Spinal cord injuries are serious. In fact, if you suffer such an injury, your life—as you know it—could permanently change in the blink of an eye. As with many major injuries, spinal cord injuries typically come on without warning, and their overarching effects—including physical, emotional, and financial devastation—can be difficult to fully comprehend.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are caused by damage to your vertebrae, ligaments, the discs of your spinal cord, or your spinal cord itself. Not all of the effects of spinal cord injuries, however, are immediately apparent. Some such injuries blossom long after the impact of the accident—as the bleeding, swelling, and accumulation of fluid within your spinal column accrue.
If you suffered a spinal cord injury, you know how traumatic that can be. You need a skilled personal injury attorney to navigate your claim toward the compensation to which you are entitled. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Brauns Law, PC are committed to advocating for your rights.
Your Spinal Cord
Your spinal cord, coupled with your brain, contains your body’s central nervous system, which coordinates all of your physical sensations and movements. A serious spinal cord injury can impair your body’s ability to receive the messages sent from your brain. This can lead to dysfunctions, including of your sensory and motor systems and of those automatic functions that are at and below the site of your injury. Some level of paralysis often results.
Spinal Cord Trauma
Spinal cord injuries or trauma are typically far broader than just a single traumatic event. They can become more seriously debilitating with time. The initial accident’s blunt force can cause damage or death to the cells of your spinal nerves, which can elicit an onslaught of secondary health events. This exacerbation of the injury can include both diminished oxygen and released toxins at the injury site, which can contribute to further spinal cord damage.
Spinal Cord Injuries: Complete and Incomplete
Serious spinal cord injuries are usually classified as either complete or incomplete. An incomplete injury means that the spinal cord wasn’t irrevocably damaged and that, as such, some sensory and motor functioning was preserved at and below the injury level. Sufferers of incomplete injuries can continue to regain function for more than a year and a half—and some for years.
A complete spinal cord injury, on the other hand, means that all signals from the brain to the body—at and below the site of the nerve damage to the spinal cord—is cut off. With a complete spinal cord injury, some level of paralysis is practically certain.
Living with any level of paralysis (or any serious spinal cord injury) can be overwhelming in terms of your emotional well-being, your finances, and your physical limitations. To make matters worse, many spinal cord injuries are accompanied by serious, chronic secondary health conditions. These can include such conditions as pneumonia (or other lung ailments), heart disease, and septicemia (or other infections). Furthermore, many of these secondary conditions aren’t adequately addressed by health insurance.
Your Spinal Cord Injury Claim
If someone else’s negligence caused you to suffer a spinal cord injury, you understand exactly how overwhelming and devastating that is. Every spinal cord injury, just like every spinal cord injury claim, is unique. You face a multitude of singularly complex challenges that include physical, financial, and emotional hurdles. In other words, you’re probably in no condition to make all the necessary decisions that are coming your way. Insurance companies want to settle quickly—before the full scope of your injury may have even revealed itself. This is rarely in the best interest of your personal injury claim.
Protect Your Rights
Insurance companies—while they are held to legal constraints—are in the business of turning a profit, and it behooves them to get rid of claims for as little as possible. But your rights matter, so it’s in your best interest to retain a legal firm with significant experience in pressing spinal cord injury claims. Your claim deserves the well-constructed and thorough advocacy that only an experienced legal team can provide. Because every spinal cord injury is so unique, your legal team must have both the determination and the resources to fully investigate the details of your claim and win you the compensation that you deserve.
Obtain Just Compensation
Spinal cord injury claims are complicated, and your legal representation will do much more than simply negotiate with the insurance provider.
- Your personal injury attorney will work closely with medical experts who have the experience and the expertise to provide a knowledgeable and succinct narrative of your injury, its severity, and how it’s damaged your life.
- Your lawyer will seek out and compile all of the evidence related to the accident that left you with a spinal cord injury. This evidence may include photos and videos taken of the scene, witness statements, accident reports, police records, and all of the documentation related to your medical journey toward healing.
- Your legal team will process a comprehensive continued life-care plan that outlines the expenses of your medical care (initial and ongoing), your healthcare needs, your medical assistance needs, your housing needs (including home adaptations), and whatever other needs your injuries require.
The scope of a serious spinal cord injury can’t be overstated.
Duluth Spinal Cord Injury FAQ
Spinal cord injuries can result in serious medical complications and potentially lifelong consequences. However, the scariest part of these injuries is that their full impact is not always known immediately. In some instances, it may take days or weeks before the nature and extent of the spinal cord injury become known.
