The spinal cord is comprised of nerve bundles that transmit impulses to and from the rest of the body. Spinal cord injuries result when the bony protection or soft tissue surrounding the spinal cord becomes damaged. This damage often results from falls, sports collisions, industrial accidents, and motor vehicle accidents.
At Green Law Firm P.C., our experienced Colorado Springs spinal injuries lawyers are committed to providing dedicated legal representation to those who have suffered spinal injuries due to the negligence or wrongful actions of others. These injuries can result in life-altering consequences, including chronic pain, loss of mobility, and significant changes in lifestyle.
Our legal team understands the intricate medical, personal, and legal aspects of such cases and is prepared to fight tirelessly to ensure you receive the justice and compensation you deserve. Begin the journey towards rebuilding your life with the comprehensive, compassionate legal support of Green Law Firm P.C. If you have suffered a spine injury due to the negligence of someone else, reach out to our Colorado Springs spine injury lawyers today for a FREE case consultation.
Effects of Colorado Springs Spinal Cord Injuries
After a thorough examination, a doctor will assign a level of injury and determine if the spinal cord injury is incomplete or complete. An incomplete spinal cord injury means that the spinal cord still has some ability to convey messages to or from the brain. It also means that some sensation and movement is possible below the point of injury. A complete spinal cord injury, however, indicates a total loss of sensory and motor function below the injury site. Spinal cord injuries are determined by means of:
- Neurological examinations – A neurological examination is a comprehensive evaluation carried out by a healthcare professional to assess the functionality and integrity of a patient’s nervous system. This examination will encompass tests to assess motor and sensory skills, balance and coordination, mental status, reflexes, and functions of the nerves. These examinations play a crucial role in identifying the severity and location of spinal cord injuries, enabling physicians to map the extent of the injury and plan the most effective treatment course.
- X-rays – X-rays are a conventional and commonly used imaging technique that allows physicians to view the structure of the vertebrae and the outline of the neck and back. X-rays can reveal fractures, dislocations, and instability in the spinal column, which can be indicative of spinal cord injuries. While X-rays do not provide a detailed view of soft tissues like the spinal cord, they can be crucial in detecting abnormalities that suggest the presence of such an injury.
- MRIs or CT scans of the spine – Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computed Tomography (CT) scans provide more detailed images of the body, including the spinal cord, muscles, and other soft tissues. These advanced imaging techniques are essential in diagnosing spinal cord injuries. An MRI uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the body’s internal structures, while a CT scan uses a series of X-ray images taken from different angles around the body and utilizes computer processing to create cross-sectional images, or slices, of the bones, blood vessels, and soft tissues. Both these techniques can reveal injuries such as herniated discs, blood clots, bone fragments, and swelling – all crucial factors in evaluating the extent of a spinal cord injury.
The location of a spinal cord injury determines which parts of the body are affected. More extensive disability, including paralysis and breathing difficulties, results from injuries sustained to the top of the spine (or cervical vertebrae). Muscle spasms, loss of sensation, numbness, and paralysis are all common for spinal cord injury victims.
Symptoms of Colorado Springs Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can result in a wide range of symptoms, which can vary greatly depending on the severity and location of the injury. Some common symptoms associated with Colorado Springs spinal cord injuries include:
- Loss of Movement: This might include difficulty moving, walking, or even standing. Paralysis in certain parts of the body, such as paraplegia (paralysis of the legs) or quadriplegia (paralysis of all four limbs), may occur in severe cases.
- Altered Sensation: This could be in the form of a reduced ability to feel heat, cold, and touch. Numbness or tingling in the hands, fingers, feet, and toes is also common.
- Loss of Bowel or Bladder Control: Spinal cord injuries can disrupt signals between the brain and the bladder and bowels, leading to incontinence or difficulties in bowel movement or urination.
- Pain or Stiffness in the Back or Neck: This could be a sign of damage to the vertebrae, ligaments, or discs of the spinal column.
- Difficulty Breathing: If the injury is high up on the spinal cord, it could affect the muscles used for breathing, leading to breathing difficulties or even the need for mechanical assistance to breathe.
- Changes in Sexual Function: Changes in sexual sensitivity and function, as well as fertility issues, can occur.
- Spasms and Reflex Actions: Uncontrollable spasms or exaggerated reflex actions can be a sign of a spinal cord injury.
