Posted on Monday, February 22nd, 2016 at 6:05 pm
What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
According to the Mayo Clinic, a spinal cord injury is damage to any part of the spinal cord (vertebrae, ligaments, or disks) or the nerves at the end of the spinal cord. Because of the potential for permanent damage that affects a variety of bodily functions or causes paralysis, a spinal cord injury alters a person’s life forever. Common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Motor vehicle and motorcycle accidents
- Acts of violence
- Sports and recreation injuries
Approximately 35% of the new spinal cord injuries each year are caused by motor vehicle and motorcycle accidents making this the number one cause of this type of injury in the United States.
The location and severity of the injury determine the permanent impairment. The level of a spinal cord injury refers to the lowest part of the spinal cord that still functions normally after the injury. A lower level spinal cord injury affects the legs, pelvic organs, and trunk but a higher-level spinal cord injury will affect the arms, hands, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs.
The severity of the spinal cord injury can be classified as complete (almost all sensation and movement below the level of injury is lost) or incomplete (some sensation and movement remains). Spinal cord injuries often result in some form of paralysis. Paralysis of the lower limbs is known as paraplegia and paralysis of all four limbs is known as quadriplegia or tetraplegia.
Compensation Available for Spinal Cord Injuries
As with all other personal injury claims, spinal cord injury victims are entitled to receive compensation for their economic and non-economic damages. The severity of the injury will determine the amount of compensation owed to the victim. Because there is no cure for this type of injury, the accident victim will suffer from his or her injuries forever. The medical expenses and personal care expenses for a spinal cord victim can quickly rise into the millions of dollars.
In addition to the actual past and future out-of-pocket (economic) damages, you also have the non-economic damages most often referred to as “pain and suffering.” The emotional distress and mental anguish from having your entire life changed in a matter of seconds can be devastating. Although it is much more difficult to measure and quantify pain and suffering, these damages are as real for the accident victim as the economic damages.
Because the damages are complicated and complex in a spinal cord injury case, you need an attorney who has experience representing spinal cord injury victims. In most cases, several experts are required to evaluate and calculate the damages that should be paid to the victim. An experienced spinal cord injury attorney has a strong network of experts who can assist with assessing the damage and determining a fair and just amount of compensation.
Contact a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney as Soon as Possible
A financial settlement will not undo the damage that has been done because of another person’s reckless, negligent, or careless act. However, a monetary settlement can ease the financial burden placed on you and your family due to a spinal cord injury. It can also make it possible for you to receive the medical care, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and personal care you need.
Call the Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer.