Lexington Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Spinal cord injuries are often devastating for families, and the lifetime of medical expenses can make a crippling impact. If you or a loved one have suffered from such an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, our Lexington spinal cord injury lawyer is prepared to represent you. At Todd W. Burris Injury Law, we focus on recovering compensation and justice for victims who have suffered from a personal injury, so our clients can focus on finding their new normal.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), approximately 17,000 individuals are diagnosed with a spine injury every year. Medical bills can pile up quickly for spinal cord injury victims, especially when you consider the average stay in the hospital is 11 days and the average stay in a rehabilitation facility is 35 days.
If you’re seeking compensation for your injury, our attorney in Lexington is ready to take on your case. In order to navigate this complex legal field, you may benefit from understanding different aspects of spinal cord injuries.
The Anatomy of the Spinal Cord
When a spinal injury occurs, temporary or permanent loss of sensation or function, or even paralysis, can occur. In order to understand why this loss happens, let’s discuss the basic anatomy of the spinal cord.
The spinal cord, which is surrounded by vertebrae, is covered in a protective membrane. Extending from the base of the brain, down the middle of the back, to just below the last rib, the spinal cord is approximately 18 inches long. Its main job is to communicate messages between the brain and body that allow for movement and sensation. The messages are carried through a system of nerves. Every nerve controls a different part of the body.
When that communication system is disrupted by an injury, the damage can be traumatic. Depending on the type of spinal cord injury and the location, a person can sustain a permanent disability.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are separated into two broad categories: incomplete and complete.
Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries
When someone suffers from an incomplete or partial injury, their spinal cord is only partially severed. This means the injured person may be able to retain some of their function. This ability typically depends on the severity of the injury. The most common types of incomplete spinal injuries include anterior cord syndrome, central cord syndrome, and Brown-Sequard syndrome.
Anterior cord syndrome is when the front of the spinal cord is damaged. Victims typically struggle with movement but will retain sensation. Central cord syndrome occurs when the center of the spine is damaged. Loss of fine motor skills and partial impairment or paralysis of the arms is likely. When only one side of the spinal column is damaged, this is called Brown-Sequard syndrome. The symptoms vary greatly between patients; however, the damaged side of the spine will affect the same side of the body.
Complete Spinal Cord Injuries
Complete spinal cord injuries occur when the cord is complete severed. The most common types of complete injuries are quadriplegia, paraplegia, and triplegia. Quadriplegia eliminates your ability to move below the site of the injury. The higher up the injury, the more severe the consequences. Paraplegia affects the lower half of the body. Triplegia causes of the loss of sensation and movement in one arm and both legs. Depending on the severity, this diagnosis can be complete or incomplete.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries in Kentucky
Even though many people survive spinal cord injuries, their lives are still often catastrophically changed. The NSCISC track how these accidents happen, so individuals can be aware of the risks. The top five most common causes of spinal cord injuries are listed below.
Auto Accidents. Car accidents and truck accidents are one of the leading causes of death nationwide. It comes as no surprise that these types of accidents would then be the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. 38 percent of spinal cord injuries are directly related to car accidents. Females are more likely to experience this type of injury in this type of event than males.
Motorcycle Accidents. The lack of external protection often results in severe injuries in the event of a motorcycle crash. Thousands of motorcycle accident victims are diagnosed with a spinal cord injury every year after injuring their necks.
Bicycle Accidents. While helmets contribute to the decline in bicycle accident-related injuries and deaths, they still happen. When a cyclist collides with a car, hits a larger object, or falls without a helmet, they risk sustaining an injury to their spinal cord.
Pedestrian Accidents. Unfortunately, unsuspecting pedestrians are sometimes struck by moving vehicles. Many of the drivers are found to be aggressive, distracted, or speeding. Even though the fatality rates in Kentucky are fairly low, these accidents do happen. When a pedestrian is hit by a car, their body is likely to contort in ways it’s not supposed to. As a result, spinal cord injuries are common.
Medical Complications. While doctors and healthcare professionals are trained to fight against spinal cord injuries, there are instances of medical malpractice that lead to serious spine complications and injuries. The contributing factors that cause spinal cord injuries in a hospital are surgical errors and untreated infections.
Seeking Legal Representation from a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer in Lexington
After sustaining a serious spine injury, you have the right to seek compensation. Our attorneys can help you seek economic and noneconomic damages. Most often, you may be eligible for a settlement that will cover your medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain and suffering, and mental anguish. In the event you’ve experienced the wrongful death of your spouse, you may also be entitled to loss of consortium benefits. Contact our law firm online today for a consultation.