Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys Serving Denver & Colorado
The Denver spinal cord injury lawyers at Burg Simpson Law Firm know how devastating a serious injury can be on victims and their families. If you have experienced a severe neck or back injury that was not your fault, it is crucial to seek the counsel of an attorney with substantial experience in these complex cases. Spinal cord injuries can result in severe disability, including paralysis, and a skilled attorney can help you pursue the maximum compensation to which you may be entitled under the law.
Founded in 1976, Burg Simpson possesses a wealth of experience, abundant resources, and a track record of successfully representing clients who have been harmed because of others’ negligence. We understand the intricate nature of spinal cord injuries and have the skills and resources necessary to advocate effectively on your behalf.
Contact Burg Simpson Law Firm today online or at 303-792-5595 for a FREE and confidential case evaluation. Our team of experienced spinal cord injury attorneys is ready to assist clients from Denver and across Colorado and the nation.
How Much Compensation Can I Get for a Spinal Cord Injury?
The amount of compensation you can receive for a spinal cord injury can vary widely and depends on several factors, including the severity of your injury, the circumstances surrounding the accident that caused it, and the effectiveness of your legal representation. Here are some key factors that can affect the compensation you may receive:
- Severity of the Injury: The more severe your spinal cord injury, the higher the potential compensation. Spinal cord injuries are typically categorized as complete or incomplete, with complete injuries resulting in more severe and permanent disabilities. The extent of paralysis or impairment will play a significant role in determining compensation.
- Medical Expenses: You may be entitled to damages for all past and future medical expenses related to your spinal cord injury. This can include hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, medication, assistive devices, and ongoing medical care.
- Lost Income: If your injury has caused you to miss work or has impacted your ability to earn a living, you may be eligible for compensation for lost wages. This can include both past and future income you would have earned had you not been injured.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical and emotional pain and suffering is often a significant component of spinal cord injury claims. The amount awarded for pain and suffering can vary widely and may be influenced by factors such as the impact of the injury on your daily life and emotional well-being.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If your injury has significantly diminished your quality of life, you may be entitled to compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life. This can include the inability to engage in activities or hobbies you once enjoyed.
- Punitive Damages: While rare, these damages may be awarded in “circumstances of fraud, malice, or willful and wanton conduct” as a way to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior in the future (see Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-21-102).
- Legal Representation: The skill and experience of your attorney can also impact the amount of compensation you receive. An experienced personal injury attorney will know how to build a strong case, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, take your case to trial to maximize your compensation.
You only have one chance to recover damages for a spinal injury. It is crucial to account for all current and future losses and pursue all available legal remedies. A Denver spinal cord injury lawyer at Burg Simpson can prepare a strong claim on your behalf and aggressively seek the maximum compensation you deserve.
How Serious Is a Spinal Cord Injury?
A spinal cord injury (SCI) can be exceptionally serious and life-altering. The severity of an SCI depends on various factors, including the location and extent of the injury. Here are some key points to understand about the seriousness of spinal cord injuries:
- Degrees of Severity: Spinal cord injuries are typically categorized into two main degrees of severity:
- Complete Injury: In a complete SCI, there is a total loss of sensory and motor function below the level of the injury. This often results in paralysis.
- Incomplete Injury: In an incomplete SCI, some sensory and/or motor function remains below the level of the injury. The extent of impairment can vary widely, and recovery may be possible to varying degrees.
- Paralysis: One of the most serious consequences of a spinal cord injury is paralysis. Depending on the level of the injury, paralysis can affect the legs (paraplegia) or both the arms and legs (quadriplegia or tetraplegia). Paralysis can significantly impact a person’s independence and quality of life.
- Physical Limitations: Spinal cord injuries can lead to a wide range of physical limitations, including loss of sensation, muscle weakness or atrophy, impaired bladder and bowel function, difficulty breathing, and susceptibility to secondary health issues like pressure sores, blood clots, and infections.
- Emotional and Psychological Impact: The emotional and psychological impact of an SCI can be profound. Individuals may experience depression, anxiety, grief, and a sense of loss related to their abilities and lifestyle changes.
