One of the most debilitating medical events a person can experience is a spinal cord injury. People unfortunately receive this kind of injury every day. It’s important to know what to do if your spine does someday become injured. Below are some steps you should take after experiencing a spinal injury.
1. Seek Emergency Medical Treatment
Spinal injuries are extremely serious. If not treated immediately, they can lead to permanent disability and even death. If you believe you have been seriously injured in the spine, call 911 or have someone else make the call for you. You shouldn’t try to travel to the hospital on your own. Simply sitting down wrong in your car could put you at risk of greatly worsening the injury. You shouldn’t move until paramedics who are trained on how to safely transport patients with spinal cord injuries arrive.
2. What to Do Until Help Arrives
Although 911 response times tends to be quick, the ambulance will not arrive immediately. In the mean time, you should know what to do. Making the wrong decisions could worsen the injury or lead to permanent paralysis.
First, make sure the person who has been injured stays as still as possible. In specific, make an effort to not move the head or neck at all. If CPR is required, it should be provided without tilting the head. To prevent the head from moving, place towels on either side of the head and the neck. If the injured person is wearing a helmet, do not attempt to move it.
3. Seek Long Term Treatment
After emergency medical treatment has been provided, spinal injuries require long term treatment to help patients recover from their injuries. The care required cannot be provided by a doctor with a general practice. Instead, the expertise of spinal injury specialists and spinal treatment centers should be sought. A spinal injury patient is likely to consult with many different physicians including neurosurgeons, orthopedists and trauma specialists.
The specific treatment prescribed can vary depending on the nature and severity of the spinal injury in question. Treatments often provided, however, include spinal surgery, prescription drugs, the use of medical devices and long-term physical therapy. Although it is rare for a spinal injury to be completely cured of all debilitating symptoms, many patients can go on to live a long and rewarding life with proper management of the injury.
4. Impalement Your Health Insurance and Disability Coverage
Another very important step in this process should be trying to obtain compensation to pay for your medical treatment and the impact the injury will have on your daily life. Any decent health insurance policy should certainly pay out to cover treatment and other associated medical expenses. Review the details of your policy to figure out what will be covered.
Even if you don’t have health insurance, thanks to changes in the law, you can still obtain coverage even after receiving such an injury. A government disability program or private disability insurance can also be implemented if the injury prevents you from working.
5. Seek Legal Compensation
Last, you may want to consider initiating a personal injury lawsuit. Unfortunately, many injuries people suffer from are due to the negligent actions of others. The civil court system exists in part to help people who have been injured by others gain compensation.
The injury in question did not have to be caused directly by another person’s actions to result in damages for the plaintiff. One common example is a business that does not salt its sidewalks during the winter. This can lead to serious spinal injuries when a customer slips on ice. In this case, not salting the sidewalk could be deemed negligent during trial.
Steve Roberts founded the Law Office of Steve Roberts, LLC. By sticking to his principles of protecting the rights of people injured due to another, provide honest hard work, maximizing client recovery, and that clients always come first, he has developed a strong relationsip with the Colorado Community. If you have been injured, check out Colorado Roberts Law to speak to an attorney today.