If you believe that you or a loved one may have suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident that another person caused, you should seek experienced legal representation right away. The skilled Duluth spinal cord injury lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can begin investigating your case and pursue compensation from the at-fault individual or entity right away.
What parts of the spinal cord can become injured in an accident? What are the most serious spinal cord injuries?
If a person suffers an injury to their neck or back in an accident, spinal cord damage may be the result. The type of accident in which the accident victim is involved, along with the specific injury sustained, will dictate the complications that may ultimately arise from the injury.
In a serious accident, a person may sustain an injury to the cervical (upper) area of their spine, the thoracic (mid-spine) area, the lumbar (lower) region, or the sacral spinal region. Even if they are just soft tissue in nature, any of these injuries can lead to severe complications, symptoms, and problems that may last the rest of the accident victim’s life.
Of the different types of spinal injuries, cervical spinal injuries are arguably the most serious. The cervical region of a person’s spinal column (vertebrae C1 through C7) is closest to the accident victim’s head and brain. Victims of cervical spinal injuries may ultimately suffer from quadriplegia or tetraplegia, both of which are forms of paralysis.
Cervical spinal injuries can lead to other medical complications as well, including the loss of certain senses. Individuals who suffer these injuries may require one or more surgical procedures and extensive rehabilitation, including physical or occupational therapy, to recover some degree of functionality in the affected body parts. In some cases, depending on the circumstances, the victim of a cervical spinal injury may have to spend the remainder of their life in an extended care facility, such as a nursing home.
What does it mean to suffer an injury to the thoracic spine?
As with injuries to the cervical spine, thoracic spinal cord injuries are also serious and can lead to various complications. If you suffer an injury to the thoracic spinal cord, one or more of the T1 through T12 vertebrae were affected. A person who sustains a thoracic spinal cord injury in an accident may suffer symptoms not only in the middle-back but also in the upper chest region and the abdominal muscles. In addition, the accident victim may have difficulty controlling their rib cage, diaphragm, lungs, and breathing muscles following an injury to the thoracic spinal column.
Individuals who suffer a thoracic spinal cord injury may end up becoming paraplegics who cannot move or control their abdominal muscles, lower back muscles, or legs. Despite these deficiencies, however, the accident victim may retain the ability to control their arms and hands following a thoracic spinal injury.
How is an injury to the lumbar spine different than an injury to the thoracic spine?
Unlike injuries to the cervical and thoracic spine regions, an injury to the lumbar spine affects the lower back area. When a person suffers a lumbar spinal injury in an accident, they can’t move the legs or hips, or, at the very least, have only limited ability to function in those areas.
Victims of lumbar spinal injuries sometimes have problems controlling their bowel and bladder functions and may require a medical device to retain those abilities. Moreover, even if these individuals have limited functionality in their legs or hips, they may never again move without the assistance of a wheelchair or other medical device.
What does it mean to suffer a sacral spinal injury?
Sacral spinal injuries are those injuries that impact the triangular area of the spine that is located under the lumbar spinal region and between a person’s tailbone. This triangular area of the spinal cord controls the pelvic organs, sexual functions, bowels, and bladder.
Similar to lumbar spinal cord injuries, a person who sustains a sacral spinal injury may not have control over their legs or hips. It is crucial to keep in mind, however, that sacral spinal injuries are relatively rare, and when a person does suffer a sacral spinal injury, it is usually because of a direct impact to this area, such as when a person lands directly on the tailbone in a slip and fall accident that occurs on a hard surface.
If you or a loved one has endured one of these types of spinal cord injuries in an accident that was brought about by someone else’s negligence, you may assert a Duluth spinal cord injury claim against the person or entity that caused your accident. The experienced Duluth spinal cord injury attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can help you pursue compensation for your injury and, if necessary, your future long-term care costs.
What is the difference between incomplete and complete spinal cord injuries?
The various types of spinal cord injuries that a person may suffer in a serious accident divide into two primary categories: incomplete and complete spinal injuries. An incomplete spinal cord injury is an injury to some region of the spinal column that does not lead to a permanent complication. Instead, the victim of the accident suffers partial damage to the affected area. For example, the accident victim may have limited sensory abilities in the affected region but may still have some limited functionality.
Depending on the circumstances and the severity of a particular accident, an individual who suffers an incomplete spinal cord injury may ultimately recover some losses in functionality. They may gain back that functionality through physical therapy and rehabilitation.
