Spinal cord injuries can occur after a particularly devastating car accident. They are catastrophic injuries and can have far-reaching consequences for your quality of life. This means they usually change your life long-term, even permanently, and may affect everything from your mobility, ability to care for yourself, and capacity to work.
At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod and Baril, PLLC, our Chattanooga spinal cord injury lawyers can help you recover compensation for your damages after an accident. We can evaluate your case and help you file a claim so you can focus on healing. Call us today at 865-546-1111 for a case consultation.
How can a car accident cause a spinal cord injury?
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, accounting for more than 35% each year. Rollover accidents cause a number of spinal cord injuries, as do side, front, and rear-impact crashes.
According to the University of Washington, there are 11,000 new cases of traumatic spinal cord injury every year in the United States. Half of all these are complete injuries, which means that no motor or sensory signals pass through the injured segment of the spinal cord. Complete injury of the spinal cord causes more complications and disability and reduces life expectancy.
What are the initial and long-term effects of a spinal cord injury?
Many of the people who suffer a spinal cord injury that involves spinal fracture have to undergo surgery. The medical complications from spinal surgery include pneumonia, respiratory failure, deep vein thrombosis, pressure ulcers, and urinary tract infections. After surgery, the patient transfers to an inpatient rehabilitation care center, followed by outpatient therapy.
Many people who have suffered a spinal cord injury and survived the initial medical care later die from pneumonia or sepsis. Those who do not succumb to pneumonia or sepsis may face paralysis or sensory or motor dysfunction. Common long-term complications of spinal cord injury are pain, dysfunction of the bladder and bowels, pressure ulcers, urinary tract infections, and sexual dysfunction.
If you suffered a spinal cord injury after a car accident, contact us today. We can help you gather records from your hospitalization and medical treatment procedures and win you compensation for your damages.
How can a spinal cord injury hurt me financially?
You can suffer direct medical financial losses following a spinal cord injury for your initial medical treatment and the complications you encounter in the future. Each medical procedure you undergo can be costly and may include:
- Acute medical treatment: This refers to the initial medical care to stabilize your condition, evaluate the extent of your injuries, and provide necessary medical intervention, such as surgery.
- Initial rehabilitation: This is usually a direct transfer from the hospital after the acute medical treatment.
- Long-term, ongoing medical treatment and therapy: This can include respiratory therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, as well as additional spinal surgeries as needed over time.
- Treatment for complications: People who have suffered a spinal cord injury are often beset with complications from their lack of mobility. Muscle deconditioning and contractures, difficulty regulating body temperature, and impaired respiratory function are common, as are the other complications.
In addition to the cost of your medical care, you may also have to make lifestyle modifications as a result of your spinal cord injury. These can include:
- An adaptive vehicle;
- Home modifications, such as access ramps, stair lifts, tub and shower lifts, and bed lifts;
- Equipment, such as wheelchairs, breathing devices, and communication devices; and
- Modifications at your place of employment.
How can I prove other financial losses after a spinal cord injury?
After a catastrophic injury, your life will likely change in multiple ways. Our spinal cord injury lawyers will work hard to get you compensation for the damages you have endured. Those damages can cover a variety of financial losses.
You will have lost wages from the initial medical treatment and rehabilitation time period. Those losses are usually recorded in your employer’s records.
Decreased Future Earnings
After a spinal cord injury, you may not be on the same career path you were on before the car accident. A vocational expert can offer testimony estimating the extent to which your spinal cord injury decreased your future earnings.
If you are unable to work at all due to your spinal cord injury, you may qualify as disabled. Your medical records, including doctor, hospital, and surgical records, can establish your level of impairment. Medical imaging tests like x-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs will show the extent of your spinal cord injury. Occupational therapists can evaluate your mobility, motor control, range of motion, strength, and specific functionalities. A vocational expert can evaluate your ability to support yourself through gainful employment.
Home Health Care, Personal Care Assistance, and Independent Living Assistance
If you have cognitive impairment, paralysis, or mobility issues resulting from your spinal cord injury, you may need temporary or ongoing home health care. Personal care assistance may also be necessary for bathing, dressing, toileting, and grooming.
If you are a paraplegic or quadriplegic, you may also need assistance preparing meals, going grocery shopping, or running simple errands. Transportation can become a complicated and costly issue as well.
Our attorneys can gather the relevant employment records, expert testimony, medical care receipts, and other records to calculate the full value of your current and future losses.
Do I need a spinal cord injury lawyer?
When you are dealing with a serious injury that is likely to impact you for the rest of your life, you should not try to handle your injury claim without professional help. The insurance company will likely employ a team of lawyers, which can make winning your case harder, especially while you are trying to recover from your injuries.
At the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, we can handle all aspects of your case so you can focus on your health. We will gather the evidence from law enforcement officials, medical care providers, vocational experts, and other experts as necessary to prove your case. We will give your spinal cord injury claim high priority and we will not rest until you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 865-546-1111 for your free consultation.