Suffering a devastating injury, such as a spinal cord or brain injury, can turn your life – and your loved ones’ lives upside down. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may be facing painful rehabilitation or years of assistive care. Although you are unjustly left with the physical consequences of someone else’s actions, you do have the right to seek financial compensation from those responsible.
At Slater & Zurz, our Toledo spinal cord injury attorneys have successfully handled catastrophic injury cases, including those involving debilitating spinal cord injuries caused by car accidents, truck crashes, and other accidents. Our attorneys pursue every legal avenue to hold at-fault parties accountable and provide our clients with the compensation they need to get the medical treatment they need to heal as fully as possible. We will fight with all we have to right the wrong you experienced and be there for you throughout the process to offer our heartfelt support and thoughtful guidance.
When you choose our firm to represent you in your spinal cord injury case, you will work with dedicated and experienced attorneys. You will also gain caring friends and confidants – those who will continue to be there even after your case is successfully resolved. If you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury through someone else’s negligent or intentional wrongdoing, we invite you to speak to one of our attorneys for free.
Spinal Cord Injury Overview
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a spinal cord injury is any damage to the spinal cord or tissue and vertebrae surrounding the spinal cord. These injuries can temporarily or permanently disrupt messages sent and received between the brain and the rest of the body, affecting a person’s movement, sensation, strength, and function below the injury site. Depending on the extent and location of the damage, an injured victim can experience a variety of debilitating effects, such as paraplegia (paralysis of the lower extremities) or quadriplegia (paralysis of upper and lower extremities).
Spinal Cord Injuries Statistics
In recent years, spinal cord injuries have increased in the United States, especially among the elderly. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), around 18,000 Americans suffer a spinal cord injury each year. The NSCISC also found that nearly 300,000 Americans live with a spinal injury, and approximately 80% of those individuals are male. Around 40% of spinal cord injury patients are paraplegic, and 60% are considered quadriplegic. The average cost in the first year following a spinal injury is slightly over $1,000,000, with an estimated lifetime cost that exceeds $5,000,000.
Spinal Cord Injury Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury vary greatly. Ultimately, they depend on the nature, extent, and location of the injury. However, damage to the spinal cord generally presents itself in the following ways:
- Paralysis, or loss of function in one or more parts of the body
- Muscle weakness
- Sensation loss
- Breathing problems
- Difficulty walking
- Loss of balance
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Muscle spasms or exaggerated reflexes
- Pain and pressure in the head, neck, or back
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
When pursuing justice in a spinal cord injury case, one of the first tasks is identifying who or what caused your injuries. Spinal cord injuries occur in numerous ways, but some of the leading causes include:
- Motor vehicle crashes – Accidents involving motor vehicles, such as car, truck, and motorcycle crashes, can result in a sudden, forceful blow to the brain, spinal cord, and surrounding tissues. This impact often leads to broken vertebrae or a crushed or severed spinal cord.
- Slip and fall accidents – A slip and fall can cause a partial or complete injury to the spinal cord, affecting how the brain communicates movement and sensation with the body.
- Sports injuries – Sports with the highest risk of catastrophic spinal cord injuries include football, cycling, wrestling, diving, and snowboarding.
- Construction or workplace accidents – Construction or other work sites pose a significant risk of spinal injuries. The most common workplace injury causes are falls, crushing accidents, and falling equipment or debris.
- Medical malpractice – Surgical errors, failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis, delayed treatment, and birth injuries are other leading causes of paraplegia and quadriplegia.
- Nursing home abuse – Older adults are highly susceptible to spinal cord injuries. Residents can suffer these injuries as a result of physical abuse, neglect, unsafe living conditions, and inadequate supervision.
- Acts of Violence – Intentional violence, such as gunshots and stabbings, is responsible for approximately 15% of spinal cord injuries.
Proving Negligence in a Toledo Spinal Cord Injury Case
In any personal injury case, the injured victim needs to prove the party from whom they are seeking compensation acted in a negligent manner. Four elements must be proven to show negligence.
- Duty – The person or entity had a responsibility to act or not act to avoid causing you harm or injury (duty of care).
- Breach of duty – They breached their duty of care.
- Causation – Their failure to act or not act with appropriate caution directly resulted in your spinal cord injury.
- Damages – You sustained losses as a result of your injury.
Working with an attorney experienced in handling spinal cord injury cases can significantly increase your chances of receiving your rightful compensation. A qualified attorney will thoroughly investigate the incident that caused your injuries, show who was at fault and why by providing compelling evidence, accurately presenting the true nature and extent of your damages, and fighting aggressively to secure maximum recovery.
Deadline for Filing a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit in Ohio
Under Ohio law, if you were injured due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation – but you only have a certain amount of time to do so. In spinal cord injury and other personal injury cases, an injured victim in Ohio has only two years from the date of the accident or injury to take legal action against the at-fault party. If you do not file a lawsuit within this time frame, you will forever be denied your right to pursue damages. We invite you to contact our firm right away to begin the process. Time is of the essence in any legal matter, so it is always best to get started right away.
Speak with a Toledo Spinal Cord Injury Attorney from Slater & Zurz
If you or a loved one were injured by a negligent party and suffered a spinal cord injury as a result, you do have options. By filing a spinal cord injury lawsuit, you can recover from your losses and make sure the person or entity responsible for your injuries is brought to justice.
To get started, we welcome you to contact our firm to have your case evaluated at no cost. Should you choose to pursue legal action against the responsible party, we will handle your case on a contingency fee basis. This means we will not ask you to pay any fees or other costs, and you will owe us absolutely nothing if we do not secure compensation on your behalf.
Our firm empathizes with what you and your family are going through. We want nothing more than to help you get the compensation you deserve so you can focus on your recovery and rest assured knowing you have the financial resources needed to reclaim your life. Let us work together to fight for accountability and justice. Call (419) 658-7171 or contact us online to arrange a FREE consultation with one of our Toledo personal injury lawyers.