Spinal Cord Injury/Paralysis
The experienced personal injury attorneys of Roberts & Roberts have spent more than 40 years representing victims suffering from paralysis after serious spinal cord injuries in Texas and across the United States. While keeping tight ties to the East Texas community, Roberts & Roberts has developed a national reputation for handling of catastrophic injury matters.
If someone else’s carelessness was to blame for your serious spinal cord injury and resulting quadriplegia or paraplegia, you need Roberts & Roberts on your side.
Contact us now at 903-597-6000 or fill out our online form. The call costs you nothing … and it could mean everything.
We serve clients in Waco, Beaumont, Longview, Lufkin, Texarkana and Tyler, as well as throughout East Texas and across the state.
Lawyers from the firm have appeared on many TV programs, including Fox and Friends, ABC Good Morning America, CNN, MSNBC, Fox Business News, CNBC, and NBC’s Dateline. Our Texas accident lawyers have also been featured in national magazines, including Time and Newsweek.
Several attorneys at Roberts & Roberts are board certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in personal injury law or civil trial law. That means you could have a legal specialist at your side for help with your spinal cord injury.
Learn more about What We Do For You.
About Texas Spinal Cord Injury, Quadriplegia, Paraplegia and Paralysis Lawsuits
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs from the brain down through the backbone or spine. The spinal cord controls motor and sensory functions and is responsible for transmitting nerve impulses to and from the brain. If the spinal cord is damaged, these vital signals can be interrupted, causing temporary or permanent paralysis below the level of the injury.
About 12,000 new cases of spinal cord injuries occur in the United States each year, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. Spinal cord injuries are classified according to their severity and what parts of the body are affected. Victims of spinal cord injuries may have varying degrees of impairment, depending on where the injury occurred.
Doctors evaluate spinal cord injuries by examining two factors. First, they assess whether the patient has lost total function of the affected area. Paralysis may be temporary or permanent. Getting a full understanding of the degree of impairment following a spinal cord injury can take several days because it takes time for swelling to subside.
Spinal cord injuries are thus classified as:
- Incomplete: With an incomplete spinal cord injury, the person maintains some level of sensory or motor function below the level of the injury.
- Complete: People with complete spinal cord injuries are unable to send or receive any nerve impulses below the level of the injury and often have the worst prognosis for recovery.
Next, physicians examine what specific areas of the body are paralyzed as a result of the spinal cord injury. The two main types of serious paralysis injuries are:
- Quadriplegia: This condition is caused by damage to the cervical spinal cord segments at levels C1-C7. Damage to the spinal cord is usually secondary to an injury to the spinal vertebrae in the cervical section of the spinal column. The injury to the structure of the spinal cord is known as a lesion and may result in the loss of partial or total function in all four limbs, meaning the arms and the legs. The term quadriplegia is increasingly being referred to as tetraplegia by the medical community.
Typical causes of quadriplegia from damage to the spinal cord are trauma (such as a car crash, fall or sports injury), disease (such as transverse myelitis or polio) or congenital disorders (such as muscular dystrophy). It is possible to injure the spinal cord without fracturing the spine, such as when a ruptured disc or bone spur on the vertebra protrudes into the spinal column.
- Paraplegia: This type of spinal cord injury results in impairment of motor or sensory function of the lower half of a person’s body. The condition occurs due to damage to the cellular structure of the spinal cord within the spinal canal. The area of the spinal cord that is affected in paraplegia is either the thoracic, lumbar or sacral regions of the spinal column. If the arms are also affected by paralysis, quadriplegia / tetraplegia is the correct terminology.
Complications of Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis
Spinal cord injuries and paralysis can also cause other physical complications, many of which can be fatal or, at the minimum, life-changing. Some of these secondary complications include:
- Shortened lifespan;
- Autonomic dysreflexia;
- Blood clots;
- Respiratory problems;
- Bowel and bladder dysfunction;
- Sexual dysfunction;
- Irregular heartbeat and low blood pressure;
- Inability to regulate body temperature;
- Pressure sores;
- Chronic pain;
- Weakened immune system;
- Nerve damage; and
- Other life-threatening conditions.