Within the United States alone, there are close to 5 million people that are affected by spinal cord injuries every year. Of all the injuries sustained, roughly 400000 suffer so severely that they are impacted for the rest of their lives. A person’s spinal cord can be damaged from common injuries to the lumbar spine or the cervical spine. When injuries of these magnitudes happen, complete healing doesn’t follow; this leaves a person with a permanent disability.
The spinal cord transmits signals from the brain to the entire body. Injuries that occur can be either minor bruises or serious tears and contusions. In quite a few instances, there have been reports of a full severed spinal cord. When a specific part of the spinal cord is damaged, it goes on to affect a related body part.
Injuries that are sustained in the upper part of the spine or neck tend to affect most of the body when compared to those that are sustained lower down. At times, victims can lose full muscle control and they won’t be able to feel anything in the affected areas. This in itself is known as complete spinal cord injury. However, if partial injuries are sustained, muscle movement or feelings can return in small parts.
For most, spinal cord injuries come from severe bruising and not so much a severed spinal cord. If you suffered severe spinal cord injuries because of someone’s negligence, it is essential to contact the Calvin Smith Law firm for a reputable Macon spinal cord injury lawyer today. Call (404) 383-7552 for a free consultation with our personal injury firm.
Table of Contents
An Overview Of The Spinal Column
The body’s spinal column is constructed by vertebrae or simply bones. Due to the complexity of the human body, these bones are categorized based on their location within the spine. Located in the neck are seven cervical vertebrae.
In the chest, there are twelve thoracic vertebrae and in the lower back, there are five lumbar vertebrae. These are interconnected by a series of ligaments that perfectly align them to create the perfect fully flexible spinal column that exists within the human body. Located at the base is the tailbone which consists of either four or five bone segments that are fused and fit below the sacrum.
The previously mentioned vertebra is made up of two main parts. These being the neutral bony arch which is located on either side of the spinal cord and the vertebral body that is located at the front of the spinal cord. The vertebral bodies are connected by intervertebral disc structures.
The outer portion of the discs compose of a nicely formed ring of annulus fibrosis and the inner contains nucleus pulposus. The inferior or lower and the superior or upper surfaces are covered by a pretty thin layer of cartilage.
The Neural Arch
At the back or posterior of each vertebra, there is the neutral arch. The neutral arch is connected by pedicels to the sides of the vertebral body and bilateral joints also known as facets are responsible for the spines movement. These are found at the back of the body’s neutral arch.
The facet located at the top is responsible for articulating with the vertebra at the top and the inferior is located at the bottom. At the rare midpoint, the laminate stays seated. The last section of the neural arch is responsible for the spinous process and projects from the back portion of the vertebra. At this point serves as the attachment position for both ligaments and muscles.
The Intravertebral Disc
Each vertebral body is separated by the intravertebral discs which begin at the second cervical vertebra. They continue down to the sacrum and bond all of them together. However, the intervertebral discs are constructed by two parts. These are the nucleus pulposus and the annulus fibrosis.
Fibrous tissue makes up the annulus fibrosis and the outer layer consists of fibrous tissue. All other layers are constructed from fibrocartilage. Surrounding the nucleus pulposus is a sheath of fibrous tissue. Due to the elastic properties of the annulus fibrosis, it applies pressure on the nucleus which can be thought of as having the consistency of pulp or mucus.
What are the Most Common Spinal Cord Injuries?
One of the most common back injuries of all time is a herniated disc. This occurs when the nucleus jots out of the annulus fibrosis and it can happen at the back or the front of the disc. However, the severity of the injury along with its direction can put severe pressure on the spinal nerve roots. This then results in several other issues popping up.
A herniated disc can occur when trauma is experienced. This can come from accidents on the job and even vehicular accidents. Simply put, any injury that affects the spinal column can easily result in a herniated disc. If the herniation is posterior related, pressure can be experienced from the nucleus pulposus as it impacts the spinal nerve roots.
This creates severe pain for the injured party. Correction can be done with surgery if the injury is very serious. More than often enough, spinal cord injuries are caused by several negligent actions on another person’s behalf. Contacting an attorney is in your best interest.
The attorney that you hire must conduct a thorough investigation and file a lawsuit while he diligently pursues the case. At the firm of Calvin Smith Law, experience matters and our team is composed of the best spinal cord lawyers. We’re fully prepared with our extensive knowledge on the issue and we’ve gone above and beyond to ensure that our clients always come out successful.