- Financial Burden: SCI often comes with substantial financial burdens due to medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, assistive devices, and ongoing care needs. Lost income and potential changes in living arrangements can further add to the financial strain.
- Lifelong Implications: Spinal cord injuries are typically permanent and can require lifelong adjustments and care. Individuals with SCIs may need ongoing medical treatment, assistive technology, and support for daily living activities.
- Variability: The severity and outcomes of spinal cord injuries can vary greatly from person to person. Advances in medical and rehabilitative care have improved the prognosis for some individuals, but the potential for significant disability remains.
Given the potentially life-altering nature of spinal cord injuries, it is crucial for individuals who have suffered an SCI to seek appropriate medical care, rehabilitation, and legal counsel to address their unique needs and pursue compensation if the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence.
The Denver spinal cord injury lawyers at Burg Simpson will work with your doctors, review your medical records, and enlist the expertise of qualified witnesses to determine the severity of your spinal cord injury. This understanding is critical for pursuing a successful personal injury claim.
What Are the Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury?
After sustaining an injury to the head, neck, or back, it is in your best interest to seek medical attention as soon as possible. A spinal cord injury is not always immediately apparent, so it is crucial to receive a comprehensive diagnosis before complications may arise.
The symptoms of a spinal cord injury (SCI) can vary widely depending on the location and severity of the injury. Here are some common symptoms associated with SCIs:
- Loss of Motor Function: Depending on the level and extent of the injury, individuals with SCIs may experience partial or complete loss of motor function. This can lead to paralysis or weakness in specific parts of the body.
- Loss of Sensation: SCIs can cause a loss of sensation in the affected areas. Individuals may experience numbness, tingling, or the inability to feel temperature changes or pressure.
- Difficulty Breathing: Injuries to the cervical (neck) region of the spine can affect the muscles responsible for breathing. This may result in difficulty breathing or the need for mechanical ventilation.
- Loss of Bowel and Bladder Control: Many individuals with SCIs experience changes in bowel and bladder function. This can manifest as incontinence or difficulty with urination and bowel movements.
- Spasticity or Muscle Stiffness: Some individuals with SCIs develop muscle stiffness or spasticity, which can lead to uncontrolled muscle contractions and spasms.
- Changes in Sexual Function: Spinal cord injuries can affect sexual function and fertility. Both men and women may experience changes in sexual desire, function, and the ability to have children.
- Blood Pressure and Heart Rate Changes: SCIs can affect the autonomic nervous system, leading to changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature regulation.
- Chronic Pain: Many individuals with SCIs experience chronic pain, which can be neuropathic (nerve-related) or musculoskeletal in nature.
- Respiratory Issues: Those with high cervical spine injuries may require respiratory support and may be at risk of respiratory complications.
- Pressure Sores: Reduced mobility can lead to pressure sores (bedsores), which are areas of damaged skin caused by prolonged pressure on one area of the body.
- Secondary Health Issues: SCIs can increase the risk of secondary health problems such as infections, deep vein thrombosis, and osteoporosis.
- Psychological and Emotional Symptoms: Coping with an SCI can lead to psychological and emotional challenges, including depression, anxiety, grief, and adjustment difficulties.
Symptoms can vary from person to person. If you sustained a spinal cord injury, it is important to seek medical attention right away. Once you have seen a doctor, it is generally in your best interest to contact a Denver spinal cord injury attorney to discuss the details surrounding your injury. If your injury was caused by someone’s reckless or careless behavior, you may be entitled to compensation for your physical, financial, and emotional losses. An attorney at Burg Simpson can assess the merits of your case and explain your legal options in a FREE case evaluation.
What Are the Treatments for a Spinal Cord Injury?
Treatment for a spinal cord injury (SCI) typically involves a combination of medical, surgical, rehabilitative, and supportive therapies aimed at stabilizing the injury, minimizing complications, and maximizing functional recovery. The specific treatment plan will depend on the severity and location of the injury. Here are some key components of treatment for spinal cord injuries:
- Emergency Medical Care: Immediate medical attention is crucial to stabilize the patient and prevent further damage. This may include immobilizing the spine, ensuring proper oxygenation, and addressing any associated injuries.
- Surgery: In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to relieve pressure on the spinal cord, stabilize fractured vertebrae, or remove foreign objects. Surgery can also be used for spinal fusion to stabilize the spine.
- Medications: Medications may be prescribed to manage pain, reduce inflammation, prevent blood clots, and address other complications like muscle spasms or urinary tract infections.
- Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation plays a vital role in the recovery process. It includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, and often speech therapy if there are swallowing or speech difficulties. Rehabilitation aims to improve mobility, strength, coordination, and independence.
- Assistive Devices: Depending on the level of impairment, individuals may benefit from assistive devices such as wheelchairs, braces, walkers, and communication aids to enhance their quality of life and independence.
- Adaptive Techniques: Individuals with SCIs may need to learn adaptive techniques for daily living, such as dressing, grooming, and transferring from one surface to another.
- Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES): FES involves the use of electrical stimulation to activate paralyzed muscles and improve function. It can help with muscle re-education and functional movement.
- Psychological Support: Coping with an SCI can be emotionally challenging. Psychological counseling and support can help individuals and their families adjust to the changes and challenges that come with the injury.
- Preventative Measures: Preventative measures are essential to minimize the risk of complications, such as pressure sores, urinary tract infections, and respiratory issues. Proper skin care, frequent position changes, and managing bowel and bladder function are critical aspects of care.
- Experimental Treatments: Some individuals may have access to experimental treatments or clinical trials aimed at enhancing recovery or regenerating damaged spinal cord tissue. These treatments are typically conducted under strict research protocols.
While advances in medical science and rehabilitation have improved outcomes for individuals with SCIs, there is currently no known cure for spinal cord injuries. Treatment plans are individualized based on the specific needs and goals of the patient. Early intervention and a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to care are critical to optimizing outcomes and helping individuals with SCIs regain as much function and independence as possible.
Can You Fully Recover from a Spinal Cord Injury?
With appropriate therapy and treatments, people with incomplete spinal cord injuries may have the potential to regain some degree of mobility and function; however, only a small fraction of those who sustain a spinal cord injury will fully recover.
Unfortunately, a complete spinal cord injury does not offer prospects for recovery. There is no known remedy for spinal cord damage, making the limitations experienced following a complete injury permanent.
The process of recovering from a spinal cord injury is physically and emotionally challenging, and it can also be financially burdensome. While it is crucial to prioritize your rehabilitation, it is equally important not to overlook the possibility of pursuing a compensation claim against the responsible parties for your injuries. It is in your best interest to consult with a Denver spinal cord injury attorney at Burg Simpson right away.
What Are the Causes of a Spinal Cord Injury?
Spinal cord injuries can result from a variety of potential causes. To pursue damages for a spinal cord injury, you must demonstrate that someone’s negligence caused the incident that led to your injury.
Burg Simpson has extensive experience advocating for those who suffer spinal cord injuries as a result of the following:
- Car Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Defective Products
- Construction Accidents
- Dangerous Premises
The circumstances leading to the accident greatly influence the legal options available to you. Our spinal cord injury lawyers will conduct a prompt and thorough investigation to determine the cause of your injury and determine which party or parties may be held responsible.
How Long Do I Have to Make a Claim?
In Colorado, the statute of limitations dictates the specific timeframe within which you must take legal actions, and its duration is contingent upon the type of personal injury involved. These limitations are outlined in Sections 13-80-101 and 13-80-102 of the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.).
The statute of limitations is three years for personal injury claims arising from auto accidents (C.R.S. § 13-80-101(1)(n)). In general personal injury cases, a two-year statute of limitations applies (C.R.S. § 13-80-102(1)(a)). This same two-year timeframe also pertains to personal injury claims related to defective products (C.R.S. § 13-80-102(1)(b)), as well as wrongful death claims (C.R.S. § 13-80-102(1)(a)).
If you have sustained a spinal cord injury through no fault of your own, it is critical to understand these statutes of limitations. Typically, you have two years from the date of the incident to take action, though this timeframe may vary based on the circumstances surrounding your injury.
