Indianapolis Spinal Injury Attorney
The spine and spinal cord form one of the most important parts of the central nervous system, and are responsible for relaying nerve impulses between the brain and the rest of the body. For this reason, spinal injuries are particularly devastating, often leading to permanent paralysis and disability. For someone who is used to being independent, the realities of permanent disability or paralysis can be incredibly difficult to deal with, both physically and emotionally. This is true for not only the victim but also their family.
Being the victim of a spinal cord injury means you suffered through a traumatic event that will leave you and your family forever plagued with short- and long-term consequences. Suffering from a spinal cord injury means ongoing trips to the doctor, frequent visits to the physical therapist, and possibly at-home care, among other things. Moreover, a spinal cord injury may keep you from working. The pressure of mounting medical bills and health-related costs coupled with the inability to work may cause additional stress at a time when you need to be focused on healing. Our compassionate and experienced attorneys are here to help alleviate some of that stress and allow to you focus on getting better.
At the Hankey Law Office, we work to help victims of spinal injury recover financial compensation from the party responsible for their injury. Although our Indianapolis spinal injury lawyers realize that no amount of money can ever truly replace the loss of movement and independence associated with spinal cord damage, it may, at the very least, assist with the payment of medical bills and help cover the cost of ongoing treatment and therapy. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, contact Hankey Law Office today by calling (317) 634-8565, filling out a contact form online, or starting a live chat on our website. We are here to help.
Causes of Spinal Injuries
The spinal cord is protected by disks of bone called vertebrae that form the structure of the spine. When physical trauma occurs, these disks may fracture or become dislocated. In turn, the damaged or dislocated vertebrae compress, damage, and irritate the nerves inside of and attached to the spinal column. In some severe cases, the spinal cord may be entirely or partially severed.
Although many factors, including neurodegenerative diseases and developmental disorders, can cause spinal cord damage, serious spinal injuries are often caused by physical trauma. In many situations, the trauma which causes spinal injury is a result of negligent or irresponsible behavior by another person or company. While the two leading causes of spinal cord injuries are car accidents and falls, spinal cord injuries can happen in a variety of ways. If you have been the victim of any wrongdoing that resulted in injury to your spinal cord, you should contact the attorneys at Hankey Law Office.
While accidents can involve a variety of things, such as planes, trains, bicycles, and boats, the most common type of accidents are those involving vehicles. Vehicle accidents are the number one cause of new spinal cord injuries, accounting for nearly half of all new spinal cord injuries each year. Vehicle accidents can involve other vehicles, or they may cause an accident with pedestrians, motorcycles, or bicycles.
Some common causes of the motor vehicle accidents that cause spinal cord injuries include driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving while distracted, and doing things like talking on the phone, texting, or eating. If a driver causes an accident and injures another person because they were distracted or unfit to drive, they may have been negligent.
In a successful claim for negligence, the person bringing the lawsuit must prove that:
- they were owed a duty of care;
- the duty of care was breached;
- the breach of the duty of care was the actual and proximate cause of the accident; and
- as a result, they suffered damages.
If you suffered a spinal cord injury due another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. A claim for negligence, while viable in many vehicle accident situations, can be confusing to handle on your own. Let the experienced and knowledgeable attorneys at Hankey Law Office help you in your time of need.
Falls are the second leading cause of spinal cord injuries. Fall accidents can happen for a variety of reasons and in a variety of environments. If you fell while at work or because someone else was negligent in keeping their property safe, you may be entitled to compensation.
Work place injuries are common across a variety of industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls are one of the most commonly reported incidents that cause injuries at work. Alarmingly, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found that of the most frequently reported workplace hazards that could be eliminated, those leading to falls rank among the highest. Unfortunately, if you have suffered from a fall that resulted in a spinal cord injury, the damage is already done. While nothing can make you completely well again or put you in the condition you were in before the injury, you may be entitled to monetary compensation if your employer was negligent in providing you with safe working conditions.
Falls causing spinal cord injuries can also occur in stores or on someone’s property. If a store or property owner is negligent in maintaining a safe space for patrons or guests and you are injured as a result, you may entitled to compensation. The legal process for proving negligence in a situation that involves another person’s property will vary depending on each particular set of circumstances. It may be more confusing than a standard negligence case because different factors are involved in determining liability. For example, whether the fall occurred in a store or on another piece of private property will be a factor in determining if there was a duty owed to the injured party.
Negligence cases can be complex and endlessly frustrating. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, you should be focused on healing. Let the attorneys at Hankey Law Office help you with the legal process.
Consequences of Spinal Injuries
Because the spinal cord is the “meeting place” for virtually all the nerve signals in the body, the effects of a spinal injury are often very serious. An “incomplete” spinal injury results in some loss of sensation and motor control below a certain point in the body, while a “complete” injury usually leads to total paralysis below that point.
In addition, victims of spinal injuries often suffer a wide range of side effects due to the nerve damage associated with spinal cord injury. Virtually every important body function, internal organ, or physical capability can be affected. As a result, while many victims may partially recover from their injury, most will need ongoing, long-term therapy and care. At the very least, victims will be forced to adapt to an entirely different lifestyle. Some common symptoms of spinal cord injuries include:
- Loss of movement
- Numbness in the limbs
- Inability to feel, or numbness in limbs, fingers, or toes
- Loss or altered sense of feeling, including the touch and heat and cold
- Loss of bowel and/or bladder control
- Exaggerated spasms or reflex activities
- Changes in sexual function, sensation, and fertility
- Pain or intense stinging
- Difficulty breathing, coughing, or clearing your lungs
- Difficulty with balance or issues walking
- An oddly positioned neck or head
Any person who has experienced any trauma to the head, neck, or back should seek medical attention immediately. It is best to assume that anyone who has been in an accident or fallen has suffered some sort of spinal injury; this way you can avoid making any problems worse if they do exist.
Suffering from a spinal cord injury can have serious physical, psychological, and emotional consequences for you and your family. As a result of a spinal cord injury, you will likely miss time at work, have medical and health-related bills, and miss precious time with friends and family.
At Hankey Law Office, our Indianapolis spinal cord injury lawyers help victims seek justice against those who caused their spinal injury.
Suffering from a spinal cord injury is a life-altering event. In addition to having to deal with the physical pain, the emotional toll of having new limitations can be massive. Furthermore, the mounting bills and inability to enjoy hobbies and activities can all add to the stress. You do not have to go through this difficult period by yourself. The legal team at Hankey Law Office is here to help alleviate some of your stress by getting you the compensation you deserve. If you or your loved one has sustained spinal injuries due to the negligence of others, the attorneys at Hankey Law Office can help you. Call our Indianapolis spinal injury attorneys today at (317) 634-8565.