Spinal cord injuries are some of the most serious injuries that a person could suffer. They can have a significant impact on the person’s life.
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves and tissue that connects the brain to the rest of the body, forming the central nervous system. Trauma to this area of the body can cause irreversible harm to bodily function, nerve function, and motor abilities.
If you injured your spinal cord in a car or truck accident, on the job, in a fall, or from another accident in Cheyenne, Wyoming, legal help is available to you. Contact Olson Law Firm, LLC, now for a free discussion about your legal rights and options.
Spinal Cord Injury Statistics
Spinal cord injuries occur more often than you might think. For example:
- More than 250,000 people in the United States are living with a spinal cord injury.
- There are roughly 17,000 new spinal cord injuries in America every year.
- 20.4% of people suffering spinal cord injury are employed at the time of their injury, and 35.4% are employed 20 years after their injury.
- The average hospital stay is 12 days.
- The average rehabilitation center stay is 37 days.
- The average age of a spinal cord victim is 40 years old.
Different Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
There are four main categories of spinal cord injury, defined by the degree of functionality lost:
- Incomplete Quadriplegia – Diminished voluntary use of all four limbs
- Complete Quadriplegia – Little to no voluntary use of all four limbs
- Incomplete Paraplegia – Diminished voluntary use of the legs
- Complete Paraplegia – Little to no use of the legs
There are four primary regions of the spine:
- Sacral spine (lower triangle-shaped region)
- Lumbar spine (lower back)
- Thoracic spine (mid-back)
- Cervical spine (upper back and neck)
The categories of spinal cord debilitation described above can be caused by a variety of specific injuries, including:
- Fractured vertebrae – One of the 33 vertebrae in the spine becomes fractured and can pinch or compress the spinal cord.
- Herniated or ruptured discs – The discs lie between the vertebrae, and trauma to the spine can cause the soft inner layer of a disc to tear through the tough outer layer of cartilage.
- Bulging discs – Often reported in whiplash accidents, where the neck whips forward and back in quick succession, this can cause a disc to bulge out of its natural alignment.
- Pinched nerves – A bulging or herniated disc presses on a nerve, and sends signals of pain or numbness to other parts of the body.
- Spinal stenosis – Spaces in the spinal canal start to narrow, which puts pressure on the spinal column and nerves. Some people are born with this condition, but others can develop spinal stenosis following severe trauma to the spine.
- Spondylolysis – This describes the general degeneration of the spine. It can occur naturally with aging, but can also be brought on by a traumatic injury from an accident.
Common Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries
Some symptoms associated with spinal cord injuries include:
- Loss of nerve sensation
- Muscular weakness or impaired motor function
- Unexplained muscle spasms
- Impaired speech
- Loss of cognitive abilities
- Impaired regulation of body temperature
- Loss of touch sensation
- Difficulty breathing
- Sexual dysfunction
- Painful stinging sensations in the back indicating a pinched nerve
- Digestive problems
- Numbness and tingling
Top Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Injuries to the spinal cord can come from a variety of causes, including:
- 42.1% of spinal cord injuries from car accidents
- 26.7% from falls
- 15.1% from violence (usually gunshot wounds)
- 7.6% from sports accident
- 8.6% from other causes
Liability and Damages in a Wyoming Spinal Cord Injury Case
Most spinal cord injury lawsuits (and most personal injury cases in general) will focus on determining whose negligence caused the accident. The goal is to identify if a negligent party – for example, the driver of a car or truck that hit you on the road or the owner of a building where you slipped and fell – was responsible for your injury.
If your injury was caused by a defective or dangerous product, such as faulty seat belts or airbags, which contributed to damage to the spinal cord, you might be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer of those products. A risky surgical procedure could also cause spinal cord injury to the back or neck. This may fall under medical malpractice law.
The primary purpose of a monetary award in a spinal cord injury case is to compensate you for the losses you’ve incurred due to your accident. This could include payment for all related medical bills, lost wages from time off from work, and compensation for pain and suffering.
Since a spinal cord injury could have lifelong consequences, fair compensation might include long-term rehabilitation and care, assistive devices, and alterations to your home.
Contact Olson Law Firm, LLC in Cheyenne for Help with Your Spinal Cord Injury Claim
If you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury, you need an experienced personal injury advocate on your side. The Cheyenne injury lawyers of Olson Law Firm LLC can help you seek fair compensation for the harm you’ve suffered and losses you’ve incurred and will incur in the future.
The complex legal and medical issues that come with damage to the spinal cord require extensive knowledge of Wyoming personal injury and accident law. Because your focus should be on your recovery and your family’s well-being, our attorneys will be ready to step in and handle all the legal legwork on your behalf.
We will answer all your questions and put the concerns of you and your family first. Our goal will be to pursue the full compensation you’re entitled to.
Contact Olson Law Firm by phone or reach out online to take advantage of a free consultation with one of our compassionate and knowledgeable spinal cord injury lawyers today.
What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
Spinal cord injuries are among the most serious, frightening types of injuries that a person could suffer. They are also far more common than many people realize. According to data from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), approximately 17,000 Americans face the diagnosis of a spinal cord injury each year.
These injuries generally fall into two categories: complete injuries and incomplete injuries. With a complete injury, the nerves within the vertebrae are entirely severed. The victim will likely lose all sensory or motor function below the point of the spinal cord injury. With an incomplete injury, only some nerves tear. Victims may maintain reduced function or feeling below the point of the injury. Incomplete spinal cord injuries vary widely in their effects.
