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Sandy Springs Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
A spinal cord injury is considered a catastrophic injury that often permanently alters a person’s life. These types of injuries usually occur from devastating accidents such as car accidents, workplace accidents, construction accidents, birth injuries, and even diving accidents. A spinal cord injury can completely disable a person and leave them with thousands of dollars of debt due to medical expenses, caretaking expenses, lost wages, and more. The good news is that it’s possible to recover maximum compensation from a spinal cord injury lawsuit, and a Sandy Springs spinal cord injury lawyer can help you do so.
If someone else’s negligence caused your spinal cord injury, you have grounds to take legal action through a personal injury lawsuit. The personal injury attorneys at Ashenden & Associates have decades of combined experience in helping injured victims recover the compensation they deserve through spinal cord injury claims. We can do the same for you. Call 770-394-8909 to schedule a free case evaluation at our law firm today.
What is a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)?
A spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord or the bundle of nerves at the bottom of the spinal canal can lead to lifelong disability, pain, or even death. Spinal cord injuries are often considered catastrophic injuries due to the level of impairment that victims suffer even after they recover.
How Many Americans Suffer From Spinal Cord Injuries Every Year?
Nearly 18,000 Americans suffer from spinal cord injuries every single year according to data from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC). This means that such injuries occur in 54 out of every 1 million people on an annual basis. The NSCISC also estimates that up to 363,000 Americans are living with some sort of spinal cord damage today.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
There are two main types of spinal injuries that victims can suffer from: complete spinal cord injuries and incomplete spinal cord injuries.
A complete spinal cord injury prevents victims from having any motor function or sensation below the injury. So if a victim were to suffer a complete spinal injury in their neck (cervical spine), they would have no movement or sensation from the neck down.
If a spinal cord injury victim were to suffer an incomplete injury, they would be able to have at least some motor function and sensation below their injury. Incomplete spinal cord injuries certainly come in varying degrees. For example, some victims may only be able to move a single finger or toe, while others may have fairly decent control over both hands.
Do Spinal Cord Injuries Cause Paralysis?
Yes, a spinal cord injury often causes some level of paralysis. The type or extent of the paralysis generally depends on the severity of the spinal injury and also what section of the spine suffered damage.
Types of Paralysis
Listed below are the four main types of paralysis:
- Monoplegia: Spinal cord injury victims with monoplegia usually can’t move one arm or leg.
- Hemiplegia: Victims with hemiplegia usually can’t move an arm and a leg on the same side of the body.
- Paraplegia: Victims with paraplegia usually can’t move both legs.
- Quadriplegia: Victims with quadriplegia usually can’t move both arms and both legs.
Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injury victims often experience the following symptoms immediately after their accident:
- Loss of motor control and sensation in one or more limbs
- Difficulty walking or balancing
- Severe pain in the head, neck, and/or back
- An unnaturally twisted head, neck, or back
- Loss of bladder and/or bowel control
- Muscle spasms
- Sexual dysfunction
- Numbness and tingling throughout the body
- Loss of coordination in regards to body movements
- Muscle weakness
- Difficulty breathing
Common Causes of a Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries usually occur due to some kind of traumatic accident. A few examples of traumatic accidents include:
- Motor vehicle accidents such as car accidents, truck accidents, bicycle accidents, bus accidents, and pedestrian accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Construction accidents
- Medical malpractice incidents such as surgical errors, anesthesia errors, medication errors, etc.
- Slip and fall accidents
- Sports injuries
- Defective products such as playground equipment, car parts, medications, medical devices, etc.
- Trampoline accidents
- Birth injuries
- Swimming pool accidents, such as diving into the shallow end of a pool
- Violent attacks such as stabbings and gunshot injuries
Can You Have a Traumatic Brain Injury and a Spinal Cord Injury At the Same Time?
Yes, it’s very common to suffer both a spinal cord injury and a traumatic brain injury at the same time. In fact, up to 74% of spinal cord injury victims also have a traumatic brain injury according to a 2013 study.
