Doctor checks spine of injured patient

An injury to the spinal cord can be life-altering. Spinal cord injuries tend to be complex and can have a life-long impact on mobility, mental health, independence, and financial stability. 

Managing a spinal cord injury can also be overwhelming. Coping with a severe injury, managing medical expenses, and navigating your new normal doesn’t leave much time to handle anything else. The last thing you are probably thinking about is getting in touch with an attorney. However, having an attorney on your side after suffering a spinal cord injury may be crucial.

If someone’s negligence or carelessness caused your spinal cord injury, talk to an experienced Denver spinal cord injury attorney today. At Olson Personal Injury Lawyers, our Denver personal injury lawyers will take the time to personally meet with you and discuss your case. We can review your situation and advise you about your legal options for seeking compensation. A spinal cord injury creates more than just medical expenses. You may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, disability, pain and suffering, and more.

Contact our office today to get a free case review. You deserve both legal advice and support during this challenging time. You can count on our team for both.

How Do Spinal Cord Injuries Occur?

The spinal cord is a thick bundle of nerves that relays messages between the brain and the rest of the body. It runs from the base of the brain down the back. The spinal cord is protected by layers of tissue called meninges and the vertebrae that make up the spine.

Spinal cord injuries happen when nerves and tissues of the spinal cord are damaged. Either blunt force trauma or penetrating wounds can cause these injuries. When the spinal cord is damaged, signals between the brain and the body can be disrupted. This damage may result in temporary or permanent disruption of these signals, impacting a person’s mobility or bodily functions.

Most Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries in Denver, CO

Sudden or forceful impacts to the body are a common cause of spinal cord injuries. A blunt force impact can break the vertebrae that protect the spinal cord. The sharp ends of these bones can sever portions of the spinal cord and cause serious injuries. 

The force of an impact itself can also damage the meninges. When these tissues are injured, they can become inflamed and swell, putting pressure on the spinal cord and causing further injury. Traumatic blunt force can even damage the spinal cord itself.

Penetrating wounds are another cause of spinal cord injuries. Weapons like knives or bullets can cause penetrating wounds. Penetrating wounds can also happen as a result of things like car accidents. Upon impact, pieces of metal, fiberglass, and other shrapnel can fly like projectiles, cutting through flesh.

Some of the most common ways that spinal cord injuries can occur in Denver, CO include:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
  • ATV accidents
  • Sporting and recreational activity accidents
  • Falls
  • Medical malpractice  
  • Acts of violence

Levels of Spinal Cord Injuries 

There are different types and levels of spinal cord injuries. First, spinal cord injuries are typically placed into two categories, complete or incomplete.

  • Incomplete – An incomplete spinal cord injury means the spinal cord has been damaged, but it can still transmit some messages between the brain and the rest of the body.
  • Complete – With a complete spinal cord injury, the nerves have generally been severed, and there is no communication or motor function below the point of the damage. Complete spinal cord injuries result in paralysis.

Spinal cord injuries are identified by the region of the spine where the damage is.

  • Cervical  The cervical vertebrae protect the spinal cord in the region of the neck. A complete spinal cord injury to the cervical area will generally result in quadriplegia or paralysis affecting all four limbs. 
  • Thoracic  The next 12 vertebrae are called the thoracic vertebrae. They protect the spinal cord in the upper region of the back. An injury to this portion of the spinal column can impact the chest and legs and result in paraplegia. 
  • Lumbar  The lumbar vertebrae protect the cord in the lower back. 
  • Sacral  The sacral vertebrae are also known collectively as the tailbone. These fused bones protect the tail end of the spinal cord near the pelvis. Injuries to the lumbar and sacral area of the spinal cord can result in paraplegia. 

Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries 

Depending on the severity of the injury, symptoms of spinal cord injuries can take many forms. Some of the most common signs of a spinal cord injury include:

  • Back pain
  • Pressure in the head, neck, or back
  • Unnatural position of the head, neck, or back
  • Weakness
  • Loss of coordination
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Difficulties walking or maintaining balance
  • Loss of mobility or sensation
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

What to Do If You Suffered a Spinal Cord Injury

If you believe you have suffered a spinal cord injury, get medical help immediately. Emergency medical technicians are specially trained to stabilize individuals suspected of having spinal cord injuries. 

In the days and weeks after the accident, it’s also important to take steps to protect both your health and your right to pursue compensation. For example:

  • Do not deviate from your treatment plan or doctor’s orders.
  • Keep a journal to document your injuries and daily struggles.
  • Do not post about the accident on social media.
  • Gather all of the information you have related to the case, such as accident reports, eyewitness statements, and photos of the accident scene.
  • Keep all copies of medical bills and receipts related to the accident.

In addition, it’s important to call an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the injury, so they can begin collecting evidence and advise you on the next steps to take.

What Is My Spinal Cord Injury Case Worth?

A spinal cord injury can change the course of a person’s life. Not only can it limit mobility and bodily functions, but it can also prevent a person from generating future income and cut into their financial stability. It can also take a toll on mental health, causing depression and loss of enjoyment. Putting a dollar figure on these changes can be challenging.

At Olson Personal Injury Lawyers, we never take a one-size-fits-all approach to calculate the value of your claim. We review the merits of your case and consider the different types of losses you have sustained, such as your: 

  • Current and future medical needs 
  • Lost income and loss of future earning potential
  • Home care needs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Lost quality of life

The Time Limit for a Spinal Cord Injury Claim in Denver, CO

Filing a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation after an accident has a time limit in Colorado. The state gives victims only two years from the accident to file suit. In the case of car accidents, the time limit is three years from the date of the crash. 

The sooner you talk to an attorney, the better your chances of recovering compensation. An attorney can gather evidence critical to your case before it is lost or destroyed. An attorney can also file an insurance claim and pivot to a personal injury lawsuit if the insurer won’t agree to a reasonable settlement.

Contact Our Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers in Denver Today 

At Olson Personal Injury Lawyers, we know a spinal cord injury can cause devastating changes to a person’s life and livelihood. Get in touch with a Denver spinal cord injury attorney who can demand the financial recovery you deserve. Our compassionate team is ready to fight for you. Contact us today for a free case review.