Your entire life can change in an instant when a negligent driver or property owner causes a serious accident. Everyday tasks like driving to work or playing with your kids in the backyard may suddenly become difficult or impossible after a spinal cord injury. Whether struck by a distracted SEPTA driver on a Philadelphia street or hurt in a slip and fall in a grocery store, you deserve an attorney with the experience and commitment to successfully protect your legal rights.
Spinal Cord Injury Basics
While your spinal cord is normally up to the rigors of regular daily motion or the occasional jostling, the nerves and bones in your back are susceptible to serious injury when experiencing sudden external trauma. Some of the most frequent causes of serious spinal cord injuries in Philadelphia include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- SEPTA accidents involving busses, trains, or trolleys
- Workplace accidents
The effects of a spinal cord injury depend on both the specific type of accident and where the spinal column was damaged. From top to bottom, the spinal cord is segmented into four main parts:
- Cervical vertebrae lead from the point where the spine connects to the brain down through the neck and top of the back.
- Thoracic vertebrae are positioned in the upper back.
- Lumbar vertebrae extend through your lower back.
- Sacral is the lowest section and mostly consists of nerve roots.
Which section sustains the most damage in an accident will play a large role in how the injury impacts a victim’s life. While individual circumstances differ from accident to accident, injuries to higher areas of the spinal cord tend to have a broader effect on more areas of the body. For example, damage to the high cervical area may result in full quadriplegia and loss of most motor control, while damage to the lower sacral nerves might create difficulty using hips and legs but leave arm and torso function unaffected.
Whether you were in a vehicle collision, slip and fall, or SEPTA crash, damage to different parts of the spinal cord can result in any of these specific types of back injuries:
- Chronic pain
- Herniated disc
- Nerve damage
- Loss of motor control
- Sprains and strains
Get the Support You Need After a Spinal Cord Injury
After understanding the seriousness of a spinal cord injury, the next step for an accident victim is to begin the process of financial recovery while dealing with physical changes. The financial side of the equation is where an attorney becomes necessary.
Recoverable damages tend to be higher in spinal cord cases than other personal injury claims due to extreme and often long-term effects. After a spinal cord injury, you may end up needing ongoing rehabilitation therapy or around-the-clock care in cases of permanent paralysis. Medical costs increase astronomically in these cases. Emotional injuries also need to be taken into account alongside the physical ones, as PTSD, anxiety, and depression may also interfere with your daily routine after an accident.
Because of the potential for extremely high costs, both insurance adjusters and the at-fault party will likely try to avoid paying the full and fair amount you are actually due after a spinal cord injury. That’s why you need an attorney who understands that you are more than a dollar amount on a spreadsheet and that your story matters. By working with an experienced spinal cord injury attorney, you can seek compensation for damages such as:
- Initial medical bills after the accident
- Additional medical bills in the future covering surgeries, treatments, therapies, and in-home costs
- Lost wages while recovering
- Loss of future earning potential if the spinal cord injury prevents you from working
- Pain and suffering
- Embarrassment or emotional distress from disfigurement or loss of normal function like bowel and bladder control
- Reduced quality or enjoyment of life, especially in cases of more serious spinal cord injuries with permanent effects
Protect Your Legal Rights After an Accident by Talking to an Attorney
If you or someone you love suffered a spinal cord injury, it is critically important to get in touch with an attorney as quickly as possible.
A lawyer with extensive knowledge of personal injury law can thoroughly investigate the root cause of your accident to prove your spinal cord injury occurred due to negligent behavior. That investigation needs to be started early, however, due to the two-year statute of limitations in effect on personal injury lawsuits.Heslin Law Firm wants to find the best way to help protect your future and recover the damages you deserve. Give us a call or send a message online to set up a consultation.