Personal injury cases can often involve brain and spinal cord injuries. In such circumstances, it is more important than ever to have an experienced spinal cord injury attorney by your side. Injury to your brain and spinal cord can profoundly impact your quality of life, and worse yet, leave you with a complicated, burdensome, and expensive treatment plan for your future medical care. If your personal injury case is not structured or argued correctly, you could be leaving hundreds of thousands of dollars on the table. Continue reading below for an extended discussion on the impact of a spinal cord injury to your personal injury case, and why expert spinal cord injury attorney representation is so important.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Makes a Spinal Cord Injury Case Unique?
- 2 Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
- 3 Head Injury
- 4 Spinal Cord Injury
What Makes a Spinal Cord Injury Case Unique?
Whether your case involves a head injury such as a traumatic brain injury or neck injury, or a back injury such as a spinal cord injury, spinal column injury, lumbar spine injury, or compression fracture, the cost of your past, current, and future medical care is bound to be SIGNIFICANT. And because your injuries involve your brain and spinal cord, your medical records are likely complicated and easy to manipulate to be used against you.
Spinal cord injury cases are high-stakes because they often involve severe injuries, significant medical bills, and complicated medical records. Unlike your everyday personal injury cases, they present an extremely low margin of error. Persons with injuries to their brain and spinal cord often have tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars on the line, and if their attorney happens to be inexperienced in properly structuring their spinal cord injury lawsuit, they could be left with owing MASSIVE payments on emergency, hospital, and medical bills, and perhaps worse, no money in their pocket to compensate them for their pain and suffering and mental anguish.
Pursuing a personal injury case in the event of a spinal cord injury offers you the opportunity to be reimbursed and compensated for your injuries. But you have ONE shot. And if your negotiations go south with the at-fault party, you may have permanently damaged your ability to ever be compensated for your losses.
Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
Brain and spinal cord injuries can occur in any personal injury accident, but they tend to appear most often in cases of a car accident, motorcycle accident, truck accident, or bicycle accident. Despite being encased in a metal chassis in the case of an auto accident or trucking accident, your head, neck, and back are still highly susceptible to injury. And if you have the misfortune of suffering personal injury in the case of a motorcycle accident, bicycle accident, or pedestrian accident, the hope of a metal chassis protecting you does not exist at all.
After a car crash, motorcycle crash, truck crash, or bicycle crash, injured parties can often experience not feeling head pain, neck pain, and/or back pain immediately after the accident. This is not because they were not injured in these areas. The human body naturally produces significant levels of adrenaline as a response to fight-or-flight situations, such as a motor vehicle accidents, and therefore temporarily prevents you from feeling pain from your injuries. Unfortunately, however, once the adrenaline wears off the pain will come back, and typically, with a vengeance.
Head and neck injuries are commonplace in personal injury accidents. Car accidents frequently involve drivers and passengers hitting their heads on the windshield, or drivers hitting their heads on steering wheels. Injuries at the workplace can often result in brain damage as well.
Regardless of how it happened, in the case of a head injury there is always the strong possibility of a concussion or some other traumatic brain injury. Contact Attorney Mangal right away for guidance on your spinal cord injury case and how to best seek comprehensive medical care for your injuries.
Head Injury Causes
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur when a harmful force is able to penetrate or fracture the skull. When the skull strikes a windshield or steering wheel, for example, the force of impact can result in severe brain trauma causing possible concussion, memory loss, or loss of consciousness. And even where the head has made little or no contact with another object, the force of impact from an auto accident alone can cause brain injuries just by the sheer force of a person’s brain hitting the inside of his or her skull.
Head Injury Statistics
As of December, 2019, the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) most recent data on national traumatic brain injury (TBI) statistics (head injury statistics) is from 2014. According to CDC.gov, “[i]n 2014, there were approximately 2.87 million TBI-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in the US.” On a different page, CDC.gov goes on to further state that “[u]nintentional falls, being unintentionally struck by or against an object, and motor vehicle crashes were the most common mechanisms of injury contributing to a TBI diagnosis in the ED. These three principal mechanisms of injury accounted for 47.9%, 17.1%, and 13.2%, respectively, of all TBI-related ED visits.” Thus, 78.2% of all traumatic brain injury diagnoses in the United States are caused either by unintentional circumstances or motor vehicle crashes, which implies a strong correlation between traumatic brain injuries and personal injury cases.
