Dallas Spine & Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers, Texas
Representing paralysis and spinal injury clients in Dallas and throughout TX
Spinal cord injuries change lives in an instant. Accident victims with a spinal cord injury may never walk again. Many live with constant pain for the rest of their lives. Most spinal cord injury victims need surgeries to stabilize their condition and a lifetime of physical therapy.
At Slack Davis Sanger, our Dallas spinal cord injury attorneys understand just how devastating spinal cord injuries are. We work with your neurosurgeons, orthopedists, pain management doctors, and other physicians and healthcare providers to properly diagnose your condition and establish what treatments you will need – and just how much your life will be altered by the accident that caused your spinal cord damage. We fight to hold drivers, construction site owners, oilfield owners, and any person or company accountable for their negligence. Contact us today to learn more.
What is a spinal cord injury?
A spinal cord injury (SCI), per the Shepherd Center, is defined as “damage to the spinal cord that results in a loss of function, such as mobility and/or feeling.” The cord does not need to be severed in order for a person to sustain permanent damage.
According to Johns Hopkins University, a patient’s symptoms can vary widely. The specific location of the injury determines the affected body parts and the severity of the symptoms. After the accident, a patient’s spine may be in shock. The shock can cause loss of feeling, decreased muscle movement, and decreased reflexes. Other symptoms usually appear as the swelling goes down.
The worst injuries occur higher up in the body. Injuries to the neck, first, and second vertebrae (C1, C2) or the mid-cervical vertebrae (C3-C5) affect the victim’s ability to breathe. Injuries to the lumbar vertebrae “may affect nerve and muscle control to the bladder, bowel, and legs, and sexual function.”
What is a spinal injury?
A spinal injury is damage to the spine, or backbone, that can affect the vertebrae, cartilage, ligaments, disks, and spinal cord. Not all spinal injuries result in SCI, but all SCI are spinal injuries.
What is paralysis?
The Cleveland Clinic defines paralysis as “loss of strength in and control over a muscle or group of muscles in a part of the body.” This loss is usually caused by nerve damage, not muscle damage, as is the case with SCI.
Spinal cord-related paralysis is usually categorized as complete and incomplete. Complete paralysis means you have no muscle control at all below the injury point. Incomplete paralysis means you have some control of your muscles below the point of injury.
Tetraplegia/Quadriplegia is paralysis of the arms and legs. Paraplegia is paralysis of the legs and lower body.
What are the causes of spinal cord injuries?
According to NSCISC, the most common cause of a spinal cord injury is a vehicle crash (more than 38%). The second leading cause of an SCI is a fall (more than 32%). Other causes of SCIs include acts of violence and sports and recreation activities. Birth trauma can also cause damage to the spinal cord.
What complications are associated with SCI?
SCI does more than rob a person’s ability to walk or move; it also increases the risk of injury or death because of the serious complications it can have. Since 2015, the NSCISC reports, about 30% of SCI victims need to be readmitted to a hospital. The average length of stay for patients who reenter is 18 days. The leading reasons spinal cord injury victims need to be readmitted to a hospital include diseases of the genitourinary system, respiratory system, digestive system, circulatory system, and the musculoskeletal system.
SCI can lead to chronic issues with blood pressure. Autonomic dysreflexia, “a syndrome in which there is a sudden onset of excessively high blood pressure,” can be triggered by infection, but the most common causes are urinary retention and catheter blockage (85%) followed by bowel distension from fecal impaction.
SCI victims can also face infection risks from debris or waste in breathing and feeding tubes, pressure ulcers, and more. Because spinal cord injuries result in nerve damage, the one signal that we all rely on to tell us something is wrong – pain – is the one signal victims cannot receive. Without constant vigilance and monitoring, spinal cord injury victims can suffer severe health complications resulting from their injuries, and those complications may prove fatal.
What diagnostic tests are used to diagnose an SCI?
Anyone with suspected spinal cord injury will usually be transported, with extreme caution, to a local emergency room. The ER doctor will conduct a physical exam and take an oral history. He/she will then order certain diagnostic tests, depending on whether immediate surgery is needed to stabilize the spinal cord. SCI diagnostic tests include X-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs. Blood tests may also be ordered.
What are the treatments for a Dallas spinal cord injury victim?
Spinal cord injury victims need immediate and ongoing medical help. Unfortunately, there is no current way to repair a damaged spinal cord. Surgery may be necessary to stabilize the spinal cord, address any additional injuries, and give the patient the best chance at survival.
Victims may need to be placed in an intensive care unit. Corticosteroids may be used to reduce the swelling. Breathing machines may be necessary. Some patients need a bladder catheter to help remove the urine into a collection bag. A feeding tube may be necessary to provide nutrition.
The rehabilitation process, during and after hospitalization, is usually quite long, and some patients may receive physical and occupational therapy for the rest of their lives.
In addition to therapy, many Dallas spinal cord injury victims need to treat with psychologists and other mental health professionals. Being paralyzed and/or living with constant pain is life-altering. Victims need to understand how to respond emotionally so they can focus on making their lives work.
The silver lining is that Dallas is home to the Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation (former BIR), where researchers are working on various approaches “to stimulate spinal cord regeneration.” There are new technologies emerging every day, both at BSW and at clinics throughout the country, designed to help injury clients regain mobility and strength.
How can the Dallas spinal cord injury lawyers of Slack Davis Sanger help?
At Slack Davis Sanger, our Dallas spinal cord injury lawyers have earned the respect of our clients and the Dallas legal community – so much so that many clients and lawyers refer spinal cord injury and catastrophic injury cases to us. We have a strong track record of success negotiating high value settlements and obtaining strong verdicts for spinal cord injury victims. These settlements and verdicts include compensation for all your medical expenses (past and future), your lost income, your inability to earn a living due to your disability, your pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and all the other damages Texas law permits.
Our team is led by partners who are Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We have the resources, grit, and compassion you want on your side when you need help.
Speak with a Dallas spinal cord injury attorney today
If you or someone you love has suffered an SCI due to a vehicle crash, a worksite fall, or for some other reason, you can rest assured that our legal team has the experience, reputation, and skills to help you obtain the damage award you deserve. We have helped numerous personal injury victims in and around Dallas obtain strong recoveries. To assert your rights, please call Slack Davis Sanger in Dallas at 800-455-8686 or complete our contact form to make an appointment.
3500 Maple Avenue
Dallas, TX 75219
Main Dallas Practice Areas