A spinal cord injury is one of the most devastating and life-altering injuries to the human body.
There are different types of injuries involving the spine that can occur, and they are either caused by a trauma, like a car accident, or a non-traumatic incident, like spinal tumors, multiple sclerosis or inflammation of the spinal cord.
The Goldberg Noone Law Firm represents victims of traumatic spinal cord injuries and specializes in handling paraplegia, tetraplegia, and quadriplegia cases. The most common causes of traumatic spinal cord injuries are:
- Motor vehicle accidents: 38%
- Falls: 30.5%
- Violence (mostly gunshot wounds): 13.5%
- Sports Injury: 9%
- Medical / Surgical Complications: 5%
- Other: 4%
Different Types of Spinal Cord Injury
Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries – These types of injuries affect the head and neck regions, above the shoulders. These are usually the most severe type of spinal cord injury, because they occur very close to the brain and affect a larger section of the body. The 7 vertebrae (C-1 to C-7), comprise the cervical portion of the spine at the top of the spinal column, and injuries can cause lack of feeling or movement from the shoulders down. A severe cervical spinal cord injury can be fatal or result in quadriplegia.
Thoracic Spinal Cord Injuries – These types of injuries affect the upper and middle part of the back, where the vertebrae T-1 through T-12 are located. This is the part of the spine that provides a person's stability and ability to stand upright. These types of injuries generally affect the muscles of the abdomen and low back, and also the legs, in some cases. A thoracic spinal cord injury can cause paraplegia.
Lumbar Spinal Cord Injury – This type of injury happens in the lower portion of the spinal column, and affect lumbar nerves L-1 through L-5. This part of the spine is meant to support more weight than the others, and the vertebrae are larger. This means a general diminishing function of the hips and legs, but the upper body is usually not affected.
Sacral Spinal Cord Injuries – The sacral, or sacrum, is the lowest portion of the spine, right above the tailbone, where five bones are fused together called S-1 to S-5. Injuries to the sacral spine can affect the hip and groin area, the back of the thighs, the buttock and the perineal area. These injuries will generally result in lack of hip and leg function, loss of voluntary bowel and bladder control, and lack of sexual function.
There are also what are called ‘complete' and ‘incomplete' spinal cord injuries. A complete spinal cord injury means there is permanent damage to a certain portion of the spinal cord, which results in either paraplegia, tetraplegia, or quadriplegia. An incomplete spinal cord injury refers to partial damage to the spinal cord. Whether a patient loses the ability to move or loses feelings in the legs or other body parts depends on the area of the spine that was injured. These injuries are the most life-altering and devastating of all injuries.
Although any type of spinal cord injury is serious, the area of the spinal cord that is damaged by a traumatic event determines if, and when, a person may begin to recover. For example, a lumbar spinal cord injury victim may likely get back to their mobility and independence by following a comprehensive rehabilitation program. Someone who experiences a cervical spinal cord injury, however, is more likely to require around-the-clock care for the rest of their lives. A lot depends on the area of the spine that was injured, the severity of the injury, and whether it is a complete or non-complete injury.
In 2016, the Goldberg Noone Law Firm was retained to represent a man who was involved in a horrific traffic crash with a dump truck and was rendered a quadriplegic because of his spinal cord injuries. He will now require 24-hour medical and personal care, and his life and the lives of his family have been tragically changed forever. You can read more about the case, and our $12.5 million dollar settlement, here.
Determining the Value of a Spinal Cord Injury Case
The financial and emotional stress of suffering a spinal cord injury can be devastating, not only for the victim, but for their entire family, too. A person who suffers a severe spinal cord injury may be facing millions of dollars of medical costs, and there are a few factors that may dictate what a spinal cord injury claim may be worth:
- Proving fault of the person or entity that caused your injury
- Your past and future medical needs
- The severity of the spinal cord injury
- Insurance coverage available
As in many injury lawsuits, there are 2 types of compensable damages our spinal cord injury attorneys will focus on when representing a victim in a legal action – economic and non-economic damages.
Non-economic damages include emotional damage, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, and loss of consortium, which means you no longer can experience a normal relationship with your spouse.
Economic damages refers to financial considerations, including past medical care, the costs of your future care and rehabilitation, lost wages, and income that you will no longer be able to earn as a result of your spinal cord injury, or ‘loss of earning capacity.' Our spinal cord injury attorneys hire the most skilled economists and other vocational experts to prepare a detailed analysis of your forecasted financial losses from being unable to work the rest of your life. These renowned professionals also serve as expert witnesses at your trial to present these findings to a jury in order to receive adequate compensation for your future lost earnings.
We also retain experts in long-term life care planning and economics who are also medical doctors. These experts compile data and financial information specific to your situation and your injury to forecast the costs of your future care and rehabilitation. These experts are a critical part of ensuring you are awarded an amount equal to what you'll require in medical care and other needs for the rest of your life.
The more details that can be presented on your behalf, the better your chances of receiving fair and reasonable financial compensation for your injuries. Providing proof of your pain and suffering is our job, and we'll stop at nothing to make sure you receive what you deserve in order to begin to put your life back together.
One Phone Call Will Begin the Process
After suffering a spinal cord injury, you will have questions about how to handle the overwhelming medical expenses, rehabilitation, and the long road ahead. Our experienced spinal cord injury attorneys are always available, 24-7, to speak directly to you and give you the answers you need to make informed decisions.
You can call our downtown Fort Myers Office at 239-461-5508, or just fill out this simple form, and we'll get in touch with you immediately.
Because of the complexity of spinal cord injuries, it is important to speak to an attorney before giving any statements to any insurance company.