Indiana Spinal Injury Lawyer
A spinal cord injury is one of the most serious injuries a person can suffer. If you’ve suffered a spinal injury due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation for the challenges you’re facing. McNeely Stephenson is here to help.
Traveling from the base of the skull down to the tailbone, the spine is one of the most vital parts of the human body. When it is damaged — in a motor vehicle collision, a fall, or a sports-related accident — the consequences can be life-altering… and life-ending.
The spine is composed of small bones, called vertebrae, which are stacked on top of one another. They are generally thought of as being in three sections: the cervical spine, from the skull to the upper chest; the thoracic spine, from the upper chest to the middle back; and the lumbar vertebrae, from the middle to the lower back.
The vertebrae create a channel for the spinal cord, which carries messages from the brain throughout the body.
Between the vertebrae are flexible disks which act as shock absorbers and contain many nerve endings, as well as facet joints which assist in movement.
Muscles and ligaments are necessary to provide support and keep the spinal column in proper alignment. Trauma to any one of these parts of the spine can hamper natural movement, cause extreme pain and disability, and impair one’s earning ability and enjoyment of life.
The Indianapolis spine injury lawyers of the McNeely Stephenson law firm have helped many accident victims recover compensation for back injuries caused by the negligence of others. Call 1-855-206-2555 for a free consultation.
Spinal Cord Injury
Car accidents account for nearly half of all spinal cord injuries (SCI), and this type of injury causes significant and life-long disability. Each year there are about 12,000 new cases of spinal cord injury in the U.S., and currently there are approximately 256,000 Americans living with an SCI.
Spinal cord injuries are categorized as complete or incomplete, and the degree of disability varies accordingly. Generally, the closer the injury is to the head, the more dysfunction the person will experience. When trauma occurs to the high cervical nerves (C1-C4), the following impairments are typical:
- Paralysis in arms, hands, trunk and legs; if all four limbs are affected, this is known as quadriplegia.
- Inability to breathe on his or her own, cough, or control bowels or bladder
- Speech impairment
- Requires complete 24-hour care, including assistance in eating, dressing, bathing, and transferring
- May be able to use powered wheelchairs
- Will not be able to drive a car on their own.
Obviously, the medical and personal care expenses following a spinal cord injury are enormous, both immediately after the accident and for the rest of the patient’s lifetime.
At McNeely Stephenson, we vigorously assert our clients’ right to sufficient compensation for both past and future expenses, relying on analysis from medical experts and life planners.
In addition to doctor and hospital charges, adequate financial compensation for a spinal injury victim also includes expenses such as:
- Home health care
- Durable equipment and assistive devices
- Psychological counseling
- Lost income, present and future
- Travel expenses
- Household assistance.
Paralysis and Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal injuries are one of the leading causes of paralysis. The Reeve Foundation said that 1.2 million people in the U.S. are currently living with paralysis due to spinal cord injuries. The most common causes of these injuries are vehicle accidents, falls, sports and recreational activities, medical and surgical procedures, and violence.
Paralysis is incredibly expensive. Lifetime costs of living with paralysis depends on the severity of the injury and the age of the sufferer. For example, the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center estimates that the direct lifetime costs of a complete tetraplegia (total loss of all limbs) is $4,729,788. That doesn’t include indirect costs such as loss of productivity and loss of income.
Other Spine Injuries
Accidents can also cause injuries that are less severe than spinal cord injury but are still very painful and disabling. One of the most common injuries sustained in highway collisions is whiplash, caused by quick and jarring movement of the neck.
The bones of the spinal column may be fractured by a forceful impact. Spinal fractures may be treated non-surgically with a brace or may require surgical procedures and the insertion of metal screws, rods and cages. In addition to the risk of spinal fluid leaks, these surgeries are subject to the same complications as other surgical procedures, including blood clots and infection.
Sudden traumatic force may also cause injury to the material between vertebrae, or herniated disks. The pain associated with a herniated disk ranges from slight to debilitating, is usually intensified by movement, and typically occurs along the sciatic nerve, down the back of the leg. A herniated disk may also cause numbness, muscle weakness and paralysis.
Why Spinal Cord Injury Cases are Unique
Not every personal injury case is the same. The damages in a spinal cord injury case are often more significant than injuries involving soft-tissue damage or minor fractures. There is a lot at stake in a case involving a spinal injury, so it’s important to find an attorney with both experience handling these cases and a track record of success.
A skilled spinal cord injury lawyer knows that a successful case requires a great deal of time, effort and dedication. When a client has an injury as catastrophic as a spinal injury, they deserve compensation that will help them cope with the lifetime costs, including ongoing medical care, loss of income, and pain and suffering.
The Indianapolis spinal cord injury lawyers at McNeely Stephenson understand what you’ve been through. We know that these injuries impact not just the injured person, but also their families, loved ones and communities. We won’t settle for less than you deserve. Contact McNeely Stephenson today to schedule a free consultation.
The Costs of a Spinal Cord Injury Necessitate Tough Legal Representation
Consider the extreme costs of a spinal cord injury. The direct costs in the first year of these injuries can range from approximately $347,000 to more than $1 million, depending on the severity of the injury, according to the Reeve Foundation.
People with severe spinal injuries require ongoing medical care, assistive medical devices and accessibility modifications around the home. Unfortunately, the ability to earn adequate income is greatly impaired by a spinal cord injury. The NSCISC reports that after one year of a spinal injury, only 12 percent of SCI patients are employed. This makes coping with the high costs of a spinal cord injury even more difficult.
When a spinal cord injury sufferer files a personal injury claim to receive compensation, they need aggressive legal representation that will fight to get them the payment they deserve. Mike Stephenson has reputation for being a fierce advocate for his clients. If you have experienced a debilitating spinal cord injury, contact McNeely Stephenson to learn more about how we hold negligent parties accountable for the damages our clients have suffered.
You Have a Spinal Cord Injury. Do You Have a Case?
If your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, then you should consider your legal options. In some cases, determining the fault of another party is an easy task. For example, if you were struck by a drunk driver, the at-fault or negligent party is the intoxicated driver. If an employer failed to ensure the safety of the equipment you were using on the job and you suffered a spinal cord injury as a result, then your employer can be held accountable for your damages.
If you aren’t sure who was at fault for your injury or whether you have a viable personal injury claim, that shouldn’t prevent you from exploring your options. At McNeely Stephenson, we offer free consultations, so we can learn more about your case and help you figure out a path forward. Determining fault can be complex in certain situations, and an attorney can help you figure out who is responsible.