Spinal Cord Injuries in Car Accidents

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, 31.5 percent of spinal cord injuries (SCIs) occur due to automobile accidents, making automobile accidents the leading cause of all SCIs. Still in the top five leading causes of spinal cord injuries are motorcycle accidents, which account for 6.8 percent of spinal cord injuries. Pedestrians, bikers, and others involved in road related accidents suffered another 4.7 percent of spinal cord injuries. This means that 43 percent of spinal cord injuries are due to road related accidents. Spinal cord injuries often lead to devastating physical, financial, and emotional loss. Fortunately, the lawyers of the Law Office of William W. Hurst are here to help and will review the facts of your case at no cost to you.

What is a Spinal Cord Injury?

Stanford University Medical Center explains that the spinal cord consists of a bundle of nerves that transports messages between your brain the rest of body. Acute spinal cord injuries happen when the patient suffers traumatic harm to any part of the spinal cord region and or nerves found in the spinal cord. This may also include the vertebrae or discs. In the best of circumstances, the patient suffers from a bruise, which doctors refer to as a contusion. Also less serious are dislocations or fractures to the vertebrae or disc. Depending on the impact of the harm other injuries may lead to a partial or complete tear of the spinal cord. As a general rule of thumb, the higher up the injury occurs the more likely it will lead to serious and lifelong harm. About 250,000 to 400,000 people in the United States alone suffer from some sort of spinal cord injury. The majority (60 percent) are 30 years of age or younger.

At their worst, spinal cord injuries can lead to death or decreased or complete loss of movement, better known as partial or complete parlays. In less serious cases, you may lose sensation, the ability to regulate your body organs, or other functions such as bladder control. In all of these instances, victims sustain harms that are secondary to their spinal cord injury—but which can last a lifetime. The most prevalent areas of injury are the thoracic and cervical areas. The spinal cord is a very fragile and can cause permanent disability and death no matter the age of the patient.

Seeing a Medical Professional Immediately Can Help Maximize Your Recovery

Indian law follows the law of contributory negligence which dictates that if the person suing (the plaintiff) is more at fault then the person being sued (the defendant) the plaintiff will not be able to recover for any harm that the defendant may be responsible for. One of the main reasons that a plaintiff fails to recover any damages or gets fewer damages then they had hoped for has to deal with their complete refusal or delay in seeing a medical professional. Anytime you are in an automobile, motorcycle, or other road related accident you should insist on medical care with as little delay as possible. At the very least, if you suffer from any of the symptoms mentioned below you should get to your local emergency room as soon as humanly possible. This cannot only help you in your legal case but also your health and well-being for the rest of your life.

Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injury

Some of the more common symptoms and complications of spinal cord injuries include:

  • Muscle weakness or paralysis that can lead to an inability to use your hands, legs, or trunk
  • Lost sensation to the trunk, your arms, or legs
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Digestive issues
  • Muscle spasticity
  • Inability to control your bowel and bladder without medical intervention
  • Sexual dysfunction or ability to have children

Tips to Protect Your Legal Rights

When an accident is caused by someone else’s negligence, victims have the right to recover compensation under Indiana law. Unfortunately, there are certain things that victims can do that may negatively affect the value of their case or make it difficult to recover compensation at all. Here are some tips for protecting your legal rights after involvement in an injury-causing accident:

  • Unless injury to you or passenger prevents you from doing so, insist on and wait for an official accident report.
  • Stay at the scene of the accident
  • Do not apologize for the accident as it an apology can be interpreted as an admission of guilt
  • Do not accept any settlement offers made by the insurance company or person who caused your accident
  • Do not provide the insurance company with a recorded or written statement
  • Do not post about your accident on social media
  • Call a lawyer as soon as you can—any delay can result in the loss or destruction of evidence that you need to win your case

What Is My Case Worth?

Many spinal cord injury victims are anxious to find out how much compensation they will recover. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a “normal” spinal cord injury case, so it is impossible to provide an estimate of how much a case may fetch without conducting a thorough analysis of the losses sustained. Some of the factors that will influence how much your case is worth include:

  • Present and future medical losses
  • Present and future lost earning, which includes future income for yourself or family member such as a spouse
  • Pain and suffering excluding medical bills
  • Property damage
  • In the case of death, wrongful death
  • Loss of consortium, or the loss suffered by a spouse or other family member who can no longer enjoy the deceased’s companionship

Call Us Today to Speak with an Indianapolis Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

With over 35 years of experience, our attorneys have the skill and knowledge required to help spinal cord injury victims get the compensation they deserve. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our lawyers, call our office today at (317) 636-0808 or submit our online contact form.