Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Spinal cord injuries can have a devastating effect on the lives of victims and their families. When someone suffers a spinal cord injury, they may be permanently paralyzed, depending on the extent and location of the damage.
Not only is this an emotionally traumatic experience, with substantial pain and suffering, but it can also be financially devastating, with continual medical bills and possible loss of income. Victims of spinal cord injuries often require lifelong care and may be unable to return to work.
Injury Lawyer Team, Your Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, it is essential to seek the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. At Injury Lawyer Team, our knowledgeable personal injury lawyers sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices are dedicated to fighting for the rights of spinal column injury victims.
We have successfully represented many clients in spinal column trauma cases, and we can help you too. Whether your injury was caused by medical malpractice, a defective product, or a car accident, we will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve in your spinal cord injury case.
Contact our spinal cord injury attorneys today for a free consultation.
What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?
A spinal cord injury (SCI) is a back injury and an impairment of the nerve and cell network that transmits and receives signals between the brain and the rest of the body. SCI can result from damage to the spinal columns’ tissue and bones (vertebrae) that surround it.
Pain, numbness, tingling, and other symptoms can all be symptoms of nerve injury. Nerve damage at the site of an impact can lead to varying degrees of nerve damage throughout the body.
Minor or non-fatal trauma is severe injuries that might allow for a nearly complete recovery. In contrast, more severe and cell-damaging ones may lead to paralysis in most of the body. The most frequent causes of spinal cord injury (SCI) in the United States are vehicle accidents and high falls.
Traumatic Brain Injury With Spinal Cord Damage
The severity of traumatic brain impairments can significantly impact the outcome. Traumatic brain impairments are considered mild if there is little or no cell death. However, those that occur deeper in the spinal column are more severe injuries and can result in paralysis throughout the body.
Spinal Cord Damage Statistics in The United States
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), there are approximately 12,000 new cases of spinal cord trauma each year in the United States. That’s more than 30 per day.
The Center reports that the demographic with the highest incidence of spinal column trauma is males between the ages of 16 and 30.
Several leading factors contribute to why males are more likely to have a spinal column injury. Some of these factors include:
- Participating in high-risk activities, such as sports or daredevil stunts
- Reckless driving vehicle accidents
- Accidents involving malfunctioning products
Diving can also lead to spinal column damage. Some factors that can increase the risk of a spinal column injury while diving includes: diving into shallow water, not following safety guidelines, and having a pre-existing health condition that increases the risk of a diving injury.
Accidents That Can Cause a Spinal Cord Injury
Vehicle accidents can cause spinal cord injuries, slip and falls, sports traumas, and workplace accidents.
According to the Mayo Clinic, vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of spinal column trauma.
A spinal cord injury can occur when the head, neck, or spine is subjected to sudden force or violence, such as in a car accident. The force throws you forward, and your head and neck hit the dashboard or seat in front of you. It can also occur if you are ejected from the car.
A Slip and Fall Accident
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that men are more likely than women to suffer a spinal cord injury and that the highest incidence is among people aged 16-30. But anyone can be affected by a spinal column injury, regardless of age or sex.
There are two main types of spinal column trauma: complete and incomplete. A complete injury means that there is no sensation or movement below the level of the damage. An incomplete injury means some feeling or movement below the damage.
Most spinal cord injuries are caused by a sudden, traumatic blow to the spine that fractures or dislocates vertebrae, ruptures disks, or severs the spinal column or nerves.
Sports trauma can damage the spinal column by causing the individual to fall and hit their head or by the sudden movement of the spine, which can tear the ligaments that hold the vertebrae in place. The activities that are most likely to cause a spinal cord injury include:
- Horseback riding
- Motorcycle racing
Gunshots can also damage the spinal cord, often with tragic consequences. The victim may be shot from behind, causing the bullet to enter the spinal column and cause instant paralysis. Alternatively, the victim may be shot in the head or neck and suffer from a severed spinal column.
