If you sustained a spinal injury or paralysis in a bike accident someone else caused, contact Tiemann Law Firm immediately to determine your available legal options. You might be entitled to compensation for your hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, and other expenses.
Damage to any part of the spinal cord can lead to sensation, movement, and mobility issues. This type of injury is severe and causes a range of debilitating symptoms. Permanent damage could cause paralysis below the site of the injury.
At Tiemann Law Firm, we understand your challenges after a bike accident. Spinal injuries are common due to the violent nature of this type of collision. Without safety equipment or the protection of an enclosed vehicle, bicyclists often sustain traumatic injuries.
An Overview of the Spinal Cord
The spinal cord is a band of tissue connecting the brain and lower back. It serves multiple purposes, including:
- Controlling bodily function and movement – The spinal cord sends signals to and from the brain and throughout the body. It controls involuntary bodily functions, such as heartbeat and breathing. The signals the cord transmits also allow a person to move their body.
- Transmitting senses – The spinal cord sends signals to the brain to process various sensations, such as pain.
- Managing reflexes – The spinal cord manages reflexes and other involuntary movements.
Three primary parts of the spinal cord include:
- Cervical – neck
- Thoracic – chest
- Lumbar – lower back
The spinal cord contains tissue, nerves, and cells that serve multiple purposes. Spinal discs and vertebrae comprise the spinal column, which covers and protects the spinal cord. Every disc cushions each vertebra and acts as a shock absorber to protect the spinal cord from trauma.
Types of Spinal Injuries and Paralysis
A traumatic or sudden blow to the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal can cause a spinal cord injury. One of the classifications below indicates the severity of the damage:
- Incomplete – An incomplete spinal cord injury causes some loss of motor or sensory function.
- Complete – A complete spinal cord injury causes a total loss of control and feeling below the injury site.
The level of a spinal cord injury depends on the affected vertebra at the site of the injury:
- Cervical – The neck contains seven cervical vertebrae
- Thoracic – Twelve thoracic vertebrae are in the upper back
- Lumbar – Five lumbar vertebrae are in the lower back
- Sacral – Five sacral vertebrae form the sacrum below all the other levels of the spinal cord
- Coccyx – The coccyx contains four vertebrae below the sacrum
A spinal cord injury can cause paralysis. Which body parts are affected by the injury depends on the location of the damage. The primary types of paralysis based on the injury site include:
- Paraplegia – Paraplegia is paralysis from the waist down
- Monoplegia – With monoplegia, paralysis only affects one leg or arm
- Hemiplegia – Hemiplegia is paralysis in one leg and arm on the same side of the body
- Diplegia – The same body parts on both sides of the body suffer paralysis with diplegia
- Quadriplegia – Quadriplegia is paralysis of all four limbs and sometimes affects certain organs
Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries
You should watch for warning signs of a spinal cord injury after a bike accident. Emergency medical care and ongoing treatment might be necessary to improve mobility and movement.
The most common spinal cord injury symptoms include:
- Exaggerated reflexes or spasms
- Sexual dysfunction
- Pain or intense stinging sensation from nerve fiber damage
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Loss of movement below the injury site
- Trouble breathing, coughing, or clearing lung secretions
- Loss of or altered sensation
Spinal cord injuries and paralysis can lead to long-term complications, such as:
- Increased risk of lung or heart problems
- Joint contracture
- Sexual dysfunction
- Persistent pain
- Inability to regulate body temperature or blood pressure
- Muscle atrophy
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
You should go to the hospital immediately after a bicycle accident. The doctor can diagnose a spinal cord injury and determine the appropriate treatment plan to manage or resolve your symptoms.
Compensation for a Spinal Injury or Paralysis After a Bicycle Accident
You can file an insurance claim or lawsuit depending on the circumstances of your case. The compensation you recover might compensate you for your:
- Physical therapy, surgery, assistive medical devices, and other medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Cost of building a wheelchair ramp or making your home more accessible for your injury
- Emotional distress
- Physical impairment or disability
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Expenses related to household chores, child care, and other necessary services
- Damage to personal property
If you file a lawsuit, you might also be able to recover exemplary damages. This type of financial award punishes the defendant for their actions. For the court to award these damages to you, you must show clear and convincing evidence of the at-fault driver’s oppression, fraud, or malice.
Statute of Limitations in California Bike Accidents
The California statute of limitations for bicycle accidents allows a two-year timeframe to file a lawsuit. That means you must initiate your lawsuit against the at-fault party within two years of the crash date if you want to pursue compensation in court.
Speak to a Dedicated Sacramento Spinal Injury or Paralysis Attorney Today
Since 1998, Tiemann Law Firm has fought on behalf of accident victims injured by the wrongdoing of others. We understand the emotional, physical, and financial strain of suffering paralysis or a spinal cord injury. It can upend your entire life and prevent you from going about your usual routine.
When you hire us, our legal team will provide the personalized attention and service you deserve. You will be our top priority while handling your bike accident case. We know the strategies to use to represent our clients successfully, and you can count on our personal injury lawyers to fight to try to achieve your desired outcome.
If you sustained a spinal cord injury or paralysis in a bicycle accident due to someone else’s negligence, call Tiemann Law Firm for your free consultation at (916) 999-9000 today.