Lake Charles Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers
Over 10,000 people in the US suffer a spinal cord injury (SCI) each year, and as a result live with disabling paralysis, paraplegia, quadriplegia, or other nerve damage. The loss of function, mobility, sensation, bowel control, or bladder control has a far-reaching impact on a person’s life. If you have suffered a spinal cord or back injury, it is important that you get sound legal advice before accepting any insurance settlement, so you recover maximum compensation for your injury. If you would like to speak with an attorney from our Lake Charles firm, Broussard & Hart, L.L.C., about a personal injury claim, please contact our office and arrange a free and confidential consultation. Our firm has extensive experience in similar claims, and we assure you the matter will be handled with sensitivity. We strive to provide the information you need to make the best decision for you and your family.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, followed by violent attacks, falls, and sports injuries. Infants may also suffer spinal cord damage from shaking or birth injury. Most injuries in adults are cause by:
- Trucking accidents
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Construction Accidents
- Maritime accidents
- Aircraft accidents
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Workplace injuries
Types of Spinal Injuries
There are two types of injury: complete and incomplete. A complete injury is one in which the victim has no sensation or voluntary motor movement on either side of the body below the level of the injury. If the victim has some feeling or partial movement, it is called an incomplete injury.
There is currently no cure for spinal cord injuries, but research shows continuing possibilities. Our Lake Charles, Louisiana spinal cord lawyers work to get adequate damages so our clients can maintain condition in affected body parts, in the event future treatments are developed. When seeking damages for a spinal cord injury it’s important to understand the types of injuries and how they are referred to.
Spinal injuries are categorized by the loss of movement:
- Quadrapalegic: Loss of movement or sensation in all four limbs. Usually this type of paralysis is caused by an injury to the vertebrae in the neck.
- Parapalegic: Loss of movement or sensation in two limbs. Usually people will be paralyzed on either the right or the left side of the body due to an injury to the vertebrae in the upper back.
- Tripelegic: Loss of movement or sensation in three limbs, usually one arm and both legs.
Injuries are usually defined with reference to the area of the spine affected. Nerves in the spine are defined by the area of the vertebrae:
- An injury to the spine in the neck area will affect the cervical vertebrae – injury to the nerves at the fifth cervical vertebra is called a C-5 injury, for instance
- Below the neck are the thoracic vertebrae, so injuries there are defined as T-1, etc.
- Then there are lumbar, which are the largest vertebrae of the spinal column, and sacral vertebrae located in the pelvic region
Generally speaking, neck injuries will lead to paralysis of all limbs (quadriplegia) while thoracic injuries cause paralysis to the lower limbs only (paraplegia). Both areas have variations in the amount of dysfunction, depending on the severity of the injury. An incomplete cervical injury can leave the patient with some hand use, while a complete injury at C-4 can require the patient to be on a ventilator. Thoracic injuries can leave the arms functional but interfere with walking, bowel and bladder control, and sexual function. Other functions that can be affected are blood pressure, body temperature, and pain levels.
A spinal cord injury usually involves swelling of the spinal cord which affects the whole body. When the swelling goes down, the patient may regain function months or years after the injury but it is rare for all function to be recovered. Treatment presently consists of stabilizing any broken vertebrae, maintaining the patient, preventing movement to the injured area, and reducing swelling
What are Your Rights after a Spinal Cord Injury
Care for someone with a spinal cord injury is very costly. Depending on the type of injury, persons may require long term in home care, physiological counseling and vocational training; not to mention the medical costs incurred. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistics Center estimates the average lifetime cost of a severe spinal injury if it occurs at the age of 25 is over $4,724,181. The damages of a spinal injury may also include indirect costs such as lost wages and productivity. At Broussard & Hart we want to ensure our clients understand their rights after an injury. It’s important to contact an attorney as soon as you receive a spinal injury diagnosis.
How Much is Awarded in a Spinal Cord Injury Case?
When an “accident” was actually caused, entirely or in part, by the negligent or wrongful conduct of another party a victim may be entitled to damages for the injuries the victim suffered. If you are a spinal cord injury victim of a personal injury accident you undoubtedly want to know how much is awarded in spinal cord injury cases. Because of the unique nature of a spinal cord injury accident only an experienced Louisiana spinal cord injury attorney can provide you with an estimate of what your specific case might be worth; however, a better understanding of the factors that typically determine the value of a spinal cord injury case may be beneficial to you as well.
The human spinal cord is truly an amazingly strong system; however, it can be injured, even broken, under the right circumstances. If your spinal cord is actually severed, the result is a fatal injury. Serious injury to the spinal cord can lead to paralysis. In fact, almost one in four causes of paralysis is a spinal cord injury. Spinal cord injuries, in turn, are caused almost entirely by “accidents.” Approximately one in four spinal cord injuries is caused by a motor vehicle accident, with another one in four caused by a work accident. Falls and sports accidents account for yet another 25 percent of all spinal cord injuries.
Once the spinal cord has been injured, it cannot be repaired, meaning that the victim of paralysis caused by a spinal cord injury will have to live with his/her injuries for life. The cost of treating a spinal cord injury, as you can imagine, can be exorbitant over the life of a victim. While the emotional cost of living with a spinal cord injury is difficult to calculate, the yearly expenses are easier to estimate. First year expenses average between $230,000 and $775,000 with the lifetime cost of living with a spinal cord injury averaging from $1million to $3million for a victim who is age 25 at the time of the injury – and those are only direct expenses.
If someone’s negligence caused your spinal cord injury, you may be entitled to both the economic and economic damages you suffered as a result of the injury. Economic damages include things such as medical bills, lost wages, and other direct expenses while non-economic damages refers to things such as the emotional cost of your injury. The high cost of treating a spinal cord injury coupled with the exceptional emotional toll such an injury takes on the victim makes most spinal cord injury cases high dollar cases.
Call Today for a Free Consultation
Our firm serves, from our Calcasieu Parish offices, clients throughout Southwest Louisiana. If you would like to discuss a personal injury claim for a spinal cord injury with one of our lawyers, please call 337-439-2450 (Toll Free: 866-281-4774) or e-mail our office to arrange a free and confidential consultation to evaluate your claim. A spinal cord injury attorney will respond quickly to your inquiry.
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Our attorneys will review your case and represent you throughout your personal injury claim. Contact Broussard & Hart L.L.C. today for help pursuing a personal injury settlement. Your first consultation is free and we won’t charge fees unless money is recovered.
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