Why You Need a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Spinal cord injuries can change your quality of life, family dynamics, and job abilities. Spinal cord injuries can occur during surgery, giving birth, in a road accident such as motorcycle accidents or on the job.
What Is the Spinal Cord?
The spinal cord is an intricate system of nerves that runs from the brain into the lumbar area of the lower back. It is surrounded by vertebrae, bones, tissue, blood vessels, and a protective membrane called meninges.
The spinal cord carries messages from the brain to every inch of the human body, sending signals of pain, instructions to move, and controlling non-conscious bodily functions such as breathing and digestion.
When the spinal cord is injured or becomes infected, it can damage the nerves running through it, causing permanent disruptions in those signals to various areas of the body. In addition to the risk of paralysis, injuries to the spinal cord can interfere with bodily functions causing issues such as incontinence, high blood pressure, extreme anxiety, reflex impairment, sexual dysfunction, problems with swallowing, and other complications.
In extreme cases, some patients need a ventilator to breathe because their breathing muscles and mechanisms have been affected. While auto accidents like a truck accident account for most of the annual number of spinal cord injuries, they can also happen in medical settings through negligence.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries in Medical Settings
There are a variety of reasons why spinal cord injuries can happen as a result of medical malpractice or negligence. Some of these reasons include:
- Injury during surgical procedures
- Improper administration of spinal anesthetics or blocks
- Failure to diagnose spinal tumors, infections, or abscesses
- Birth injuries
- Falls in hospitals or medical facilities caused by improper fall prevention measures
- Improper movement of a car accident victim in the emergency room, resulting in serious spinal cord injuries
- Improper diagnosis of a back injury
- Anesthesia errors, leading to a spinal hematoma
- Defective products
Prevalence of Medical Malpractice Spinal Cord Injuries
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, or NSCISC, medical and surgical incidents account for 4.6% of spinal cord injuries each year. Because of the devastating nature of spinal cord injuries, many patients win their malpractice cases in court, and the damages awarded are much higher when compared with other medical malpractice cases.
In Michigan, the medical malpractice cap on noneconomic damages is significantly higher for victims of spinal cord injuries who have been left paralyzed, unable to care for themselves, or cognitively impaired due to a spinal cord injury. Currently, patients in Michigan can sue for a maximum of $842,500.
In contrast, patients who did not suffer a catastrophic injury, traumatic brain injury, or whose reproductive organs were not permanently damaged, can sue for a maximum of $471,800. Each year, the amount is adjusted by 2.4% to account for inflation.
Sometimes birth can be a traumatic experience, both for the infant and the mother. Infant spinal injuries account for 5% of spinal cord damage cases in the United States. It can be caused by stress and pressure put onto the baby’s neck and upper back while moving through the birth canal. The use of forceps can also cause damage if applied improperly.
Most of the injuries to an infant’s spinal cord occur in the neck and upper back. While bruises or contusions can heal with time, some injuries are so severe that the baby is left with severe medical issues and will need lifetime medical care.
Some spinal cord injuries during birth also involve a period where the brain isn’t receiving enough oxygen. This comorbidity of issues can lead to intellectual disabilities, along with physical challenges for the child.
Another spinal cord complication for children is undiagnosed spina bifida. If spina bifida is undiagnosed, unintentional damage can occur to the exposed nerves of the spinal column during labor. Spina bifida is usually diagnosed in utero, and it is one of a range of standard tests that should be performed before the baby is born. If your child sustained a spinal cord injury because of undiagnosed spina bifida, experienced trial lawyers at our personal injury law firm can help you build a case so your child receives proper care for their injuries.
Social Security Benefits
While many note that it can be challenging to receive Social Security disability benefits after a medical injury, spinal cord injuries are usually easier to prove. You must be prepared to submit all relevant medical evidence and show the severity of your disability. If you have become paralyzed as a result of your spinal cord injury, your ability to work will most likely be affected. You need to show that you are no longer able to work in the same capacity you worked previously.
Social Security disability benefits are important for people who can no longer work due to their injury. While an accident attorney can help you file a spinal cord injury lawsuit, at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., we will fight hard to ensure you receive the maximum amount of damages and social security benefits you are entitled to.
Social Security disability lawyers at our law firm know how to navigate the complexities of the disability application process and can help prepare all the evidence and documents to show that you are no longer able to work due to your spinal cord injury.
Why Choose Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C.?
It’s important to hire a lawyer experienced in spinal cord injury cases. The sooner you hire an attorney, the sooner they can begin gathering important evidence for your case. Waiting too long can also run the risk of missing the statute of limitations.
Senior partner, Eileen Kroll is uniquely qualified to handle your spinal cord injury case as a registered nurse and experienced medical attorney. She will review your case, gather evidence, and guide you through the claims process.
She can assess the critical pieces of evidence which will support your claim and highlight the proximate causation of your spinal cord injury. If your life or your child’s life has been affected by a spinal cord injury Eileen Kroll can help you get the justice you deserve.
Our law firm also fights for the rights of the next-of-kin and beneficiaries in the case of wrongful death.
Our award-winning law firm has an exceptional track record and has won millions of dollars in settlements for our clients. At Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. we evaluate your case for free, and will only receive payment if and when we win. This means that we are highly motivated to ensure that your case is as strong as possible, and we want you to receive as much compensation as you are entitled to for your injury.
While spinal cord injuries can be significantly life-altering, you are not alone. If you are the victim of a spinal cord injury, you have options to pursue your case and receive proper damages for your pain, suffering, and past, current, and future medical bills.
Contact our law office for a free consultation and case evaluation at 866-MICH-LAW and let us help you get started on your spinal cord injury case.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.