Head Injury Examples
Common head injuries in personal injury cases include:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Traumatic brain injury, also known as intracranial injury or craniocerebral trauma, is more of a general, catch-all category than it is a specific medical diagnosis. Usually the result of a violent blow to the head or body, a traumatic brain injury can result in severe physical and psychological effects. Whether your head injury involves physical effects like bruising, internal bleeding, or torn tissues, or mental effects like loss of consciousness, headaches, memory loss, or confusion, it is likely classified first and foremost as a traumatic brain injury. From there the diagnoses can get far more specific, such as the conditions discussed below.
Concussions are often classified as “mild” traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), but make no mistake, in many cases they can be quite severe. Concussions are commonplace in motor vehicle accidents such as car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and truck accidents. When your head faces a severe impact of any kind, the force from the blow can send your brain flying back and forth inside of your skull. This impact between the brain and the skull can cause bruising, bleeding, and tearing, which ultimately results in a concussion diagnosis.
Like concussions, brain contusions are also a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, a contusion is a more specific diagnosis than a concussion. Brain contusions are defined to be a localized injury, generally involving acute bruising to the brain.
Contusion vs. Concussion
The difference between a concussion and contusion can be confusing. While a contusion can indeed cause a concussion, the two injuries are still fundamentally distinct. A contusion specifically refers to the bruising of the brain, while a concussion, in a somewhat less precise fashion, refers generally to brain trauma that stems from a blow to the head or injury of similar nature.
A brain hemorrhage occurs when an artery in the brain bursts and causes localized bleeding in the surrounding areas. Intracranial hemorrhages can be caused by a variety of ailments, but relevant to this discussion are those hemorrhages which are caused by auto accidents and other related types of accidents. When the head faces trauma, especially in cases of auto accidents, there is a significant chance of a resulting brain bleed. Symptoms of hemorrhages can includes tingling, weakness, numbness, and paralysis. Some clients even report symptoms of loss in cognitive function and changes in levels of consciousness.
The neck is a complicated area of the human body and is comprised of many interworking muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and joints. Neck pain can result from damage or irritation to any of these areas, and can have a devastating and debilitating impact on injured persons’ lives after an accident.
If you have suffered neck injuries and want maximum compensation for your pain, you need to seek out an experienced spinal cord injury attorney such as Attorney Avnish Mangal. Contact us today so we can get started right away on securing you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Spinal Cord Injury
The spinal cord is a tubelike structure that begins at the end of the brain stem and continues to the bottom of the spine. It links the brain and the nerves in the rest of the body, and is responsible for the body’s reflex movements. The spinal cord allows one to move, feel temperature sensations, sense body part positions, and it also controls body functions such as blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and breathing.
Therefore, when dealing with a spinal cord injury, a person can face significant, devastating, and permanent changes to his or her life. The severity of your injury can be classified as “complete,” meaning that all ability to control movement is lost below the spinal cord injury, or “incomplete,” meaning that you still retain some motor function below the area of injury to your spinal cord.
Spinal Cord Injury Causes
Injuries to your vertebrae, spinal disks, spinal column, spinal ligaments, or spinal cord itself can cause a spinal cord injury. Where bleeding and/or swelling is occurring, additional damage can sustain over time.
Spinal Cord Injury Statistics
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCSC), as of 2019, vehicle crashes have accounted for 39.3% of all spinal cord injuries in the U.S. since 2015. In second place, are “falls,” meaning that accidents such as slip and falls have accounted for 31.8% of all spinal cord injuries in the U.S. since 2015. These figures are staggering and show how often spinal cord injuries go hand in hand with accident related circumstances.
Spinal Cord Injury Examples
- Spinal Column Injury
- Cervical Spine Injury
- Thoracic Spine Injury
- Lumbar Spine Injury
- Sacral Spine Injury
- Spinal Contusion
- Severed Spinal Cord / Broken Spinal Cord
Spinal Column Injury
The spinal column is comprised of your vertebrae: the 33 bones stacked on top of one another in your spine. It is split up into four broad categories or regions:
- Cervical (i.e., neck);
- Thoracic (i.e., chest);
- Lumbar (i.e., lower back); and
- Sacral (i.e., pelvic).
