Locations of Spinal Cord Injuries and Disability: Oregon Trucking Accident Lawyers

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Learn the Locations of Spinal Cord Injuries and Disability it Causes from our Oregon Trucking Accident Lawyers

Spinal cord injuries, or SCI, are an injury that could occur in any auto accident.  But this is particularly true in a trucking accident with a large commercial vehicle such as a semi tractor trailer, big rig, box truck, or other 18 wheeler. 

This is because these large vehicles have significantly more momentum and force behind them.  When they collide with another vehicle, the collision can be explosive.  While the spinal cord is usually well-protected by the spinal column’s vertebrae, thick muscle, and cushioning connective tissue, the shockwave from a truck collision could cause damage right these shields.  Our Oregon trucking accident lawyers know this to be true and explain some of the locations of spinal cord injuries and disability that could be caused by the damage.

Basic Spinal Cord Anatomy

The spinal cord is a soft piece of tissue that originates at the base of the skull and extends to the lower back  The brain and spinal cord are part of the central nervous system.  The spinal cord is protected by the vertebrae which make up the spinal column.  Other nerves extend past the spinal cord from the vertebrae and extent to the tips of your fingers and toes.  These nerves govern sensation, movement, and other functions.  These nerves are known as the peripheral nervous system.  The messages from the peripheral nervous system are sent up the spinal cord and to the brain for processing, which is then relayed back down the spinal cord and to the nerves again.

This is how pain works.  For example, if you touch a hot surface with your hand the peripheral nerves will sent the message up the spinal cord and to the brain and say this is hot and painful.  The brain will process the information which says that is bad for the body and whatever is touching the hot surface should get away from that dangerous stimuli.  The brain then sends a message back down the spinal cord to tell your hand to part to move off the hot surface.  The messages travels to the motor nerves of the peripheral nervous system in your hand to tell your hand to move off the hot surface.  

When there is damage to the spinal cord it could result in disability.  Locations of spinal cord injuries and disability all dictate what will and will not be sent up and down the spinal cord for processing.

Damage to the Spinal Cord Prevents Messages

When an Oregon trucking accident causes damage to the spinal cord, it can stop messages from being sent up and down the spinal cord.  This means that the messages from the brain are not being received by the peripheral nervous system to move.  This also means that messages from the peripheral nervous system regarding sensation are not being sent to the brain to process.  

Locations of Spinal Cord Injuries and Disability

The location of the spinal cord injury affects what happens with sensation.  The location is therefore very important when gauging the severity of the spinal cord injury and the disability from an Oregon trucking accident.  Here is a general guide to locations of spinal cord injuries and disability caused by it:

Cervical spinal cord injury (neck) – Injuries here could

affect nearly the entire body.  The closer to the skull, the more likely that a person may be a quadriplegic from a cervical spinal cord injury.  Lower on the neck in the cervical range could result in some function of the arms and upper torso.

Thoracic spinal cord injury (mid-back) – This is a rare spot for a spinal cord injury but it can happen in powerful trucking accidents and 18 wheeler wrecks.  SCIs here cause paralysis or weakness in the legs, including loss of sensation or coordination.  Sometimes injuries can cause bowel, bladder, and sexual dysfunction.  Complications with the legs are much more common than complications with the hands, but that is possible in higher thoracic injuries.

Lumbar spinal cord injuries (lower back) – SCI in the lumbar back can cause weakness and disability to the legs.  Unless it is very high on the lumbar area, there is usually going to be some movement or sensation in the legs—even with a full severance of the spinal cord.  Most lumbar SCIs cause general muscle lack of sensation or function, including the leg muscles, buttocks, and foot.  Sometimes there is sexual dysfunction as well and incontinence issues.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of a trucking accident or collision contact the Oregon Truck Accident Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.  

Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.  

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Trucking accident cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.  

Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.