The victims of gunshot spinal cord injuries in the United States are most likely:
- Young men
- Aged between 15 and 24 years old
- African American
Medical Malpractice or Surgical Mistakes
Medical malpractice and surgical mistakes can damage the spinal cord in various ways. The surgeon could accidentally nick or cut the spinal column during surgery causing permanent damage to the injured area.
The medical team may not appropriately monitor the patient after surgery, leading to a blood clot or swelling around the spinal column, causing permanent damage. The anesthesiologist may use too much or too little anesthesia during surgery, damaging the spinal column.
The medical staff may not correctly position the patient during surgery, causing pressure on the spinal column and leading to permanent damage.
Other medical malpractice issues that could lead to a spinal column injury include:
- Failure to diagnose a condition accurately
- Delay in diagnosis or treatment
- Failure to provide proper treatment
- Surgical errors
Defective products are harmful because they can cause significant harm and lead to spinal column trauma. Often, these products are not adequately tested before they hit the market, leading to severe damage for consumers.
In addition, some companies may try to hide defects in their products or may not be transparent about potential risks. The hazards can leave consumers vulnerable to severe harm if they use a defective product.
Malfunctioning products that cause significant hazards to consumers could include:
- Seat belts
- Tires and brakes
- Sports equipment like trampolines, bouncy houses, and football helmets
- Children’s products like high chairs, baby walkers, and cribs
Contact a spinal cord injury lawyer from our Injury Lawyer Team for a free consultation and free case evaluation. Our legal counsel can assist you with a spinal cord injury lawsuit and gain compensation for:
- Current medical expenses
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Physical and emotional therapy
- Other medical care
How A Spinal Cord Injury Impacts Your Body
A spinal cord injury can be devastating to the body – spinal cord injury results in paralysis, loss of sensation, and many other problems. Victims may be unable to walk, use their limbs, or even breathe without assistance.
In some cases, victims may use a wheelchair for the rest of their lives, creating a significant impact on their quality of life, as well as on their loved ones. A spinal column injury can impact different parts of the body in different ways, including:
- The brain: A spinal column injury can cause damage to the brain, which can lead to a wide range of problems, including paralysis, loss of sensation, and respiratory problems.
- The limbs: Victims may lose the ability to use their limbs or experience numbness or tingling in their extremities.
- The bladder and bowels: Harm to the spinal column can often lead to problems controlling urination and bowel movements.
- The chest: Spinal column harm can affect the lungs and make breathing difficult.
Each victim’s experience with spinal column trauma is unique, and the effects can be wide-ranging and devastating. If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, it is crucial to seek medical help immediately. There may be treatments available that can improve your quality of life.
Types Of Spinal Cord Injuries
There are three types of spinal column traumas: complete, incomplete, and Brown-Sequard.
Complete Spinal Cord Injury
A complete spinal cord injury is the most severe among the three types of SCIs, as it results in the total loss of function at and below the level of the damage, resulting in no movement or feeling from the waist down.
Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries
An incomplete spinal column injury is less severe as it results in some functions remaining below the level of the injury. Incomplete injuries allow the spinal column to transmit limited messages to the brain and the body.
Incomplete SCIs vary significantly between the severity and extent of the damage. The location of the incomplete injury will dramatically impact the limiting capacity of movement and function.
Incomplete spinal column trauma will likely have significant complications, including:
- Anterior cord syndrome is a condition that results when the front part of the spinal column is injured. This syndrome can cause loss of movement in the arms and legs and problems with bladder, bowel, and sexual function.
- Central cord syndrome is a condition that results when the central part of the spinal column is injured. This syndrome can cause loss of movement in the arms and legs and problems with bladder, bowel, and sexual function.
- Posterior cord syndrome is a condition that results when the back part of the spinal column is injured. This syndrome can cause loss of movement in the arms and legs and problems with bladder, bowel, and sexual function.
A Brown-Sequard injury is a rare type of spinal cord injury that results in damage to one side of the spinal column.
