An injury to your spinal cord can be a life-changing event for you. Your entire family can be affected as well. The challenges of this condition are often significant, with many medical procedures and a lengthy rehabilitation process to regain any level of lost functionality.
The lifestyle changes that come with a long-term serious spinal injury are also jarring, particularly the financial hardship. A personal injury lawsuit against the person or parties responsible for the accident may be the only way victims see fair compensation for their injuries.
About the Spine and Spinal Cord Injuries
Your spinal cord is a thick bundle of nerves that begins at the base of your skull and continues down your back. It's shielded by the bones, or vertebrae, of your back and ends a little above the tailbone. The spine has many branches that extend out to every part of the body.
The spinal cord is responsible for carrying information to and from your brain. This includes:
- Sensory information such as touch, heat, cold, and pain
- Bowel and bladder control
- Sexual function
- Breathing and other organ functions
- Motor signals that allow limbs to move
An injury to the spine can result in partial or total loss of these functions.
There are two classifications of spinal cord injuries. An incomplete injury means the cord was damaged, but not fully severed, often leaving a degree of functionality determined by the severity of the injury. A complete injury indicates the cord was totally cut at the point of the wound and results in a complete loss of function.
How Spinal Cord Injuries Happen
Data from the World Health Organization indicates up to 500,000 people suffer spinal cord injuries every year, and a significant portion of these are due to preventable causes. Some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Car, truck, or motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Gunshot wounds or other acts of violence
- Medical malpractice
- Swimming pool accidents or other premises liability injuries
These and other causes of injury that severely damage the back, neck, or spine may take someone years to recover from, if they do at all. Even an incomplete spinal cord injury can result in lost function that may never be fully regained after years of rehabilitation.
Compensation for a Spinal Cord Injury
When a spinal cord injury is caused by another person or party’s carelessness, recklessness, or wrongdoing—the legal term is negligence—a victim is entitled to pursue compensation for his or her injuries and other expenses related to the accident. Even if the victim shares in a part of the responsibility for what happened, financial recovery is still possible, as long as his or her share of fault is less than 51 percent.
Victims can seek compensation for damages related to the accident, such as:
- Emergency medical treatment, hospital bills, and doctor’s visits
- Lost wages from time spent away from work
- Loss of future income due to an inability to work
- Physical therapy, occupational therapy, or rehabilitation
- The pain and suffering endured due to the accident
There are many other personal injury expenses, but the specific types vary based on the details of the accident or incident. Contact an attorney with knowledge of these cases to discuss what you may be eligible for in your specific claim.
How to Get Legal Help
If you or a loved one suffered a serious spinal injury due to negligence, Spada Law Group is ready to help you. Our experienced legal team understands the complex difficulties of spinal injuries. We'll work hard to protect your rights so you can focus on the recovery process.
We have offices in Chelsea and Salem for your convenience, and our services are also available to people throughout Massachusetts. Reach out to us by phone or fill out the brief contact form on this page to arrange an informative free consultation.