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Should The Spinal Cord Be Considered An Organ?


Few would contest whether the heart, brain, lungs, or similar parts of the human body are organs. Knowing their important functions, it is clear that a violent impact or other trauma could be life-changing. By definition, an organ is any tissue or collective of cells that carries out specialized functions, and the spinal cord is typically left out. However, the Resource Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries offers two takes on the subject:

  1. The spinal cord is a group of connected nerves that transmits messages from the brain to the rest of the body, but it does not directly impact other organs.
  2. The spinal cord is composed of common tissue throughout, and the cells work as a unit to support the body. Therefore, it should be classified as an organ just as skin.

If you or a loved one was hurt, resolving the debate is not nearly as pressing as the long-term consequences. It is important to discuss your legal options with an Oakland spinal cord injuries lawyer, but you can also benefit from an overview.

 Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

Though the underlying circumstances may vary, accidental injuries of any kind are usually the result of negligence. As a theory of liability, you are required to prove certain elements to prevail in a claim based upon negligence. To recover monetary damages, you must show that your spinal cord injuries occurred because someone else failed to exercise reasonable care. Examples include:

  • Car accidents caused by inattentive drivers, running red lights, or drunk driving;
  • Truck crashes, which often lead to serious, catastrophic injuries because of the size differential between vehicles;
  • Motorcycle collisions, a particular concern for spinal cord injuries because the victim suffers a secondary impact;
  • Bicycle and pedestrian accidents, many of which are the result of distracted driving; and,
  • Slips, trips, and falls due to a property owner’s failure to maintain the space. 

Monetary Damages for Spinal Cord Injuries

In general, the severity of the trauma and location of the impact dictate the long-term complications: Any injury to the lower, mid or upper spine may have severe health consequences that will forever affect someone’s quality of life. A complete spinal cord injury to the cervical vertebrae could lead to quadriplegia, paraplegia, paralysis, and loss of function from the point of the injury on down the spine.

 The losses for a victim can be tremendous, particularly when the harm causes chronic pain, functional limitations, or otherwise affects mobility and independence. It is possible to recover compensation through a personal injury claim, including:

  • Medical costs for treatment, long-term care, wheelchairs, and other assistive devices;
  • Lost wages for the time you were unable to work;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Emotional distress; and,
  • Many other losses that affect your personal relationships and quality of life. 

Set Up a No-Cost Consultation with an Oakland Spinal Cord Injuries Attorney

For more information on recovering compensation after a spinal cord injury, please contact Venardi Zurada, LLP to schedule a free case review. We can meet with you at our offices in Oakland or Walnut Creek, CA to discuss details.

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