The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center reports that around 17,700 new cases of spinal cord injuries (SCI) occur each year and approximately 288,000 people in the United States are living with a spinal cord injury.
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s negligence, the Montana spinal cord injury lawyers of Kovacich Snipes Johnson, P.C. have the experience you need. At Kovacich Snipes Johnson, P.C. we have worked for over 30 years to help Montana victims of spinal cord injuries get fair compensation. Victims require compensation to pay for expensive medical treatment and to recover lost wages.
Defining a Spinal Cord Injury
The spinal cord is the bundle of nerve fibers enclosed by the spine that connects the brain to all parts of the body, carrying messages back and forth. A back or spinal injury is one that injures the protective bones or ligaments that surround the spinal cord. An injury to the spinal cord occurs when damage to the spine affects the spinal cord itself, causing pain, paralysis, even death.
What Are The Different Types of Spinal Cord Injuries There?
There are two major types of spinal cord injuries, complete and incomplete. Incomplete SCI results when only part of the spinal cord suffers damage, allowing the victim to retain function in some limbs. When an injury fully severs the spinal cord, a complete spinal cord injury occurs. Victims retain no function below the point of injury to the spinal cord incomplete spinal injuries.
What Are the Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?
Automobile accidents are one of the most common causes of spinal cord injury. In an accident, the impact may break the spine, resulting in damage to the spinal cord and a loss of function as a result.
Falls are another common source of spinal cord injuries. Falls often occur at work, especially in construction jobs and other workplaces involving working from heights. Neglected maintenance in premises also causes falls. A slippery floor or a damaged staircase can result in falls that damage the back and injure the spinal cord.
Medical malpractice may also result in a spinal cord injury. Surgeries to the back require care on the part of the surgeon; any negligence during an operation to the back can result in a spinal cord injury that can impact you for a lifetime.
What Are the Symptoms and Treatment?
The symptoms of a serious spinal cord injury can be immediate and obvious or gradually increase over time as damage continues to take effect. A loss of motor control in limbs, especially numbness or tingling in extremities, may indicate a spinal cord injury. Other symptoms include pain or intense stinging, difficulty breathing or coughing, and weakness or a loss of feeling in affected areas.
Treatment includes testing to determine the nature and extent of your spinal cord injury including X-rays, CT scans, and MRI. Administration of certain medications may be a treatment option for spinal injuries but carries the risk of serious side effects. Immobilization of the spine, while the body attempts to repair itself, may be effective in some cases. Finally, the injury may require surgery to remove any bone fragments or other objects from compressing the spine.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries?
Patients with spinal cord injuries may experience recovery within a week to six months, with slight improvements up to two years after the injury. However, those with significant spinal cord injuries may experience paralysis for life, difficulty with bladder control and sexual function, difficulties in breathing and coughing, muscular atrophy and obesity, pain, and depression.
Who Is Liable For Injuring My Spine?
Every case is different. Determining who is liable in your case will require a thorough examination of the evidence and all the parties involved. The persons liable may include a driver of the car involved in an auto accident, a company that failed to properly maintain equipment or takes safety precautions, or even a doctor who failed to warn you of the potential risks of a surgery. Your attorney will go over the evidence with you to determine who is liable for your injury.
What Damages Can I Expect?
Spinal cord injuries can be very expensive, often requiring special equipment and medical treatment for life.
Compensation you may pursue includes:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
If your injury significantly impacts your ability to work, you may also fight for compensation for diminished earning capacity.
Call the Montana Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers at Kovacich Snipes Johnson, P.C. for a Free Consultation!
The Montana spinal cord injury lawyer attorneys of Kovacich Snipes Johnson, P.C. have helped many accident victims get compensation for spinal cord injuries in the Montana area. Call for a free consultation today and put our experience to work for you. You don’t have to face this trial alone; our attorneys understand the law and will work to get you the treatment you deserve.