If you were a loved one has suffered spinal damage due to negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Damages from a spinal cord injury can include things like medical bills and lost wages, which can add up fast. An experienced Minneapolis Spinal Cord Injury Attorney can help you to understand your options and rights, and help you to file a personal injury compensation claim. The experienced attorneys at Sand Law LLC are ready and willing to help you. Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation.
Common Causes of Spinal Injuries
Spinal injuries can be devastating, leading to loss of movement in the body or full blown paralysis. These injuries are often more severe than other back and neck injuries, and can have a serious impact on the life of the victim. While there is such a thing as a mild spinal cord injury, most spinal cord damage can seriously threatened one’s way of life. Additionally, some spinal cord injuries don’t present themselves right away, causing even more problems in the future for the victim, both in terms of recovery and in terms of hindering their case.
Car and Truck Accidents
Car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other motor vehicle accidents account for the largest percentage (38%) of overall spine injury causes. The more severe the accident is, the more likely the vehicle occupants are to suffer a spinal injury. These injuries can also occur in minor accidents, it all depends on how the victim is struck and how the accident occurs.
Motor vehicle accidents caused all types of injuries. But when that injury affects one’s brain or spinal cord, the results can be devastating.
Slip and Falls
Slip and falls account for the second largest percentage of spinal cord injury causes, at 30.5%. Slip and falls can occur in places like grocery stores, offices, a neighbor’s home, in the workplace, and outside commercial spaces. Outdoor falls occur because of things like weather (snow, ice, and rain), as well as poorly maintained sidewalks and parking lots, or poor lighting. Inside slips and falls can occur because of spills, poorly maintaining flooring, and obstructions, like messes.
Whatever the cause, it is clear that slip and fall injuries are no laughing matter and can lead to extremely devastating injuries like those affecting her spine.
Medical malpractice can also bring complications to spinal cord injury cases. Medical malpractice cases aren’t as common as the others listed above, but they do occur. These cases can occur because of a wrongful diagnosis, an incorrect prescription, or surgical error. Most of the time, these cases occur when a patient is already injured and then are mistreated by the hospital or emergency room. However, spinal cord injuries can also occur because of an error in surgery, although this is rare.
Signs of a Spinal Cord Injury
A spinal cord injury is damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal. These injuries can present themselves in many ways depending on where the injury occurs on the spine.
Spinal cord injuries are categorized based on “completeness”.
A complete spinal cord injury will be accompanied by a complete loss of feeling and the inability to control movement in one’s body.
An incomplete spinal cord injury means that the victim may still have some sensory function and control of their movement.
Symptoms of spinal cord injuries can include:
- loss of movement,
- loss or altered sensation, like the inability to feel heat, cold, or touch,
- loss of bowel or bladder control,
- changes in sexual function,
- pain or intense stinging,
- and difficulty breathing.
Severe symptoms can include:
- extreme pressure,
- loss of sensation,
- difficulty walking,
- impaired breathing,
- severe pain in the neck or back,
If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should see your doctor right away.
What to do After Sustaining a Spinal Injury
After an incident that could have potentially caused a spinal injury, the most important thing to do is to get checked out by a healthcare professional. Not only is it important for your own health but it is also important to document your injuries in case you need to seek damages later.
Many people—after an incident like a slip and fall or car accident—think that they do not have any injuries, or any serious injuries, until days after when the adrenaline and shock wears off. This is often when people realize that they may have a serious injury and by then they could have already damaged their body further and potentially damaged their case as well.
After a healthcare professional fully examines you, they can then determine the best course of action and begin treatment. This may include medications like steroids, a longer stay at the hospital, and referrals to specialists who can help with treatment and rehabilitation. You may also need physical therapy and other follow up treatments to fully recover.
This is when people often begin to get nervous about the bills and costs that are piling up. All of the tests, diagnostics, and treatments that are necessary for an injury as serious as spinal cord damage can be very expensive.
This is usually when people begin to think that they may need to contact an attorney. A qualified spinal cord injury attorney can help you get the compensation that you need to cover the damages that you have incurred, like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future expenses
Collecting Damages from Spinal Cord Injuries
Dealing with a spinal cord injury can be expensive. You may have mountains of debt from the various hospitals, doctors, and therapists you’ve had to see. You may also feel like your quality of life has gone downhill—also known as pain and suffering—because of your accident. These are all things that you could receive compensation for.
When it comes to monetary expenses, you can collect damages for medical bills related to your injury, as well as any wages you may have lost after being out of work. You can also recover damages for any in-home care you may need, like a personal shopper, housekeeper, or even child care.
When it comes to non-monetary damages, like pain and suffering, your attorney can help you decide exactly how much you may qualify for. These numbers are calculated based off of each individual injury and may be more or less depending on how much the accident has affected your life.
When it comes to pain and suffering, we often ask people: how much would someone have to pay you to never pick up your child again? Or what if you could never have sexual intercourse again? How much are these everyday things worth?
The more severe your injury was, the more money you’re likely to get. You can also recover damages for loss of earning potential if you’re no longer able to complete the job in your field.
Everyone’s potential damages vary based on the individual facts of their case. This is why it is important to speak to an attorney before moving forward with any offer from an insurance company or with filing a lawsuit on your own.
Contact an Experienced Minneapolis Spinal Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord injury, the lawyers at Sand Law are here to help. We are ready to help you get the compensation that you deserve while you focus on your recovery. Our lawyers have years of experience with spinal cord injury cases and will do everything in our power to give you the best representation possible.