Spinal Cord Injuries from Oregon Trucking Accident

Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries from Oregon Trucking Accident Cases

The brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system.  This is the major information processing and messenger system of your body.  Messages are sent and received then processed by the central nervous system from the peripheral nervous system, which is the nerves that extend from the spinal cord and travel to the tips of your fingers and toes.  The spinal cord is the messenger superhighway between the brain and the peripheral nervous system.  If there is any injury to the spinal cord, it could result in a disruption of signal between the brain and the rest of the body.  Spinal cord injuries from an Oregon trucking accident are a common way in which signals may be disrupted.

This is because large commercial vehicles like logging trucks, delivery vans, semi tractor trailers, 18 wheelers, and other big rigs are heavy and powerful.  Any type of big rig collision, especially a box truck collision on a fast-moving highway or interstate like I-5, I-82, and I-84, could result in catastrophic injuries or wrongful death.  This includes spinal cord injuries.  Victims with spinal cord injuries could face horrible pain and suffering, lost wages, lost future earnings, high medical bills, and other damages.  The extent of disability generally depends on the type of spinal cord injuries sustained.

Two Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

There are two general types of spinal cord injuries.  This includes a partial or incomplete spinal cord injury and a total or complete spinal cord injury.  A partial spinal cord injury is where there is some level of functioning and sensation below the location of the injury.  A complete spinal cord injury is when there is a significant injury which results in a complete and total loss of function and sensation.

An example would be that an Oregon trucking accident victim with an incomplete spinal cord injury may be able to partially move his or her arm and has some sensation.  Whereas a big rig wreck victim with a total spinal cord injury may have no sensation or ability to move at all.

Grades of Spinal Cord Injuries

In addition to the two general types, there is a grading scale for spinal cord injuries.  This scale was created by the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) and is very important.  The grading scale includes the following classifications:

  • ASIA A: Complete spinal cord injury with no sensation or motor function;
  • ASIA B: Incomplete spinal cord injury with some sensation and complete loss of motor function;
  • ASIA C: Incomplete spinal cord injury with some movement but less than 50% of the muscle groups have full range of motion and strength to lift upwards;
  • ASIA D: Incomplete spinal cord injury with more than 50% of the muscle groups have full range of motion and strength to lift upwards; 
  • ASIA E: Normal.

Victims with Any Spinal Cord Injuries After an Oregon Trucking Accident Need to Seek Legal Help

All spinal cord injuries are serious types of personal injuries.  It does not matter if there has been a very minor spinal cord injury or a catastrophic spinal cord injury, any innocent victim of a trucking accident needs to be protected.  This is because Oregon law allows victims harmed by the negligent conduct of a motorist to obtain compensation for personal injuries. 

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of a trucking accident or collision contact the Oregon Truck Accident Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.  

Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.  

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Trucking accident cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.  

Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.

Common Spinal Cord Injury Complications caused by Oregon Trucking Accidents

Oregon Trucking Accidents Causing Spinal Cord Injury Complications: Learn About What You May be Entitled to From our Oregon Trucking Accident Lawyers

One of the most debilitating types of personal injuries from an Oregon auto accident is a spinal cord injury, or SCI.  Although the spinal cord itself is soft and vulnerable to injury, it is protected by very strong and hard vertebrae bone.  While it is difficult to damage, the spinal column is not impenetrable.  This is particularly true in Oregon trucking accidents with large 18 wheeler, logging trucks, tractor trailers, and other big box trucks.  These commercial vehicles are heavier and strong which means the generate more force in an impact.  This makes big rig crashes more likely to cause spinal cord injury complications than other motor vehicles.  Learn more about the most common spinal cord injury complications and how you may be entitled to compensation from our Oregon trucking accident lawyers.

Liability for Spinal Cord Injuries

The first step to recovering compensation for your personal injuries after an Oregon trucking accident is to establish liability.  This means proving who is at fault for the crash.  Under Oregon law, all motorists must use reasonable care in the use and operation of their motor vehicle.  All motorists must also follow Oregon vehicle and traffic law.  This especially includes truck drivers who must also comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations.  A motorist who fails to drive reasonably, follow all Oregon vehicle and traffic laws, and comply with the FMCSA regulations (if a truck driver), could be at fault for a motor vehicle crash.  

