A spinal cord injury may stop life in its tracks. It can negatively affect every area of your life: physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally. Much of the time these injuries result from some form of accident.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
As personal injury lawyers, we most frequently see clients with spinal cord injuries resulting from:
Car crashes are by far the most common causes of spinal cord injuries in our practice. Fortunately, seat belts, child seats, and airbags have resulted in less spinal cord injuries than we used to see; however, they are still all too common.
Diving into Water
Diving into pools with poorly marked shallow ends or diving into shallow water while intoxicated at a party.
Falling off ladders, balconies, or unmarked ledges can cause spinal cord injuries as can slipping on stairs or icy sidewalks.
Although many sports injuries are non-compensable, some are. Many playground and gym class accidents are successfully litigated due to poor supervision or lack of safety gear provision. We have also litigated many horseback riding injuries, to name a few.
Why Are Spinal Cord Injuries Serious?
Damage to any part of the spinal cord or to the nerves at the end of the spinal canal (cauda equina) may cause permanent changes in strength, sensation, and body function below the injury site.
Spinal cord injuries may result from damage to the vertebrae, ligaments or disks of the spinal column, or to the spinal cord itself. An impact may fracture, dislocate, crush, or compress a vertebrae. In some cases, an object can penetrate your body and cut your spinal cord. In many cases, damage worsens over the first hours or days due to bleeding or swelling around the cord, causing increased damage to the cord.
What to Expect After a Spinal Cord Injury
Your ability to control your limbs after a spinal cord injury depends on the location of the injury along your spinal cord and its severity.
Spinal cord injuries may be referenced as “complete” or “incomplete”:
Complete – No feeling and no movement control below the level of the injury.
Incomplete – Some motor or sensory function below the affected area. Obviously, there are varying degrees of incomplete injuries.
Spinal cord injuries may also be referenced as:
Quadriplegia – Arms, hands, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs are all affected.
Paraplegia – All or part of the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs are affected.
Spinal cord injuries of any kind may result in any of the following signs and symptoms:
- Movement loss
- Altered sensation, including the ability to feel heat, cold, and touch
- Pain caused by damage to the nerves in your spinal cord
- Loss of bowel control
- Loss of bladder control
- Exaggerated reflexes or muscle spasms
- Changes in sexual function
- Difficulty breathing or clearing secretions from your lungs
Why Do You Need a Lawyer Familiar with Spinal Cord Cases?
At Robinson LLP, we understand that you are facing a complete life change. We understand that whether or not you go back to your old job, you will likely have a loss of income because it will be difficult to be as productive in your workplace. We understand that you will likely have a different path to retirement (if not immediate) with a serious injury.
We understand that you will face a change in the way you manage your household along with your own care. We understand that although you may be working as hard as you can to overcome this turn in your life, you need someone who will look at reality for you. You need counsel who can quantify the many effects this injury has had on you, continues to have, and will have in the future.
You need the security of knowing your lawyer understands what you face. You only have one opportunity to settle a lawsuit. If something is left out, you cannot go back and collect later.
Let the lawyers at Robinson LLP ensure no aspect of your life is missed.
Do You Have a Case?
It is often unclear whether there is legal liability for your spinal cord injury. We recommend ALWAYS contacting us to explore the possibility. Even partial responsibility can result in substantial financial difference to your life.
Whether or not there is a potential case differs in every circumstance. At Robinson LLP, we are contingency fee lawyers. That means that we do not get paid fees unless your case has resolved. That also means that there is no charge for a consultation.
Contact Robinson LLP to discuss whether or not you have the potential for an action.
Should You Sue After a Spinal Cord Injury?
Your life has been impacted and you are going to need funds to compensate you for time off work, a change in career, the inability to work, care requirements, the money you have spent, the fact that you are not going to work until retirement, extra help in your home, a change in where you must live, the fact that you can no longer drive or that your vehicle needs modifications, modifications to your home, counseling for depression, medical supplies, childcare assistance, etc. If you have an opportunity to undertake successful litigation, you should do so.
Additionally, if the person you should be naming in your lawsuit is a friend or family member and they have insurance, they have likely been paying premiums for quite some time. When there is a serious injury, they should not begrudge you collecting. I know for myself, if I felt I caused or contributed to someone’s injury, I would WANT my insurer to pay out. Why would I want my insurer to keep the money and my loved one to suffer? Hopefully, your family member or friend will see it like I do. Even if they don’t, you are not taking funds out of their pockets.
The Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers at Robinson LLP are Here to Help
You will be faced with many decisions if you have suffered a serious spinal cord injury. The decision of the law firm to contact, however, should be clear. Call Robinson LLP at 780-429-1717. We are on your side.