On-the-job injuries can be devastating. If they’re severe enough, these injuries can permanently or temporarily knock victims out of the labor force.
That’s especially true for those who suffer spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries occur when a traumatic blow to the spine fractures, dislocates or compresses the vertebrae.
Spinal cord damage is unique because it can affect multiple parts of the body. Since a healthy spinal cord is crucial for an active nervous system, any damage to it can result in permanent changes. Those can include changes to a person’s strength, sensation and other essential motor functions.
Spine damage can limit limb movement
Spinal cord injuries can make it harder for people to control things like their arms or legs, leading to immobility. If a person’s spinal injury is “complete,” a person loses all mobility above and below their spinal cord. That means the person can no longer move their arms or legs. If a person’s spinal injury is “incomplete,” that means they’ve only lost partial mobility. Incomplete injuries can vary, as not every victim loses mobility in all the same parts of their body.
How can a spinal cord injury impact my ability to do my job?
Those with physically demanding jobs may not be able to return to work if they have serious spinal cord damage. Even if they can recover, they may still deal with the following:
- Issues with walking: If someone only can only partially move their feet, they may not be able to walk around. This can be problematic for those working in construction or manufacturing where walking to and from locations to complete tasks is a critical function of the job.
- Issues with breathing: In some cases, a spinal cord injury can weaken the diaphragm, making it harder for the person to maintain regular breathing. Shortness of breath can be difficult when performing physically demanding labor, as the injury victim may need to take more breaks just to complete the bare minimum.
- Issues with feeling: Especially in a job like construction, workers must be able to grab tools and other materials with their hands. If a worker lacks sensation or mobility with their hands, they may have trouble knowing what part of the tool they’re grabbing or touch something that might damage their hands even more.
Spinal injury victims deserve compensation
Attorneys who specialize in workers’ compensation can work to get injury victims the compensation they deserve. Not only can these funds cover medical expenses, but they can also put injured workers through training to put them in new jobs.