Victims of spinal cord injuries face a tremendous amount of suffering – physically, emotionally and financially, which affects their entire family. The complications of a spinal cord injury can bring about depression, chronic pain, paralysis or even death.
A person may have lived a full and healthy life before the accident and then, in the blink of an eye, a disastrous injury causes all of that to slip away. The emotional strain is difficult enough to deal with: families should not also have to stress over how to pay for medical bills and long-term care, especially when the cause of the accident was the fault of another person, medical professional or unsafe working conditions.
Continual medical care, lost wages and loss of employment due to injuries or having to care for a person suffering from a spinal cord injury, can be very expensive, especially over a person’s lifetime. If the accident was due to the negligence of another driver or a medical professional, the victim and their family should speak to an attorney about the best way to get the maximum compensation for their injuries.
At SMT Legal, our Pittsburgh personal injury lawyers represent people and children who have unfortunately been victims of traumatic accidents resulting in a spinal cord injury. All case evaluations are free and we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we do not collect any fees unless we make a recovery for you.
Our Pittsburgh personal injury attorneys are compassionate people who want to help answer your questions and find a solution in order for you to collect the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
There is no cost to you for talking to our experienced Pittsburgh spinal cord injury attorneys. We are committed to helping victims and their families find answers and cope with their struggles. If you are homebound, we would be happy to schedule a time to visit your home and consult with you. Contact us today.
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Our spinal cord injury attorneys can provide advice about the options available for getting the maximum compensation for your injuries.
If you or your loved one suffered from a spinal cord injury, you may be able to seek compensation for the following:
Call our spinal cord injury attorneys today for a free case evaluation.
A spinal cord injury (SCI) means that part of the spinal cord or the nerves at the end of the spinal canal has been damaged, resulting in a change in the spinal cord’s normal motor, sensory or autonomic function.
The spinal cord and brain make up the central nervous system. The spinal cord acts as the pathway, sending information to the brain from all the other nervous systems: peripheral (limbs, organs, skin), somatic (muscle movements/touch) and autonomic (breath, heartbeat, digestion). Because it plays such a vital role in how the body communicates with the brain, any injury to the spinal cord can cause serious problems.
The place along the spinal cord or backbone where the injury occurs and the severity of the injury will determine whether the victim will have control over their limbs. Wherever the injury occurs on the spinal cord will affect everything below that area – the higher up the spine the injury occurs, the more dysfunction and severity of the consequences.
Any type of blow to the spine that fractures, crushes, compresses or dislocates one or more vertebrae can cause a traumatic spinal cord injury. A bullet or stabbing wound can also damage the spinal cord.
Most cases of traumatic spinal cord injuries stem from car accidents, motorcycle accidents and truck accidents, but they can also happen from acts of violence, slips and falls, alcohol-related injuries, sports injuries and workplace/construction accidents.
The use of alcohol plays a factor in many spinal cord injuries, in which a person under the influence behaves in a reckless fashion causing injury to themselves or others, such as carrying a person on their shoulders and then losing balance.
Non-traumatic spinal cord injuries could be caused by worsening medical conditions, such as blood clots, tumors or swelling. These conditions can stem from cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, and other infections and inflammation or degenerative spinal diseases.
In some instances, spinal cord injuries are the result of medical malpractice in which doctors or other medical professionals were negligent during surgery or the course of treatment or them misdiagnosis the injury. If this happened to you or your loved one, you should speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney immediately.
A misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose or delayed treatment of certain diseases can result in a spinal injury or further damage to the spinal cord. This is true in cases such as Spinal Stenosis and Spina Bifida. Surgical errors can also result in a spinal cord injury or nerve damage.
If a doctor ignores a potential spinal cord injury caused by trauma or assumes the injury will heal on its own without proper follow-up and treatment, this is a form of medical malpractice and you may be eligible to file a legal claim.
Spinal cord injuries can result in a loss of sensation and movement and paralysis. The following classifications are used to describe the severity of a patient’s spinal cord injury:
The severity of spinal cord injuries is classified as incomplete or complete. Complete means that all movement and sensation below the injury placement are lost and Incomplete means that some movement and sensation remain.
The American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) grades the degree of injuries from A to E, with A being the most severe and E being the normal motor and sensory functioning.
The grading from ASIA is as follows*:
Please view the Spinal Cord Grading .pdf for a diagram and more information on spinal cord grading & classification.
After the initial injury, further health damage can occur over days or weeks due to bleeding, swelling, inflammation or an accumulation of fluid.
Many health issues can arise from spinal cord injuries in addition to paralysis including: bladder and bowel complications, numbness, tingling, ulcers, loss of senses, muscular pain, herniated discs, sexual dysfunction, an inability to reduce body temperature, arthritic spurring, inability to regulate blood pressure, chronic pain and susceptibility to respiratory problems or an inability to breath on one’s own.
In addition, people who suffer spinal cord injuries usually have shorter life spans and can suffer from depression.
The long-term effects of needing constant care and medical treatment, in addition to lost wages, can be an extreme financial burden to most families. If these injuries were the fault of another person or medical professional, you should not have to bear this burden without receiving the maximum compensation for the injuries and pain and suffering they have caused.
You may be able to file a legal claim if you were the victim of medical negligence that resulted in a spinal cord injury.
Medical malpractice can happen when a medical professional fails to diagnose or makes a misdiagnosis, delays treatment, fails to provide information on all the risks associated with a medical procedure, fails to recommend a safer alternative, misuses a medical device or makes a surgical error during an operation, or if the medical professional lacks adequate experience to perform the procedure.
Whether you or your loved one was injured in an accident or is the victim of medical malpractice, we are here to guide you and your family through a difficult time. We will listen to the details of your case to fully understand the surrounding circumstances.
We are compassionate attorneys who will fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. We will aggressively push the car insurance and health insurance companies to get the maximum coverage they owe for your injuries.
At SMT Legal, we will evaluate your claim thoroughly and retain the medical experts needed to evaluate and validate your case. Our job is to thoroughly investigate your case and speak with neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, psychologists, doctors, and other medical professionals to build a strong and winnable case.
We will meticulously go over your medical records, police logs, and accident reports and consult with the medical experts to prove who was at fault for the accident. We want to help you hold those to blame for your injuries, and their insurance companies, accountable for the money they owe you.
Our Pittsburgh serious injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning that you will not pay us anything unless we win your case. There is no fee in simply talking to us and letting us hear your story.
Our primary goal is to get you the maximum compensation for your injuries. Spinal cord injuries more than often require long-term care and a lengthy rehabilitation period, making medical care very expensive. We understand your rights and how to fight for the money you deserve.
Our attorneys are not just here to collect a paycheck – we are here to make a difference. Contact us today.
Call 412-765-3345 for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys are available by phone, email or in-person.
SMT Legal attorneys believe in aggressively representing our clients while maintaining the personal compassion needed when counseling clients through difficult situations and navigating a complex legal system. Contact us today.