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, LLC 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.