Brown-Sequard injuries are rare types of spinal column harm that result in damage to one side of the spinal column, causing problems with movement and feeling on the opposite side of the body. Many patients with rare trauma can recover some functions.
Diagnosing Damage to The Spinal Cord
It can be challenging to diagnose a spinal injury, as many symptoms are similar to other conditions. However, doctors can often accurately diagnose a spinal column injury through a physical examination and a pattern of symptoms. Some of the most common signs of spinal injury damage include:
- Loss of movement or function in the arms or legs
- Reduced sensation or feeling in the extremities
- Inability to feel pain in the legs or arms
- Muscle weakness or paralysis
- Tingling or prickling sensations
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Usually, the diagnostician will perform a comprehensive physical examination to identify the characteristic patterns of common symptoms associated with SCI. The analysis will include an assessment of the spinal column’s anatomy, including:
- Neck (cervical)
- Chest (thoracic)
- Lower back (lumbar)
- Pelvis (sacral)
- Tailbone (coccygeal)
The extent of paralysis from the SCI will depend on what section of the spinal column injury occurred. For example, paraplegia is the legs’ loss of function when damage to the spinal column’s sacral, lumbar, or thoracic section.
Quadriplegia or tetraplegia involves a loss of function in every limb when significant (complete) damage to the spine’s cervical section.
The Diagnosing Assessment
The diagnosing doctor will begin an assessment to determine what caused the injury, which might include:
- Traumatic spinal cord injury: This is the most common type of spinal cord injury, and it is caused by a sudden, violent event such as a car accident or fall.
- Non-traumatic spinal column injury: This type of injury can be caused by several things, such as infection, cancer, or stroke.
- Idiopathic spinal cord injury: This rare spinal column injury has no known cause.
The above-mentioned types of harm could involve:
- Trauma could include anything from a fall to being hit by a car.
- Herniated Discs occur when the soft cartilage between the vertebrae slips out and presses on the spinal cord.
- Tumors can either be cancerous or non-cancerous.
- Infections: Any type of infection, such as meningitis, can cause damage to the spinal column.
- A stroke can cause damage to the brainstem, which controls many of the body’s functions that the spinal cord regulates.
Treatment Of a Spinal Cord Injury: Spine Pressure & Stabilization
A spinal injury can be a life-altering event. When the spinal column is damaged, it can cause loss of movement, sensation, and bladder and bowel control. In some cases, it can even lead to death.
Doctors work to stabilize the spine and relieve pressure on the spinal cord after a spinal cord injury, involving traction to stretch the spine or surgery to fuse vertebrae.
Rehabilitation is also essential for helping victims regain movement and function. Ongoing rehabilitation therapy could involve:
- Exercises to improve motion and strength
- Learning how to use a wheelchair or other mobility aids
- Psychological support to help with the emotional impact of the injury
The prognosis for a spinal cord injury depends on several factors, including the severity of the injury and the extent of damage to the spinal column. Some people fully recover, while others may experience permanent paralysis or other impairments.
Catastrophic Spinal Injuries: The Recovery Process
The recovery process for both types of trauma is long and complicated. Anyone can adapt to a spinal injury with the best treatment and support.
If you or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord injury, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately. The sooner the person receives treatment, the better their chances of making a full recovery.
Three Major Steps to Recovery
The first step in the recovery process is stabilizing the injured person. This process may involve surgery to remove damaged tissue or realign the spine. Once the person is stabilized, they will begin a course of physical therapy, which is essential for helping them regain movement and function in their arms and legs.
The next step in the recovery process is to help the person regain their ability to care for themselves. This process may involve teaching them how to use a wheelchair or dress and bathe without assistance to help the person be as independent as possible.
The final step in the recovery process is to help the person adjust to their new life, which may involve counseling and support groups. The person must have a support system to help them through this difficult time.
Spinal Cord Injuries: Prevention
Spinal column trauma can happen in various ways, but the most common causes are car accidents, sports traumas, defective products, gunshots, and slips and falls.
