Indianapolis Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys
If you believe you or someone you love has had a spinal cord injury, schedule your free consultation with one of our injury attorneys.
A spinal cord injury is defined as “damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal,” according to the Mayo Clinic. It is estimated there are 12,000 new incidences of spinal cord injury cases each year in the United States. A spinal cord injury can affect not only your physical, emotional and mental well being but your social and financial health as well.
If you or a loved one has a spinal cord injury, click here to schedule your free consultation with an attorney at Goodin Abernathy LLP.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are often caused by sudden impacts or trauma that may result in fractures to the vertebrae, as well as dislocation. This can cause damage to the spinal cord or compress the nerves. Here are some of the most common spinal cord injuries.
- Motor vehicle accidents: Auto accidents are one of the most common causes of spinal cord injury. They account for nearly half the yearly cases.
- Construction/work accidents: Use of ladders, scaffolding, heavy equipment and materials frequently cause serious injury.
- Falls: Usually among older adults, falls are another leading cause of spinal injury.
- Violence/assaults: acts of violence and assault can result in severe injuries.
- Trampolines: This is very common with children.
- Swimming/diving accidents: diving or jumping in shallow water can cause significant injuries.
- Other sports injuries: High-impact sports like football or rugby.
- Medical Malpractice: Medical errors, particularly those involving spinal injuries.
Spinal cord injuries can very easily have life-altering consequences and could require extensive medical treatment, including surgery, rehabilitation and ongoing care. It is important to get assistance from an experienced spinal cord injury attorney so they can help you fight for fair compensation.
Complete vs. Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries
There are two types of spinal chord injuries, complete and incomplete, which is determined based on the extent of damage to the spinal cord. If a person loses all feeling and the ability to control movement below the site of injury, it is known as a complete spinal cord injury. For an incomplete spinal cord injury, there is still some movement and sensation below the site of injury.
There are many types of incomplete spinal cord injuries. Anterior cord syndrome, central cord syndrome, and Brown-Séquard syndrome. Anterior cord syndrome usually affects the front portion of the spinal cord and can cause paralysis and loss of sensation. Central cord syndrome often affects the center of the spinal cord. This can cause weakness in the arms and legs. Brown-Séquard syndrome is when there is damage to one side of the spinal cord, leading to weakness and loss of sensation on that side of the body.
Complete spinal cord injuries are usually caused by severe trauma to the spinal cord. Many times this is caused by a car accident or fall from a great height. With the spinal cord completely severed, paralysis and loss of sensation occurs below the site of injury.
Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms
Here are some common symptoms of spinal cord injuries:
- Loss of movement and sensation: Depending on the location and severity of the injury, the injured person may lose movement and sensation of parts of their body.
- Spasms and twisted neck or back: Spinal cord injuries can cause muscles to spasm, leading to twisted neck or back.
- Pain, pressure or stinging sensations: A lot of people with spinal cord injuries experience pain, pressure, or stinging sensations in their back, neck, or head.
- Numbness and tingling: Usually occurs in the hands, feet, fingers, and toes.
- Impaired balance and difficulty walking: This is dependent on the location of the injury.
- Loss of bladder and bowel control.
- Problems breathing or coughing.
- Changes in sexual function, sensitivity, and fertility.
When should you look into your legal rights and options after a spinal cord injury?
If you or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord injury, it can be a life-altering event. While your focus may be on receiving medical treatment and coping with the physical and emotional consequences of the injury, it is important to consider your legal rights and options. This is especially true if the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence.
In general, it is a good idea to speak with a spinal cord injury attorney as soon as possible after the injury occurs. This can help ensure that your legal rights are protected, and that you have the information and guidance you need to make informed decisions about your next steps.
There are a number of situations in which it may be particularly important to look into your legal rights and options after a spinal cord injury:
- The injury was caused by someone else’s negligence: If another person or entity was responsible for causing your spinal cord injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- The injury occurred on someone else’s property: If your spinal cord injury occurred on someone else’s property, such as in a slip and fall accident or due to a dangerous condition, you may have a premises liability claim.
- The injury was caused by a defective product: If your spinal cord injury was caused by a defective product, such as a faulty piece of equipment or a dangerous medication, you may have a product liability claim.
- You are facing significant financial challenges: Spinal cord injuries can be incredibly expensive to treat and manage. If you are facing substantial medical bills, lost income, and other expenses, it may be important to explore your legal options for seeking compensation.
- Your injury has resulted in long-term or permanent disability: Spinal cord injuries can be debilitating and life-changing. If your injury has left you with a permanent disability or long-term medical needs, it is important to consider your legal rights and options for seeking fair compensation and support.
Ultimately, the decision to pursue legal action after a spinal cord injury is a personal one. However, it is important to understand your options and to consult with an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer who can help you navigate the legal process and advocate for your rights.
Expenses That Could Be Covered In A Spinal Cord Injury Case
A spinal cord injury can have a significant impact on a person’s life, resulting in medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. If your spinal cord injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation to cover these expenses.
Here are some of the expenses that could be covered in a spinal cord injury case:
- Medical Bills: Medical treatment for spinal cord injuries can be expensive, including emergency care, hospitalization, surgeries, rehabilitation, medication, and ongoing medical care. In a spinal cord injury case, you may be able to recover the costs of these medical expenses.
- Lost Income: A spinal cord injury can affect your ability to work, resulting in lost income. If you are unable to work due to your spinal cord injury, you may be able to recover lost wages in a spinal cord injury case.
- Future Medical Care: Spinal cord injuries can require ongoing medical care, such as medication, physical therapy, and surgeries. In a spinal cord injury case, you may be able to recover the costs of future medical care related to your injury.
- Property Damage: If your spinal cord injury was caused by a motor vehicle accident, for example, you may be able to recover the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle.
- Pain and Suffering: Spinal cord injuries can cause physical pain and emotional suffering. In a spinal cord injury case, you may be able to recover damages for pain and suffering.
- Home Modifications: Spinal cord injuries can require modifications to your home, such as wheelchair ramps or other accessibility features. In a spinal cord injury case, you may be able to recover the costs of these modifications.
- Caregiver Expenses: If you require the assistance of a caregiver due to your spinal cord injury, you may be able to recover the costs of hiring a caregiver.
It is important to consult with an experienced spinal cord injury attorney to determine which expenses you may be entitled to recover in your specific case. They can help you understand your legal rights and options and fight for the fair compensation you deserve.
How is a spinal cord injury diagnosed?
If you think someone has suffered a spinal cord injury, seek medical attention. In an emergency room, a doctor may perform a basic evaluation to determine if the spinal cord is damaged. However, it is likely medical tests will need to be performed. These tests may include X-rays, a CT (computerized tomography) scan or an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). A neurological exam may be performed after any swelling has subsided.
Spinal Cord Injury Treatments
Treatments for spinal cord injuries vary depending on the patient and type of injury. Spinal cord damage cannot be reversed but medical technology may be able to help improve nerve function after an injury. Long-term care and treatment may be necessary depending on the severity of the injury. The National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA) offers resources and programs for people suffering from spinal cord injuries.
How to prevent Spinal Cord Injuries
Accidents do happen, but you can help prevent potential spinal cord injuries by driving safely, using proper safety precautions when working at heights and following safety rules when engaged in athletic competitions.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with Our Experienced Indianapolis Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury due to the negligence of someone else, don’t wait to seek legal assistance. Goodin Abernathy LLP is here to help you fight for the fair compensation you deserve. Our experienced spinal cord injury attorneys have the knowledge and skill to navigate the legal system on your behalf. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and let us help you start the path to recovery.
Attorneys with a Focus on Spinal Cord Injury