Washington DC Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Explains Your Legal Options
A spinal cord injury is one of the most devastating results of any type of accident. Damage to the nerves in the spinal cord may cause full or partial paralysis below the injury site, impacting nearly every aspect of your life. Nerve damage rarely heals, meaning that a spine injury is usually permanent. Consequently, this type of injury may require millions of dollars of medical expenses over the course of a lifetime. Expenses include not only medical bills but also the cost of adaptive technology, home renovations, in-home nursing assistance and physical therapy. In many cases, victims also require treatment for psychological trauma. However, if someone else’s negligence caused your accident or injury, then you may be able to recover compensation for these costs through a legal claim.
The Washington DC spinal cord injury lawyers at Regan Zambri Long PLLC have a proven record of helping individuals with catastrophic injuries. Our attorneys work with medical experts and accident reconstruction specialists to help our clients receive the maximum possible amount in compensation. In one case, our firm recovered a $7.5 million settlement for a client who suffered a spinal cord injury. By contacting an attorney at our law firm, you can learn more about your rights and available legal options.
What Are the Most Common Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms?
Specific spinal cord injury symptoms typically depend on two factors: whether the injury is complete or incomplete, and the location of the damage. The difference between a complete and incomplete spinal cord injury is:
- Incomplete spinal cord injury. This means that some signals from the brain still reach beyond the injury site. Thus, victims may retain some function. However, partial paralysis can still be severely disabling and costly.
- Complete spine injury. A complete spinal cord injury causes total paralysis below the injury site. These types of injuries may require extensive therapy and medical treatment. In some cases, victims may require around-the-clock care.
The extent of a disabling spine injury depends on the location of the damage; injuries that occur higher up the spine typically have more severe and limiting symptoms. Depending on the injury site, the effects may be:
- Paraplegia. If the injury occurs below the arms, then the result may be loss of function of the legs and lower body, or paraplegia. This may include paralysis of the legs, hips and/or lower organs. Generally, victims require specialized medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, and ongoing physical therapy.
- Quadriplegia or tetraplegia. If the spine injury occurs in the neck or high back, then quadriplegia, or paralysis of all four limbs, may result. In some cases, victims may also lose the ability to eat, speak or breathe without assistance. Victims typically require constant medical support, physical therapy and assistive technology.
Spinal cord injuries have astronomical costs for individuals and their families. According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, a 25-year-old with a high tetraplegia spinal cord injury could face an estimated $4.7 million in lifetime health care costs and living expenses. However, this figure does not include lost wages or pain and suffering.
What Are the Main Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?
A spinal cord injury may result from any trauma to the back or an infection that causes pressure on the nerves. However, the most common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Car and truck accidents. Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), motor vehicle accidents account for 38 percent of spine injures annually, more than any other cause.
- Slips and falls. Falls account for 30.5 percent of spinal cord injuries each year, per the NSCISC. Older adults have an increased risk of suffering spinal cord injuries during slips and fall accidents.
- Sports and recreational injuries. Dozens of recreational activities, such as skiing, football, swimming and riding ATVs, can cause spinal cord injuries. Often, defective equipment, lack of supervision and other negligence increases the chances of a severe sports-related back injury.
- Medical procedures. Trauma to the spinal cord can occur due to surgical errors during procedures involving the back and neck. Additionally, medical negligence such as failure to diagnose infections and spine conditions may also cause permanent paralysis.
- Product defects. Defective auto parts and poorly designed vehicles may increase the risk of a spine injury in a serious accident. Additionally, defective furniture, medication, safety equipment and other products may also cause spine damage.
- Swimming pool accidents. Diving accidents in shallow pools are a common cause of brain, neck and spinal cord injuries.
If someone else’s negligence caused your spinal cord injury in any kind of accident, then you may be able to collect compensation for your medical bills and other damages through a personal injury lawsuit.
Questions? Contact a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
In many cases, spine injuries require lengthy hospital stays, rehabilitation services and expensive equipment. Additionally, spinal cord injury symptoms can make returning to a former occupation difficult or impossible. If you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury caused by the negligence of another party, then you may be able to recover compensation that can help pay for these costs. Our Washington DC spinal cord injury lawyers can help you understand your rights and available legal options.
Regan Zambri Long PLLC represents individuals with catastrophic injuries in Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland. For a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call (202) 753-4272 or fill out our online case review form.