There are several ways to prevent spinal column trauma in these situations. For example, when driving, always wear your seat belt and make sure your passengers also wear their seat belts. Always wear the appropriate safety gear to protect your head and spine when playing sports.
When using products, make sure they are correctly labeled, and instructions are followed carefully. And when handling firearms, always follow safety instructions to avoid accidental shootings.
Most importantly, always be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to prevent dangerous situations. If you see something that looks unsafe, avoid it! By following these simple precautions, you can help reduce your risk of suffering a spinal cord injury.
Spinal Cord Injury Damages: Life-Altering Physical and Financial Changes
Spinal cord injury damages can lead to several life-altering physical changes, including paralysis, loss of movement and function, and chronic pain. In addition to the physical changes, the family also experiences financial consequences.
A spinal injury’s financial and emotional toll can be devastating for the whole family.
The injured person may no longer be able to work, leading to a loss of income. Medical bills can quickly pile up, and the family may need to hire additional help to care for the injured person.
The emotional stress can also be overwhelming for the family. Typically, every member of the family living in the household must make significant changes to accommodate their loved one’s new disability.
It is relatively common for a family member to experience depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after such injuries.
If you or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord injury, it is essential to seek help from a qualified therapist or counselor. Professionals can help get through this challenging time by dealing with the physical, emotional, and financial changes related to this type of injury.
Spinal Cord Damage in The Workplace
A spinal cord injury can happen in any workplace, from construction sites to retail stores. If you experience a spinal column injury in the workplace, you may be able to file a worker’s compensation claim.
Worker’s compensation is coverage that provides monetary benefits to employees injured or who become ill due to their job. These benefits are provided by the employer process insurance company when a spinal cord injury occurs on the job site or while the employee is at work.
If you are injured in the workplace, you should immediately report the injury to your supervisor. You should also seek medical attention and keep all your medical records and bills related to the injury. You will likely need to provide these documents to your worker’s compensation lawyer.
Workers’ compensation will likely provide the opportunity to recover damages for your injuries, including:
- Past hospital bills
- Ongoing medical costs
- Future costs such as medical bills associated with rehabilitation, support, and DME (Durable Medical Equipment)
- Lost wages
- Disability benefits
- Pain and suffering
Have you suffered a spinal injury in the workplace? We assist all spinal cord injury victims with workers’ compensation claims. Speak with our workers’ compensation lawyers, who have extensive knowledge and experience in spinal cord injury cases.
If your injury resulted from negligence caused by others, allow a personal injury attorney from our attorneys to ensure you receive your full benefits and compensation. Let us show why you should choose Injury Lawyer Team, your personal injury attorneys, over other law firms in the legal system.
Filing a Third Party Claim
Your spinal cord injury compensation may include additional funds from third parties responsible for causing your injuries at work and their insurance company. Many spinal cord injury victims were hurt on the job by someone other than their employer or other employees.
Our lawyers can help you file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party that could include:
- An on-site contractor
- Visitors and guests
Hire A Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer to Resolve Your Legal Claim
Are you the victim of someone else’s negligence or intentional action? Are the circumstances surrounding your legal case complex? Do you need to file a personal injury claim seeking compensation for your catastrophic injuries?
Our personal injury lawyers have years of experience handling spinal cord injury cases like yours. We can help take legal action against those who caused your harm, seeking and obtaining full and fair compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Physical therapy and other medical care
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Contact a spinal cord injury attorney from Injury Lawyer Team today to schedule a free consultation and case evaluation. We accept all spinal column injury cases on a contingency fee agreement, meaning no upfront fees are paid until we secure financial compensation through a negotiated settlement or jury trial award.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with a personal injury lawyer from our legal team concerning your spinal cord injury lawsuit remains private through an attorney-client relationship with an experienced lawyer from our law offices.
Spinal cord injury lawyers from the Injury Lawyer Team sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices can represent clients in various practice areas, including medical malpractice, vehicle accident, truck crashes, product liability, premises liability, nursing home abuse, and wrongful death, and other cases involving minor to catastrophic injury.