Spinal Cord Accident Attorney Seeking Justice For Injury Victims In Indiana
Sustaining an injury to your spinal cord can result in catastrophic and long-term damage to the rest of your body, as well as lifelong issues and consequences. Starting at the base of the skull and traveling right down to the tailbone, the spinal cord is a crucial element of our bodies and needs to be in the best condition to help us retain healthy, happy lives.
According to the Reeve Foundation, there are 1.2 million Americans living with paralysis as a result of spinal injuries, the most common causes of which are falls, sports injuries, medical procedures, violence, or motor vehicle accidents.
What Counts As A Spinal Injury?
Spinal injuries are determined and classified according to a set of predetermined factors. The American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) sets a scale, separating injuries according to their location within the spine, and their subsequent impact on motor and sensory systems in the arms and legs.
The five categories set out by ASIA are:
- A – Complete: A complete injury means that the victim retains no motor or sensory function or feeling in vertebrae S4-S5.
- B – Incomplete: In category B injuries, sensory is retained below the neurological level and in vertebrae S4-S4. Below these segments, no motor function remains.
- C – Incomplete: Motor function does exist beyond the neurological level, and muscles have a grade lower than 3 (being capable of a full range of motion against gravity).
- D – Incomplete: Motor function exists below neurological level, and has muscle grade greater than, or equal to, 3.
- Normal: As the name suggests, normal functionality operates in sensory and motor systems.
In addition, spinal injuries may include ruptures, herniations, or bulging disks. In all spinal injury cases, it is important that the correct category is identified – this will play a critical role in any compensation or personal injury claims.
What Damage Can Be Caused By A Spinal Cord Injury?
Along with the brain, the spinal cord is the core of the central nervous system. It is made up of nerve cells and nerve groups known as tracts. These reach different areas of your body and are used to carry messages between the brain and the rest of the body, including control of muscle movement, as well as messages regarding heat, cold, pain, pressure, and where to put your limbs.
Damage or injury to this area can therefore be catastrophic. The closer to the brain the injury occurs, the larger the risk of problems. If trauma occurs to the C1-C4 nerves, the victim may experience symptoms such as:
- Paralysis – this can occur in the arms, hands, trunk, and legs. Paralysis of upper and lower limbs is known as quadriplegia, while all limbs being affected is known as tetraplegia.
- An inability to breathe without medical intervention
- An inability to control bowel and bladder movements
- Impairments to speech
- An inability to perform tasks independently, such as walking or driving
- The victim may require round-the-clock care for basic actions such as eating, bathing, dressing and moving.
Am I Entitled To Compensation?
As you can imagine, the expenses that can be incurred as a result of a spinal injury can be enormous. Seeking compensation in these cases can help to pay for necessary expenses such as rehabilitation, at-home care, any specialist equipment which is required, a loss of income – both at the time of the injury and for the foreseeable future if required – and a range of other essentials.
What Can I Do?
If you are pursuing a claim for personal injury, you will need to move fast – Indiana law generally gives you two years to begin legal proceedings from the date the accident occurred. Minors generally have until they turn 20 years old. Cases against governmental entities and schools have additional filing requirements and shorter deadlines. Consult a personal injury attorney in Highland soon after the incident to determine the deadlines for your particular claim. If you wish to sue a third party for negligence, you will be required to prove that the other party was at fault. This is categorized as “an act or omission that is negligent, willful, wanton, reckless, or intentional toward the person or property of others.”
Determining fault can be difficult, especially to the criteria required by Indiana law. Here at Hilbrich Law Firm, we have a wealth of knowledge that can help you to determine whether you have a case. Our motivated attorneys have the skills you need to help you work through your case, determine fault, and support you throughout the process. Get in touch with us today at 219-444-4330 and let us see how we can help.