Spinal cord injuries may be caused by a number of different traumatic accidents including motor vehicle accidents, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, major falls, construction accidents, and other types of serious accidents. Spinal cord injuries can be devastating in terms of the impact they have on the victim’s life. A spinal cord injury may cause long-term or permanent pain, dysfunction, or paralysis and may require extensive medical treatment. It may render the victim permanently disabled and/or unable to function normally in his or her daily life.
At Drake & Collopy, PC, we understand the enormous impact a spinal cord injury can have on your life. If your injury was caused by another person’s negligence or wrongful conduct, we are here to help. Our experienced attorneys will help you navigate the many challenges that spinal cord injury victims face. As a client, you will have a team of experienced injury attorneys working diligently and aggressively on your behalf. Our ultimate goal is to secure the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries and for your future. The first step is to get in touch with us to discuss your situation.
Anatomy of the Spine
The spine is divided into three primary regions: cervical, thoracic, and lumbar. It consists of bones stacked on top of one another known as vertebrae. In the gaps between the vertebrae are gel-like discs which provide a cushioning effect. They also provide the spine with its flexibility. The spinal cord runs through a cavity, called the spinal canal, through each of the vertebrae, and it is protected by the vertebrae.
The spinal cord is a complex highway of nerves that connect the brain to the rest of the body. It provides control and function to muscle structures, skin, and internal organs. Each sensory organ, internal organ, and muscle below your neck is connected to your spinal cord. The spinal cord is very delicate and can be damaged or severed in severe accidents.
The Impact of a Spinal Cord Injury
Damage to the spinal cord can have devastating consequences. It can result in paralysis and loss of motor function in certain areas of the body. Generally, areas of the body below the location of the injury will be affected by a spinal cord injury, so the higher the location of the injury, the more devastating the impact can be. For example, if the spinal cord is severed in the lower back (lumbar spine), it typically causes paralysis in the legs and lower body only. However, if the spinal cord is severed in the neck (cervical spine) it can cause complete paralysis below the neck and may even impact the victim’s ability to swallow and breathe.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury is usually caused by a severe impact or rapid deceleration of the spine. Some of the types of accidents that may cause a spinal cord injury include:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
In a car or truck accident, your body can be jolted back and forth rapidly and with great force. The compression and hyperextension of the spine can crush discs and fracture your vertebrae. It can also cause damage to the spinal cord in more severe accidents.
Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Motorcycle Accidents
Pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists do not have the protection that a passenger in a motor vehicle has. Because of this, the risk of sustaining a spinal cord injury is much higher in a pedestrian, bicycle, or motorcycle collision with a vehicle, or by striking the ground at a high rate of speed.
Workplace and Construction Accidents
Accidents at workplaces, especially construction sites with heavy equipment, can result in serious spinal cord injuries. Some of the causes of these types of injuries include falls from higher elevations, construction vehicle accidents, and falling equipment.
Slip and Falls or Elevated Falls
Falls usually include an impact with the ground or other object and can result in the damage to the spinal cord as the spine hyperextends. This is especially true in falls from higher elevations.
Types of Compensation You Can Receive for a Chicago Spinal Cord Injury
If another person’s or entity’s negligence resulted in your spinal cord injury, you may be entitled to compensation. Some of the damages you may be able to recover after a spinal cord injury include:
The purpose of economic damages is to provide compensation for the monetary impact of your injury. Some examples of economic damages you may be able to recover include:
- All past and future medical costs related to the injury for treatment, medication, and therapy
- All past and future lost income due to the inability to work because of the injury
- Reduced lifetime earning capacity if you must change jobs or quit working completely
The purpose of non-economic damages is to provide compensation for your personal suffering and diminished quality of life. Some of the types of non-economic damages we will pursue on your behalf include:
- Pain and suffering, past and future
- Loss of a normal life, including the inability to perform tasks of daily living and to participate in your normal recreational activities
- Emotional and psychological injuries including depression and PTSD
Our Team Is Your Ally for a Spinal Cord Injury in Chicago
If your spinal cord injury was caused by the negligence or wrongful conduct of another party, we encourage you to reach out to us today. Our team of experienced attorneys is dedicated to helping you recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses. Our team will review your case and get started on building a strong case right away. We are your partner in recovery and will fight aggressively on your behalf.