As a Seattle personal injury attorney, I have seen people’s entire world change because of a car accident that results in a spinal cord injury. The range of symptoms for a spinal cord injury is vast, ranging from temporary pain to paralysis. Car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, and can cause permanent damage that drastically alters one’s life physically and financially. When an innocent driver suffers a spinal injury because of the negligence of someone else, it is imperative for that person to seek the advice of an experienced Burien car accident lawyer. It is likely that the medical bills to manage the injury will be very expensive, and the insurance companies do not make their record profits by easily giving out the proper compensation for these types of claims. A seasoned Bellevue injury lawyer can level the playing field and fight the insurance companies tooth and nail to get you the money you deserve.
A quarter of a million Americans are currently living with spinal cord injuries (SCI), with 10,000 to 12,000 new injuries happening every year. Causing nearly 40% of all spinal cord injuries, car accidents are the most common cause of the injury. It generally takes a very severe car accident to cause SCI to happen, but when a collision results in direct force on, or unnatural twisting of the back or neck, serious injury can occur. One of the most common ways this happens in a car accident is during a rollover crash. The roof may collapse in, and crush the head, neck, or back of the vehicle’s occupants. Seatbelt failures or lack of wearing the seatbelt are other typical contributing circumstances to car accidents that cause spinal cord injuries. Just as car accident statistics show that the overwhelming majority of accidents involve males, more than 80% of all spinal cord injury patients are male.
When the spinal cord is injured from a traumatic and direct force, initial damage causes a chain reaction that further harms the body. Initially, spinal discs that sustain the impact will fracture and become displaced. This can lead to the rupturing of blood cells, which causes heavy bleeding and internal damage in the area. Soon after, the spinal cavity will swell, thereby cutting off blood and oxygen to the area, and potentially harming important neurons and the connection between the brain and parts of the spinal cord.
There are two major classifications of spinal injury: incomplete and complete. An incomplete spinal injury allows for at least some sensation or motor function below the injured part of the spine. There are different levels of an incomplete spinal injury, but normal movement or sensation is impaired in some regard no matter what. A complete spinal cord injury is paralysis. Sensation and movement is lost below the affected part of the spine, which could mean quadriplegia if the injury was in the lower neck. If there is any chance for recovery in a spinal cord accident injury, it requires immediate medical attention. There is no cure for spinal cord injuries right now, but doctors and scientists have made huge strides in spinal cord injury research.
In both incomplete and complete spinal injuries, the victim’s life will inevitably be different. Long term medical care will be necessary, it may affect job performance, and there are added pressures on close family members. If you or a family member has suffered a spine injury due to the negligence of someone else, you should speak with an experienced Seattle spinal cord injury lawyer as soon as possible. If you would like a free consultation to get the advice you need on how to handle your injury, give Premier Law Group a call at (206) 285-1743.