Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Serving Charlottesville
If you sustained a back injury or spinal injury in an accident, you may be facing a lengthy recovery or even adaptation to a new life. Any damage to your back can make it extremely painful to move and limit your mobility. An injury to your spinal cord can cause you to lose feeling and function in one or more of your limbs. Serious spinal cord injuries require specialized care that can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In many cases, spinal cord injuries are the results of accidents caused by someone else’s careless or negligent actions. Insurers often try to dismiss claims involving back injury and pain. The insurer may argue the pain is attributable to normal aging processes rather than an accident. A Charlottesville spinal injury lawyer at Kendall Law Firm can help you seek full compensation for your losses after a back-injury accident.
Our Charlottesville back injury attorneys have more than 40 years of combined experience handling personal injury claims. In that time, we’ve helped our clients recover significant compensation. Attorney David Kendall, the founder of Kendall Law Firm, is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and a former military lawyer. As a former Marine, he understands how much can be accomplished through perseverance and dedication. He takes pride in providing attentive and personalized legal representation to injured people. Contact Kendall Law Firm today for a free consultation to learn about how we can help you after a Charlottesville spinal cord injury.
What Qualifies as a Back Injury or Spinal Cord Injury?
Nearly all of us will experience back pain at some point. The pain may be short-lived or long-lasting. It may be caused by gradual wear and tear or by a specific incident such as a car accident, motorcycle crash, or a serious fall. Serious back pain is debilitating.
Some of the most common types of spinal cord injuries in Charlottesville include:
- Sprains and strains — Back sprains occur when ligaments connecting the different bones in your back are stretched or torn in some way.
- Herniated disk — A slipped or herniated disk injury occurs when a piece of the disk’s jelly-like center breaks through the disk’s outer wall. It may be caused by forceful pulling, bending, or twisting movement. A herniated disk may put pressure on spinal nerves, causing chronic pain.
- Compression fracture — You may suffer tiny fractures in the bones of your spinal column if your back is compressed or twisted at an unnatural angle. These breaks are known as compression fractures. A motor vehicle accident can cause compression fractures. They are often extremely painful.
- Broken vertebrae — A major accident, such as a car crash or fall from a ladder or elevated platform, can cause one or more of your vertebrae to fracture. The resulting pain can be excruciating. Fragments of broken vertebrae can put pressure on spinal nerves or cause damage to the spinal cord, causing paralysis.
- Spinal cord injuries — The spinal cord is extremely fragile. It can be injured even in accidents where your vertebrae do not fracture. Any spinal cord injury requires immediate medical treatment. These injuries can lead to the loss of feeling or function in different areas of your body.
Some common causes of back injuries and spinal cord injuries in Charlottesville include:
- Motor-vehicle accidents — Car accidents, trucks accidents, and motorcycle accidents can cause damage to your back, even if none of the vehicles in the crash are moving particularly fast. Side-impact crashes, T-bone collisions, and rear-end collisions often lead to back injuries. They put more pressure on your back than other types of accidents. The other vehicle may penetrate the cabin of your vehicle and strike your back directly in a side-impact collision. Motorcyclists may be thrown from the motorcycle by the force of impact and land hard on their back, fracturing multiple vertebrae.
- Slip-and-fall accidents — Losing your balance due to a wet surface or spilled liquids can cause you to land hard on your back, leading to an injury. Slip-and-falls can cause injuries by putting immense strain on your muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
- Sports injuries — Colliding with another player or landing at a bad angle after making a play can lead to back injuries, especially in heavy contact sports like hockey and football.
- Repetitive stress — Many back injuries are the result of performing the same motion over and over again. Repetitive stress injuries are particularly common in physically demanding industries such as delivery, warehouse work, and construction.
- Medical malpractice — Surgical mistakes and other medical errors can cause back or spinal cord injuries.
Spinal Cord Injury Statistics
Vehicle accidents are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries, followed by falls. Here are some key statistics about spinal cord injuries:
- There are roughly 296,000 people in the United States currently living with spinal cord injuries, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCSC).
- The NSCSC reports that there are about 17,900 new cases of spinal cord injuries every year in the U.S., which is approximately 54 cases per one million people.
- The Georgetown University Health Policy Institute (HPI) reports that about 8 percent of all adults in the U.S., or roughly 16 million people, experience persistent or chronic back pain.
- The HPI also reports that 83 million workdays are lost each year due to workers experiencing back pain.
- The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) reports that up to 80 percent of the U.S. population will experience back pain at some point in their lives.
- The ACA also reports that back pain is the third most common reason for people to visit a doctor in the U.S., behind skin disorders and joint disorders.
What Are the Costs of Back Injuries and Spinal Cord Injuries?
The average yearly medical costs and living expenses for a spinal cord injury vary greatly depending on the severity of the injury and the age of the injured person.
The first-year costs can range from $378,000 to $1.1 million for treating a spinal cord injury, depending on the extent of the loss of motor function, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. Ongoing annual living expenses for a person living with SCI can range from $50,000 to $200,000.
There are many costs associated with a back injury or spinal cord injury, such as:
- Medical bills — The cost of treating a back injury or spinal cord injury can add up quickly after an accident. There’s the cost of any emergency treatment you may need to stabilize your injury, in-patient hospital stays, rehabilitation, follow-up visits with your doctor, prescription medication, physical therapy, and more. If your injury is particularly severe, you may need ongoing care for the rest of your life.
- Missed work — Back pain can make it painful to carry out the most basic tasks. Back injuries often lead to many missed days from work and lost income. Every day of work you miss takes a bite out of your finances. You will need to take advantage of all the sources of compensation available if you have a disabling back injury.
- Long-term or permanent disabilities — Many back injuries and spinal cord injuries can lead to disabilities that may last for months, years, or for the rest of your life. You may need to turn to Social Security Disability if you have a disabling back injury that prevents you from maintaining gainful employment.
- Diminished quality of life — If you are left paralyzed after a spinal cord injury or have significant physical pain for a long time after a back injury, it can have a negative effect on your quality of life. You may not be able to take part in activities you used to enjoy, and you may find yourself feeling depressed or suffering other mental health effects. You may be entitled to compensation for your diminished quality of life.
How Can a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Pursue Compensation?
To pursue compensation after a back injury or spinal cord injury, your injury must be the result of someone else’s negligence. For example, if you were injured in an accident caused by a drunk or distracted driver, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance because the driver was acting negligently.
A spinal cord injury lawyer at Kendall Law Firm can review the details of your accident and discuss whether you have a viable personal injury claim.
What Types of Compensation Are Available?
If you can demonstrate that you were injured due to someone else’s negligence and no fault of your own, you may have a right to seek substantial compensation after a back injury or spinal cord injury, including compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
- Damaged personal property
- Pain and suffering
Contact a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Today
If you or your loved one has suffered a serious back injury in Charlottesville, you should take advantage of a free consultation. A Charlottesville spinal cord injury lawyer at Kendall Law Firm can help you understand your legal options. After talking the matter over with a lawyer, you can make better-informed decisions about how to move forward. Our law firm has helped many people in Charlottesville recover from serious injuries. Let us help you too.
Contact our office today for a free initial consultation.