Causes of Colorado Springs Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can occur due to various circumstances, but some causes are more common than others. In Colorado Springs, the following are typical causes of spinal cord injuries:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents: Car, motorcycle, and truck accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. High-impact collisions can cause serious damage to the spine, resulting in temporary or permanent disability.
- Falls: Particularly prevalent among older individuals, falls can result in severe spinal cord injuries. This can occur from falling down stairs, slipping in the shower, or even from heights at construction sites.
- Sports and Recreation Injuries: High-impact and high-risk sports such as skiing, mountain biking, and rock climbing – popular activities in Colorado Springs – can lead to spinal cord injuries. Improper use of equipment, falls, or collisions can all cause significant harm to the spine.
- Violence: Incidents involving violence, such as gunshot wounds or physical assault, can also lead to spinal cord injuries.
- Medical or Surgical Complications: In some cases, medical procedures involving the spine can inadvertently result in injury. This could be due to surgical errors, an adverse reaction to a procedure, or complications during recovery.
Treatment for Colorado Springs Spinal Cord Injuries
To avoid long-term effects, a spinal cord injury necessitates immediate medical attention. Injections of Corticosteroid drugs may help alleviate swelling. And, in some circumstances, emergency surgery may be required. Different injuries dictate different treatments, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other rehabilitation services. Sadly, there is currently no cure for spinal cord injuries.
Compensation for Spinal Cord Injuries
It is estimated that spinal cord injury victims and their families will spend nearly $4 million over the course of their lifetime, especially if they are injured at the age of 25. In addition to medical expenses, spinal cord injury victims and their families will need money for special equipment, relocation expenses, private healthcare, and out-of-pocket expenses such as adaptations to their home.
Sadly insurance companies do not always consider these costs when offering a settlement. Spinal cord injury victims are urged to consult with an experienced attorney before signing any agreement. Never accept an insurance company settlement without first speaking to an attorney. Your Colorado Springs spine injury attorney can obtain significantly more compensation for you and your family.
Living With a Spinal Cord Injury
When you are stable, the rehabilitation process will begin. The purpose of rehab is to help you become as independent as possible. Your new “normal” daily life may be very different from what you are accustomed to. Rehab will prepare you for this by helping you learn to exercise, eat right, and use a wheelchair or other aids to enjoy daily activities. Most of your recovery will occur in the first six months after the injury.
Relevant Areas of Law in Colorado Springs Spinal Cord Injuries
In Colorado Springs, spinal cord injuries are typically addressed under personal injury law. There are a few key laws and legal principles that may apply in these cases:
- Negligence: The basis of most personal injury claims, negligence is the failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. If another party’s negligence caused your spinal cord injury, you may have the right to seek compensation from that party.
- Comparative Negligence: Colorado follows a modified comparative negligence rule, which means that your compensation may be reduced if you are found to be partially at fault for your injuries. If you are 50% or more at fault, you won’t be able to recover any compensation.
- Strict Liability: In certain circumstances, such as product liability cases, the at-fault party can be held strictly liable for injuries caused, regardless of their intentions or precautions taken. For example, if your spinal cord injury was caused by a defective product, the manufacturer could be held strictly liable.
- Workers’ Compensation: If your spinal cord injury occurred at work, you would typically file a claim under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation claims can be complex, and an attorney can help ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to.
Statute of Limitations in Colorado Springs Spinal Injury Cases
In Colorado Springs, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, which include spinal cord injury cases, is typically two (2) years from the date of the injury. This means that you have two (2) years from the date of your spinal cord injury to file a lawsuit against the party you believe is responsible for your injuries.
It’s important to note that if the injury was not discovered right away, which can sometimes occur with spinal cord injuries, the statute of limitations may be extended. This is often referred to as the “discovery rule” and it allows the statute of limitations to start from the date the injury was discovered or should have been reasonably discovered.
Contact Our Colorado Springs Spine Injury Lawyer Today
Don’t let the aftermath of a spinal injury overwhelm you. The best attorneys in Colorado are at the Green Law Firm P.C., we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll such injuries can take. Our dedicated and experienced team of Colorado Springs spine injury lawyers is ready to advocate for you, protect your rights, and you receive the compensation you deserve. Time is of the essence due to Colorado’s statute of limitations, so don’t delay. Reach out to us today for a free consultation. Together, we can chart the path forward toward your recovery.