More than 17,000 Americans suffer spinal cord injuries every year. Spinal cord injuries, or SCIs, are classified as any injury to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal that results in reduced mobility, whether it is temporary or permanent. A sudden blow or cut to the spine can cause a traumatic SCI, which often results in a permanent loss of strength, sensation, and function below the site of the injury.
Most hear “spinal cord injury” and envision a severed spinal cord. But, for most SCI victims, the spinal cord remains intact and simply bruised. Motor vehicle accidents, worksite incidents, sports injuries, and falls can lead to SCIs, which can then lead to temporary or permanent paraplegia and quadriplegia.
There is no cure for severe spinal injuries, but research is progressing rapidly in testing surgical and drug therapies. Drug treatments to halt progression of paralysis, decompression surgery, nerve cell transplantation, nerve regeneration, and complex drug therapies are all being explored thoroughly as ways to treat SCIs. Treatments can include drugs to treat symptoms and surgery on the spine itself. In some cases, doctors can recover motor function and sensation, at least in part, though a combination of physical therapy and by simply waiting for the effects of the injury to recede.
Today, more than 1.2 million Americans struggle through day-to-day life with paralysis from a SCI. The overwhelming majority of SCI victims are men – four out of five, in fact. The average age at injury has trended older recently: from 29 in 1970 to 42 years old in 2017. Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of CSIs, followed by sports-related injuries – which account for more injuries in children and teenagers – falls, and acts of violence. Victims of spinal cord injuries may suffer serious physical, emotional, and financial damages.
If you need help, please contact a Colorado personal injury lawyer at Burg Simpson today by filling out a Free Case Evaluation form here. We have more than 40 years of experience and are here to help you with your case.
Naturally, as with any other medical or rehabilitative treatment, the associated costs far outpace inflation. Every year, paralysis costs the health care system billions of dollars. Spinal cord injuries alone cost the system about $40.5 billion a year, which is more than a 300 percent increase in less than 20 years – $9.7 billion in 1998.
As a result, people living a life with paralysis, or any type of spinal cord injury, are often unable to keep or attain health insurance that sufficiently covers the complex secondary or chronic conditions commonly linked with paralysis. Because, as experts point out, a spinal cord injury is much more than just a one-time incident. The original injury damages or kills nerve cells in the spine, but, hours and possibly days after, a torrent of other events can take place, including a loss of oxygen and a release of toxic chemicals at the injury site. These secondary events can damage the spinal cord even more. It is imperative you contact a Denver injury attorney for help before it is too late.
At Burg Simpson, we typically do not handle small claims. We prefer to represent victims who have suffered serious injuries and we understand what it takes to convince a jury to award damages for severe and catastrophic injuries. We have the experience and resources to get you the compensation and support that you need.
In addition to spinal cord injuries, Burg Simpson’s experienced personal injury attorneys can handle the following types of severe injury claims:
- Burn injuries
- Brain injuries
- Paraplegia claims
- Quadriplegia claims
Whether the injury occurred as a result of a vehicle accident, medical malpractice, a defective product, or a work-related accident, you need a large law firm like Burg Simpson capable of handling complex lawsuits and recovering the compensation you deserve. Each of these serious injuries can lead to damages for:
- Disability – These damages are established by medical testimony; a doctor must examine a plaintiff claiming permanent disability and establish that objectively.
- Disfigurement – When an accident or injury has left someone deformed, typically from scars, the victim might be entitled to damages for any mental suffering as a result.
- Loss of enjoyment of life – This is defined as a diminished ability to enjoy the day-to-day activities of life.
- Loss of income – This can include both the wages lost during recovery as well as any potential future income as a result of the SCI.
- Medical expenses – Bills and expenses for medical services such as doctors, hospital stays, emergency room treatment, ambulance fees, and nursing services. This also includes future medical expenses, if proven that the victim will need ongoing medical care.
- Mental distress – This can consist of mental or emotional suffering connected to the CSI; these can include fright, terror, apprehension, nervousness, anxiety, worry, humiliation, mortification, feeling of lost dignity, embarrassment, grief, and shock.
- Pain and suffering – An award for past (and future) physical pain as a result of the injury. This is typically determined, in part, by the nature of the injury, the certainty of future pain, its severity, and how long the plaintiff is expected to be in pain.
Most severe injuries – especially spinal cord wounds – can cause damages that go well beyond the initial injury and medical costs. SCIs can lead to a numbers of complications, also known as secondary conditions, such as:
- Autonomic dysreflexia – A potentially life-threatening condition triggered by an irritant below the injury. Symptoms can include high blood pressure, pounding headache, flushed face, sweating above the level of injury, gooseflesh below the level of injury, nasal stuffiness, nausea, and a slow pulse.
- Deep vein thrombosis – SCI victims are at risk for deep vein thrombosis in the beginning. Deep vein thrombosis is simply a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body, usually in the lower leg or thigh.
- Sepsis – Also called blood poisoning, this is a life-threatening illness most SCI victims are prone to because of the body’s hampered ability to defend itself. Symptoms typically include infection, fever, and elevated heart and respiratory rates.
- Side effects of paralysis – These aftereffects include bladder and bowel control, respiratory health issues and spasticity, which can range from mild muscle stiffness to extreme random leg movement.
Finally, there is the emotional toll SCIs can take, which can sometimes be too much for victims. That is just one of many reasons it is critical for you to reach out to an experienced Denver personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following a severe injury case, to help you establish what your damages are and help you go about recovering them from the party or parties responsible. Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form to speak with us now. We do not charge for your consultation and there is no obligation.
Economic damages are intended to compensate financial losses. These can include such quantifiable things such as loss of current and potential earnings, medical bills and other expenses, and loss of employment or business opportunities.
Non-economic damages are compensation for more subjective, non-financial losses, such as emotional trauma, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other less-tangible losses.
Finally, there are punitive damages, which reference damages awarded as a deterrent and imposed as a punishment. Punitive damages are not considered either economic or non-economic, since they are not meant as compensation. Call us now at 303-792-5595 to discuss the details of your potential case.
Most states – and courts – recognize the legal concept of comparative negligence, which apportions portions of responsibility based on portions of liability. In other words, each party shares responsibility for the accident and is then assigned a percentage of that responsibility. For example, if the injured party is found to be 10 percent at fault, and another party 90 percent, the injured party can still recover 90 percent of the assigned damages.
The concept of comparative negligence, and all its various iterations, can be overwhelmingly complicated. If you or a family member have been seriously injured or killed in an accident or through medical malpractice, or because of a defective product, you’ll need an experienced serious personal injury lawyer to represent you. Burg Simpson has the experience, and the resources, to ensure that you can recover the damages you deserve for your injuries and losses.
CONTACT A DENVER INJURY LAWYER TODAY
Burg Simpson represents spinal cord injury victims nationwide. Our Colorado personal injury attorneys have in-depth knowledge of spinal cord injury lawsuits and our firm has the resources to handle the most complex cases out there. To learn more about personal injury cases and, more specifically, spinal cord injuries, call our qualified Denver personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Burg Simpson. We have the skills and experience to help you seek the compensation you deserve. Call us at 303-792-5595 or fill out our online Case Evaluation form now to schedule your free consultation!