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The Chicago truck accident attorneys of Phillips Law Offices have been assisting clients suffering from spinal cord injuries for over 75 years. We offer legal aid to the victims and families affected by spinal injuries that occur as a result of someone else’s negligence.
Spinal cord injury refers to an incident that leads to partial or complete loss of motor control and sensation as the result of damage to the spinal cord and back. Victims of this type of injury can suffer impairments and paralysis in the lower parts of the body in the case of a paraplegic, or in all four limbs, in the case of a quadriplegic patient. This type of injury can happen to anyone at any time, and it can dramatically change the life of the victim and his or her family members.
Since the spinal cord is responsible for carrying messages from the brain to the rest of the body, spinal injuries resulting in paralysis can impact a wide array of bodily functions such as breathing, your ability to regulate body temperature, bladder function, and even sexual functioning.
Accident victims can suffer a number of permanent and serious health problems and complications, with the degree and severity of these effects varying according to the location of the injury. Cervical spine injuries involve the neck area, and these are the most devastating because they affect all four limbs and virtually all organ systems. The thoracic spine is below your neck extending to about six inches below the bottom of the shoulder blades. An injury to the spine in this area can result in impairments to the arms and legs (quadriplegia) or just the legs and lower body (paraplegia).
Lumbar spine injuries tend to result in paraplegia, impacting the lower body. The lumbar spine is located in your lower back, extending from about six inches below your shoulder blades down to your tailbone.
In some cases, spinal injuries are related to head trauma. Contacting our spinal cord and traumatic brain injury lawyers may be in your best interest if the two injuries are related.
Most victims typically need complex and lifelong medical care. More seriously injured victims may need long-term help with the activities of daily life. And those who are too injured to work may need financial support for the rest of their lives. If you or someone you love sustained a spinal cord injury due to the carelessness of someone else, you should contact Phillips Law Offices for legal advice.
Some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries are:
In addition, spinal cord injuries can also be caused by:
Back injuries involving the vertebrae, discs and the surrounding nerves and muscles (but not the actual spinal cord) can also arise as a result of the aforementioned causes.
Unfortunately, treatments for spinal cord injuries are limited. The spinal cord is extremely delicate, as it’s the consistency of cooked spaghetti. This type of injury is the subject of numerous research studies.
In the case of a partial spinal cord injury, where just a portion of the cord is damaged, the body and brain can be “re-trained” to compensate through aggressive physical therapy. This re-training period can be lengthy due to spinal shock, which often delays progress in the weeks and months following an injury.
Many wonder what causes spinal shock. Any trauma to the back and spinal cord can cause this condition, which can persist anywhere from four to six weeks or even longer, impairing the individual’s function.
Spinal shock arises due to swelling and inflammation in response to the trauma. Treatment for spinal shock may include anti-inflammatory drugs and even surgical intervention, particularly if there was a fracture involved.
This condition impairs the travel of signals along the spinal cord, resulting in paralysis and other impairments. This condition is reversible as the inflammation recedes with time. After spinal shock dissipates, the extent of the patient’s permanent injury will become apparent.
Spinal cord damage could prevent you from ever working again. You may need lifelong medical care that could – especially if you are injured in your 20s or 30s – easily cost several million dollars. These cost estimates are provided by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center:
1. For a spinal cord injury that results in incomplete paraplegia sustained at age 25, the estimated lifetime cost surpasses $1.5 million. If the injury is sustained at age 50, the estimated lifetime cost exceeds $1.1 million.
2. For spinal cord damage that results in full paraplegia sustained at age 25, the estimated lifetime cost surpasses $2.3 million. If the injury is sustained at age 50, the estimated lifetime cost exceeds $1.5 million.
3. For spinal cord damage that causes incomplete quadriplegia sustained at age 25, the estimated lifetime cost surpasses $3.4 million. If the injury is sustained at age 50, the estimated lifetime cost exceeds $2.1 million.
4. For spinal cord damage that causes complete quadriplegia sustained at age 25, the estimated lifetime cost surpasses $4.7 million. If the injury is sustained at age 50, the estimated lifetime cost exceeds $2.5 million.
There are some treatments available that utilize stem cells to help the spinal cord regenerate and heal following an injury or trauma. Stem cell therapies are in their infancy, so there is still a long way to go. To date, there is no 100% effective cure for spinal cord injuries.
Your spinal injury attorney can help you seek out the compensation you deserve by filing a lawsuit against the person or persons who are responsible in part or in full for your injury. Your personal injury lawyer can guide you through the legal process, helping you to determine how much compensation to seek, negotiating a settlement on your behalf or, if necessary, litigating your case and proceeding to trial.
Lawyers are here to help victims and their loved ones to seek a settlement or monetary award. In spinal cord injury lawsuits, an award or settlement is intended to compensate the victim for the losses that have arisen from an accident and injury.
In this type of case, it’s typical for damages to include compensation in an amount that exceeds the patient’s medical bills and health care expenses. Compensation for pain and suffering is quite commonplace. Due to the permanent and life-changing nature of a spinal cord injury, it’s not uncommon to see compensation for expenses such as ongoing health care costs and the cost of assistive devices (i.e., motorized wheelchairs and a wheelchair lift for your vehicle), and even modifications to the individual’s home, such as the installation of access ramps and stairlifts. Many patients also require ongoing therapy and home care services.
If you or a loved one have suffered a life-altering injury to your back, neck, and spinal cord as the result of another person’s actions or negligence, you should contact an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer to discuss your options in a free case evaluation session.
If you or a family member have been in an accident or underwent a medical procedure that led to an injury to your spinal cord, your spinal injury attorney may have sufficient grounds to file a lawsuit in an attempt to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. The lawyers at Phillips Law Offices offer comprehensive legal services to personal injury victims and their family members. Regarded as one of the premier law firms in the Midwest, we serve clients throughout Illinois and the surrounding areas of the U.S. Call (312) 346-4262, or contact us online today for a free consultation with one of our spinal injury lawyers to discuss your case.
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