Current statistics report that approximately 250,000 spinal cord injuries occur every year. Because the spinal cord contains bundles of nerves that run from your brain to the rest of your body, any injury to the spinal cord is very serious.
A spinal cord injury occurs when any part of the spinal cord or connected nerves are damaged. Depending on the location and the severity of the spinal cord damage a variety of different symptoms may occur. These symptoms can include limitations on your ability to move, loss of feeling or pain in your arms and/or legs, loss of control or loss of function in the bowels or bladder, or even loss of the ability to breathe or swallow.
Spinal Cord Lawsuits
Spinal cord injuries can happen in many ways, but most spinal cord injury lawsuits are based on legal claims of product defect (product liability) or negligence.
Negligence: In a negligence case, it must be shown that your injury was caused by the carelessness or recklessness of another party. This could also include their failure to act. An example of negligence would be a driver speeding through an intersection, running a red light, and hitting your car. In this case your injury would be caused by the negligent actions of the driver.
Product Liability: With a product liability claim, an injury occurs because of a flaw in design or manufacture of a product. An example of this would be if you were driving and your brakes failed, and you hit another car. Your accident was caused due to faulty brakes, so the car manufacturer could be held responsible.
Causes of Spinal Injuries
Car Accidents: Statistics report that up to 39% of all spinal injuries are caused by car accidents. Usually, these accidents are caused by the negligence of another driver.
Slip and Fall Accidents: While some slip and fall accidents are relatively minor, others can cause very serious injuries. Surprisingly, slip and fall accidents account for 29% of all spinal cord injuries. If the fall was caused by a wet floor, loose step or uneven carpet for instance, you could be entitled to compensation from the property owner.
Sports Injuries: 8% of spinal cord injuries are caused by sporting accidents, most commonly diving. It can be difficult to prove liability in these types of accidents. The defense will often argue that the injured person assumed the risk of the activity. If your injury occurred due to a sports injury, it is important to speak to a lawyer from our office for guidance as soon as possible.
Violent Acts: Violent acts account for 13% of all spinal injuries. These are most often caused by gunshots and knife wounds. Criminal acts are typically viewed as intentional conduct. From a practical standpoint, this means it may be relatively easy to prove that the wrongdoer is responsible, but it may be more difficult to recover compensation because most insurance policies will not provide coverage for intentional criminal conduct.
Medical Malpractice: Medical mistakes are to blame for 5% of spinal cord injuries. If your doctor didn’t exercise a reasonable standard of care during your treatment, you could have a cause of action for medical malpractice.
It is important to note that every case is unique. If you or a loved one has sustained a spinal cord injury, it is important to contact us for guidance. We are here to help. If your injury was caused due to the negligent or intentional acts of another, you could be entitled to reimbursement for your medical expenses, missed time from work and pain and suffering. Contact our office to learn more.