Spinal cord injuries are among the most feared of all injuries, second only, perhaps, to severe brain trauma. A damaged spinal cord typically causes complete or incomplete paralysis, with severe and often permanent loss of physical function. The extent of the paralysis will depend on the point at which the spine is damaged, with paralysis affecting the parts of the body below the point of injury. An injury lower on the spine, in the thoracic or lumbar region, will tend to produce paraplegia, or paralysis of the lower body; damage to the upper or cervical spine will often result in quadriplegia (also called tetraplegia), which is paralysis of all four limbs, often accompanied respiratory problems stemming from malfunctioning of the diaphragm and requiring the use of a ventilator to breathe.
In the United States an estimated 12,000 people suffer spinal cord injuries every year. Although the precise number is not known, well over a quarter of a million people live with these debilitating injuries.
How Do Spinal Cord Injuries Occur?
Motor vehicle accidents are their leading cause of spinal cord trauma. Other include falls, construction accidents, gunshots and acts of violence, sports injuries, and medical error during neck or back surgery. In many of these cases, some other person’s careless, reckless, or negligent act is responsible for the accident. If you or a family member is suffering a disability and related health issues because of a spinal cord injury that someone else caused, you are entitled to make a claim for compensation against the party or parties whose wrongdoing led to your damages.
Life after a Spinal Cord Injury
If you have suffered a serious spinal cord injury, your life will never be the same. You will need to learn a whole new way to live, to get around, and to pass long hours that make up every day. If you are quadriplegic, lacking the use of both arms and legs, you will probably have to get used to being dependent on others for the most basic things in life—dressing, bathing, and even eating. In either case, you are likely to be dealing with impairments and challenges in your work life, personal relationships, and sexual function. In either case, you will probably have lost control or your bowels and bladder, and may need a urinary catheter and colostomy surgery. Your life expectancy will have been reduced, and you are more likely to suffer from pressure sores, septicemia, kidney failure, and pneumonia.
Damages That Can Be Recovered in a Legal Action
Because of the serious nature of a spinal cord injury, the requirement for years of costly medical treatment and rehabilitation, and the extensive losses to your quality of life, your future and that of your family will largely depend on your success in recovering adequate compensation from one or more parties whose actions caused your injury. Therefore, it is essential to locate a very experienced Providence personal injury attorney — one who practices personal injury law exclusively—and who has a proven record of high dollar amount recoveries for clients who have suffered these catastrophic injuries.
The damages that you can claim encompass both economic and non-economic losses, and your experienced lawyer will know how to document and assign an appropriate value to both types.
Damages from spinal cord injuries often run in the millions of dollars in medical treatment alone. These are some of the economic and quality-of-life damages, depending on your individual circumstances, for which you may be able to recover compensation:
- Cost medical treatment and rehabilitation, including expected future costs
- Cost of assistive and mobility devices
- Lost earnings and future earning potential
- Cost of retrofitting your home and/or vehicle to accommodate your disability
- Cost of assistance with personal care and household chores
- Cost of medical devices: including catheters, ventilator, and incontinence or ostomy supplies
- Cost of training and caring for a service animal
- Physical suffering and pain
- Loss of mobility
- Emotional anguish
- Psychological disturbance, including depression, anxiety, stress, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of sexual function
- Loss of ability to participate in sports, hobbies, and other favorite activities
- Loss of the ability to enjoy your life
Dedicated and Experienced Catastrophic Injury Lawyers in Providence, Rhode Island
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury in Rhode Island, you owe it to yourself and your family to find out if you qualify to receive compensation for your injuries by consulting the lawyers of the Resmini law firm in Providence. We will conduct an investigation aimed at identifying any and all parties whose act or failure to act appropriately may have contributed to causing your injury, and will make a claim for the full range of economic and quality-of-life damages you have suffered. With more than 40 years of dedicated personal injury legal experience, our top-rated law firm is an unbeatable choice when your life has been devastated by spinal cord damage. State law imposes time limits on filing a claim. Don’t risk losing your right to a monetary award. Call Resmini Law today to schedule a consultation, at absolutely no cost to you. Dial (401) 751-8855 to speak with an attorney.