Most spinal cord injuries inflict permanent, irreparable damage on their victims. This damage can lead to debilitating consequences, such as tetraplegia and paraplegia. Even relatively minor spine injuries can result in chronic pain, temporary disabilities, and lost wages.
If you sustained a spinal cord injury caused by another party’s negligent or intentional actions, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. Most insurance companies will try to convince you to accept far less than the amount you need and deserve. That is why it is crucial to have qualified and aggressive legal representation on your side to help you fight for maximum recovery.
At Slater & Zurz, our Cincinnati spinal cord injury attorneys have over 100 years of collective experience fighting for the rights of seriously injured victims. We know what it takes to succeed in a spinal cord injury case and will skillfully handle every aspect of the legal process to allow you to focus on your health and well-being.
Leading Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury (SCI) is sustained when there is damage to the spinal cord itself or to the vertebrae, discs, or ligaments that surround it. When the cord is severed, penetrated, or when there is a severe blow to the body that fractures, crushes, or compresses the vertebrae, it will result in either temporary or permanent disability.
Spinal cord injuries can take place in a variety of manners. However, the most common causes of SCIs include the following:
- Car accidents – Motor vehicle crashes account for more than 40% of all spinal cord injuries each year. In addition to automobiles, these accidents can also involve trucks, motorcycles, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
- Falls – Falls account for more than 30% of all SCIs. These falls are frequently caused by unsafe working conditions, poorly constructed stairways and balconies, and wet or uneven surfaces.
- Acts of violence – Nearly 15% of spinal cord injuries are caused by acts of violence, such as gunshots and knife wounds.
- Sports and recreational injuries – Participating in a wide variety of sports, such as football, soccer, diving, rock climbing, mountain biking, and automobile racing, may lead to a spinal cord injury.
- Medical malpractice – Medical malpractice, such as surgical and anesthesia errors, accounts for nearly 5% of all spinal cord injuries.
- Birth injuries – Spinal cord birth injuries can occur when a doctor strains a newborn’s neck by twisting, pulling, or improperly using birthing tools during the delivery process.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Medical professionals generally categorize spinal cord injuries into complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries. Complete SCIs are those in which an injured person losses all control and function of the body below the injured site. Those who suffer an incomplete spinal cord injury may still have some feeling, control, or function of the affected areas.
The location of the damage also determines the type of spinal cord injury. The spinal cord is divided into four sections:
- Cervical spine (Vertebrae C1-C4)
- Thoracic spine (Vertebrae T1-T12)
- Lumbar spine (Vertebrae L1-L5)
- Sacral spine (Vertebrae S1-S5)
The cervical spine is the top portion of the spine that includes the neck. The closer the damage is to the brain, the more severe the injury is. An injury to the cervical spine typically causes tetraplegia, which is full to partial paralysis of the torso and each of the four limbs.
The part of the spinal cord located in the upper and middle back is considered the thoracic spine. Damage to this portion of the spine affects the muscles in the abdomen, lower back, and legs and generally results in paraplegia or paralysis of the legs and lower body.
The lumbar spine is located in the lower portion of the back. An individual with a lumbar spine injury may lose function in their hips and legs, but they usually retain full control of their upper body. The person may also be able to walk with leg braces or require a wheelchair.
The area just above the tailbone is considered the sacral spine. Sacral spine injuries are relatively uncommon but when they do occur, they affect the nerves that control the groin, hips, and backs of the thighs. Injured individuals may experience some loss of function in the legs and hips but are usually able to walk.
Compensation in a Spinal Cord Injury Case
Our Cincinnati spinal cord injury lawyers are committed to getting our clients the medical care and financial resources they need to deal with the aftermath of their injury. We work with doctors, rehabilitation specialists, life care planners, and other professionals to identify the needs of our clients and strongly advocate on their behalf to obtain the compensation they need and deserve. Damages in a spinal cord injury lawsuit may include:
- Medical expenses
- In-home care
- Rehabilitation costs
- Medication and medical equipment
- Modifications to your home and vehicle
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium
Ohio Statute of Limitations for Spinal Cord Injury Cases
A law that sets the maximum amount of time a party has to initiate legal proceedings from the date of the alleged offense is known as a “statute of limitations.” In the state of Ohio, victims who suffer a spinal cord injury have two years from the date of the injury to take legal action against the responsible party. However, in any legal proceeding, it is best to act as quickly as possible to increase your chances of obtaining full and fair compensation for your losses.
The signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury vary from person to person and greatly depend on the location and extent of the damage. Common SCI symptoms include:
- Temporary or permanent paralysis
- Extreme pain in the head, neck, or back
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Intense pain or stinging sensation
- Difficulty with balance and coordination
- Changes in sexual function
Consult with an Experienced Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer in Cincinnati
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s careless or intentional actions, we can help. Our Cincinnati spinal cord injury attorneys have extensive experience helping clients who have suffered a spinal cord injury get the compensation they need and deserve. We will work with our team of medical and financial professionals to ensure we seek the full compensation you will need to recover financially and allow you to receive the best treatment possible for your injury.
At Slater & Zurz, our attorneys don’t charge any fees unless we are successful in recovering damages on your behalf. In addition, your initial consultation is free. We welcome you to contact us at 888.534.4850 or online to arrange a consultation, where we will listen to your story, review your legal options, and develop a course of action to hold the at-fault party responsible for causing your life-changing injury.