When an accident results in damage to the spinal cord, serious and even permanent damage can occur. Navigating life after a preventable back injury is not easy, but it is not a journey you have to take on your own. A Lexington spinal cord injury lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can help you set your life back on course.
Whether you’re dealing with lost wages after a car accident or steep medical bills following an act of medical malpractice, you deserve to work with a law firm that treats you as a whole person and not just a paycheck. We’re the spinal cord injury attorneys who care, which is why we offer a free consultation to individuals in the Lexington, KY area.
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What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?
A spinal cord injury is any type of damage that occurs to either the spinal cord itself or the collection of nerves located at the end of the spinal canal (the cauda equina). This type of damage may be the result of a serious accident, fall, assault, or any number of impacts or blows to the back. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) estimate that there are approximately 450,000 Americans living with spinal cord injuries.
Spinal cord injuries are categorized as complete or incomplete, which refer to the severity of the damage.
Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries
In an incomplete spinal cord injury, patients will retain some level of sensory or motor function below the site of the injury. Central cord syndrome is the most common type of incomplete spine injury, which causes greater impairment in the arms and hands than in the legs and feet.
An incomplete injury may affect sides of the body differently. Someone with such an injury may be able to move one arm or leg more than the other, or might have greater functioning or only partial impairment on one side of their body.
Other examples of incomplete spinal cord injuries include:
- Brown-Sequard syndrome
- Anterior cord syndrome
- Conus medullaris syndrome
- Posterior cord syndrome
Complete Spinal Cord Injuries
A complete spinal cord injury causes total loss of sensory and motor function below the injury site, with both sides of the body affected equally. Data from AANS shows that around half of all spinal cord injuries are categorized as complete.
Paralysis may occur whenever the spinal column suffers a contusion or bruise, there is compromised blood flow, or it is transected or cut. Medical professionals categorize paralysis as either complete or partial.
Complete paralysis occurs when nerve damage is so severe that there is no feeling or control over affected muscles. Partial paralysis occurs when there is still some level of feeling and control (no matter how slight) over affected muscles.
Paralysis can further be categorized by the location:
- Tetraplegia (Quadriplegia) – Affects the trunk, arms, hands, legs, feet, and pelvic organs
- Paraplegia – Affects the entirety or lower half of the trunk, legs, feet, and pelvic organs
Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury
Symptoms of damage to the spinal cord will vary depending on the accident that caused it as well as the severity and extent of the injury itself. The following symptoms may all be indicators that someone has suffered serious spinal damage:
- Loss of movement, especially of the limbs
- Loss of sensation, including an inability to feel cold or hot
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Trouble breathing
- Pain or stinging along the spine
- Intense pain or pressure in the back, neck, or head
- A tingling or numb sensation in the fingers, hands, toes, or feet
- Difficulty with fine motor skills
It is important to note that when accidents happen, you should never attempt to move anyone who appears to be suffering from a back injury, as this could cause further damage. Let a medical professional like an EMT handle the transfer of someone with a back injury to the hospital.
Although spinal damage is often a lifelong condition, prompt medical treatment can improve a patient’s outlook for the future. If you believe that you or someone you love has suffered damage to the spine, do not delay—seek medical care as soon as possible. If the injury was the result of another person’s negligent or reckless actions, your next step will be to speak with a personal injury attorney from Thomas Law Offices.
Accidents Known To Cause Spinal Cord Injuries
As practiced personal injury attorneys who have served injury victims in the Bluegrass State for many years, we have become familiar with some of the most common accidents known to cause spinal cord injuries. You may be entitled to seek compensation if your injury happened as a result of any of the following accidents:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Acts of violence
- Sports (especially contact sports)
- Medical malpractice
Life With a Spinal Cord Injury
Managing a trauma to the spinal cord requires a lifetime of doctor visits, physical therapy, hospitalizations, and medical bills. The mental and physical toll of living with chronic pain, loss of movement, and even paralysis can be profound. It is not uncommon for victims to develop related health care issues such as bed sores, or mental health issues like depression.
Liable Parties in a Spinal Cord Injury Claim
Motorists, property owners, and doctors all have a legal obligation to uphold a duty of care to other drivers, visitors, and patients. When a negligent party fails to uphold that duty of care and a serious injury occurs as a result, the personal injury lawyers of Thomas Law Offices are prepared to hold them accountable.
Determining who was at fault for your injuries can be a challenge, though. Even in the event of a car accident, there may be more than one liable party, such as a vehicle part manufacturer or trucking company.
Our Lexington spinal cord injury attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and legal background required to identify all liable parties in injury cases involving spinal cord damage. Although we cannot say with any certainty who might be responsible for your spinal injury without first meeting for a free case evaluation, we can identify some of the most common negligent parties:
- Car and truck drivers
- Property owners and managers
- Doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologists
- The offender in a violent assault
- Sports coaches
- Nursing homes
The lifelong medical expenses associated with spinal impairment typically far outpace any earning potential or personal savings a victim might have. Do not allow another person’s negligence to leave this burden on you alone—contact our law office today to speak with one of our Lexington spinal cord injury lawyers.
When To Work With a Lexington Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
While accident victims who are dealing with very minor injuries or minimal financial losses might be able to navigate a civil claim without the guidance of a personal injury lawyer, this approach is not advisable for anyone who is dealing with anything more serious.
In general, we recommend working with spinal cord injury attorneys when:
- You are suffering from a serious medical condition or injury
- The insurance company is trying to shirk liability or lowball your settlement
- You have significant financial losses
- There was more than one liable party in your accident
- You have chronic or extensive pain
- You will need years of medical care
- You require round-the-clock care
Compensation Available in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Anyone who has suffered a spinal cord injury has the legal right to recover money for their losses. This compensation is often essential to the recovery process for a spinal injury, and can also replace any financial losses associated with an accident, such as auto repairs. You may be entitled to economic and non-economic compensation for:
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Past, current, and future medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment in life
- Loss of companionship and consortium
Your injury lawyers will advise you of all compensation to which you are entitled.
Unrivaled Advocacy for Spinal Cord Injury Victims
Our focus on the attorney-client relationship allows us to provide unparalleled legal advocacy to those who have been injured through no fault of their own. If you are living with the physical pain, mental anguish, and financial loss of a serious back injury, Thomas Law Offices is here to help.
We take most injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t get paid unless you do. For a free consultation and the opportunity to speak one-on-one with a Lexington spinal cord injury lawyer, call our law office or contact us online.