The central nervous system – AKA the brain and spinal cord – are intimately connected. If you dive head first into the shallow end of a pool, for example, you’ll be hitting your head first on the concrete bottom. You’ll also sustain violent force on the spinal column. The same goes for any other type of accident – such as a car accident or a slip and fall accident – where victims may sustain violent force on the head, neck, and back.
The Lifetime Cost of Spinal Cord Injuries
Because spine injuries carry an incredibly high risk of long-term impairment, you can probably imagine that the medical costs of this long-term impairment are astronomical.
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) estimates that the lifetime costs for a quadriplegic patient can be more than $5,000,000. The average lifetime costs of a paraplegic patient can be up to $2,450,000 according to the same source.
It’s important to note that these average costs are only associated with medical care, not other expenses like lost wages. But the NSCISC estimates that average annual costs associated with lost wages was around $76,000 in 2018. $76,000 is the equivalent to approximately $90,500 in 2023 once you account for inflation.
The lifetime costs of a spinal cord injury definitely vary from person to person. The most severe cases of spinal cord damage usually result in complete paralysis, which means the person can’t work ever again and likely needs round-the-clock care. Less severe cases of spinal cord injuries and paralysis usually rack up thousands of dollars in hospital bills, general check-ups, medications, and lost wages, but the figure is usually on the lower end of the spectrum.
That is why all spinal cord injury victims need an experienced lawyer on their side. A Sandy Springs personal injury lawyer at Ashenden & Associates can help victims recover full and fair compensation from the negligent party for even the most severe injuries.
Spinal Cord Injury Damages
A Sandy Springs spinal cord injury lawyer at Ashenden & Associates can help victims recover fair compensation for the following types of damages:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future rehabilitative bills
- Expenses for necessary medical equipment such as wheelchairs, special bathing equipment, and other mobility aids
- Professional caretaking expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental health counseling bills
- Loss of enjoyment of daily life
- Loss of consortium
Proving Negligence in a Spinal Cord Injury Case
Proving that negligence occurred is crucial for successful spinal cord injury cases. One of the many jobs of an Sandy Springs personal injury attorney is collecting evidence to prove the four elements of negligence listed below.
- Duty of Care: Everyone owes each other a duty of care to act safely and responsibly. This means that a driver has a duty of care to drive sober and carefully, and a medical professional has a duty of care to provide the best care for their patient.
- Breached Duty of Care: The at-fault party breached this duty of care by acting negligently.
- Causation: The victim suffered a spinal cord injury as a direct result of the at-fault party’s negligence.
- Damages: The victim suffered a variety of damages for which they deserve fair compensation.
Georgia Statute of Limitations for Spinal Cord Injuries
Georgia’s statute of limitations for a spinal cord injury lawsuit is the same as any other personal injury lawsuit. Victims have two years from the date of their spinal cord injury to sue the negligent party for damages. In most cases, if a victim tries to sue after the 2-year mark, their case will be dismissed.
Two years is not a long time in the legal world. That’s why it’s so important to reach out to Sandy Springs spinal cord injury lawyers as soon as possible after your accident. We will fight for your legal rights and ensure you receive enough compensation to cover all of the damages you suffered after your accident.
Call a Sandy Springs Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer at Ashenden & Associates Today
If someone else’s negligence caused your spinal cord injury, you have grounds to take legal action in Georgia. A settlement from an insurance company or a workers compensation claim is often not enough for severe injuries like spinal cord injuries. That’s why so many accident victims resort to a personal injury claim after their car accident, work accident, or slip and fall accident.
Every single Sandy Springs spinal cord injury attorney at Ashenden & Associates has extensive knowledge and experience in the realm of personal injury law. We can help you recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, caretaking expenses, emotional distress, and so much more. Call 770-394-8909 to schedule a free consultation at our law firm today.