Philadelphia Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer for Accident Victims
Our Attorneys Explain Spine Injuries in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
A spinal cord injury can profoundly affect your life, including your ability to work or engage in ordinary activities. Damage to your spine can take months or even years to heal, or may cause a permanent condition like paralysis. As a result, you could face hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills in addition to lost wages and other expenses. However, if your spine injury was the result of the careless or negligent actions of another, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.
If you need a Philadelphia spinal cord injury lawyer after an accident, our law firm can help. We have extensive experience handling personal injury cases involving the spine and will help you explore your legal options. Our attorneys do more than evaluate physical damages, we assess the full range of needs for spinal cord injury victims. These needs often include past and future medical bills, adaptive equipment, adapted living quarters and other expenses. In this way, we ensure that you or your loved one can maintain the quality of life you or they deserve. In one case our attorneys recovered $55 million for a client who suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury from a car crash when his seatbelt did not protect him in a rollover accident.
Key Facts About Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries typically result from direct trauma to the spine, often from a car crash or other accident. An impact of sufficient force can cause the vertebrae of the spine to fracture or become dislocated. When this happens, the nerves of the spinal cord, which are essential to movement of the limbs, can sustain damage. A fractured or dislocated vertebra is extremely painful and can require surgery and extensive rehabilitation. However, the effects of damage to the spinal cord itself are often worse.
There are two types of spinal cord injuries. Complete spinal cord injury results in a total loss of motor function below the site of the damage. Incomplete spinal cord injury, on the other hand, results in limited movement and sensation below the injury site. Other key facts about spinal cord injury, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, include:
- Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries.
- On average, more than 11,000 people in the U.S. sustain spinal cord injuries every year.
- 81.2 percent of spinal cord injury victims are male.
- Less than 1 percent of people who suffer a spinal cord injury recover completely.
- Up to 450,000 people in America currently live with a spinal cord injury.
What are the Most Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injury?
Almost any catastrophic accident can result in spinal cord injury, even a seemingly minor accident like a fall. The most common causes of spinal cord injury include:
- Vehicular accidents. Motor vehicle accidents that cause spinal cord injuries are not limited to car crashes. Other vehicles that also cause accidents resulting in spine injuries include trucks, buses, bicycles, airplanes, snowmobiles, boats, tractors, bulldozers and trains. Roughly half of all types of spinal cord injuries result from vehicle accidents.
- Slip and fall accidents. Property owners have a responsibility to ensure that guests and invitees are reasonably safe from these kinds of accidents. However, falls resulting from unsafe stairs, steps, ladders, trees or scaffolding are among the most common causes of spine injuries. Slip and fall spinal injuries may also result from ice and snow, falls from playground equipment, falls into water, swimming pool, falls at work sites.
- Construction site accidents. Employers of construction workers have a duty to ensure that safety precautions are followed to protect employees from injury. Often, spinal cord injuries are the result of unsafe working conditions. A slip and fall accident may result from unsafe working conditions, and these falls can occur at great heights. Workers may also suffer injuries from equipment due to improper training or failure to follow safety protocols. Other times, construction spinal cord injuries can result from defective equipment.
- Acts of violence. Gunshot wounds, assault with blunt objects, falls that result from being pushed, explosions, stabbings, and impalements can all cause spinal injuries.
- Recreational and sports accidents. Many spinal injuries and accidents occur through participation in athletic events or recreational activities. Diving injuries are the most common sports-related spinal cord injuries, but contact and winter sports accidents are also common causes.
- Medical malpractice. If a doctor makes a mistake while performing spine surgery, or any other procedure, a spinal cord injury is a possible result. Blood clots and infections caused by incorrect medications or dosages can also affect the spine.
- Miscellaneous/other. Some causes of spinal cord injuries are referred to as “unclassified”. These may include accidents that involve machinery accidents, or even the weather.
What are the Most Common Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms and Effects?
The consequences of a spinal cord injury vary depending upon the severity and location of the injury. Most frequently, spinal cord injuries result in varying forms of paralysis such as paraplegia or quadriplegia. Paraplegia is the paralysis of the legs and lower body, while quadriplegia is the paralysis of all four limbs. Other spinal cord injury symptoms and results include:
- Brain damage
- Loss of sensation
- Limited mobility or paralysis, including paraplegia and quadriplegia
- Impaired speech and vision
- Breathing problems
- Impaired bowel and bladder control
- Sexual dysfunction
Some of these symptoms are treatable and may even disappear altogether. After a spine injury, the damaged tissue may swell, causing temporary negative effects. As a result, your doctor may not know the full extent of your injuries right away. Surgery and physical therapy can help in some cases, but spinal injury is often permanent, at least to some extent.
Call a Philadelphia Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation About Your Spine Injury Case
If you or a family member has been affected by a spine injury, it is important that you pursue compensation that reflects not only the needs of today, but those of tomorrow as well. A spinal cord injury attorney from our personal injury law firm can help you plan for the future and determine what you will need going forward. We will work to ensure you have the financial resources you need to pay your bills and lead a fulfilling life.
If you or a loved one sustained injuries due to the careless or negligent actions of another, we are here to help. We have office locations in Philadelphia, PA and Cherry Hill, NJ. Contact us today to speak with a knowledgeable spinal cord injury lawyer. We offer free initial consultations and handle cases on a contingency fee basis — so you pay nothing unless we get results for you.