Spinal Cord Injury FAQs
What Is the Difference Between Complete and Incomplete SCI?
There are two primary types of spinal cord injury:
- Complete. Complete SCI occurs when the spinal cord is completely compressed or severed. Victims of complete SCI lose all function and sensation below the injury.
- Incomplete. Incomplete SCI occurs when the spinal cord is damaged but neither fully compressed nor completely severed. Victims of incomplete SCI may retain some function below the injury.
Most spinal cord injuries are incomplete. This does not mean they are insignificant. Only around one percent of people regain full abilities before they are discharged from the hospital.
Which Functions Are Impacted by Spinal Cord Injury?
There are four regions of the spinal cord. The functions lost to SCI depend on the area that has been damaged. These may include:
- Cervical Injury. Consisting of eight vertebrae, the cervical section of the spine runs from the base of the skull to the mid back. Damage to the cervical vertebrae may result in paralysis, including quadriplegia, difficulty breathing, loss of bowel and bladder control, complications with speech, and an inability to regulate body temperature.
- Thoracic. Consisting of 12 vertebrae, the thoracic section of the spine runs through the middle portion of the back. Damage to the thoracic vertebrae can result in weakness or paralysis in the arms and legs. It may also impact the intercostal muscles of the ribcage, complicate breathing, impact sexual function, and result in a loss of bowel and bladder control. As with cervical spine injury, a high thoracic injury may prevent proper body temperature regulation.
- Lumbar. The lumbar section of the spinal cord contains five vertebrae. It comprises the lower, inward-curving portion of the spine. Damage to the lumbar spine can result in a loss of function or sensation in the hips and legs. In some cases, abdominal muscles can be impacted by lumbar injury, as well, as can sexual function and bowel and bladder control.
- Sacral. The sacral part of the spine is the triangle-shaped region at its base. Containing three vertebrae, the sacral portion of the spine curves outward from the body, just below the lumbar region. Damage to the sacral region is uncommon but not impossible. It may result in sexual dysfunction, a loss of bowel and bladder control, numbness in the hips and buttocks, and a loss of sensation in the perineal area.
Can You Recover From a Spinal Cord Injury?
Individuals with an incomplete spinal cord injury may regain some function over time; however, full recovery is rare. Most people who have suffered from SCI will have ongoing difficulties.
There is currently no way to recover lost function following a complete spinal cord injury.
Successful treatment of spinal cord injury requires swift intervention. Unfortunately, it can take days or even weeks for symptoms of SCI to manifest. When you are involved in an accident, even if you feel okay, it is best to undergo a thorough examination to determine if treatment is necessary.
What Is the Average Lifetime Cost of SCI?
The lifetime cost of a spinal cord injury depends on factors including your age at the time of injury, the location of the injury, and the extent of damage that has been done. Treating an SCI may require surgery, various forms of therapy, in-home care, assisted living, adaptive technologies and medical equipment, and several medications. When the injury occurs earlier in life, this can result in millions of dollars going towards recovery, all without the promise of success.
According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, the cost of treatment during the first year of spinal cord injury can range from just under $350,000 to just over $1 million, with subsequent years ranging from approximately $42,000 to $185,000. Over the course of a lifetime, the cost of treating a spinal cord injury can easily reach millions.
What Are the Leading Causes of Spinal Cord Injury?
When you sustain a spinal cord injury through no fault of your own, you are entitled to hold the responsible party to account and seek maximum compensation for your damages. In Colorado, this is true even if you played a role in your accident.
Insurance companies may be quick to offer a settlement, but it is important that you speak with an attorney before you accept any offers. Once you have accepted an insurance settlement, you will be barred from seeking additional compensation. Call the experienced spinal cord attorneys at Burg Simpson for a free case review to learn more about your rights, your options, and the best path forward.
Is Injury to the Spinal Cord Life Threatening?
The ten-year survival rate for individuals who have sustained a spinal cord injury is relatively high. Out of those who survive the initial injury, 85 percent of victims reach this milestone. The 25-year life expectancy rate is closer to 60 percent, though this has seen improvements over the past several years.
