Spinal Cord Injuries

When a person receives damage to the nerves on the spinal canal or directly to the spinal cord itself, it can result in a spinal cord injury that permanently changes the sensation and strength of the body below the point of injury. If this is something you or a loved one has experienced, it can seem like life has ended in many ways.

Scientists remain optimistic in medical research advancements that can lead to spinal cord injury repairs; however, the current means of rehabilitation are what allow injured patients to resume independent lives after a spinal cord injury.

Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injury

spineRegardless of the underlying cause, a spinal cord injury happens due to injury incurred by the spinal column disks, ligaments or vertebrae, or directly to the spinal cord. It can happen from a sudden blow to the back that also crushes, dislocates or fractures a vertebrae or from an attack, such as with a knife or gunshot wound.
Additional damage can happen as a result of the injury in the following weeks due to swelling, fluid accumulation, bleeding and other complications around the spinal cord.

Some of the most common causes include:

  • Car accidents: Motorcycle and automotive accidents are the number one reason for a spinal cord injury, claiming over 35 percent of new annual injuries.
  • Falls: Most often, elderly patients with spinal cord injury experienced a fall. Overall, more than 25 percent of injuries can be accounted for by falls.
  • Violence: About 15 percent of such injuries are due to violent attacks, such as a knife wound or a gunshot wound.
  • Recreation: Impact sports and similar athletic activities, such as diving into the shallow end of the pool, result in spinal cord injuries, accounting for 9 percent of them every year.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol was proven a factor for 25 percent of injuries.
  • Disease: Natural developments like cancer and osteoporosis can also result in damage to the spinal cord.

Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injury

Every year, more than 8,000 spinal cord injuries are reported, with the vast majority of them being men from ages 16 through 30. In the United States, nearly half a million Americans must live with injuries to the spinal cord due to gunshot and knife wounds, car crashes, sports injuries, falls and more.

Some symptoms of damage to the spinal cord can include poor coordination, loss of bladder or bowel control, tingling, numbness, weakness or paralysis. When trauma causes your spinal cord to push sideways, be pulled or be cut, it can result in severe injury; they can also be due to blood clots, tumors or inherited disorders like Friedrich’s Ataxia.

If your doctor suspects that you have a spinal cord injury, you’ll likely undergo an MRI to make a diagnosis. The immediate treatment should be to stabilize the spine’s condition while aggressively fighting to mitigate damage. Surgery could be required in some cases. Additional rehabilitation continues for six months, after which any remaining disability is likely permanent.

When to Call a Lawyer

Spinal cord injury is a disabling condition; it’s estimated that the United States faces 12,000 new cases each year for spinal cord injury related disability. This doesn’t include the number of people who die due to the injury before receiving medical treatment.

The injuries can be incomplete, in which the patient experiences partial paralysis, or they could be complete, in which the patient has complete paralysis. Those who have a spinal cord injury are going to need ongoing medical care and some kind of additional assistance for the remainder of their lives, and nobody needs to explain to an American what that can mean for your wallet.

Medical costs incurred from a spinal cord injury are significant; someone with partial paralysis may end up with a $100,000 bill just from the first year of injury, whereas a quadriplegic will incur four times this amount for the same year.

When you or a loved one has experienced this kind of damage as a direct result of someone’s neglect, you can receive help from an experienced Tampa attorney to win the financial compensation you deserve to have.

In a court of law, you can receive compensation to have several expenses covered, including:

  • Hospitalization
  • Ongoing medical care for life
  • Home caregivers
  • Rehabilitation
  • Therapy
  • Counseling
  • Lost wages
  • Expenses that health insurance will not cover
  • Travel costs
  • Funeral costs
  • Support services for the family

By hiring a qualified spinal cord injury lawyer in Tampa, you can receive the compensation necessary to cover all of the expenses associated with your injury. If you are looking to get compensation, be sure to keep safe any receipts showing the costs of your injury, as well as your medical records. Many worry that they will face a dragging battle in court after filing a suit for personal injury or wrongful death, but our attorneys will handle the majority of this effort; your role is to provide accurate information, and we handle the rest.

Lawsuit Options

There are two kinds of lawsuits available when the patient has a spinal cord injury: personal injury or wrongful death. In the former, the injured individual generally must file the suit him- or herself, but others can if the patient is unable. In the latter, the family can file the suit when the victim has passed away as a result of the injury. For these cases, the compensation will be awarded to cover the cost of the funeral, hospitalization and lost wages.

In Florida, spinal cord injury lawsuits generally need to be filed within four years of the incident. A qualified spinal cord injury lawyer in Tampa can help you navigate the state and local laws regarding such a lawsuit and help advise you as to the best course of action. Even if you recently experienced an incident and don’t yet feel ready to file, call for a consultation anyway; it is better to know each of your options as early as possible.

We Can Also Help You With: