Have you suffered a spinal cord injury or other severe back injuries resulting from an accident that was not your fault? The accomplished Macon spinal cord injury lawyers at Bethune Law Firm who specialize in spinal cord injury have helped countless clients get the care and compensation due to them and can do the same for you!
Back injuries, especially those that affect the spinal cord, can cause temporary and even permanent changes in vital motor functions, including sensation, movement, and loss of function below the point of injury, including paralysis. Spinal injuries will undoubtedly change your life. Current estimates show that about 250,000 – 400,000 Americans are living with spinal disfunction or spinal cord injury. Within the state of Georgia, the 2018 Central Registry reported that 570 spinal cord injuries were treated in Georgia hospitals.
While several accidents can lead to spinal injuries, whatever the cause, spinal injuries are often severe and debilitating, sometimes causing lifelong pain and suffering. Spinal cord injuries are distressing for both the victim and those close to them. On top of the pain and paralysis, there are often significant emotional and financial impacts resulting from lost earnings, private rehabilitation and therapies, and home care.
If you have experienced spinal cord injuries from an accident that was not your fault, Bethune Law Firm can help bring your injury claim. Ready to talk? Contact our Macon personal injury attorneys today.
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How Much Are Spinal Cord Injuries Worth?
There are no determinate figures for a spinal cord injury claim since the severity of injuries varies, affecting victims differently. Many severe spine injuries, especially those that involve surgery, can lead to lifelong disability; as such, it is not uncommon for individuals working with competent lawyers to recover compensation over $1 million.
However, although the potential for a sizable settlement is high, the severity of your injuries, plus your lawyer’s level of experience, can make a world of difference in the verdict of your lawsuit. To get an educated estimate of how much your spinal cord injury is worth, you first need to understand the different categories of spinal cord injuries (SCIs).
Typically, medical practitioners categorize spinal cord injuries into five primary categories based on the degree and location of the injury:
- Incomplete SCI: The patient has some ability to feel below the injury site and thus has some ability to move.
- Complete SCI: The patient has lost all motor and sensory function below the spinal injury location.
- Paraplegia: The patient has suffered a spine injury in their low or mid-back section and suffers paralysis or weakness in the patient’s legs and lost bowel and bladder control, sensation, and sexual function.
- Tetraplegia Or Quadriplegia: The spinal injury has damaged the patient’s cervical or thoracic cord causing paralysis in arms and legs, lost bladder and bowel control, breathing difficulties, sexual dysfunction, and many other complications.
- Sacral Cord Injuries: The patient has suffered a spine injury that damaged the spine’s base, causing sexual dysfunction, leg and hip weakness, and bladder and bowel issues.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistics Center (NSCISC), the average expenses for SCI with paraplegia for the first year are approximately $537,271 and $1,102,403 for quadriplegia. Each subsequent year, the average annual expenses for paraplegia are about $71,172 and around $191,436 for quadriplegia.
That said, Macon courts will consider all these factors and come up with an appropriate figure for your case. Nonetheless, only an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer will understand how to best represent your case – both to insurance companies and later before a judge if the claim is not settled – to maximize your compensation.
What Are The Common Types Of Spinal Injuries?
After an accident, if you suspect you have a back injury or spinal cord injury, you should immediately contact emergency responders! If you experience any back pain or any of the following after an accident, go to the nearest ER ASAP, or see your physician for help:
- Lost or decreased sensation
- Difficulty walking
- Loss of movement
- Altered ability to feel pain, cold, and heat
- Excruciating pain such as intense stinging
- Severe pressure or pain in the back, neck, or head
- Issues with bladder and bowel control
- A constant numbness in your hands or legs
- Exaggerated spams
- Sexual dysfunction
- Weakness or a lack of balance and coordination
- Strange twist of the back or neck
Spinal cord injury victims are also at risk of developing additional health complications, which can often be life-threatening, including:
- Chronic pain
- UTI (urinary tract infection)
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Respiratory complications
In addition to the debilitating and life-long physical impacts of SCIs, many spinal cord injury victims develop mental health issues and can experience anxiety and depression episodes.
Our Macon spinal injury lawyer will support you, not only in fighting for the maximum monetary compensation you deserve but also by connecting you with institutions that can help you and your family adjust and learn to face life after suffering spinal cord injuries.
Why Should You Seek Medical Attention Right Away After A Back Injury?
Back injuries or spinal cord injuries after an accident can result from slipped or herniated disks, soft tissue damage, or spine injuries.
Sometimes, the impact is hard enough that the victim experiences the effects right away. Back or spinal injuries that manifest themselves right away may cause limited mobility and loss of sensation. Other times, the symptoms don’t manifest until much later, and as a result, people often assume that their back or body is just sore from the impact of the accident and don’t seek medical attention.
However, slight soreness or numbness could signify a more serious spinal injury that could cause permanent disability if left untreated. With the right diagnosis, x-ray services, surgery, and other treatment options, spinal injuries can be appropriately treated if detected early.
Spinal cord injuries can plague you for the rest of your life, so it’s imperative to treat any back or neck injuries promptly.
What Are Some Of The Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?
Spinal cord injuries are sometimes caused by damage to the spinal column’s discs, ligaments, or vertebrae or to the spinal cord itself. Spinal injuries may also arise from a sudden traumatic blow to your back that compresses, dislocates, fractures, or damages one or more of your vertebrae.
Spinal cord injuries may also result from a knife or gunshot wound that penetrates and damages the spinal cord. Most of the spinal cord cases we handle at Bethune Law Firm arise from traumatic blows caused by the physical impact on the body during an accident. Some of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents (38.3%)
- Falls (31.6%)
- Violence (13.6%)
- Sports And Recreation (8.2%)
- Medical Surgeries (4.3%)
- Other (1.3%)
What Can I Expect To Recover If I Suffered A Spinal Cord Injury From An Accident?
A spinal cord injury claim is an injury claim; therefore, similar to other personal injury claims, the recoverable compensation is based on how the spinal cord injury has impacted your life and that of your family, and whatever that will change in the future.
Recoverable compensation may include (but is not limited to):
- Medication and treatment costs
- Lost Earnings
- Pain & Suffering
- Adapted Accommodation:
- Travel Expenses
- Loss of consortium
Is There A Deadline To Make A Spinal Cord Injury Claim In Georgia?
When making a spinal cord injury claim, there’s usually a two-year time limit from the date you suffered the injury for you to issue your lawsuit. On occasions, exceptions can be made, and the time limit can be extended. For instance, the deadline may be extended if the victim is under 18 or if current circumstances make it impossible for them to litigate themselves.
If you think you may have a spinal cord injury, whatever the cause, it is usually best not to waste time, as obtaining vital evidence can be more challenging as you delay. Our Macon, GA, spinal injury lawyers will be happy to review your case whenever you’re ready.
What If My Spinal Cord Injury Happened At Work?
In the event that the accident that caused your spinal injury occurred while at work, under Georgia’s workers’ compensation law, your employer will most likely be liable for your medical expenses and lost wages arising from missed work.
Workers’ compensation claims are based on a no-fault system, which means that you’re eligible to recover benefits even if the accident was your fault, provided that you were not intoxicated. After being hurt at work you’ll want to file a workers’ compensation claim with your employer immediately.
However, suppose a work spinal cord injury involves a third party who can be liable for your injury. In that case, you can proceed with a workers’ compensation claim and an injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. For example, if you’re injured in a car accident while working, e.g., making deliveries or transporting other employees, and another driver was responsible for the crash, you would be able to file both types of cases.
Review Your Claim With Our Macon Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers
Spinal cord injuries cause enough pain and suffering on their own. The last thing sufferers need is unfair compensation that doesn’t cover medical costs or changing lifestyles. The Macon spinal cord injury attorneys at Bethune Law Firm are dedicated to ensuring you recover the compensation you deserve.
Ready to book a free consultation? Call 1-800-INJURED to speak to request your free no-obligation case evaluation.