So if you or a loved one has suffered from spinal injuries, contact us today and give us the pleasure of serving you. We’ll let our experience work for us as we fight for your compensation. We’ll handle your case with the highest degree of professionalism as we work to get your lost income, medical costs, medical supplies or equipment compensation. You suffered from pain and loss and you lost your ability to enjoy many things so let us work for you.
At Calvin Smith Law, we have a track record of success with our clients in Macon, GA. So no matter if they became quadriplegic, were paralyzed of lost brain function, we handled their cases and made sure that they came out victorious.
What Are Some Of The Most Frequent Causes Of Injuries To The Spinal Cord?
When someone suffers from a spinal cord injury, they can suffer from paralysis. This tends to happen because of a great degree of spine trauma. When the trauma experienced is severe, the vertebrae can be dislocated, compressed fractured or even completely crushed.
The reputable Mayo Clinic has stated that most of these injuries are suffered during a vehicular accident. Roughly 50% of these injuries come from accidents. 24% of spinal cord injuries sustained have come from slip-and-fall accidents, 11% were due to violence and the remaining 9% are taken by diseases or athletic injuries.
Additionally, these injuries are heavily present within the construction industry. Our past experiences have led us to help clients who suffered and were interested in pursuing compensation from their jobs. To further simplify, these types of injuries can occur just about anywhere.
When we say anywhere, we mean anywhere such as outdoors, work and even at home. If your injury was at the negligent hands of another person, you may be qualified to file a suit. However, most of the filed claims come from car accidents, unsafe properties, defective products, and on-the-job sources.
Our attorneys have assisted many clients and ensured that they were compensated. We’ve worked so that our clients don’t just get mediocre compensation but they receive compensation for money that they lost because of their inability to work. These cases result in more damages like property damage, suffering, and excruciating pain. So let out qualified lawyers work with you so that you can get the compensation that you deserve.
What Long-Term Effects Do Spinal Cord Injuries Have?
The main result of a spinal cord injury is paralysis. These include quadriplegia, hemiplegia, and paraplegia. Those who suffered from these injuries require care all day and attention. In order to properly take care of someone in this position, a lot of money must be spent.
Besides the money, it takes an emotional toll on anyone involved in such a delicate situation. In most cases, spinal injuries don’t show up the same second. So be careful how soon you settle with an insurance company because it could be the biggest mistake that you ever make. Settling should be done after your injuries are fully assessed.
Some of these injuries don’t surface until many years or months later. So if you settle too soon, it might be too late to get compensation when you start suffering. Due to this, you’re going to need to work closely with an attorney to ensure that your spinal injury case is properly handled. However, be sure to select someone knowledgeable and versed in this field so that they can properly aid you.
How Frequently Do Spinal Cord Injuries Occur?
Spinal cord injuries are more common than any of us ever think. Several situations can be the main cause of a spinal injury. Simply put, they are quite common if someone suffered from a fall at work or they were in a car accident.
Around 17000 people each year suffer from spinal cord injuries according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. To elaborate further, there is an estimated 300000 persons within the United States alone suffering from spinal injuries. The NSC ISC has also reported that these victims who suffer spend up to 12 days in a hospital facility.
However, it doesn’t end there for them because they still need to deal with the challenge of rehabilitation and recovery for several months. The most tragic thing about this is that patients always suffer along the healing road. Several severe side effects also occur for many years. This leaves persons to either be permanently injured or never properly heal.
Understanding The Law Surrounding Spinal Cord Injuries
As we’ve mentioned before, most of these cases occur because of pure negligence. From the legal perspective, the injury was sustained because of another party’s carelessness. If you got into a car accident caused by someone else, or you fell on improperly maintained stairs, then there’s a possibility that you can file a lawsuit.
However, if you’re interested in winning your case, you need to provide evidence on how the defendant caused your injuries. Additionally, defective products are also responsible for some of the spinal cord injuries sustained. If for some reason your airbags didn’t work or your seatbelt malfunctioned at an important moment, you may be able to seek compensation.
Defenses Commonly Used In Spinal Injury Cases
Defenses used in spinal cord injury claims usually include the following:
Comparative And Contributory Negligence
These cases get messy since the defendants try to argue that the spinal injuries sustained are mainly due to the victim. They spin and twist the story to make it seem like the victim is fully or partially responsible. The Mayo Clinic has estimated that about 25% of these cases include the use of alcohol.
In this instance, the defendant can easily argue that the victim suffered because they were intoxicated and not because of the defendants’ actions. This defense is played based on contributory negligence. Legally, it indicates that the victim was careless and they are to be blamed. It is also commonly used when the court is deciding on the percentages of fault that should be assigned to either party.
