The spinal cord is a complex bundle of nerves and tissues that is responsible for numerous vital functions of the human body. An injury to the spinal cord, therefore, can have severe and permanent consequences. In addition, the financial cost of adapting to a spinal cord injury can be overwhelming. Spinal cord injury victims who were hurt because of someone else’s irresponsibility should not have to bear the burden of that negligence. If you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury, count on Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP.
The Importance Of The Spinal Cord
Along with the brain, the spinal cord forms the central nervous system. It connects nearly all parts of the body to the brain and transmits sensory information back and forth. As such, it is responsible for numerous bodily functions, such as:
- Sensory reception
- Muscle control
- Bladder and bowel movements
- Blood pressure and blood flow
- Reflex coordination
If the spinal cord is injured, your brain cannot relay important sensory messages to the different parts of your body. This results in limited mobility, loss of control, and more. That’s why a spinal cord injury is so serious.
Symptoms Of Spinal Cord Injury
Not all spinal cord injuries are readily apparent after an accident. If a loved one has been hurt, you should be aware of the symptoms of a spinal cord injury. They include:
- Pain, stiffness, or pressure in the neck, back, or head
- Numbness or loss of sensation in the extremities (hands, fingers, feet, toes)
- Loss of movement or paralysis
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Unnatural positioning of the neck or head
- Difficulty breathing
Spinal cord injuries range from mild to severe, and no two are alike. An accident or injury victim should receive immediate medical attention, even if it’s not clear whether the spinal cord has been damaged. Call for emergency medical assistance and do not try to move the victim yourself. The victim should also be monitored for further complications after being taken to the hospital or doctor.
What Causes Spinal Cord Injuries?
The spinal cord is protected by bones, discs, ligaments, and muscles. But that doesn’t make it invincible, and physical trauma can damage it. These and other accidents and injuries can hurt the spinal cord:
- Automobile and motorcycle accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Construction accidents
- Slips and falls
- Diving and swimming pool accidents
- Sports injuries
- Botched surgeries and other forms of medical malpractice
- Stabbings, firearm injuries, and assaults
How Will This Injury Affect The Victim’s Life?
Spinal cord injuries cause some type of paralysis, such as paraplegia or quadriplegia, for most people. Victims will usually require help from a wheelchair or walker and will need to undergo some form of physical therapy and rehabilitation. Ongoing medical treatment is likely, possibly for the rest of the victim’s life. Victims often find it challenging to adapt to these major life changes.
A spinal cord injury could spell an end to the victim’s career, especially if their job involves physical labor. Other victims find it difficult to work at the same level as before the injury. The victim may have trouble taking care of him or herself and may require assistance with routine daily tasks. Depression, anxiety, and mood and behavioral disorders are common among injury victims due to the sudden limitations they face.
The victim’s family also suffers. Spouses, children, and other relatives often step in to provide assistance or assume the financial burden that accompanies the injury. If the victim is the sole provider for their own family, they will find it difficult if not impossible to support their children and spouse.
What Can An Attorney Do For Me?
The changes that come after a spinal cord injury may be irreversible. But a Maryland spinal cord injury attorney can help the victim get the justice they deserve. Our firm is available to serve clients in these and other suburban Maryland locations:
- Prince George’s County
- Montgomery County
- Calvert County
- Charles County
- St. Mary’s County
We can help you and your family by:
Dealing with the insurance company. After an injury, you may receive a settlement offer from the responsible party’s insurance company. Remember, insurance companies are in business to make money, so the offer you receive will likely be inadequate to compensate you. The insurer may even deny your claim entirely. Let us handle the insurance company. We will fight for the compensation you deserve.
Gathering the evidence necessary. Medical records, police reports, witness statements, and other forms of evidence may be necessary if your case has to go to court. Obtaining this evidence is not always easy and may require the use of subpoenas and formal discovery requests. We will collect the evidence needed to prove the defendant is liable.
Working with healthcare providers and vocational experts. To make sure you are fairly compensated, it’s important to understand the nature of your injury and how it will affect your future. Our firm works with doctors, surgeons, physical therapists, and others in the medical field to determine what treatment you will need. We also coordinate with vocational experts to understand how your injury will impact your ability to work and your long-term career. Through these and related efforts, we can arrive at a fair dollar amount to demand from the defendant.
Understanding Maryland personal injury law. Perhaps most important, we know the relevant Maryland personal injury laws that will govern your case. This includes familiarity with the rules of evidence and civil procedure and understanding what has to be shown in court to prove the defendant was negligent.
Contact Our Maryland Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys
Spinal cord injuries are not only debilitating, they cause victims and their families to worry what tomorrow will bring. How will I work? Who will take care of my family? Let the spinal cord injury lawyers of Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP answer those questions. Contact us today to find out how we can serve you.