Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Spinal cord injuries are one of the most devastating outcomes of any type of accident. The spinal cord serves as the messenger between the brain and the rest of the body, communicating messages about sensation and action. When the spinal cord is damaged, messages from the brain may not reach the body. This can impact a wide variety of issues, including incontinence, limited mobility, and difficulty communicating.
If you or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord injury because of someone else’s negligence or malice, it’s time to talk to an attorney and explore your options. Spinal cord injuries can be extremely expensive, especially since victims often require lifelong care, medical intervention, and medical equipment. Call Burns, Cunningham & Mackey at 800-574-4332 to schedule a consultation now.
Accidents That Cause Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is heavily protected by the body, so it can take a significant amount of force to cause permanent damage. Despite this fact, a range of accidents can lead to severe spinal cord injuries, including:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle collisions
- Truck crashes
- Slip and fall injuries, especially those that occur from significant heights
- Scooter and bicycle accidents
- Assault, especially if it involves a gun or knife
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are categorized in two different ways. First, there is the type of injury. Second, there is the level of the injury.
The type of injury refers to whether it is complete or incomplete. A complete spinal cord injury completely severs the spinal cord’s connection to the brain. This completely terminates communication between the brain and the spinal cord below the injury. An incomplete spinal cord injury does cause permanent damage to the spinal cord, but some nerves and connections remain intact. The spinal cord below the site of the injury is affected, but some function still remains.
The level of the spinal cord injury refers to which part of the spine is affected. It’s important to note that an injury anywhere on the spinal cord affects communication to every part of the cord below the injury. As a result, an injury higher on the spine often leads to more serious and life-threatening outcomes.
A cervical spinal cord injury affects the top seven vertebrae of the spine. Damage to this part of the spine generally leads to permanent loss of sensation to everything below the neck, as well as partial or total paralysis. People with this type of injury often need ambulatory equipment, assistance with breathing and communication, and lifelong medical care.
Thoracic spinal cord injuries affect the upper and middle part of the back. This area encompasses 12 vertebrae. The top part of the thoracic spine includes the upper chest, abdomen, and back. Damage to this part of the spine may lead to breathing difficulties, core stability issues, and poor muscle control. The lower part of the thoracic spine controls the abdominal and back muscles, and damage to this area may leave victims with issues coughing, standing, balancing, or walking.
A lumbar spinal cord injury affects five vertebrae below the thoracic spine. Injuries generally impact the legs and hips, so victims may have difficulty walking without the assistance of a wheelchair, walker, or leg braces. There may also be issues with bowel and bladder control.
The lowest part of the spine is the sacral spine, and a sacral spinal cord injury may affect the hips, groin, upper legs, and genitals. Damage to this area may cause loss of function in the legs or hips, and victims may also have difficulty controlling their bowel or bladder. Walking is generally still possible, although assistance may be required. Sexual function and sensation may be affected.
Symptoms of SCIs
Immediately after a spinal cord injury, victims often experience shock, a complete loss of sensation, and a decrease in muscle control and movement. As adrenaline wears off, they may begin to notice more permanent side effects of SCIs, including:
- Breathing difficulties
- Loss of control of the arms and legs
- Loss of balance and stability
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Muscle pain and weakness
Treatment and Compensation
As you may imagine, treating spinal cord injuries can be extremely expensive. First, the diagnostic tests involved in SCIs are often costly and must be repeated as treatment progresses. There are many treatments doctors and surgeons turn to in order to help patients regain some use of their muscles, many of which require lifelong care and maintenance.
Depending on the location and severity of your spinal cord injury, you may have to undergo physical therapy, occupational therapy, surgical repair procedures, pain management medications, and ventilators that help you with breathing. In addition to treatment expenses, consider that many SCI patients need around-the-clock care from personal care providers or nursing staff.
This is why it’s so important to seek compensation after a spinal cord injury. The financial, physical, and mental toll on the family can be overwhelming, and a settlement can help the injured individual get the high-quality care and support they need.
How We Can Help with Your Spinal Cord Injury Claim
At Burns, Cunningham & Mackey, we know that a spinal cord injury can change your life forever. While you may regain some function in the affected areas, it is likely that you will spend the rest of your life with some pain and discomfort. We believe that you should not have to bear this burden alone if someone else is responsible for your injuries. That is why we fight so hard to help clients get the compensation they are owed.
You can expect the liable party’s insurance company to swoop in after your accident. They may appear apologetic about the pain you’ve endured, or the life changes you’re now anticipating, but they are not on your side. Their ultimate goal is to help their company save money and protect their profit margins. This often means downplaying your injuries, trying to blame some or all of the accident on you, or simply offering an embarrassingly low settlement.
You need an attorney whose only priority is protecting you and your best interests. We’ll take over communication with the insurance company, build a strong case for you, and fight to get the compensation you truly deserve.
Explore Your Options with Burns, Cunningham & Mackey
This is the time to move forward with your claim and plan for your future. To set up a consultation now, call us at 800-574-4332 or reach out to our team online