Assumption Of The Risk
This is used in the instance where a high-risk activity was being performed. These include bungee jumping skiing and several others. In a case like this, the defendant will use the assumption of risk as their defense.
They simply counter your claims and indicate that you knew and willingly took part in these activities even though you could get injured. As a result, you’re not owed anything for such a circumstance.
What Damages Can Spinal Cord Injury Victims Claim?
If you’re filing a lawsuit for spinal cord injuries, the following can be claimed:
Victims are always seeking compensation for the medical part of their dilemma. These generally include doctor’s appointments, hospital stay, ongoing rehab, and medication. They even include the potential expenses that they can incur in the future.
When victims suffer from spinal cord injuries, they are forced to miss work. This means that they are not earning what they did before. Hence, they seek compensation for the future as well as now.
Pain And Suffering
Any form of spinal cord injury can result in both emotional and physical pain. Victims also pursue compensation for both.
If someone succumbs to their injuries and die, their loved ones can easily proceed to file a lawsuit. Members of the family can get compensated for the suffering and pain that their loved ones dealt with. They are also able to claim based on the impacts that they had to deal with financially.
If you’re in the position where you suffered or a loved one suffered from a spinal injury, contact us at the Calvin Smith Law firm today. From the moment you contact us, we will begin to review your case free when you fill out our form. Our experienced lawyers in the field of wrongful death will help you as you pursue the damages that you deserve.
How Is The Responsible Party Determined When Spinal Injuries Occur?
From the legal aspect of spinal injury cases, you can hold anyone responsible. However, most of the injuries sustained are due to vehicular accidents. So if you were in an accident that was caused by a negligent driver, they are required by law to compensate you for all of your damages.
As we’ve mentioned before, falls are also responsible for spinal injuries. If property owners were negligent, they can be held responsible for your injuries. If you were the victim of a violent crime, the responsible party can face both criminal and civil charges. Our attorneys will work alongside you as you figure out who is responsible for your suffering.
As soon as the party is held responsible, we’ll work hard to get you the compensation that you deserve.
What Steps Should I Take After A Spinal Cord Injury Occurs?
While several factors contribute to spinal cord injuries, we’ve dealt with numerous instances where an injury came from tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles. Industries that involve heavy physical labor have also gone on to cause spinal injuries. Factory workers and carpenters have all been victims of spinal cord injury.
So if you or a loved one suffered from these, you need to seek medical care. These injuries are pretty severe and you may not be in a position to gather information on your own. Our trained investigators will recreate accidents based on evidence and facts that we’ve gathered.
After seeking medical attention, you’ll need to contact an injury lawyer near Macon. To deal with the issue head-on, rapid action must be taken. If you wait too long, it will be difficult to determine the facts of the accident. As we’ve mentioned before, it’s best that you don’t settle with the insurance provider.
It is common for victims to think that they are receiving the compensation that they deserve. However, it is important to think about the future. Most people never fully recover from these injuries and they always lead to a life of suffering. Besides the recovery factor, they are also very expensive to deal with.
So before taking a settlement that will probably be lower than what you deserve, it’s best to take some time to build your case. When you do this, you will have a better chance of receiving full compensation.
What About On-The-Job Spinal Cord Injuries?
When you suffer on your job site, you can be compensated in a workers’ compensation case. Workers’ insurance was designed to cover the medical expense that are incurred by employees. If other parties were at fault during the time of your injury, you’ll need to file a personal suit along with the workers’ claim.
If you were driving a commercial vehicle and you were hit by a tractor-trailer, you can legally file for both. Even if you were injured by someone from another company while on work, you can file for both.
How Can A Macon Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Help My Personal Injury Case?
Most people recover from accidents. However, in the case of spinal cord injury, recovery isn’t guaranteed. Victims suffer for the rest of their lives from these injuries. They are sometimes even forced to receive expensive medical care for several years after the event occurs.
You shouldn’t be held back spinal cord injuries. Many victims are living their best lives and they do just about anything from marathons to basketball games. After suffering from a spinal cord injury, there is still hope of getting a job, having a family and even furthering an education.
Within the field, several research teams are working on regenerative therapy. With help from our lawyers at the Calvin Smith Law firm, you’ll be in the best hands to receive the proper financial compensation. The compensation you receive will fuel the rest of your life even while you’re injured.
So call the Calvin Smith Law firm today at (404) 383-7552 and learn how we can help you.