A Note from Sean on Spinal Cord Injuries:
The Devastating Consequences of a Spinal Cord Injury
The spinal cord is central to normal bodily functioning. The human body cannot perform the most basic tasks without the spinal cord. Even a small amount of spinal cord damage can be a catastrophic injury. Minor spinal cord injuries simply do not exist. Any amount of damage is cause for serious concern and requires immediate medical attention. The consequences of a spinal cord injury can be extremely disruptive to a person’s life. The victim may face:
- Loss of sensory perception;
- Loss of muscle control;
- Restricted ability to move;
- Severe cognitive impairment;
- Sexual dysfunction;
- Bladder or bowel control problems;
- Severe pain;
- Partial paralysis; or
- Total paralysis.
Spinal Cord Injuries Always Require Immediate Medical Attention
Spinal cord injuries need immediate treatment. The sooner medical attention is sought, the better the chances are that the victim will make a full physical and cognitive recovery. The impact of a spinal cord injury can be both wide-ranging and long-lasting. It often takes a team of experienced medical experts working together to ensure that that a victim gets the proper care that they need.
Tragically, it can be difficult for victims of serious spinal cord injuries to return to work or to live a fully normal life. In many cases, ongoing medical assistance and rehabilitative care is necessary. This can take a serious financial and emotional toll on the victim and their family. If another party was at fault for the accident that led to the spinal cord injury, it is imperative that the victim is able to hold them responsible for the costs. Spinal cord injury victims and their family members should work with a skilled personal injury lawyer who can help them get justice.
Speak to a Denver Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Today
At the Olson Law Firm, our legal team commits to providing top-quality legal representation to victims who have suffered spinal cord injuries. We believe that talking to your lawyer should be simple and easy — not overwhelming or confusing. If you or a family member suffered a serious spinal cord injury, please contact Denver personal injury lawyer Sean Olson for a free consultation.
Why are Spinal Cord Injuries So Serious?
The Serious Nature of Spinal Cord Injuries
After a serious accident, Denver personal injury lawyer Sean Olson can help. Reach out today to discuss the details of your case at no charge.
Spinal cord injuries are among the most severe types of injury that any person could sustain. It was not long ago that spinal cord injuries were, almost by definition, fatal injuries. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke notes that very few people were able to survive spinal cord injuries in the era prior to World War II.
Thankfully, our society has made major strides. Not only are our doctors much better at treating the initial spinal cord injury, but we have learned a tremendous amount about spinal cord rehabilitation and about helping injured victims maximize their quality of life. Unfortunately, we still have a very, very long way to go. As the spinal cord governs the operation of the entire human body, any injury can have a profound impact on a person’s ability to function.
A Note from Sean:
Spinal cord injuries are serious because our spinal cords govern the operation of the entirety of our bodies. Any injury to a spinal cord can have profound effects on your ability to move a limb, your ability to touch and feel and experience sensations. They can affect your ability to live at all. As a result, if you believe even a little bit that someone around you or yourself has suffered a spinal cord injury, it is very important to seek medical attention immediately.
If the injury you’ve suffered as a result of someone else’s fault or someone else and negligence, it’s important to speak to a legal professional with experiences in spinal cord injuries. Here at The Olson Law Firm, we take pride in the fact that we know how to get justice and compensation for people who have experienced spinal cord injuries.
Understanding the Mechanics of a Spinal Cord Injury
In most cases, a spinal cord injury occurs when a sudden blow causes a fracture or dislocation to vertebrae. When this type of accident happens, serious spinal cord damage occurs almost instantly. The stretching, displacement, or rupturing of the spinal cord can have catastrophic consequences.
Within a matter of minutes, the injury disrupts blood flow and causes severe swelling. Even more concerning, spinal cord injuries can continue to worsen for weeks and even months after the initial accident. Any spinal cord damage sets off a chain of events that can cause severe damage to cells, nerves, neurons, axons, brain matter, and the immune system. Further, changes in the victim’s blood flow can cause additional damage.
The Catastrophic Effects of a Spinal Cord Injury
While not all spinal cord injuries are exactly alike, there is no such thing as minor spinal cord damage. Any spinal cord injury is an emergency situation. As the spinal cord plays a crucial role in all functions of the body, damage can severely limit a person’s abilities. Among other things, the effects of a spinal cord injury can include:
- Extreme pain and suffering;
- Loss of ability to move below the point of the injury;
- Reduced or altered sensation;
- Loss of control over core bodily functions, including bladder and bowels;
- Uncontrolled, reflexive spams;
- Sexual dysfunction;
- Mood swings and other personality changes;
- Reduced cognitive functioning; and
- Partial or total paralysis.
The long-term prognosis for a spinal cord injury will depend on many different factors. What we do know is that early medical intervention and high-quality ongoing rehabilitation assistance is critically important to help spinal cord injury victims make the best possible recovery.
Injured Victims Need Top-Quality Legal Representation
Spinal cord injuries require extensive, sometimes lifelong medical care. Victims and their families must be able to access the full resources available to provide the best treatment. If you or your loved one suffered a spinal cord injury as the result of the negligent conduct of another party, you need to speak to an experienced legal professional immediately.
Our law firm seeks justice and full compensation for injured victims. Our compassionate Denver personal injury lawyer Sean Olson has skills and experience needed to pursue complex spinal cord injury claims. For immediate legal guidance, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free, no-obligation initial consultation.