A Life-Changing Catastrophic Injury
A traumatic spinal cord injury can change your life drastically.
Dealing with a spinal cord injury is difficult since every aspect of your life is affected by the injury.
Depending on how severe the injury is, you or a loved one could have been left in extreme debt due to medical treatment and specialized care.
If the injury and resulting paralysis were from an accident or someone’s negligent behavior, you would hope that insurance companies would step in.
That isn’t always the case and you’ll need expert legal help to get the compensation you need.
Who can file a spinal cord injury lawsuit?
When filing an SCI lawsuit, you must first prove that the other party was negligent or intended to inflict harm.
Some of the most common defendants in spinal cord injury lawsuits include:
- Doctors and other medical providers who don’t provide appropriate care
- Manufacturers of devices, such as seat belts that malfunction
- Businesses that fail to provide a sufficiently safe environment
- Businesses whose employees engage in dangerous or reckless behavior
- People who injured you, such as a reckless driver
Spinal cord injury lawsuits often involve multiple parties, and you can sue all parties involved in your injury.
However, even if a party isn’t clearly liable for the initial injury, you may be able to still seek compensation if your injuries were exacerbated by said party.
What damages are available for SCI victims?
If your spine is injured, it can involve several months or years of treatments or using adaptive devices.
Compensation for a spinal cord injury or other catastrophic injuries may include medical costs, personal care, rehabilitation, and more.
An experienced spinal cord injury lawyer, like the attorneys at Minton Law, can help you recover damages for:
- Lost wages
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disability
- Medical and rehabilitation costs
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
It’s important to remember that personal injury cases must be filed within a certain time frame according to the state’s statute of limitations. In Arkansas, a personal injury claim must be filed within three years of the incident.
What are spinal cord injuries?
A spinal cord injury (SCI) is any damage to the spinal cord that results in a loss of muscle function, autonomic function, and/or feeling.
Spinal cord injuries result from sudden, traumatic impact on the spinal cord or spinal column. This injury can include any damage–such as fractures, dislocations, severing, or compressions–to the spine’s vertebrae, discs, and ligaments.
The spinal cord is very delicate and very susceptible to injury. Damage to any part of the spinal cord can cause permanent changes to how a person functions short-term and long-term.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
The two main types of spinal cord injuries are complete and incomplete.
A complete spinal cord injury causes a complete loss of sensation and motor function below the point of the injury. An incomplete spinal cord injury occurs when the person still has some function at or below the point of the injury.
Nearly half of all spinal cord injuries are considered complete injuries.
Each year, about 200 Arkansans sustain spinal cord injuries that limit their abilities, according to the Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission.
Some of the most common causes of traumatic spinal cord injuries in the United States are motor vehicle accidents, falls, acts of violence, and sports and recreation injuries.
- Motor vehicle accidents. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, motor vehicle accidents—including those involving large trucks—are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. Because of their size and weight, large trucking accidents can lead to the most severe spinal cord injuries, causing immobility and even death.
- Falls. A spinal cord injury after age 65 is most often caused by a fall. Overall, falls cause about 31 percent of spinal cord injuries.
- Acts of violence. Over 13 percent of spinal cord injuries result from violent encounters, most commonly involving gunshot wounds. Knife wounds also are common.
- Sports and recreation injuries. Athletic activities, such as impact sports and diving in shallow water, cause about 10 percent of spinal cord injuries.
What are the physical effects of a spinal cord injury?
The spinal cord carries information and signals to and from the brain, and it controls the body’s reflexes, temperature, movement, sensation, pressure, and pain.
When the spinal cord is damaged, the results can be devastating. Injuries to the spinal cord can affect many of the body’s functions, such as:
- Low heart rate and blood pressure
- Brain injuries
- Bladder, bowel, and digestive issues
- Chronic pain
- Respiratory issues
- Loss of feeling or sensation
- Sexual dysfunction
- Muscle spasms
- Paralysis (paraplegia, quadriplegia or tetraplegia)
Depending on the severity of the injury, damage to the spinal cord can cause short-term or permanent damage.
Contact A Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
For many, spinal cord injuries result in a permanent disability. Our team at Minton Law wants to give you the information you need to pursue a claim after a spinal cord injury.