Were you impacted by the recent hurricanes?
If you suffered a spinal cord injury caused by another party’s recklessness or carelessness, a Lake Charles personal injury attorney at Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC can help you secure the compensation you need and deserve.
While the brain is the powerhouse organ that controls our thoughts, how we move, when we breathe, and everything in between, the spinal cord is the highway that passes the brain’s vital information to the rest of the body. When that crucial highway is damaged, the results can be permanent and life-changing.
How do these injuries happen in the first place? Unfortunately, many are the result of general negligence, negligence behind the wheel, and preventable slip and fall accidents. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center estimates that there are 17,730 new cases of spinal cord injuries every year in the United States.
Spinal cord injuries are life-altering. At Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC, we understand that you may never be able to get back everything that you lost as a result of this type of injury. What we can offer you is a legal way to recover the financial reward you so readily deserve.
We are passionate about helping victims of spinal cord injuries hold negligent parties responsible and getting them the maximum amount of compensation available. We know you are going through a lot right now. Let one of our compassionate attorneys shoulder your legal burden for you. Contact the office of Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC at 337-800-8800 to find out how we can help.
What Constitutes a Spinal Cord Injury?
The spinal cord is a large bundle of nerves, about 18 inches long on average, that is attached to the base of the brain. It extends down the back and is protected by bones known as vertebra. The spinal cord’s main function is to carry nerve impulses back and forth from the brain to the rest of the body and from the body to the brain.
A spinal cord injury or SCI happens when damage is done to this bundle of nerves as a result of an accident, injury, or medical condition. Since the spinal cord is the major carrier of information to and from the brain, any type of damage to it can result in a loss of bodily function.
Many people assume that the spinal cord must be severed for a loss of function to occur. That is not always the case. Any type of damage done to this sensitive bundle of nerves may result in a loss of mobility, muscle function, numbness, or loss of feeling.
Types of Accidents That Can Result in a Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries are most often the result of some type of serious accident or immense trauma. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center found that the most common cause of spinal cord injury in the United States is car accidents. 39.3 percent of new spinal cord injuries are the result of a vehicle collision, followed closely by falls at 31.8 percent. The violent nature and impact of car crashes and falls are typically why spinal cords are damaged. Foreign objects or shrapnel can slice through the spinal cord, causing serious and life-shattering injuries.
However, simply the violent action of hitting another object at high speeds, even something as seemly innocuous as falling to the floor, can be enough to cause serious damage. In many instances, it is the breaking of the bones meant to protect the spinal cord that can end up causing the most damage. Sharp fragments of bone can sever the spinal cord; herniated discs damaged in a fall can put immense pressure on the spinal cord; and swelling from other injuries can restrict the spinal cord, causing damage.
While traumatic accidents make up the bulk of spinal cord injury cases, medical malpractice and certain medical conditions can also result in damage to the spinal cord. When it comes to spinal cord injuries, the legal team at Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC has seen a wide variety of circumstances that have resulted in these types of injuries. Here are just some of the most common types of accident and injury cases that we can handle:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice cases
- Birth injuries
Spinal Cord Injuries and Their Impact on the Body
Spinal cord injuries can be complex. The location of the injury along the spinal column and the severity of the damage are what dictate how devastating the injury will be. There are two different types of spinal cord injuries: complete and incomplete.
A complete spinal cord injury is one where there is a total loss of function below the level of the injury itself. A complete spinal cord injury is typically the result of the spinal cord itself being severed in some way.
An incomplete spinal cord injury means that there may still be some function below the level of the injury. There may be numbness, loss of feeling, or the ability to move one limb but not the other. An incomplete injury could be the result of the spinal cord being bruised, stretched, or crushed.
Which body parts are impacted by the injury depends on where the injury takes place on the spinal column. There are four main regions of the spine: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral.
The cervical spine includes the first eight vertebrae in the human body from the top of the neck at the back of the head down to the top of the shoulders. An injury in this area of the spinal cord can result in quadriplegia or the loss of function in all four limbs. All regions of the body below the point of injury can be impacted, which means in addition to a loss of function in the limbs, there can be a loss of physical sensations, respiratory issues, inability to regulate body temperature, and the inability to regulate bowels and bladder.
The next section is known as the thoracic region. Spinal cord damage in this region is not common because the rib cage also lends support and protection to this part of the body. However, thoracic injuries can result in paraplegia or the loss of function in two limbs, (the legs) along with the inability to regulate bowels and bladder, and sexual dysfunction.
Lumbar spinal cord injuries also may result in paraplegia and similar problems with the lower half of the body.
The very end of the spinal cord reaches the sacral area. A sacral level injury can result in weakness in the legs, the inability to regulate bowels and bladder, and sexual dysfunction.
There is not yet a cure for spinal cord damage. No viable medical treatment can repair a severed spine or significant neural damage. In some circumstances, people recover some minor function because swelling decreases after the initial trauma of the accident itself, but in general, once the damage is done, it will be permanent.
Compensation for Spinal Cord Injuries
It is frightening to read about the consequences of a spinal cord injury and it is devastating to imagine what life is going to look like after an excruciating accident. However, it is important to know what you are up against, especially when it comes to your continued medical care.
The first-year expenses for a paraplegic total more than $550,000. First-year expenses for a quadriplegic patient can range between $816,000 to well over $1,000,000 depending on the level of the injury. That is just for the first year of care. The numbers compounded over a lifetime of medical care can be frightening. The unfortunate reality of a spinal cord injury is that it not only changes your life physically, but it can completely alter your life financially as well.
At Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC, we understand that you are still working through the very heavy emotional toll this injury has taken on you and your family. At the same time, we also want you to know that you may have legal options that entitle you to recover compensation for your injures and medical expenses.
Getting involved in a legal matter is probably the furthest thing from your mind at the moment, but it may be an option depending on the circumstances of your accident. You have suffered enough. Don’t put yourself and your family in a major financial crisis trying to pay for a lifetime of medical bills that aren’t your fault.
Contact an Experienced Louisiana Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one are suffering from a spinal cord injury as a result of an accident, talk to a sensitive and dedicated spinal cord injury lawyer with Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC about your legal rights and options. We know you may feel alone, depressed, and think you have no one to turn to. Our main priority at Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC is to be a compassionate shoulder for you to lean on during this difficult time while we fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact our office today at 337-800-8800 to schedule a free initial consultation. Let us review your case and help you move forward.