Each region has distinct implications on your long-term health outcomes and treatment options, and it is important for your attorney to understand the nuances of the injuries related with each area.
Cervical Spine Injury
The cervical spine is comprised of 7 vertebrae: C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, & C7. The skull’s base sits atop the C1, and the vertebrae continue on downward until they reach the thoracic spine region.
Because the cervical spine is closest to the brain, it affects a larger part of the body than the other spine regions. Cervical spine injuries are more often than not the most severe in nature among the spinal cord injury types. In certain cases, an injury to the cervical spine can cause tetraplegia or quadriplegia. Sensory and associated functions are often affected and can be partial or complete in nature.
Thoracic Spine Injury
The thoracic spine is comprised of 12 vertebrae: T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, T6, T7, T8, T9, T10, T11, & T12. These vertebrae are located between the cervical and lumbar vertebrae. While thoracic spinal cord injuries can be severe in nature, unlike cervical spine injuries they are less likely to result in death. Injuries to the thoracic spine can affect either side of the body.
Generally speaking, the expected outcome for thoracic spine injuries is good. Patients are expected to recover for the most part, and treatments exists today which adequately address clients’ needs. That said, thoracic spine injuries can still permanently change your life and can prevent you from enjoying your full quality of life as you previously once did. Contact MANGAL, PLLC today to learn more about how to recover for your thoracic spine injury accident.
Lumbar Spine Injury
The lumbar spine consists of 5 vertebrae: L1, L2, L3, L4, & L5. These vertebrae sit underneath the thoracic vertebrae which sit underneath the cervical vertebrae.
Like thoracic spine injuries, lumbar spine injuries are rarely life-threatening. Early treatment, however, as always, is highly recommended and an important component to a person’s most successful treatment outcome. Depending on the injury, lumbar spine injuries can result in the need for a wheelchair. In such circumstances, patients are often still able to maneuver around independently and can sometimes walk for short distances as well.
Lumbar spinal cord injuries can often result in paraplegia, the need for walking devices such as braces, and lack of control of bowels or bladder. Motor vehicle accidents are leading causes of lumbar spine injuries and can have profound impacts on injured persons. If you have suffered a lumbar spine injury accident contact MANGAL, PLLC today.
Sacral Spine Injury
The sacral spine (sacrum), located below the lumbar spine (and above the tailbone) is comprised of 5 bones numbered: S1, S2, S3, S4, & S5. These are not vertebrae, instead they are bones which are fused together to make up the triangle shape of the sacrum.
Injuries to the sacral spine often result in the loss of function to the hips and legs. Control of bowels and bladder can also be affected, but for most people this is not usually the case. Sacral spine injuries can range in their severity levels.
Damage to the sacral spine is rare but can occur in accident situations. People can usually walk but can still suffer extreme levels of pain. Contact MANGAL, PLLC to learn more.
As explained above, a contusion a type of bruising. In the case of a spinal cord contusion, you have an injury which is caused by the crushing of the spinal cord. The outcomes can be devastating and, worse, the therapeutic opportunities to treat such injuries are limited at best.
COMPARE WITH: Brain Contusion
Like any other bruise, a spinal cord contusion can cause bleeding and severe inflammation. However, these bruises happen have have serious impacts on the spinal cord itself thereby affecting the human body in profound ways. Nerve impulses can be disrupted; compressions, when there is pressure on the spinal cord, can cause a variety of symptoms such as loss of sensations; and more.
Severed Spinal Cord / Broken Spinal Cord
If an accident results in a severed spinal cord, there is a complete cut off of all communication between the brain and the body below the injury. This is a life changing injury and requires the utmost attention and special care. Cases involving severed spinal cords are complex in nature and must be handled with expert attention. Contact MANGAL, PLLC to learn more.
Contact MANGAL, PLLC For Experienced Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Representation
You were injured to no fault of your own—and while the law cannot change what happened, it can try to make things better through monetary compensation. Fight for every dollar you deserve. Contact MANGAL, PLLC today for a FREE and detailed evaluation of your spinal cord injury case.