Helping Spinal Cord Injury Victims in Lawrenceville
Spinal cord injuries can result in excruciating pain and may have a significant impact on an accident victim’s ability to function, either on a temporary or a permanent basis. The extent of damage resulting from a spinal cord injury depends upon the type, location, and severity of the injury.
If another person’s negligence or irresponsibility caused an accident in which you or a person you love sustained a spinal cord injury, you may have a right to obtain monetary compensation for your injuries, medical treatment, pain and suffering, and other related damages.
The experienced Lawrenceville personal injury attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can assess the situation, investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident, file a claim or lawsuit on your behalf, and help you pursue the compensation you need to feel whole.
Plaintiffs must file spinal cord injury claims, like all personal injury cases in Georgia, within two years of the accident date, absent very limited circumstances. If you do not submit your lawsuit within this time period, you cannot claim monetary damages arising from your injury. Securing an experienced spinal injury attorney as soon as possible is essential to file your claim in time. Please give us a call today to find out more about how we can assist you with pursuing compensation in your Lawrenceville spinal injury case.
Medical Treatment Following a Spinal Cord Injury
The location on a spinal cord injury dictates the nature and severity of the symptoms the victim experiences. As soon as you sustain a back or spinal cord injury, it is common to receive immediate emergency transportation and medical care.
A healthcare provider should diagnose your condition accurately and perform imaging studies (such as x-rays or MRIs) to determine the injury’s location and extent. He or she can then provide you with the necessary medical treatment that you require.
Many spinal cord injury victims require hospitalization for a period of time. During this time, medical professionals can monitor the injury and its effects to determine whether the injury is healing or not. Doctors can try to control swelling or perform surgery to prevent permanent complications or impairments whenever possible.
During treatment, some patients will experience temporary paralysis, which might be partial or total. For some, this paralysis will be a permanent and disabling condition that will change the course of their lives. Such individuals will likely require ongoing medical care and equipment for years to come. Some people might need home health care and might no longer work.
While the treatment for a spinal cord injury will be determined based on the specific circumstances of a particular patient, one thing is certain – the treatment will be costly. Medical bills can quickly become overwhelming no matter what type or degree of spinal injury you suffered. It is important to discuss your legal options with an experienced spinal injury attorney who knows how to handle high-value claims on behalf of injury victims. With the help of a Lawrenceville spinal injury lawyer, you can move forward with the compensation you deserve for your spinal injury and related losses.
Cervical Injuries to the Spinal Cord
The vertebrae closest to the head and neck region comprise the cervical area of a person’s spine. Specifically, the cervical vertebrae include C1 through C7. Given that the cervical spine is the area of the spinal cord closest to the accident victim’s brain, an injury sustained in that location can have a serious impact. A severe cervical spinal cord injury, for example, may result in quadriplegia or tetraplegia, both conditions involving the inability to move the parts of your body located below the neck and shoulders.
An individual who sustains a cervical spinal injury could experience limited sensory or physical functions, among other complications. Accident victims may recover some of their functionality by undergoing lengthy amounts of rehabilitation and therapy. In some cases, an accident victim may require 24-hour supervision in a long-term care facility for the remainder of their life. Cervical spinal injuries can even result in death.
Thoracic Injuries to the Spinal Cord
The vertebrae located along the middle of the back, the upper chest, and the person’s abdominal muscles comprise a spine’s thoracic region. A total of 12 vertebrae, numbered T1 through T12, make up the thoracic region. The nerves found in vertebrae T1 through T5 affect the middle of the back, upper chest, and upper abdominal muscles, and control the diaphragm, lungs, breathing muscles, and rib cage. The nerves found in vertebrae T6 through T12 affect the lower back and lower abdominal muscles necessary for a person to maintain posture and balance.
Individuals who sustain an injury to the thoracic spine may develop paraplegia and lose functionality in their lower back muscles, abdominal muscles, and legs. However, their hands and arms may function normally still.
Lumbar Injuries to the Spinal Cord
The vertebrae closest to the hips and legs make up a spine’s lumbar region, also known as the lower back area. This area of the spine carries the majority of a person’s upper body weight. Because of this, the lumbar spine vertebrae are larger than the vertebrae in the cervical and thoracic areas of the spine.
If a person sustains a lumbar spinal cord injury, the victim may lose some ability to function in the legs or hips, although control over the body’s upper portions will be left intact. A lumbar spinal injury may prevent a victim from controlling their bowels or bladder without the help of specialized equipment. An accident victim who sustains a lumbar spine injury may have to walk with braces or confine themselves to a wheelchair for the remainder of their life.
