Spinal Cord Injury Attorney in Bedford, VASpinal cord injuries are often devastating to victims, leaving them with chronic pain, limited mobility in various parts of the body, and ongoing medical issues. The spinal cord controls communication between the brain and every part of the body, so serious injuries can truly impact every part of your health.
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury because of someone else’s negligence, it’s time to talk to an attorney and learn more about your options. Call Pack Law Group at 540-586-7225 to set up a consultation now.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are defined in multiple ways. The first is whether it is a complete or incomplete spinal cord injury. Complete spinal cord injuries are the less common of the two, causing a complete disconnect between the brain and the part of the spinal cord beneath the break. Complete breaks result in tetraplegia, paraplegia, or triplegia.
There are multiple types of incomplete spinal cord injuries, as well. Anterior injuries occur at the front of the spinal cord, so they affect the sensory pathways and motor. Central injuries cause nerve damage. Brown-Sequard injuries affect one side of the spinal cord.
Spinal injuries are also categorized by their location. Cervical spinal cord injuries impact the head and neck, and since everything below that level is affected, this is the most severe type of spinal cord injury. Those with cervical spinal cord injuries often have a permanent loss of sensory input and some level of mobility.
Thoracic spinal cord injuries affect the chest and abdominal region. Damage to this area could lead to complications with the lungs, diaphragm, and muscles that help you breathe. These injuries can also affect your balance and stability.
Lumbar spinal cord injuries primarily affect the hips and legs. These types of injuries are likely to limit your use of your legs, so many victims require a wheelchair, crutches, or walker. The final type of spinal cord injury is a sacral injury, which impacts the hips, butt, and sexual organs. People with injuries in this area may suffer from incontinence or sexual dysfunction.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are traced back to a wide variety of causes. Some of the most commonly reported causes include:
- Car accidents
- Slips and falls
- Gunshots and other types of assault
- Motorcycle accidents
Any type of accident or attack that causes severe trauma to the back can cause a spinal cord injury. However, spinal cord injuries aren’t always immediately apparent. You might experience soreness, stiffness, tingling, or difficulty moving your extremities. In some cases, accident victims believe that they’re just experiencing residual pain from the accident itself.
This is why it’s so important to seek medical attention promptly after an accident. The prognosis for a spinal cord injury often depends on how quickly it is identified and how quickly treatment begins. By getting medical care right away, you may be able to influence the outcome of your injury.
Damages and Compensation
If you’re seeking compensation for a spinal cord injury, you’ll need to prove liability and damages. Proving liability involves showing that the other party had a duty of care to you and failed to fulfill that duty. Then you must demonstrate that their failure caused the accident that led to your injuries. You must also be able to link the accident to your injuries.
Damages vary widely, depending on the severity of your injury and its prognosis. You may be able to seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses. Spinal cord injuries can be extremely expensive to treat. Expenses you may be compensated for include ambulance transportation, medication costs, surgical treatments, pain management, driving to and from appointments, and follow-up appointments.
- Future medical costs. These types of injuries often require long-term care, whether that means in-home care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or pain management. If your injury does require long-term care, those expenses may be covered through a personal injury settlement.
- Lost wages. If you have to spend time away from work because of the accident or to get treatment for your injuries, you should be appropriately compensated for that time.
- Lost future income. Some injuries are so severe that they permanently keep an individual from working or advancing in their career. If this is the case with your injury, your settlement may include compensation for lost future wages.
- Pain and suffering. Spinal cord injuries often cause serious chronic pain for victims, which is why many settlements include money for your pain and suffering.
- Disability. Some personal injury settlements offer additional compensation for victims who become disabled.
How Your Attorney Can Help
You may wonder why you need an attorney if spinal cord injuries are so obviously severe and life changing. However, whenever you communicate with the liable party’s insurance company, they aren’t thinking about how your injury is going to change your life. They are thinking about how expensive your injury could be for their company, and their goal is to minimize the damage to their company’s finances in any way they can.
This often means downplaying the severity of your injury or trying to get you to sign a settlement agreement and liability waiver. This is one reason they often contact victims so soon after an accident. If you sign their paperwork and accept the settlement before you know the full extent of your injuries, you have no recourse if your injuries turn out to be far more severe than expected.
Hiring an attorney ensures that you have someone fighting for your best interests. Your attorney will know how your injuries have impacted your life and be able to determine the value of your injuries. They also know the tricks that insurance companies use and how to avoid them by gathering evidence and building a strong case. While you recover from your spinal cord injury, you can rest easy knowing that your legal case is in good hands.
Pack Law Group—Here for Your Personal Injury Needs
At Pack Law Group, our priority is getting our clients full and fair compensation for the injuries they have suffered. If you want to learn more about how we can help you, call us at 540-586-7225 or get in touch with us online to set up a consultation.