Spinal Cord Injury
Iowa Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
A serious spinal cord injury can leave you vulnerable to illness and injury for the rest of your life. It may result in a loss of movement as well as independence. Many people are unaware of the spine’s strength and underestimate everything the spine does in our body. They ignore the reality that it acts as a communication link between the brain and the rest of your body.
If you or a loved one has experienced a spinal cord injury through the fault of someone else’s negligence or other misconduct, our attorneys want to assist you. We can help file a personal injury claim to help cover your medical expenses. When you’re ready to take legal action, contact our Iowa spinal cord injury lawyers at Mueller, Schmidt, Mulholland & Cooling for a free first consultation.
Why Do You Need a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney?
If your spinal cord has been injured as a result of an accident, you must focus exclusively on your recovery. To avoid future harm, it is vital that you take every precaution necessary. Dealing with a stressful lawsuit in addition to your rehabilitation can be overwhelming, and you should solely be focusing on your recovery.
A spinal cord injury lawyer will collaborate with you and your doctors to assess the full extent of your impairments and how they can affect your life in the future.
Then, on your behalf, your attorney will negotiate to achieve the best possible compensation for each part of your claim. You may rest easy knowing that your best interests are being aggressively pursued.
The degree of your spinal cord injury will affect the costs and amount of compensation you may be granted. The majority of spinal cord injuries demand long-term care, which can be expensive. Some of the procedures and costs connected with a spinal cord injury are as follows:
- Immediate or emergency treatment
- Surgical charges
- Braces, stabilizers, and other assistive devices
- Costs and requirements for daily living
- Physical Therapy
- Pain and suffering
A good lawyer will gather all of the information needed to substantiate how much money you have lost as a result of your injury. They’ll use it to seek fair compensation and, hopefully, a return to normalcy.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that directs the movement of your body between the brain and the rest of your body. Acute spinal cord injury, also known as SCI, is a common traumatic injury that can bruise, partially tear, or totally destroy the spinal cord, resulting in permanent impairment.
Note that a full spinal injury results in no movement or sensation below the location of the damage, but an incomplete injury results in some feeling. The following are the two most common types of spinal injuries:
- Quadriplegia, sometimes known as tetraplegia, is characterized by a loss of movement and function in the arms and legs, as well as the hands, trunk, and pelvic organs.
- Paraplegia is a condition in which the legs and lower body both lose function.
There are more distinct categories of spinal cord injuries that can occur in addition to the two basic overviews of quadriplegia and paraplegia. The location of the injury along the spinal column/cord is referred to as the level of spine injury. The more serious an injury is, the higher it is (closer to the brain stem). The vertebrae are separated into five zones, with each region describing the severity of the spinal injury. The following are the five areas of the spine that can be injured:
- Cervical – most likely resulting in quadriplegia
- Coccyx – the most minor form of spinal cord injury, will likely cause severe discomfort while sitting and strained bowel movements
- Lumbar – commonly resulting in paraplegia
- Sacrum – usually causes paralysis or weakness in the legs and hips
- Thoracic – typically resulting in either quadriplegia or paraplegia
After an accident, any type of spinal injury can occur and the following statics show the most likely type of injury and the occurrence:
- 2% of spinal cord injuries result in incomplete tetraplegia
- 2% of spinal cord injuries result in complete paraplegia
- 6% of spinal cord injuries result in incomplete paraplegia
- 3% of spinal cord injuries result in complete tetraplegia
- 7% result in a minor/normal spinal cord injury
A spinal injury is defined as an injury to the spine that necessitates immediate medical attention, surgery, or treatment or therapy. A spinal injury can cause you to suffer physically and financially. Medical care and rehab costs, missed wages, and pain and suffering must all be properly compensated for after suffering a spinal cord injury from an accident.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
A traumatic spinal cord injury occurs when one or more vertebrae are fractured, dislocated, compressed, or crushed by a violent blow to the spine. The most common causes of this sort of injury are motor vehicle accidents and falls.
Over a four-year period, the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) looked into more spinal cord injury cases and discovered that these were the most common causes:
- Diving accidents
- Falls from different heights
- Infections on the spinal cord
- Injuries at birth
- Medical or surgical negligence
- Car accidents
- Sports and recreation injuries
- Trampoline accidents
- Violent crimes (gunshot or stabbing)
A spinal injury can be caused by a variety of things. There is no specific type of accident that determines whether or not an injury qualifies as a spinal injury. You are entitled to compensation if you have suffered a long-term and severe disability or deformity as a result of a serious accident.
Treatment for a Spinal Cord Injury
Unfortunately, injury to the spinal cord cannot be reversed. However, scientists are constantly developing innovative treatments, including prostheses and drugs, to encourage nerve cell regeneration and improve the function of the nerves that remain after a spinal cord injury.
To reduce the impact of head or neck trauma, immediate medical attention is required. As a result, therapy for a spinal cord injury frequently begins at the scene of the accident. During transport to the hospital, emergency professionals often utilize a rigid neck collar and a rigid carrying board to immobilize the spine as gently and promptly as possible.
Immediate and emergency protocol for a spinal injury is to:
- Ensure your ability to breathe
- Prevent further shock and movement
- Immobilize the next and prevent additional damage to the spinal cord
- Avoid any complications and organ damage
If you have a spinal cord injury, you will most likely be admitted to the intensive care unit. You may be transported to a regional spine injury center, where you will be treated by a team of neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, spinal cord medicine specialists, psychologists, nurses, therapists, and social workers who are all experts in spinal cord damage.
Spinal accord injuries require extensive medical attention and will likely have lifetime costs associated with therapy and treatment. Spinal cord injuries can be very expensive and cost an average of $1 million in the first year and an additional $100,000 for each subsequent year for rehab, medications, and any further ongoing care.
Your doctor may not be able to provide you with an immediate prognosis. If recovery is possible, it is usually determined by the degree and extent of the injury. The most rapid recovery occurs in the first six months, but some people continue to improve for up to two years.
Spinal Cord Injury Statistics
According to the most current census, the population of the United States is roughly 331 million people. According to the most recent estimate, the annual incidence of spinal cord injury (SCI) in the United States is around 54 instances per one million individuals, or around 17,900 new SCI cases each year. Those who die at the scene of the incident that caused the SCI are not included in new SCI instances.
The number of people living with SCI in the United States is estimated to be around 296,000, with a range of 252,000 to 373,000.
Additional general statistics regarding spinal cord injuries (SCI) include:
- Approximately 78 percent of new SCI cases are found in men
- In the United States, around 17,810 new spinal cord injuries occur each year
- The average age at the time of injury is currently 43 years old
- The average length of stay in rehabilitation has decreased to 31 days
- The average length of stay in the hospital’s acute care unit has dropped to 11 days
Vehicle accidents account for roughly 38% of spinal cord accidents each year. The second top cause of spinal cord injuries is from slip and fall accidents, which account for 32% of injuries.
Des Moines Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys at Mueller, Schmidt, Mulholland & Cooling
A spinal cord injury lawyer can assist you in defending your rights and obtaining the compensation you deserve. If you have had a spinal cord injury as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you are entitled to fair recompense for your medical bills and other expenses. Personal injury lawyers will know how to handle your claim and fight for your rights, which may include dealing with insurance companies and settlement discussions with the opposing party.
If you or a loved one has sustained serious injuries to your spinal cord, contact the Des Moines personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Mueller, Schmidt, Mulholland & Cooling today to discuss your case. If you have lost a loved one from a spinal injury, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. We can provide sound legal advice through a free initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. You can reach us online or by phone at (515) 444-4000. Our offices are located in Des Moines, Iowa.