Sacral Injury to the Spinal Cord
The triangle-shaped sacral region of a person‘s spinal cord can be found just below the lumbar spine and just above the tailbone. The nerves in this region of the spinal cord affect a person’s pelvic organs, sex organs, bowel organs, and bladder functions.
An injury to the sacral spine may result in a victim losing the ability to function in some areas of the legs and hips. Moreover, they may not control the bladder or bowels without the aid of specialized medical equipment. Sacral spine injuries are relatively rare and do not typically occur unless the victim sustains trauma directly to that area (something that can happen in a slip and fall accident).
Complete and Incomplete Spinal Injuries
A complete spinal cord injury is the most traumatic, causing permanent damage to the affected area of the spine. For example, the tetraplegia and paraplegia conditions of paralysis are the result of a complete spinal cord injury.
An incomplete spinal cord injury, on the other hand, occurs when there is only partial or incomplete damage to an area of the accident victim’s spinal cord. Incomplete spinal cord injuries may not affect a person’s sensory ability in the affected area or a person’s control over it. If the damage does limit sensory function or motor control, the extent of the injury, as well as the victim’s pre-existing medical history, general health, and ability to undergo rehabilitation, dictates the extent of the limitation. Full recovery from an incomplete spinal cord injury is possible in some cases.
If you or someone you care about has sustained one or more of these spinal injuries, you should speak with a knowledgeable Lawrenceville spinal injury lawyer at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm as soon as possible after your have received medical attention. Your lawyer can investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident and determine your eligibility for recovering monetary compensation via a personal injury claim or lawsuit arising from your spinal cord injury.
Types of Accidents that Can Lead to Spinal Cord Injuries
Different accidents can lead to serious, and sometimes fatal, spinal cord injuries.
Some of the most common types of accidents that can lead to a spinal cord injury include:
- Motor vehicle collisions – Motor vehicle collisions often cause an accident victim to move back and forth abruptly in his or her seat. Such forceful motion can sometimes result in a whiplash injury to the cervical spine. A car accident victim may also sustain a lower back injury to the lumbar spine after experiencing this type of violent movement.
- Slip and fall accidents – Slip and fall accidents can occur both indoors and outdoors, and typically happen when a property owner fails to protect visitors against unsafe and dangerous conditions. For example, a property owner may have failed to clean up a spill promptly or failed to warn visitors about a potentially hazardous condition existing on the premises. If a person falls backward after unknowingly walking into such a hazardous condition, they may sustain a spinal cord injury. The exact location of the spinal damaged sustained depends largely upon how the person fell to the ground.
- Construction accidents – Construction jobs are inherently dangerous and often require individuals to work from heights, such as from ladders or scaffolding. When a worker lands on their back after falling to the ground, the worker may sustain a severe spinal injury.
If another person’s negligence caused an accident in which you or someone you care about sustained a spinal cord injury, the experienced Lawrenceville spinal injury lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can help you pursue the compensation that you need to recover from the physical and emotional damage of your spinal cord injury.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit Arising from a Lawrenceville Spinal Cord Injury
If you sustained a spinal cord injury while working at your job and within the scope of your employment, you may file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits that are available through the State Board of Workers‘ Compensation. As a result of your claim, it is possible to be awarded compensation for your out-of-pocket expenses, medical bills, and a portion of your lost wages. Moreover, if the spinal cord injury resulted in a permanent disability, you may recover permanency benefits as well.
If you did not sustain your spinal injury while you were working, you may file a third-party personal injury claim against the individual or entity that caused your accident. Another person or entity’s negligence is the basis for this type of claim, and you must show that the at-fault individual or entity behaved unreasonably in the given circumstances. Additionally, you must also prove that this breach in the standard of care led to an accident that proximately caused your spinal cord injury.
If you can meet the legal elements of a third-party personal injury claim, you may pursue damages for medical expenses, lost wages, inconvenience, pain and sustaining, emotional distress, loss of spousal support, loss of use of a body part, and loss of enjoyment of life. The experienced Lawrenceville spinal injury lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm are ready to investigate your accident case and pursue the fair and just damages you deserve.
Lawrenceville Spinal Cord Injury FAQ
How long after a spinal cord injury can I file a lawsuit?
Spinal cord injuries can be excruciating and sometimes result in long-term and permanent injuries. However, these injuries are not always evident right away. The nature and extent of a spinal cord injury may not become apparent for several days or even weeks after an accident. However, it is crucial to keep in mind that the Georgia statute of limitations applies to spinal cord injury cases.
