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5 Things to Know About Spinal Cord Injuries in Athletes

It could be a basketball player falling after a slam dunk, a cross-check in ice hockey, or a cheerleader falling through the grip of her spotters.

Athletes face the serious risk of sustaining a life-altering spinal cord injury. Awareness, liability, and a course of action after an injury are crucial to the safety and care of the athletes when a tragedy like this occurs.

Raise Awareness

It is important to raise awareness of a dangerous risk to athletes: cervical spinal cord injuries. Cervical spinal cord injuries can occur in many different sports, and can result in temporary or permanent neurological damage, such as partial or complete paralysis. The cervical region of the spinal cord is in the upper back where the brain meets the body. A hard fall or any other number of impacts can cause damage that may not be detectable by the untrained eye. This damage can range from mild to even deadly.

Spinal cord injuries are usually classified by how the injury occurs. These classifications are:

  • Stingers: Temporary injuries caused when head or neck jerk to one side, causing the shoulder to be pulled in the opposite direction
  • Sprains and strains: Whiplashlike, temporary muscle injuries stemming from a jammed neck.
  • Ruptured or herniated disk: A tear in disks between vertebrae that can compress nerves and cause pain, numbness tingling and weakness
  • Fractured vertebrae: A break in one of the cervical bones int he neck, which can cause damage to the spinal cord and cause loss of sensation, paralysis, or death
Source: American Association of Neurological Surgeons, National Athletic Trainers’ Association


You Have Legal Rights

If you have suffered a spinal cord injury as an athlete, you have legal rights and options. It is very important that you contact an attorney. At Baggett Law, we are very familiar with spinal cord injuries and where the courts have established liability in such cases.

Many issues can arise after an SCI during the immediate care, transport, diagnosis, and treatment. These injuries are usually categorized as catastrophic injuries and can potentially lead to product liability or personal injury cases. You might be able to get financial assistance to help pay for your medical bills. Additionally, spinal cord injury victims can often be awarded damages that exceed the costs of medical expenses and pain and suffering.

Let Baggett Law Help

Many areas of potential liability in the context of organized athletics have been recognized by the court system. We will determine what led to the injury and how it could have been prevented. For example, your injury may have happened when the coach or trainer negligently allowed you to return to the game after sustaining the spinal cord injury. Or, perhaps the coach or trainer acted in a way that increased the inherent risks associated with playing your particular sport. Whatever the case, you will be best served with Baggett Law on your side.

Thousands of spinal cord injuries occur and change the lives of athletes every year. Be aware that you have rights and options and seek legal counsel after an SCI. Contact Baggett Law to find out more.

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