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According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes (NIH) Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, with catastrophic falls a close second. Additionally, known causes are acts of violence (primarily gunshot wounds) and sports/recreational activities. In fact, there are approximately 18,000 new spinal cord injuries every year in the United States.
If you or your loved one have suffered a serious spinal cord injury in a preventable accident, the attorneys at We Win Injury Law can help. Our firm has been representing seriously injured clients in Utah for over 20 years.
Spinal Cord Injuries Lead to Extensive Costs and Damages
Serious injuries like those to the spinal cord can have substantial and far-reaching impacts on your life. The spinal cord is the central trunk of your body’s communication system, the nervous system, and if the spinal cord is damaged all branches leading from it into your body can be impacted. Damage to your spinal cord can lead to partial or complete paralysis, the inability to control parts of your body, or your essential bodily functions.
When an injury makes it so that you can no longer live the same life as before, you are entitled to compensation for your damages. These changes can include your ability to engage in gainful employment to support yourself and your family. Additionally, your ability to enjoy life and the same hobbies and pastimes as before your injury can change. The purpose of damages is to compensate you for any negative change in the quality of your life, and the costs associated with it, to “be made whole”.
The concept of being made whole is a legal term that describes the point of compensation: to put you and your family in as close a financial position as possible as though the accident had never happened. This requires that all medical costs are covered in both the short- and long-term, as well as compensation provided for any negative changes in your working ability, from the time of your injury through your working life.
Spinal Cord Injuries are Serious Injuries that Require an Experienced Attorney
While all personal injury attorneys will take a case involving a serious spinal cord injury, it is important that you chose one with experience in this area of law. Cases involving spinal cord injuries are complex and require both an understanding of the law and insurance process as well as the medicine involved. Your attorney must be able to understand all of the ways this injury will affect your life, what the prognosis is, how extensive your medical and rehabilitative care needs, and how to prove them to a jury if necessary. Maximizing compensation for injuries of this nature is vital and you only get one chance at it.
At We Win Injury Law, we understand this and have dedicated our practice to maximizing compensation for our clients. We dedicate the focus, resources, and effort necessary to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients.
Spinal Cord Injury vs. Back Injury
It should be noted that there is a difference between spinal cord injuries and back injuries and how they are treated. Back injuries are much more common, and they encompass damage to your vertebrae and muscles and often can be treated with chiropractic care. Back injuries are more linked to your soft tissues and bones, which are more superficial and also tend to have the potential to heal faster. Short-term damages are collectible in your compensation, but your case will be more substantial the longer-term the symptoms of your injuries are.
While a back injury impacts muscles generally that are superficial, a spinal cord injury is damage to the tight bundle of cells and nerves that send and receive signals from your brain to and from the rest of your body. Damage to the spinal cord may not heal completely or at all, and can lead to life-altering changes in your lifestyle and ability to work. Spinal cord injuries often lead to temporary or permanent paralysis below the injury.
When you have been disabled through an injury, you are entitled to compensation to make up for any changes in your life that the injury caused. If you are paralyzed from the waist down, you will no longer be able to engage in a great many occupations that you had before you were injured, although you will still be able to return to some form of work. This is partial paralysis and is recoverable. If you are paralyzed from the neck down, you may be unable to work at all, leading to complete paralysis which can entitle you to long-term, total disability.
Spinal Cord Injury Treatment
Spinal cord injuries require immediate treatment beginning at the accident scene. Anyone with loss of feeling below a neck or back issue should move as little as possible. We also encourage our clients to agree be put on a backboard with a special collar around the neck to prevent any further damage to their spinal cord. Treatment at a trauma center may include realigning the spine and emergency surgery to remove any bone fragments or other objects that might press on the spinal column.
Rehabilitative may include breathing assistance using a machine that produces forced air, treatment for any respiratory or circulation problems, pain medications, and learning new ways to address bladder and bowel problems. A rehabilitation team is often needed to assess individual needs and oversee the creation of a rehabilitation program that combines physical and other therapies with skill-building activities, training, and counseling to aid recovery and provide social and emotional support, as well as increase independence and quality of life.
Additionally, a spinal cord injury can result in temporary or permanent changes in sensation, movement, strength, and body functions below the site of the injury. If the spinal cord injury does not cause little or no cell death, then the injury may allow for a complete recovery. However, if the cells are damaged or die, anything below the injury will result in complete and permanent paralysis.
Seeking out immediate medical care is the first step in assembling evidence in support of your case. From there, we will help you schedule follow-up appointments to determine the full extent, and all associated costs, with your spinal cord injury. You can only collect damages that you can prove with evidence, and future damages are proven with expert opinions from respected professionals in their field. Keep in mind that if the court would not accept the evidence, neither will the insurance company. Working with an experienced spinal cord injury who knows what evidence you need will support the best possible outcome in your case.
Call Our Attorneys for a Free Consultation
At We Win Injury Law, we handle all spinal cord injury cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that we only get paid if we win. We offer a free, confidential case evaluation and, if we take your case, we will never charge any out-of-pocket fees.
To discuss your spinal injury case, schedule a consultation or call the experienced personal injury attorneys from We Win Injury Law at (435) 688-9558 to explore options on how we can help you maximize your compensation.