Understanding Your Rights: Spinal Cord Injuries After a Motorcycle Accident in Atlanta, Explained by Motorcycle Accident Lawyer #NigelTheLawyer
Georgia's roads and consistent weather make it one of the best places in the United States to ride a motorcycle. Although many people will safely enjoy motorcycles for many years, some will unfortunately be involved in serious or catastrophic motorcycle accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), each year over 5,500 motorcyclists are killed and almost 83,000 are injured in traffic accidents. One of the most common personal injuries are spinal cord injuries after a motorcycle accident. A government study found that spinal cord injuries after a motorcycle accident are up to 400 times more likely than in other motor vehicle accidents. If you or a loved one suffered any type of personal injuries after a motorcycle accident, especially a spinal cord injury, call Nigel, an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Atlanta, GA.
Attorney Nigel understands that spinal cord injuries are life-changing. This type of catastrophic and disabling personal injury can prevent a person from enjoying his daily life, including work, being with family, exercising, or just having a pain-free life. Some spinal cord injuries may also require years of physical therapy and occupational therapy. While other types of spinal cord injuries may require around-the-clock nursing care and assistance. Oftentimes victims and their families not only feel the physical and emotional harm from spinal cord injuries, but also the financial damages of high medical bills coupled with significant lost wages. That's why Nigel, our experienced motorcycle accident lawyer offers victims and their families FREE consultations after motorcycle accidents.
What are Spinal Cord Injuries?
Also known as a SCI, a spinal cord injury is any damage to the spinal cord. The spinal cord is part of the central nervous system, the other component being the brain. The role of the spinal cord is to send messages between the brain and the rest of the body. This is why the spinal cord is sometimes referred to as the “messenger superhighway” of the body.
To do send these messages and information to the brain, the spinal cord connects with the peripheral nervous system. That is the branches of nerves that go from your spine to the tips of your fingers and toes. These nerves are responsible for sensation, strength, and function. They can help a person feel pressure, temperature, pain, moisture, and other sensatory input. These smaller nerves send that information to the spinal cord, which relays that information to the brain so it can process and decide what to do next (i.e., lift your hand off a hot stove).
But when the spinal cord is damaged, its ability to send messages between the processing center (the brain) and the rest of the body (peripheral nervous system) can be greatly impacted. For really bad SCI, there may be no ability to send messages. The extent of what can and cannot be sent depends on the 1) type of spinal cord injury and 2) the location of the damage.
1) Types of Spinal Cord Injuries After a Motorcycle Accident
Generally, there are two types of spinal cord injuries. Both are very different and have different impacts on a person who was injured in a motorcycle accident. If you have either type of SCI, you should call Attorney Nigel for help.
The two types of spinal cord injuries after a motorcycle accident include the following:
Incomplete SCI or Partial SCIs
An incomplete SCI or partial SCI is an injury to the spinal cord which does not severe it. That means that the spinal cord has sustained some type of damage. This damage could be to the vertebrae around the spinal cord and result in “cord compression” or “impingement.” That means that the spinal cord is crushed or restricted, damaging nerves but allowing some messages to still be sent.
Another type of damage could be a tear or rip in the spinal cord due to an impact, such as a violent whiplash or rear-end crash. That damage could also result in serious damage to the spinal cord and rip some connections between the peripheral nervous system and the brain. Those, not all the pathways and connections could be sending messages back-and-forth.
As a result of incomplete or partial SCI, individuals may retain some sensation, function, movement, strength, or any combination of these factors. There could also be symptoms which come and go, such as numbness or pins and needles, to extreme pain and burning. Some individuals with an incomplete SCI could improve with physical therapy or occupational therapy, whereas others may not. It is extremely unlikely, however, for there to ever be a full recovery.
Complete SCI or Total SCIs
In contrast, a complete SCI or total SCI is a type of injury to the spinal cord that completely severs the spinal cord. That means there is no connection between the brain and the peripheral nervous system below the location of that damage. As a result, a person has no feeling, function, strength, or otherwise any movement in the extremities below the injury. There are very few treatments for a complete SCI, and those that exist are experimental.
2) Location of Spinal Cord Injuries After a Motorcycle Accident
The second most important component of a SCI is the location of the damage. This dictates what parts of the body are affected by the injury. Generally, the higher on the spinal column (i.e., the closer to the head) the more of the body that will be impacted by the injury.
Quadriplegia and High SCI Injuries
Neck injuries often result in a form of quadriplegia. This is a type of paralysis that impacts the entire body, including all four limbs. These are catastrophic injuries and often require around-the-clock care from family or friends, or sometimes healthcare providers.
An incomplete quadriplegic injury would be an individual who has partial function throughout his or her body due to a partial injury to the spinal cord in the neck (cervical) area of his or her body. Whereas a total quadriplegic injury would be an individual who has a complete loss of function throughout his or her entire body. Both of these types of injuries are common in motorcycle accidents.
Paraplegia and Mid or Lower SCI Injuries
Middle or lower back injuries (thoracic and lumbar regions) often result in a form of paraplegia. This is a type of paralysis that affects the lower extremities. A partial paraplegic injury would affect the function of the lower torso and legs, decreasing strength and sensitivity. Whereas a total paraplegic injury would completely severe any function in the legs and some torso functions (depending on the level of the injury).
Did You Suffer Spinal Cord Injuries After a Motorcycle Accident in Atlanta? We Can Help
If you or a loved one suffered any spinal cord injuries after a motorcycle accident in Atlanta, or any other type of catastrophic injury or the wrongful death of a loved one, call our experienced motorcycle accident lawyer at The Law Office of Nigel Phiri to schedule a FREE consultation to learn more about your rights to compensation in Georgia. Nigel helps victims and their families recovery compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and other damages caused by a negligent driver. To learn more, call 888-338-4878 or send us a message through our “contact us” box available here.
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