Spinal injuries are a serious type of injury that can occur because of various different accidents caused by negligence. Spinal injuries can range from moderate to life-threatening, and will likely put a strain on your life physically, financially, and mentally. Many incidents that caused spinal injuries fall under the umbrella of personal injury, meaning that you may be able to sue the person or company that negligently caused your injury.
Filing a personal injury case for your spinal injury can help you to get the compensation and peace of mind that you need to get back on your feet. If you’re located in the White Bear Lake area, one of our experienced attorneys at Sand Law would be happy to speak to you about your case to review your rights and options. Once hired, an attorney can help you to form your case, negotiate with the insurance companies, and take the weight off of your shoulders while you focus on healing.
Causes of Spinal Injuries
Spinal injuries can occur because of many different types of accidents, including motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, because of defective products, and even due to medical malpractice. Spinal injuries can range from moderate to severe depending on the cause of the injury and the location in which you were injured. Most spinal injuries are not “mild” since an injury to the spinal cord or surrounding area almost always causes severe pain and disruption to your life.
A spinal injury that occurs lower on the spinal column is more likely to be classified as incomplete, while an injury that occurs higher up is more likely to be considered complete. A complete spinal injury means that the spinal cord has been severed completely and the victim has fully lost the ability to convey messages to or from the brain. An incomplete injury means that ability is only partially lost.
According to the Shepherd Center, there are approximately 291,000 people living with spinal cord injuries in the United States. On top of that, there are about 17,700 new spinal cord injuries that occur each year, most of which occur because of motor vehicle accidents and slips and falls.
Spinal Injuries caused by Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries. This is mostly because of whiplash. The back and forth movement that a car accident causes can injure the neck and spine. Whiplash occurs when the head and neck move back and forth too rapidly, a common occurrence when a car is rear-ended. In total, there are about three million new cases of whiplash each year.
Spinal injuries can also be caused by motor vehicle accidents as a result of a sudden blow to the spine or surrounding tissues, causing the vertebrae to break. The spine may also become crushed or dislocated depending on the impact and severity of the vehicle accident.
Spinal Injuries caused by Slip and Falls
Slips and falls are also in the top three causes of spinal injuries. This is because slip and fall incidents can be so dangerous, often leading to broken bones, bruising, internal bleeding, and of course, damage to the neck and back.
Spinal cord injuries can occur because of falls in parking lots, on wet surfaces, and down stairs. Severe spinal injuries can also occur because of falls off of buildings or higher levels, especially in the construction or oil industry. Spinal injuries caused by slip and falls or trip and falls are often caused by negligence since the reason for the incident is so commonly negligence. A pallet left in the middle of a store, a loose handrail nobody bothered to fix, or a cracked parking lot at a busy restaurant can all cause serious spinal injuries.
Spinal Injuries caused by Defective Products
Defective products, like a defective semi truck part or a scooter that should have never been put on the market, can all cause major injuries including those to the spine. Unlike in other situations, like walking downstairs, most incidents that cause an injury due to a defective product often catch people unaware.
Defective products can be almost anything that is manmade, but most often, defective products that cause spinal injuries are tires, defective construction equipment, unsafe flooring, defective brakes, or other defective auto parts. A company is required to ensure the safety of their product before releasing it to the public. If it is not safe, the company may be liable for any injuries that occur because of the defective product.
Spinal Injuries caused by Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is said to cause about 5% of all spinal cord injuries. However, when a spine injury is caused by medical error, they are often severe.
Medical malpractice often occurs because of surgical error, misdiagnosis, improper treatment or care, the wrong prescription or dosage of medication, emergency room mistakes, and early discharge from the hospital. Medical malpractice can affect those who have pre-existing injuries, often making an existing injury worse because of the improper care that they received.
Who Can Be Held Liable for My Spinal Injury?
There are various different parties that could be held liable for your spinal injury depending on how you were injured. In car accidents, the liable party is often the other driver involved. They could be liable because they were texting while driving, speeding, drinking and driving, driving recklessly, or just not paying attention.
Liability is often less straightforward for commercial truck accidents, as there are many different parties that could be liable. It could be the driver, for driving recklessly, or it could be the trucking company for overscheduling a driver or not performing necessary safety checks. Manufacturers and loaders can also be liable if a part is defective or if the truck hasn’t been properly loaded.
Liability and negligence go hand in hand. Whoever was acting with negligence in your case is often the party that is liable. One or more parties may be liable for your case, and your attorney can help you investigate further to figure out exactly who is liable so that you can get the compensation you need to recover.
Recovering Damages Caused by a Spinal Injury
After a spinal injury, you may be stressed about how you’re going to pay for the medical debt you have accumulated. With a good attorney, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that they will do everything they can to get you the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
When it comes to economic damages, you can recover damages for medical bills (including surgery costs, hospital visits, doctor visits, therapy, and any other costs related to the treatment of your injury), any wages you may have lost while out of work, and any in-home care you may have needed.
For non-economic damages, you may be able to get compensation for your pain and suffering. You may also be able to receive compensation for loss of consortium and loss of future earning capacity.
How Can a White Bear Lake Spinal Injury Attorney Help Me?
If you or a loved one has a spinal injury because of another person’s negligence, please contact the personal injury attorneys at Sand Law. With years of experience under our belts, we will make sure that you receive the time and attention your case deserves, and we will work hard to get you the compensation and justice you deserve. For more information, please contact us at 651-291-7263 or by contacting us online.