Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer in Columbia, SC
A spinal cord injury (SCI) could have a significant and lasting impact on your life or the life of a loved one. Because the spinal cord transmits signals from the brain to the rest of the body, an injury to this delicate system could affect your physical capabilities as well as your mental health and emotional well-being. These injuries could require extensive treatment and depending on the severity and location of the injury, may affect mobility or sensation in a long-term capacity. If you’re in a position to file legal action due to a recent spinal injury – either an SCI or another significant spinal injury – you may be able to avoid paying for the financial consequences associated with such injuries.
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal injury due to a third party’s actions or inactions, you have a right to hold the at-fault party or parties liable and seek compensation for medical expenses and other related costs. A Columbia spine injury lawyer from the Law Offices of S. Chris Davis can build a strong case on your behalf and pursue compensation for the injuries you or a loved one has suffered. Contact our firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal options and to learn how our firm can pursue the compensation you deserve.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Spinal Cord Injury
You have a right to take legal action if you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of an accident or other injurious circumstances caused by a third party’s negligence, recklessness, or intentionally dangerous behavior. For example, if your spinal cord was injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver, you’re in a strong position to pursue compensation for your medical bills and other expenses related to your injuries.
What Is a Cervical Spine Injury?
A cervical spine injury is an injury that occurs in the top portion of the spinal column, known as the cervical spine. The cervical spine comprises seven vertebrae (C-1 through C-7) located in the neck. Injuries to the cervical spine are often the most devastating, leading to quadriplegia or total body paralysis.
Cervical spine injuries often lead to challenges with respiration. These injuries are more likely to be fatal than injuries elsewhere on the spinal cord. Many victims of cervical spine injuries will require medical and personal care for the rest of the
What Is a Thoracic Spine Injury?
A thoracic spine injury is an injury located on the spinal column in the upper and middle back. The thoracic spine consists of 12 vertebrae, labeled T-1 through T-12. Thoracic spine injuries almost always result in some degree of lower body paralysis. However, the nature of the paralysis of the upper body will depend on the location of the injury. Injuries between T-6 through T-12 will affect the lower abdomen and lower arms and hands, although injury victims may retain some function in their arms and hands. Injuries located between T-1 and T-5 will affect the chest and shoulders.
What Is a Lumbar Spine Injury?
A lumbar spine injury is an injury in the lowest portion of the spinal column, below the thoracic spine and above the sacrum, which is the tail end of the spine. The lumbar spine contains five vertebrae, labeled L-1 through L-5. Lumbar spine injuries may cause some degree of paralysis to the legs and, depending on the location of the injury, may also affect pelvic organs such as the bladder, bowel, and sexual organs. The parts of the body above the pelvis are usually not affected by a lumbar spine injury.
Long-Term Effects and Treatment of a Spinal Cord Injury
The physical impairments caused by a spinal cord injury can have long-lasting effects and may require lifelong treatment and care. Spinal cord injuries can cause partial or complete paralysis, which can profoundly impact a person’s life. Some of the most common complications of spinal cord injuries include:
- Changes to bladder and bowel control, which can increase the risk of UTI and kidney infections, kidney stones, or bowel obstructions
- Increased risk of pressure ulcers due to paralysis, which can restrict a person’s ability to move, thereby placing constant pressure on certain parts of the body, complicated by the person’s inability to sense pain and realize when pressure wounds are beginning to form
- Cardiovascular problems, including difficulties with low blood pressure or life-threatening spikes in blood pressure, and increased risk of blood clots
- Difficulty breathing and clearing the lungs, which can lead to respiratory infections
- Loss of bone density and muscle tone, which may lead to more frequent bone fractures and muscle spasming
- Chronic pain
- Impact on sexual function and fertility
- Increased challenges with fitness and wellness due to a more sedentary lifestyle, which can lead to obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes
- Mental health challenges, including the onset of anxiety and depression
Long-term treatment may include physical and occupational therapy to help maintain motor function and muscle tone and medications to help with complications like blood clots, blood pressure issues, impotency, respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and digestive tract infections. Some spinal cord injury victims also benefit from ongoing mental health treatment to cope with depression and anxiety.
How Much Compensation Could You Be Awarded for a Spinal Cord Injury?
If you or someone you love has recently suffered a spinal cord injury, you may be entitled to pursue compensation for monetary losses, such as the cost of medical treatment, and personal losses, such as emotional distress. In a spinal cord injury case, you may seek compensation for:
- Medical bills for emergency room visits and hospital care, surgeries, other medical procedures, physical or occupational rehabilitation and related therapy, prescription medications, doctor’s appointments, and estimated future medical costs
- Medical or mobility equipment, such as wheelchairs, for accommodation of your injuries
- Loss of income, if you are unable to return to work while treating and recovering from your spinal cord injuries
- Loss of earning capacity, if you are unable to return to your job or seek gainful employment due to your SCI
- Physical pain and distress
- Emotional trauma and suffering related to your injuries