On the other hand, there are complete spinal cord injuries that result in permanent symptoms and complications. If a person suffers tetraplegia or paraplegia in an accident, as a result of damage to one or more areas of the spinal cord, then the accident victim has suffered a complete spinal injury.
The experienced Duluth spinal cord injury attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm understand the severe symptoms and complications that are associated with both complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries. We can help you pursue the compensation that you deserve for the loss of your ability to use a body part and the loss of life enjoyment you felt following your accident.
How do individuals in Duluth sustain a spinal cord injury?
Spinal cord injuries in Duluth can happen under a variety of different circumstances. In many cases, these injuries come about when a person is in an extremely serious accident. Some of the most common types of accidents that may result in a spinal cord injury include accidents that occur on the job, slip and fall accidents, and car and truck accidents.
A person may become involved in a slip and fall accident when the property owner fails to take the necessary precautions preventing falls from occurring. For example, the premises owner may not inspect the premises regularly to look for dangerous defects, both known and unknown. If the property owner does not correct or warn about these defects in a reasonable amount of time, and a slip and fall accident befalls another individual, the premises owner may be responsible for all of the injuries and damages that result.
Moreover, in a slip and fall accident, the accident victim may fall on their back or tailbone, sustaining an injury to one or more areas of the spinal column and resulting in serious medical complications and symptoms.
In addition to slip and fall accidents, a person may also suffer a spinal cord injury while working on the job. For example, an accident victim may fall off of a ladder or from scaffolding and land on their neck or back, sustaining a severe spinal cord injury. In those instances, when an individual is injured while on the job and working within the scope of their employment, the accident victim may assert a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
As part of the workers’ compensation case, the accident victim may recover monetary benefits for a portion of their lost wages, as well as permanency benefits, in the event they suffered a permanent spinal cord injury while on the job. Construction workers and builders are especially prone to spinal cord injuries while working on the job.
In addition to spinal cord injuries an accident victim suffers while in the scope of their employment, an accident victim may also sustain an injury to the spinal column when they are in a motor vehicle accident, whether as a driver or passenger.
Spinal cord injuries are relatively common in serious motor vehicle accidents, most especially when the accident victim’s body is thrown about in a vehicle or snapped forward and backward very quickly. In the case of a motor vehicle accident, the injured accident victim may file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault motor vehicle driver for spinal cord injuries and damages.
If you were involved in any of these types of accidents and suffered an injury to your spinal cord, you can rest assured that the Duluth spinal cord injury attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will zealously advocate for your legal rights and help you pursue the compensation that you need for your spinal cord injury.
How long do you have to file a lawsuit following an accident that leads to a spinal cord injury?
In personal injury cases where an accident victim has suffered a spinal cord injury, time may be of the essence. In Georgia, accident victims have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit arising from their spinal cord injury. If the accident victim does not sue the at fault person or entity within those two years, they can’t file a claim for monetary damages and compensation.
Given this short statute of limitations for Duluth personal injury cases, get knowledgeable legal representation for your case as soon as you possibly can. The Duluth spinal cord injury lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will file your lawsuit on time, safeguarding your ability to pursue compensation for your spinal injuries.
What types of compensation are available to victims of spinal cord injuries?
Victims of spinal cord injuries can file a claim for compensation and damages against the individual or entity that caused the accident that led to their injuries.
In the event the accident victim suffers their spinal cord injury while working on the job, then the accident victim may file a Georgia workers‘ compensation claim against his or her employer. In other cases, the accident victim may file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault person or entity for money damages.
Money damages in a spinal cord injury case may include compensation for past and future medical bills, lost earnings, loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering, inconvenience, loss of the ability to move or use a body part, or loss of enjoyment of life.
The skilled Duluth spinal cord injury attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will use their advocacy skills to help you pursue the maximum amount of compensation available to you for your spinal injuries. We know these are complex, costly, and life-changing injuries, and we want you to move forward in the best position possible.
If You Suffered a Spinal Cord Injury, Consult With Brauns Law, PC Today
If someone else’s negligence caused you to suffer a spinal cord injury in Duluth, Georgia, you need experienced legal counsel. A host of significant financial, physical, and emotional consequences accompany serious spinal cord injuries. Allow the skilled and dedicated personal injury attorneys at Brauns Law Personal Injury Firm to help you recover the compensation to which you’re entitled. Please contact or call us at (404) 348-0889 for a free consultation today.