Generally speaking, absent some very limited exceptions, accident victims have two years from the date of their accident to file a lawsuit stemming from their injury. If you fail to file your lawsuit within this time period, you give up your legal right to pursue and recover monetary compensation from your accident.
An experienced Lawrenceville spinal cord injury attorney at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will promptly file any claim or lawsuit on your behalf to ensure that you comply with the applicable two-year statute of limitations, and to ensure that you can pursue monetary recovery for the spinal cord injury (along with any other injuries) that you sustained in your accident.
What is the most serious type of Lawrenceville spinal cord injury?
In terms of seriousness, the cervical area of an accident victim’s spinal column is the most sensitive, because it is closest to the neck and the head. This area of the spinal cord makes up the vertebrae numbered C1 through C7.
Since the cervical area is closest to an individual’s brain, a cervical injury sustained in an accident can have grave consequences. For instance, a victim of a cervical spinal injury may suffer from tetraplegia or quadriplegia, which are two types of paralysis.
In addition to suffering from paralysis, a cervical spinal cord injury victim may have limited sensory abilities. In other cases, the accident victim may have to undergo a significant amount of physical therapy and other forms of rehabilitation to gain back some or all of their pre-accident abilities.
Cervical spinal injuries can be so severe that the accident victim is required to spend the remainder of their life in a nursing home or long-term care facility, where the accident victim is under constant medical supervision.
What is a lumbar spinal cord injury?
A lumbar spinal cord injury is a spinal cord injury that occurs on the lower portion of the spine. It typically affects the person’s lower back region, where they carry the most amount of weight. The vertebrae located in the lumbar spine are much larger than the vertebrae that exist in the thoracic and cervical regions of the spinal cord.
In cases where an accident victim suffers an injury to the lumbar spine, they may have some limited functionality in the hips or legs. Moreover, the accident victim may no longer control their bladder or bowels without the aid of a medical device. In the worst cases of lumbar spine injuries, accident victims may have to spend the rest of their lives in a wheelchair or another device to assist with their mobility.
What is a thoracic spinal cord injury?
An injury to the thoracic spinal cord affects vertebrae that number from T1 through T12. A serious impact to this region can affect an accident victim’s upper chest, mid-back, and abdominal muscles. As a result, the accident victim may also have difficulty controlling the breathing muscles, diaphragm, rib cage, or the lungs.
This area of the spinal cord also helps an individual to control their balance and posture. An individual who suffers from a thoracic spinal cord injury in a serious accident may lose the ability to move their legs, abdominal muscles, or lower back muscles. Consequently, they may develop paraplegia. Despite an accident victim’s loss of control over their lower back or legs, they may still have full control over the hands and arms.
What is an injury to the sacral spine?
An injury to a person’s sacral spine affects the triangular region between the tailbone and underneath the lumbar region of the spine. The sacral spine controls a person’s pelvic organs, and these organs control an individual’s sexual functions, bladder functions, and bowel functions.
An individual who suffers an injury to their sacral spine in a severe accident may no longer move their hips or legs. Although injuries to the sacral spinal cord are somewhat uncommon, a direct impact into this region of the body, such as in a slip and fall accident where the accident victim lands on this area, can result in a sacral spinal cord injury.
If you or a person you love has suffered one of these spinal cord injuries in an accident that someone else brought about, you may have a basis to file a claim for monetary damages. In some cases, if the insurance company is unwilling to fully and fairly compensate you for your injury, you may need to file a lawsuit and take the case to court. The experienced Lawrenceville spinal cord injury attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm welcome the opportunity to litigate your personal injury case and help you pursue the compensation that you deserve.
How do complete spinal cord injuries differ from incomplete spinal cord injuries?
Not only does modern medicine classify spinal cord injuries based on the location of the injury on the spinal cord, it also classifies an injury as either complete or incomplete. When an accident victim suffers a complete injury to their spinal cord, the results are often long-term or permanent damage. Paralysis, including paraplegia or tetraplegia, are common results of a complete injury to the spinal cord.
An accident victim may suffer an incomplete injury to their spinal cord instead of a complete spinal cord injury. An incomplete spinal cord injury is one that does not result in permanent damage but instead results in some form of incomplete or partial damage. In the region of the spinal cord that is affected, for example, the accident victim may retain a limited ability to feel sensations.
When it comes to incomplete spinal cord injuries, an accident victim may regain some of the functionality they lost in the accident. However, the extent to which the accident victim will recover depends upon a variety of factors, including the accident victim’s pre-accident health status, as well as the accident victim’s ability to undergo physical therapy and other forms of rehabilitation.