Common Spinal Cord Injury Complications

Once liability is established, a victim of an Oregon trucking accident needs to prove his or her damages.  Damages are the injuries caused by a motor vehicle accident like an 18 wheeler wreck.  Complications from a spinal cord injury are very common types of damages.  Some of the most common spinal cord injury complications that a victim may be entitled to include the following:

  • Loss of sensation in affected extremities;
  • Inability to move, walk, or control the affected limb(s);
  • Loss of bladder control;
  • Loss of bowel control;
  • Difficultly with circulatory control and difficulty controlling blood pressure;
  • Disfunction of respiratory system;
  • Muscle control issues, including problems with maintain muscle mass due to inability to move or control the body;
  • Pain, including phantom pain that is not there due to the loss of a limb or complete spinal cord injury;
  • Reproduction problems due to spinal cord injuries;
  • Depression, anxiety, and other emotional or cognitive injuries;
  • Hypersensitivity in area of body after injury; and
  • Many other common spinal cord injury complications.

Ask our Oregon Trucking Accident Lawyers for Help with Your Spinal Cord Injuries

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of a trucking accident or collision contact the Oregon Truck Accident Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.  

Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.  

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Trucking accident cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.  

Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law. 

Costs of Spinal Cord Injuries from Oregon Trucking Accidents

Oregon Trucking Accident Lawyers Share Important Information on the Costs of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are one of the most debilitating types of personal injuries that a person could sustain from an Oregon trucking accident.  Even though the spinal cord is well-protected in hardened bone and wrapped with multiple layers of tissue, the powerful impacts of 18 wheeler collisions can damage or completely severe the spinal cord.  These debilitating personal injuries can result in permanent disability affecting a person’s daily life, including work obligations, personal time, and even basic hygiene.  Learn some of the shocking statistics and figures about spinal cord injuries from our Oregon trucking accident lawyers, including some of the crushing costs associated with spinal cord injuries.

Prevalence of Spinal Cord Injuries and Common Causes

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCSC), it is estimated that there are up to 347,000 Americans living with some form or type of spinal cord injury, or SCI.  The most common cause of SCIs are motor vehicle crashes, with 38% of all SCIs being caused to an auto accident.  Large commercial trucking accidents are included with that percentage and undoubtedly make up a large percentage.  According to these NSCSC statistics, the most common type of SCI is incomplete tetraplegia, which is also known as quadriplegia.

Types of SCIs

There are several classifications of spinal cord injuries. It is broken down into two groups.  The first group is an incomplete form which is when the spinal cord has some partial damage, but not complete damage.  This means that some signals may be transferred between the brain and the extremity(ies) below the injury SCI location.  The second group is a complete form of SCI which is when the spinal cord is completely severed and messages not transferred between the brain and the extremity(ies) below the SCI location.

The main types of SCIs include the following:

  • Incomplete tetraplegia (quadriplegia of all extremities);
  • Complete tetraplegia (quadriplegia of all extremities);
  • Incomplete paraplegia (lower extremities);
  • Complete paraplegia (lower extremities); 
  • Monoplegia (one limb only); and
  • Other less common forms.

Types of SCIs are also classified based on the location, specifically with tetraplegia or quadriplegia.  The difference is high tetraplegia, which affects almost the entire body, or low tetraplegia, which effects the four extremities but the top two extremities less.

Costs of SCI After an Oregon Trucking Accident

Besides the initial medical bills and lost wages, there are many other expensive medical bills that are caused by SCI from an Oregon trucking accident.  According to NSCSC statistics, here are the lifetime costs of the four most common types of SCIs:

  • High tetraplegia – just over $1 million the first year, and about $185,000 each year thereafter;
  • Low tetraplegia – over $770,000 the first year, and about $114,000 each year thereafter;
  • Paraplegia – almost $520,000 the first year, and almost $70,000 each year thereafter; and
  • Other motor function injuries – almost $348,000 the first year and just over $42,000 each year thereafter.

Suffered a SCI After an Oregon Trucking Accident?  We Can Help You

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of a trucking accident or collision contact the Oregon Truck Accident Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.  

Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, and Hillsboro.  

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Trucking accident cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.  

Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.