The spinal cord serves as the central pathway for every signal that is transmitted between the brain and the rest of the nervous system. This means it plays an essential role in just about every motor function that humans have. Unfortunately, any severe damage to the spinal cord often results in permanent paralysis, since this part of the body cannot heal by itself the way that soft tissues and bones can.
If you sustained spine trauma because of another person’s reckless or careless conduct, you should speak with a Kennewick spinal cord injury lawyer sooner rather than later about the possibility of civil recovery. Injuries like this often have debilitating and life-altering consequences. Without a qualified catastrophic injury attorney’s assistance, you might have substantial trouble recovering the compensation that you deserve.
Causes and Effects of Spinal Cord Damage
While spinal cord injuries are particularly common in high-speed auto accidents, slip and falls, and incidents involving negligence by medical professionals, virtually any situation that causes an injury could conceivably leave someone with permanent spinal cord damage. The spinal cord itself is enclosed within, and protected by, the spine’s vertebrae. However, a strong enough impact directly to the spine or neck can cause this cord to become bruised, twisted, torn, or severed completely, as experienced Kennewick spinal cord accident attorneys know all too well.
The symptoms that spinal cord injuries produce will depend on where the injury occurred and how much physical damage the cord sustains. Injuries to the lower spine may result in paraplegia, which is paralysis in the lower limbs, whereas higher injuries on the spine might cause quadriplegia in the entire body below the neck. Additionally, an “incomplete” injury that does not completely cut through the spinal cord is not quite as serious and might even allow for a full recovery in the long term. Meanwhile, “complete” injuries are essentially always permanent and will result in some form of total paralysis.
Proving Liability for Injury-Related Losses
Part of what makes litigation over spinal cord injuries so complicated is the fact that comprehensive claims must cover both past and future damages related to the injury in question. In practice, this means identifying the harm that spinal cord trauma will cause in the months and years following the conclusion of litigation, valuating those damages, and then demanding fair restitution for them far in advance of when they actually happen. Specific losses that often play a role in cases of this nature include:
- Future expenses for surgical and rehabilitative medical care
- Assistive medical equipment and/or home modifications
- Lost wages and/or future earning capacity
- Physical pain from injuries
- Psychological trauma
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Lost consortium with a spouse
Guidance from a reliable spinal cord injury lawyer in Kennewick could be crucial to building a strong and thorough claim within the three-year filing deadline that is set by Revised Code of Washington § 4.16.080.
Talk to a Kennewick Spinal Cord Injury Attorney About Legal Options
The prospect of seeking financial compensation to make up for the immense losses that spinal cord trauma can cause may understandably seem like an insufficient solution to an impossible solution. While a monetary damage award or settlement will not be able to restore you to full health, it could be critical to protecting your financial wellbeing and maximizing your quality of life going forward. A Kennewick spinal cord injury lawyer could discuss the possibilities in your unique situation during a private initial meeting. Call today to schedule a consultation.