Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
When you sustain a spinal cord injury, it’s likely that your life will never be the same. Understanding your legal rights to pursue a personal injury claim against a responsible party is imperative for protecting your future. Spinal cord injuries are frequently associated with a significant amount of pain, costly medical bills, lifelong treatments, and a range of other emotional and physical aspects.
Your life may never be the same after a spinal cord injury. Even with the advanced medical treatments available today, your spine is a critical part of your body that may never function the same after a major injury. That’s why you need to consider filing a personal injury claim if another person’s recklessness caused an accident that led to your spinal cord injury.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries result from any situation in which the spinal column, the spinal cord or the vertebrae and ligaments are severely damaged. This happens anytime that a traumatic or sudden blow impacts your spine by crushing, fracturing, compressing or dislocating one or more of your vertebrae.
Additional damage from a spinal cord injury can frequently occur in the days and weeks afterward as a result of swelling, bleeding, fluid accumulation and inflammation in and near the spinal cord. There are several common causes of spinal cord injuries in the United States. These include:
- Motor vehicle accidents, accounted for as many as 35% of all spinal cord injuries each year.
- Falls, representing one quarter of spinal cord injuries.
- Sports and recreation activities
- Acts of violence
Several different professions have a higher risk of spinal cord injuries than others, although it’s worthwhile to remember that a spinal cord injury can really happen in any occupation. If you have already suffered a spinal cord injury, you may have both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury claim against a third party. These claims may be the only way to protect your right to compensation.
You may be at risk of sustaining a spinal cord injury on the job if you work in one of the following professions:
- Construction, nurses and employees
- Warehouse employees
- Surgeons and dentists
- Store checkout personnel
- Gardeners and landscapers
- Emergency medical technicians
- Cabin bus drivers
- Carpenters, plumbers and electricians
- Telephone and cable line installers
- Professional athletes
In the event that you have sustained a spinal cord injury, your physician can recommend how this will impact your life over the long run. Some of the most common complications associated with sustaining and recovering from a spinal cord injury include:
- Difficulty controlling bowels
- Lost skin sensation
- Difficulty controlling the bladder
- Troubled breathing
- Lost muscle tone
- Problems with circulation
- Ongoing pain
In the event that you have recently sustained an injury to your spine, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim.
Damages and Compensation
Two primary kinds of damages are often associated with spinal cord injury cases; general damages and special damages. General damages refer to situations where it is difficult to attach a monetary value to substitute the victim for the pain he or she has suffered. General damages often include:
- Loss of the reputation
- Mental anguish and shock
- Embarrassment and humiliation
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Special damages, however, include situations where money is a relatively acceptable substitute for what was lost, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost wages
- Property damages
- Medical expenses
- Burial and funeral expenses in a wrongful death case
Why Hire an Attorney After a Spinal Cord Injury?
Some individuals who sustain a spinal cord injury assume that they will ultimately get better or that the impacts on their life will be minor. Unfortunately, this can be a mistake as many spinal cord injury victims can tell you. Your life may never look the same and returning to work may not be possible. Even where that’s the case, however, personal injury law may be able to help you recover some compensation to pay for your care. After an accident, you want to be able to focus on healing and enjoying your life to the fullest.
Hiring a personal injury attorney to represent you in a claim against the responsible individual may be the only way to help you recover from an accident like this.
A spinal cord injury may make it impossible for you to ever return to your job, may limit your earning capabilities and may make it difficult for you to get through day to day life. Personal injury law recognizes the many changes that a spinal cord injury can bring to your life and empowers you to file a personal injury lawsuit to protect your rights.
Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to protect yourself and understand the full range of ramifications that this injury can have for you and your family. Do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced spinal cord injury attorneys today.