In the United States, more than 250,000 people currently live with a spinal cord injury (SCI). Every year, about 12,000 new SCI cases occur in the country. Spinal cord injuries can result from auto accidents, workplace accidents, slips and falls, birth injuries, medical malpractice, sports injuries, swimming pool accidents, violence, and more. The spine is a delicate bundle of nerves, easily injured in an accident. If you are living with an SCI because of someone else’s negligence, contact the Billings spinal cord injury attorneys at Heenan & Cook, PLLC right away.
Types and Symptoms of an SCI
There are two main types of spinal cord injury, complete and incomplete. A complete SCI means the body has lost all function and feeling below the level of the injury in the spine. A complete SCI affects both sides of the body equally. These injuries can occur at any level of the spine, paralyzing a person from the neck, torso, or waist down. Someone with a complete SCI may lose all movement, sensation, and body organ function below the level of injury.
An incomplete SCI means that some function or feeling remains below the point of injury. Patients with incomplete SCIs may be able to move one limb more than the other, feel certain parts of the body, or function better on one side of the body. The symptoms of both types of SCI vary depending on the location and severity of the injury.
In general, the higher up on the spinal cord the injury occurs, the more severe the symptoms are. An injury at the second and third vertebrae at the top of the spine, for example, affects the ability to breathe. A lower SCI may affect bladder and bowel control, as well as leg movement and feeling.
Someone that suffers a traumatic spinal cord injury in an accident may never regain full function or feeling below the point of injury. Years of intense physical therapy and rehabilitation may give some mobility or sensation back to SCI patients depending on the injury, but there is currently no cure for SCIs. Victims with spinal cord injuries are often restricted to wheelchairs for the remainder of their lives. They may have to pay for ongoing medical care, surgeries, scans, live-in nurses, therapies, and home/vehicle modifications to live with their injuries. For many, the only hope of recovering for these extensive costs is through a personal injury claim.
Recovering for Your Spinal Cord Injury
Bringing a claim may be the best way to move on after a debilitating spinal cord injury. While a claim can’t take back what happened to you or a loved one, it can give you the closure and financial stability you need to deal with what lies ahead. If you suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury, you owe it to yourself to speak to an experienced attorney in Billings, MT. An attorney can investigate the cause of your SCI and help you bring a claim against the responsible party if your case has merit.
Heenan & Cook, PC, can help SCI victims learn their rights and tackle the myriad legal issues your case may involve. Most SCI cases center on the legal theory of negligence. If someone else’s breach of duty – e.g., a distracted driver, incompetent doctor, or negligent property owner – caused your spinal cord injury, you must prove the defendant is legally at fault for your accident.
Our attorneys have more than four decades of litigation experience and know how to gather evidence to support a case. From hiring expert key witnesses to testify on your behalf to recreating the cause of your injury in front of a judge and jury, we have what it takes to represent you in and out of the courtroom. Contact us to schedule a free consultation at our Billings, MT office.