Sustaining an injury to the spinal cord is unlike any other type of injury, because of the sheer devastation that results from severe nerve damage and the impact it can have on an individual’s life. It is easy to forget that the spinal column and the network of nerves housed within it are the information superhighway that connect our brains to our bodies. In other words, the spine does not simply physically hold our bodies together, but provides a pathway for the transmission of information necessary to complete every task we ever do.
In the wake of such a severe and potentially life-threatening injury, a Louisville spinal cord injury lawyer can provide assistance and relief by working to hold the at-fault party liable for the pain and suffering caused. Working with a catastrophic injury lawyer to obtain a settlement can provide the victim of a spinal cord injury and their loved ones affected by it the financial compensation deserved for the devastation of the life-altering injury they sustained.
Type and Severity of Spinal Cord Injury
The spinal cord is a delicate stem of nerves that runs from the brain to the end of the spinal column and sends signals throughout the body. When the spinal cord is impaired, the damage sustained by the spine itself might not be where the injuries manifest. Depending on the injury, various effects of nerve damage will be apparent in different parts of the body, limiting the injured person’s ability to function. Some people lose the ability to walk, some lose the ability to speak, and others may even lose the ability to breathe without the help of a machine. These injuries lead to a lifetime of medical maintenance with limited mobility and function, and can deprive a person of basic elements that contributed to their quality of life, which is why retaining an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer in Louisville is critically important to effectively combat the legal portion of this battle.
Typically, in a Louisville spinal cord injury claim, the claimant was involved in an accident that may have dislocated or fractured a vertebrae of the spine, leading to damage of the spinal cord tissue. Spinal cord injuries can be classified as one of two types:
- Incomplete injuries, which cause nerve damage and immobility with some sensation in parts of the body
- Complete injuries, which cause complete nerve damage and immobility below the injured vertebrae
The severity of a spinal cord injury depends on the damage suffered by the tissue, and sometimes these injuries can be fatal. Both types of injuries can cause paralysis in the forms of:
- Paraplegia, which is paralysis of the legs and part of the torso
- Quadriplegia, which is paralysis from the neck down, and can include the respiratory system
Recovering from and medical bills tied to a spinal cord injury can be extremely costly to the victim as he or she will require extensive hospital visits, a wheelchair, and ongoing therapy for the physical and emotional damage in order to support adjustment to the disability. These injuries place a heavy burden on the victim and his or her family, who must also learn how to live with the permanent handicap, assuming the role of caregiver and responsibility for the accompanying expenses.
Injury Causes and Liability
Spinal cord injuries in Kentucky are usually the result of a sudden, strong impact, like those sustained in a motor vehicle accident, or as a result of a crushing heavy object falling on top of the victim. The most common causes of injuries that warrant contact with a Louisville spinal cord injury attorney include:
- Motor vehicle crashes
- Truck/tractor-trailer crashes
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian-motorist accidents
- Bicyclist-motorist accidents
- Major falls
- Work-related incidents
- Construction site accidents
Because spinal cord injuries result in major physical and lifestyle changes, these are considered catastrophic injuries with permanent disability. When these accidents are the result of negligence by another party, whether a negligent driver, a defective product, or an unsafe workplace, the victim can press charges. These may fall into one of the following injury claim categories:
- Premises liability claims, if a spinal cord injury is caused by a property owner’s negligence, such as an unstable crane falling on a victim at a construction site.
- Product liability claims, if a spinal cord injury is caused by a manufacturer’s negligence in producing a defective product, like a faulty ladder that causes a victim to fall from a dangerous height.
- Negligence injury liability claims, if a spinal cord injury is caused by a person’s negligence, like a driver running a red light and hitting a pedestrian who is crossing the intersection.
Fighting for Victims of Spinal Cord Injury in Louisville
The period after a spinal cord injury can be fraught with emotional and physical pain as the victim and his or her family must deal with the life-changing accident and its impact on their lives. On top of this distress, the medical bills, work disability, and loss of income can wreak havoc on finances and security in a household affected by this devastating injury.
Find out how a Louisville spinal cord injury lawyer can assist you in the fight for justice and compensation after a major accident by contacting our firm today.