The leading causes of death for victims of SCI are pneumonia and septicemia. Tragically, suicide is also a top cause of death among people struggling with a spinal cord injury.
When you lose a loved one to a spinal cord injury, even if they have taken their own life, you may be entitled to seek compensation for the economic hardship and emotional suffering that follow. The Denver SCI lawyers at Burg Simpson are here to help. Contact us today to schedule a free case review and learn more.
Does SCI Impact Cognitive Functioning?
Spinal cord injury can have a negative impact on cognitive functioning, resulting in issues such as memory loss, learning difficulties, decreased attention and concentration, poor judgment and critical thinking, and impaired processing speed. People living with SCI may also experience mood swings, increased aggression, a general lack of interest in life, and suicidal ideation.
Studies have found higher rates of cognitive impairment immediately following injury, but difficulties may continue for months or even years. Compensation for SCI must, therefore, be sufficient to cover the cost of therapeutic, rehabilitative, and psychological services for a lifetime.
How Our Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers Can Help
Burg Simpson was founded in 1976. For more than 45 years, we have been helping people throughout the country recover the compensation they deserve for serious injuries stemming from negligence.
With offices in multiple states, we are capable of representing clients nationwide. Each office is led by attorneys with in-depth knowledge of both the law and the medical care involved with these cases.
A Denver spinal cord injury lawyer can provide invaluable assistance in various ways if you were hurt due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing. Here are some ways in which a spinal cord injury attorney can help:
- Exceptional Legal knowledge: Our Denver spinal cord injury attorneys have considerable experience in personal injury law and have a deep understanding of the legal complexities associated with spinal cord injury cases. They can navigate the legal system on your behalf and ensure your rights are protected.
- Case Evaluation: At your FREE and confidential case evaluation, our attorneys will listen to your story, assess the merits of your case, and explain your rights and legal options.
- Investigation: Spinal cord lawyers have the resources and experience to conduct a thorough investigation into your accident. They can gather evidence, interview witnesses, obtain medical records, and reconstruct the events leading to your injury.
- Determining Liability: Identifying who is legally responsible for your spinal cord injury is crucial. A skilled attorney will determine liability, whether it is an individual, a business, a manufacturer, or another party, and build a case against them.
- Negotiation: Spinal cord injury attorneys are adept at negotiating with insurance companies and at-fault parties to secure fair compensation. They will work to maximize your settlement while protecting your interests.
- Valuing Damages: Calculating the full extent of your damages is complex. A spinal cord injury attorney can help you accurately assess current and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses to ensure you seek appropriate compensation.
- Filing Legal Documents: Legal procedures involve extensive paperwork and strict deadlines. An attorney will handle all necessary filings, ensuring compliance with legal requirements.
- Litigation: If negotiations fail to yield a fair settlement, your attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in court. They will present evidence, argue your case, and advocate for your rights during trial.
- Access to Experts: Burg Simpson has relationships with leading experts in a range of different fields who can offer comprehensive insights into the injury, the way it has impacted your life, and the prognosis for recovery.
- Emotional Support: Coping with the aftermath of a spinal cord injury can be emotionally challenging. A Denver spinal cord injury lawyer can offer emotional support and guidance throughout the legal process.
- Contingency Fee Arrangement: Our spinal cord injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means we only get paid if we secure compensation for you.
Do not face the hardships and challenges of a spinal cord injury alone. Our experienced attorneys have the skills and resources to fight for the best outcome in your case. We are committed to pursuing the maximum compensation for our clients.
Contact a Denver Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Today
If you sustained a neck or back injury because of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, you should seek medical attention and contact our office immediately. You may be entitled to compensation for your physical, financial, and emotional losses. With more than 45 years of proven experience, the award-winning lawyers at Burg Simpson have the knowledge, skills, and resources to fight for the justice you deserve.
Contact the Denver spinal cord injury lawyers at Burg Simpson today online or at 303-792-5595 for a FREE and confidential case review. We proudly serve clients in Denver and throughout Colorado and the United States.