If you or a person you love sustained a complete or incomplete spinal cord injury in an accident, the Lawrenceville spinal cord injury lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm are here to assist you. Our knowledgeable legal team is ready to investigate the circumstances that led to your injury and help you pursue much-needed monetary compensation.
What are some common accidents that can lead to a Lawrenceville spinal cord injury?
Spinal cord injuries often result from a serious accident. Accidents that can lead to severe spinal cord injuries include slip and fall accidents, on-the-job accidents, and motor vehicle collisions.
Slip and fall accidents typically occur when a premises owner fails to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. Specifically, property owners have a duty to either warn visitors about known defects on the property or repair those defects. In the case of store owners, these individuals may also have a duty to inspect the premises regularly for dangerous conditions that may be unknown. When premises owners fail to act reasonably under the circumstances, and a slip and fall accident occurs, an accident victim may suffer a severe injury to their back or spinal cord. Such an injury is more likely should the accident victim land directly on the back or tailbone in the fall.
On-the-job injuries can also lead to spinal cord damage, especially if the accident victim works in an inherently dangerous work environment, such as the construction industry. Construction workers often have to work on tall ladders or scaffolding. If they fall on their backs, they can suffer a severe injury to the spinal column, including full or partial paralysis.
Motor vehicle collisions are also a common cause of spinal cord injuries. In some cases, negligent motor vehicle operators who violate traffic laws or engage in distracted driving collide with other motor vehicles. A negligent motor vehicle operator may cause their vehicle to strike a bicycle, motorcycle, or pedestrian. In a vehicular accident, the accident victim’s body violently jerks in their seat. In the case of a motorcycle, bicycle, or pedestrian accident, the victim may strike the ground and land on their back, resulting in a severe injury.
Some additional possible causes of spinal cord injuries can include:
- Falls from high places
- Nursing home abuse
- Birth injuries
- Swimming pool accidents
- Mass transit accidents
- Accidents due to defective products
- Boating accidents
- Sports accidents
If you or someone you love sustains an injury in one of these types of accidents, the Lawrenceville spinal cord injury attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can determine how your accident occurred and who was likely at fault. Your lawyer can then assist you with pursuing a legal claim or filing a lawsuit for monetary compensation and damages.
How do I recover compensation for a Lawrenceville spinal cord injury?
The method of pursuing and recovering compensation for a spinal cord injury depends mainly on the context in which you sustained your injury. For example, if you suffered your spinal cord injury in a work accident, you may file a workers’ compensation claim against your employer. When you file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, you may be entitled to recover a portion of your lost wages, as well as compensation for all of your medical treatment bills or permanent disability.
If you were not working for an employer at the time you suffered your spinal cord injury, you must demonstrate that the at-fault individual behaved unreasonably under the circumstances. For example, you may allege that a motor vehicle operator failed to exercise proper care, resulting in a motor vehicle collision that led to your spinal cord injury. In the case of a slip and fall accident, you might contend that the owner of the premises where you fell failed to maintain the floor in a reasonably safe condition, causing you to fall and suffer an injury to your back or spinal cord.
In a personal injury case, you must prove that your spinal cord injury directly resulted from your accident.
If you can demonstrate the elements of your case by a preponderance of the evidence, you may recover all of your out-of-pocket costs, as well as compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future medical expenses and lost earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability.
In addition, you may pursue compensation for permanent loss of use of a body part, such as when an accident victim experiences paralysis due to the accident.
Losses in spinal cord injury cases can be particularly difficult to calculate because these injuries can have such severe and lasting effects. Many people need ongoing medical care and assistance for the rest of their lives, which means they need to estimate their future medical bills for the rest of their lives. Others might no longer work again due to paralysis, so they must calculate how much they will lose in earnings before they reach retirement age.
These calculations often require the assistance of medical or economic experts. Any mistakes you make in calculating losses can deprive you of compensation you deserve, so you want the right legal assistance during this process.
The knowledgeable Lawrenceville spinal cord injury attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will help you prove all of your claim’s legal elements, file a claim or lawsuit on your behalf, and pursue the monetary compensation you deserve for your spinal cord injury.
Speak to an Experienced Lawrenceville Spinal Injury Lawyer About Your Legal Options Today
Spinal cord injuries can result in a significant amount of medical treatment, in addition to extreme pain, suffering, and inconvenience. In some instances, these injuries may even lead to the need for lifetime care. The experienced legal team at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm is fully prepared to investigate the circumstances of the accident that led to your spinal injury and help you pursue the damages that you need for you to feel whole again.
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Brauns Law, P.C.
892 legacy park Dr.
Lawrenceville, GA 30043