Spinal cord injuries affect the lives of thousands of Americans each year. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, 17,000 people suffer from new spinal cord injuries each year. Almost 300,000 people across the country currently live with these devastating injuries. Trauma to the spinal cord may arise from work-related accidents, car and truck accidents, even birth injuries. Despite their origin, they all have one thing in common: they have a profound effect on the victim and their families. If you or someone you know suffered a spinal cord injury and believe someone else is legally responsible, then contact the Phoenix spinal cord injury attorneys at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A., and schedule a free case evaluation today.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Your spinal cord is a delicate bundle of nerves housed within your spinal column. It enjoys protection by layers of thick bone, but a traumatic event can break these bones or disturb the nerves underneath. Even a small disturbance can have a profound effect on your body.
Since your spinal cord carries out so many vital functions, no two spinal cord injuries will look the same. However, they can have any of the following effects:
- Spinal cord injuries affecting the sensory nerves can result in loss of sensation, neuropathic (nerve) pain, and inability to control bladder functions.
- Injuries affecting motor nerves can result in paralysis – either paraplegia (affecting half of the body) or quadriplegia (affecting the whole body).
- Serious spinal cord injuries can affect necessary life functions including breathing regulation and body temperature control.
Our Phoenix spinal cord injury attorneys know the results of a spinal cord injury are often, unfortunately, permanent. Victims of spinal cord injury often require extensive medical treatment, therapy, and at-home care.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries can occur in virtually any scenario, but come causes are more common than others. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center:
- Car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries and account for more than a third of all new occurrences in a given year.
- Falls account for 31.6% of spinal cord injuries in the United States, making them the second leading cause of injury.
- Violent crimes (such as stabbing and gunshot wounds) make up almost 14% of spinal cord injuries.
- Recreational sports injuries come in at number four, comprising 8% of spinal cord trauma.
Who’s Liable for a Spinal Cord Injury?
A spinal cord injury claim may arise from a car accident, intentional harm, even from using a defective product. No matter the nature of your injury, determining liability for your claim requires that you prove the following:
- The party you believe is liable owed you a duty of care.
- He or she violated that duty of care or committed negligence. Negligence is a legal theory that underlies most personal injury cases and refers to an action that a reasonably careful party would not have done in similar circumstances.
- The defendant’s negligence led to your injuries.
- You incurred damages as a result. “Damages” refer to the tangible and intangible losses you suffered because of your injury.
Damages You Can Recover for a Spinal Cord Injury
You can recover two main types of damages for a spinal cord injury:
- Economic, or special damages, provide compensation for the tangible losses associated with your accident. These might include medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and the cost of handicap accommodations to your home.
- General damages address the immaterial losses arising from your accident. These include pain, suffering, emotional distress, loss of life quality, and loss of partnership or consortium.
If you or a loved one live with the consequences of a spinal cord injury, contact the Phoenix spine injury attorneys at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A., and discuss your legal options today.