Spinal Cord Injuries: The Basics

Approximately 250,000 Americans are currently living with a spinal cord injury, and another 11,000 suffer new spinal cord injuries each year as a result of car accidents, falls, medical errors and other mishaps. Whatever the cause, a spinal cord injury can have severe and lifelong consequences.

What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?

When the spinal cord is injured, it can lose its ability to convey information between the brain and the parts of the body that are below the injury, leading to numbness and paralysis in the affected body parts.

Depending on the extent of the damage, a spinal cord injury is classified as either “complete” or “incomplete.” When no sensation or motor function remains below the point of injury, the injury is complete. In contrast, when the injured person retains some amount of sensation or motor function in the affected areas, the injury is incomplete.

Act Quickly to Preserve Evidence

Although gathering evidence for a potential lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind after a serious accident, a failure to act quickly to preserve evidence after an injury can lead to evidence being lost or destroyed.

Taking photographs or video of the accident scene while it is still fresh is a simple and effective way to preserve information about the accident. Photographing or filming the scene from a variety of angles and viewpoints helps to record details about the accident itself as well as the broader context in which the accident took place.

Also, make sure to write down the names and contact information of anyone who was involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses, so that you can get in touch with them later if you need to. If you decide to seek compensation for your injuries, people who saw what happened may be able to help you prove your case.

It is wise to begin preserving evidence right after an accident, even if you are not certain that you want to take legal action. Also make sure to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to learn about your legal options and avoid missing any important deadlines.

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