Car crashes and other motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries and paralysis, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC). Nearly all people who suffer a traumatic spinal cord injury are still dealing with neurological issues when they are discharged from the hospital. The lifetime cost of a spinal cord injury exceeds $1 million for even the slightest loss of motor function.
If you have sustained a life-changing spinal cord injury in a car accident, you should speak to an experienced car accident lawyer about your legal options for seeking compensation to cover your medical bills and other losses. If someone else caused the accident, you may have a right to demand payment for your current and future medical expenses, lost income, and other expenses. You also may seek compensation for your pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, as well.
A Las Vegas car accident spinal cord injury attorney from Sam & Ash Injury Law can help you demand the full financial compensation you need to rebuild your life. We know how expensive treatment for spinal cord injuries can be and how the entire family of the individual is affected by such an injury.
The Las Vegas injury attorneys at Sam & Ash Injury Law will fight for What’s Right for you. We will identify all possible sources of compensation available to you. We also can connect you with spinal cord injury specialists to help you get the treatment you need. For a free case review with a respected Las Vegas personal injury law firm, call us or contact us online today. You’ll never be charged an out-of-pocket fee. We only get paid when we recover money for you. We’re available 24/7 to take your call and provide you with compassionate legal assistance.
What Is a Spinal Cord Injury From a Car Accident?
A spinal cord injury is among the most devastating traumatic injuries an individual can suffer. A sudden blow or extreme twisting of the spinal cord in a car accident can cause vertebrae to break and discs and the spinal cord to become crushed or torn.
Damage to the spinal cord can cause loss of function below the level of the wound, including loss of feeling, loss of movement, and partial or complete paralysis.
Medical issues that may stem from spinal cord damage include:
- Chronic pain due to damage to the nerve fibers in your spinal cord
- Exaggerated reflex activities or spasms
- Loss of sensation, including the ability to feel heat, cold, and touch
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Sexual dysfunction
- Inability to regulate blood pressure effectively
- Reduced control of body temperature
- Difficulty breathing, coughing, or clearing lung secretions
Physical losses occur below the level of a spinal cord injury. Therefore, higher injuries – neck injuries – cause more widespread loss of sensation and paralysis than lower back injuries.
Paralysis that affects all or part of the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs is known as paraplegia.
Paralysis in the arms, hands, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs is known as tetraplegia or quadriplegia.
A spinal cord injury is called complete if all feeling and ability to control motor function are lost below the point of injury. Having some motor or sensory function below the affected area is called an “incomplete” spinal cord injury. There are varying degrees of incomplete injury. Doctors will perform a series of tests to determine the neurological level and completeness of an injury.
Since 2015, nearly half of spinal cord injury patients have been diagnosed with incomplete tetraplegia, which involves paralysis or weakness in all four limbs, the NSCISC says. It is the most common type of spinal injury. Slightly more than 12% suffer complete tetraplegia.
Treating Spinal Cord Injuries After a Car Accident
A spinal cord injury suffered in a car accident requires emergency care. Emergency responders will work to stabilize and assess the patient, then relieve pain as the patient is transported to a hospital. Surgery will be required to repair as much damage as possible.
After recovering from surgery, the patient will begin rehabilitation therapy to develop strength and restore as much mobility as possible. People with an incomplete injury are more likely than people with a complete injury to regain control of muscle movement, but there is no way to know how much function will return. The individual also will likely be prescribed occupational and vocational therapy to learn functional skills to adapt to physical losses and establish as much independence as possible.
A typical stay in a hospital acute care unit is 11 days followed by 31 days of rehab, according to the NSCISC.
Spinal cord injury patients may also avail themselves of psychological counseling to learn to cope with their changed lives. Loved ones, particularly spouses, of patients with mobility and functional losses may also benefit from counseling.
Many people with paraplegia regain independence through rehabilitation programs and with mobility-assisting devices, such as wheelchairs and modified motor vehicles.
Tetraplegia patients may need help with daily activities and routine self-care, such as eating, dressing, and bathing. They may also need assistive devices to communicate or breathe. Some patients require 24-hour-a-day monitoring and care and must be moved to nursing homes.
About 30% of people with spinal cord injuries are re-hospitalized one or more times during the year following injury, the NSCISC says. Among those re-hospitalized, the length of a hospital stay averages about 18 days. Diseases of the genitourinary system are the leading cause of re-hospitalization, followed by skin diseases. Respiratory, digestive, circulatory, and musculoskeletal diseases are also common complications of spinal cord injury that require hospitalization.
Seeking Compensation After Being Paralyzed in a Car Accident in Las Vegas
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, the party at fault may be legally liable for your medical bills and other losses.
Do not let an insurance adjuster tell you to determine what your spinal cord injury claim is worth. Call the trusted Las Vegas car accident lawyers at Sam & Ash Injury Law. We will investigate the crash and the full extent of your injuries and demand What’s Right for you.
The NSCISC says the lifetime costs of health care and living expenses for a person with a spinal cord injury range from $1.63 million for a 50-year-old with paraplegia to $5.1 million for a 25-year-old with high-cervical tetraplegia.
A spinal injury claim would likely seek compensation for:
- Medical expenses, including the cost of emergency response, surgeries, rehabilitation, counseling, and future or ongoing medical care needs
- Lost income due to time away from work and loss of future earnings and earning potential
- Personal property damage, the cost to repair or replace your vehicle
- Pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, and other non-economic damages
In cases of permanent disability, we consult professional life care planners about future medical costs. A life care plan details the current and future needs of individuals who have experienced catastrophic injury or have chronic health care issues and the probable cost of meeting their needs. Such needs may include:
- Diagnostic testing
- Routine medical care
- Surgical intervention
- Medical and adaptive equipment
- Prescription and nonprescription medications
- Consumable medical supplies
- Modifications to the home such as ramps to entrances and widened doorways
- Vocational services
- Home nursing care/facility care
The compensation available for a car accident spinal cord injury will depend on the severity of the injury and the injured individual’s demonstrated expenses and future needs. It will also depend on the amount of insurance coverage the at-fault driver has. It is important to thoroughly assess and document all your immediate and long-term losses when submitting a claim for compensation.
If our attorneys do not receive a settlement offer acceptable to you after submitting our demands to the insurance company, we will be prepared to file a formal personal injury lawsuit on your behalf and to present your case for compensation to a Clark County jury.
Contact Our Las Vegas Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys Today
If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury because of a car accident someone else caused in Las Vegas, contact Sam & Ash Injury Law today. Our experienced Las Vegas spinal cord injury attorneys are ready to answer your questions and help you understand your legal options. We will provide compassionate care and advocacy and do What’s Right for you during this difficult time.
There is no charge for us to start work on your case. We only receive a legal fee if we recover money for you. Call us or contact us online today for your free legal consultation.