While a heart attack has been known to end the life of more than one person, a spinal cord injury can deprive a life of its anticipated quality. Each such injury damages the bundle of nerves that is normally protected by the backbone. Damage to those nerves can affect various body systems, such as the respiratory system, the reproductive system, the excretory system and the glands that control the body’s metabolism.

The 2 different conditions that can result from a spinal cord injury

• Paraplegia: Loss of movement in the lower body parts
• Quadriplegia: Loss of movement in all 4 limbs

Situations that put the nerves in the backbone at greatest risk

• A highway accident, whether it involves 4-wheeled, 2-wheeled or 3-wheeled vehicles
• A fall the ends when the victim lands on his or her back.
• A bullet passes through the backbone and hits the spinal cord.

The participant in a sports activity assumes an established level of risk; an accident happens, and the same person must face the consequences of that assumed risk. During a surgical procedure, surgeons focus on the patient’s back; some mistake causes damage to the bundle of nerves in the patient’s backbone.

After spinal tap, a non-surgical procedure, a patient does not follow the stated instructions, or a member of the medical staff fails to provide the patient with adequate instructions. In an obese patient, there is an increased risk that the doctor could fail to find the correct location of the scheduled tap.

If the victim of a spinal cord injury elects to initiate a lawsuit, the focus of that lawsuit will depend on the nature of the situation that caused the life-changing problem. As indicated above, both the doctor and the patient could share some of the responsibility for damage to the cord during a spinal tap. At the time of a surgical procedure, the surgeon would become the one responsible for any similar damage.

The focus of other lawsuits made by victims of paraplegia or quadriplegia

If either of those conditions had resulted from an accident or a fall, the victim would need to prove that some person had been careless and neglectful, and that their negligence triggered the injury-causing accident or falling incident.

If either of those conditions were caused by a defective product, the victim would need to prove either that the manufacturer and seller had failed to offer any warning, or that the defective product caused a given injury to become much worse. If either of those problems had resulted from a sporting mishap, the victim or the victim’s Injury Lawyer in Mississauga would have to prove that the setting and conditions had increased the level of the known risk.