This is because spinal cord injuries can affect victims’ ability to breathe, swallow, and cough. Many times, victims will need the assistance of a respirator to help them breathe. These devices can become infected with dangerous bacteria and lead to infection.

SCI victims are also at risk of developing mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. Illness and stressful events are among the leading causes of depression and anxiety. Experiencing a crash, let alone a spinal cord injury, is stressful. Victims need time to heal and may potentially require long-term changes in lifestyle. These changes can be hard to process and may lead to depression and anxiety.

To learn more about spinal cord injuries, watch the video below:

The Road to Renewal: Treating Spinal Cord Injuries

It’s crucial to get immediate treatment for a spinal cord injury. If left untreated for too long, spinal cord injuries can worsen. Spinal cord injury victims will most likely be transported to the emergency room immediately from the scene of the accident for evaluation and treatment. At the hospital, medical providers may conduct a physical exam, CT scan, MRI, or X-ray to determine the extent of the spinal cord injury.

Spinal cord injury victims may be required to wear a splint, brace, or other support device. These help stabilize the spine and prevent further injuries. Sometimes, surgery is required to remove any objects that put additional pressure on the spinal cord or to relieve pressure.

Most of the time, physical therapy is a huge part of the healing process after a spinal cord injury. Physical therapy will help ensure that the injury is fully healed and prevent the risk of residual injuries. Physical therapy can be tough to endure, but it’s important to stick through it. If you don’t complete your treatment, you may never fully heal. It can also hurt your personal injury claim in the long run. Adjusters may think your injuries are not as bad as you claim and refuse to pay the full value of your claim.

On the Mend: Rebuilding Your Life After a Spinal Cord Injury

After the initial diagnosis of a spinal cord injury, it can be overwhelming to think about what comes next. The recovery process can vary depending on the location and severity of the injury. You could need a few weeks of therapy to heal or long-term accommodations for a lifelong disability. No matter what, the coming weeks and months can be daunting to think about with all of the changes.

Along with physical therapy, medical providers may also recommend other types of therapy. Alternative therapies can help victims reacquire skills for daily functioning or employment. Such types of therapy may include occupational therapy, vocational therapy, or speech therapy. Occupational therapy can help injury victims redevelop skills needed for everyday tasks, such as eating and using the restroom. Speech therapy can help redevelop swallowing and communication skills. Vocational therapy can help develop mental or physical skills that can help spinal cord injury victims return to the workplace. Additionally, educational training can be utilized for spinal cord injury victims to learn skills so that they are not depending on physical capabilities for work.

Commonly, spinal cord injuries can cause adjacent mental health issues. Many times, spinal cord injury victims will develop depression or anxiety after the incident. This is because spinal cord injuries may require many lifestyle changes and long-term treatment. To combat these feelings, finding a mental health professional to talk to during the healing process can help. It can also help to find an activity to get involved in and focus on meaningful social connections.

Recreation therapy can be useful for many reasons. It can help injury victims redevelop their physical capabilities. It can also allow injury victims to find meaningful social connections and improve their mental health. Finding a fulfilling leisure activity to express yourself is important for maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Hobbies can help distract us from negative thoughts, improve brain function, and introduce us to new communities. In recreation therapy, spinal cord injury victims can take part in activities that pique their interest and are workable with their injury.

Life Redefined: Charting Your Path After Spinal Cord Injury

The recovery process of a spinal cord injury is incredibly difficult to navigate. You will need to schedule treatment and physical therapy, file a claim with the at-fault’s insurance, and make accommodations for your injury in your daily life. Having a plan, finding the right resources, and leaning on a support network can help. The North Texas Chapter of the United Spinal Association has resources for spinal cord injury survivors, events, and benefits for members. UT Southwestern Medical Center lists support groups and resources on their website. You should also ask your healthcare provider for information on local support groups and helpful resources. Having people to talk to who have experienced the difficulties you’re going through can be such a positive tool in your healing journey.

Should I Hire an Attorney After a Spinal Cord Injury?

Additionally, navigating the financial (short- and long-term) aspects of a spinal cord injury can be intimidating. You may need surgery, physical therapy, and long-term accommodations. These bills stack up, and the final total can be sickening to think about.

Hiring an experienced spinal cord injury attorney can help. If you suffered a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s negligence, you should not have to bear the financial burden of your recovery. A spinal cord injury attorney can help you navigate the personal injury process, connect you with medical providers, and increase your chances of receiving full and fair compensation for your injuries.

Spinal cord injury attorneys work on contingency, meaning you don’t pay them anything out of pocket. They will instead take a portion of the final settlement. While this may seem counterintuitive, you have a much better chance of receiving full compensation for your injuries with the help of a spinal cord injury attorney. 

To learn more about contingency fees, watch the video below:

While the recovery process is difficult after a spinal cord injury, you don’t have to go through it alone. Finding hobbies that bring you joy, leaning on the support of your community, and utilizing the experience and knowledge of a spinal cord injury attorney can make the journey much easier.

Your Partner in Healing: Snellings Law Can Help After a Spinal Cord Injury

At Snellings Law, we have helped numerous spinal cord injury victims get the care and compensation they deserve. Suffering from a spinal cord injury can be life-altering, affecting not just your physical health but also your emotional well-being. However, you don’t have to bear the burden of recovery all by yourself.

Our dedicated team of spinal cord injury attorneys is committed to advocating for spinal cord injury victims. We’ve seen the toll these injuries take on victims, and we want to do what we can to help you fully heal and get back to your normal life. Whether your spinal cord injury resulted from a car accident, 18-wheeler accident, motorcycle accident, or other incident due to someone else’s negligence, our experienced attorneys at Snellings Law are here to help ensure that you claim is fully evaluated and worked up in order for you to receive full value.

Hire Snellings Law For Your Car Accident Case

Remember, you are not alone in this journey. With the support of our team at Snellings Law, you can take the necessary steps toward healing and reclaiming your life. Contact us today at (214) 387-0387 to schedule a free strategy session with one of our skilled spinal cord injury attorneys.

Free Strategy Session Reveals How To Avoid the Traps Insurance Companies Set for Victims to Destroy Claims.

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How it works:

  • Call us now or give us your basic information in the Free Strategy Session box
  • If your case is something we cannot help you with, we will do our best to get you the information of someone who can.
  • If we can potentially help you, we will schedule a Free Strategy Session

There is zero obligation. We want all injury victims to understand their rights and the process.

After your Free Strategy Session, you will understand where insurance companies can set traps for you and what needs to be done to avoid these traps. You will also understand the personal injury process as well as how we can help, or if you need the help of an attorney. The strategy session typically will have one of three outcomes. You:

  1. Decide to move forward with our law firm.
  2. Decide to think about it, and we will be available to answer your questions.
  3. Say, “I’ve got this,” and decide you do not need an attorney.

Again, there is zero obligation and you will be informed and understand your rights and the process. We want to arm you with knowledge to avoid the traps insurance companies set to harm your claim.