When accidental injuries occur, the impacts can be devastating. Even a seemingly minor accident can leave you or a loved one with a spinal injury severe enough to put your health and financial future in jeopardy. When these types of injuries occur, you need a professional, compassionate attorney on your side, working hard to assist you in getting the compensation you need to recover.
At Wilentz, our seasoned accident attorneys understand the impacts that can result from spinal injuries. For injured victims and their family members, we act as a strong legal advocate, guiding you through dealings with insurance companies, helping you achieve the best possible results in your particular case.
Accidents Resulting In Spinal Injuries
According to research conducted by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), spinal injuries are one of the most common types of accidental injuries suffered in the United States. Unfortunately, depending on the nature and severity of the injury, the impacts can be severe, resulting in limited movement, paralysis and loss of body functioning, and in some cases, death. The most common causes of spinal injuries listed by the NSCISC include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Acts of violence
- Sports related injuries
- Medical and surgical errors
- On-the-job accidents
According to 2018 statistics published by the NSCISC, there are 17,700 new spinal cord injury cases each year, and, nearly 300,000 patients living in the United States are struggling to recover in the aftermath of their injury. The medical costs of dealing with a spinal injury can be staggering; hospital expenses, physical rehabilitation, lost wages, and the need for home health care, can result in costs into the millions of dollars.
The Devastating Effects Of Spinal Cord Injuries
According to the consumer version of the Merck Manual, a leading information resource for the medical community, spinal injuries can occur as the result of the following:
- Jarring or blunt force
- Pressure from broken bones and bruising
- Tears to the spinal cord itself
While tears in the spinal cord can result in partial or complete paralysis, damage to the vertebrae and connective tissues, such as discs and ligaments, can also be severe. These bones and tissues serve to protect the spinal cord against damage, and when fractures, misalignments, or loosening occur in vertebrae and discs, the pieces move freely, and can compress the spinal cord, decrease blood, and damage spinal nerve roots. The result can be extreme and debilitating pain, swelling, and loss of sensory or motor function. In patients with paralysis and those whose movements are limited, there is an increased risk for blood clots, pressure sores that can easily become infected, contracted or shortened muscles, and respiratory issues, including pneumonia.
Living With A Spinal Injury
According to the Merck Manual, victims of spinal injuries are more likely to make a full recovery if paralysis is only partial and movement or feeling in the affected area begins to return within several weeks after the injury. If immobility and lack of sensation persists longer than six months, the paralysis the person is experiencing is more likely to be permanent.
In cases of severe spinal injuries and damage to the spinal cord, the injured person is likely to require extensive help and support. In addition to ensuring that quality health care is available to deal with the medical issues that are sure to arise, the United Spinal Association advises that there are other important concerns that will need to be addressed. These include the following:
- Providing accessible transportation for doctor and hospital visits
- Making sure you have the proper medical gear, such as hospital beds, monitoring equipment, and medical aids
- Obtaining mobility equipment, such as wheelchairs or walkers
- Modifications in the home to accommodate disabilities, including ramps and lifts
- Providing physical rehabilitation services
- Ensuring recreational needs are met
- Assessing the need for home health care services
How We Can Help
If you or someone you care about has suffered a spinal injury as the result of an accident, contact the law offices of Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer today. Our experienced accident attorneys understand the challenges you are likely facing, and the long terms impact these injuries can have on you and your family members. We can assist you in getting the maximum amount of compensation you may be entitled to for the damages you have suffered, either through an insurance company claim or by filing a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.