Spinal cord injuries caused by motor vehicle collisions and other serious accidents can bring abrupt, drastic changes to one’s life. Those changes are, unfortunately, often permanent. While there is little that an attorney can do to assist with the painful physical recovery from a spinal cord injury, a lawyer can help you and your family with the financial hardships created by the injury. Aside from the medical bills for which you may be responsible, you may lose months’ or years’ worth of wages. Without representation, the insurance company may fail to offer you reasonable compensation for these losses and the more personal losses, such as the limitations on your enjoyment of life caused by the spinal cord injury.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The term “spinal cord injury” is a broad one. The Mayo Clinic generally describes it as “damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal.” It could even include a complete severing of the spinal cord. The exact level of the injury along your spine controls the symptoms that will result from the injury. As an extreme example, injury at the sacral, lumbar, or thoracic level may cause a loss of function in the legs known as paraplegia. If the injury occurs along the cervical portion of the spine it may cause quadriplegia/tetraplegia, a loss of use of all four extremities. No matter the level, most spinal cord injuries are life changing. Some of the common results of a spinal cord injury are:
- Difficulty with movement or complete paralysis;
- Bowel or bladder incontinence;
- Reduced or complete loss of sensation, including sensation to heat, cold, and touch;
- Muscle weakness;
- Loss of sexual sensitivity and sexual function changes; and
- Extreme pain or pressure.
If you have been rendered paraplegic or quadriplegic, or sustained any other spinal cord injury, as a result of someone else’s negligence, you have the right to hold that third-party responsible. In North Carolina, you are entitled to compensation consisting of a variety of types of “damages.” Included in those damages are compensation for your past and future medical bills, past and future diminished earning capacity, disfigurement, pain and suffering, and disability. Your spouse may also be entitled to “loss of consortium” damages for losing the services of his or her spouse.
Maginnis Law handles serious personal injury claims throughout the state of North Carolina and will make arrangements to meet you at your home if you are unable to travel to our Raleigh office. We offer a contingency fee arrangement to all spinal cord injury clients. This fee structure requires you to pay no attorneys’ fees unless we make a monetary recovery on your behalf.