North Idaho Attorney With Experience In Spinal Injury Cases
Spinal cord injuries are among the most serious injuries that anyone can suffer from an accident. They can lead to partial or complete paralysis, lifelong physical challenges or even death.
Yet, many people who suffer from such injuries in Idaho never receive full compensation for the devastating effects on their lives. They may decide to settle their claim too quickly, not knowing what “fair” compensation is, or the insurance company may claim that the victim was partially responsible, for instance.
In most cases, this would not have happened if the victim had appointed an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer to pursue their claim.
The Bendell Law Firm, PLLC, is experienced at protecting the rights of spinal cord injury victims in Post Falls, Coeur d’Alene and throughout North Idaho, and we will not quit until you get the compensation you deserve.
What Constitutes A Spinal Cord Injury?
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs from the base of the skull down the center of the back. It is responsible for sending motor commands from the brain to the body, sending sensory information from the body to the brain and coordinating reflexes.
It is easy to see, therefore, how any injury to this area could have highly debilitating effects. Whether the spinal cord is impinged upon or damaged in another way, the effects are serious and if the cord is severed, can even lead to permanent paralysis.
Extreme pain, numbness and tingling in the back, arm or legs are all symptoms of a spinal cord injury. It goes without saying that immediate medical attention is required.
What Damages Can Be Claimed After A Spinal Cord Injury?
Accident victims with spinal cord injuries may be entitled to hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of dollars in medical expenses, but that’s not all. Victims can usually claim the following economic and noneconomic damages:
- All medical care received in the past and expected in the future (based on the opinions of medical experts)
- Lost income/earning capacity in the past and expected in the future (based on the opinion of economic experts)
- The costs of damage to property
- Mental pain and suffering endured in the past and expected in the future
- Reduced mobility and impairment of the ability to perform enjoyable activities
- Loss of consortium or companionship
What Are Common Causes Of Spinal Cord Injuries?
Spinal cord injuries can be caused by a range of different types of accidents.
Most commonly, these include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Sports injuries
- Gunshot wounds
- Surgical complications
- Dangerous products
Because of the significant forces involved in vehicle collisions, road accidents account for many spinal cord injuries in Idaho.
Depending on the type of impact, a person’s head or neck may be snapped back, resulting in more than just a simple whiplash injury. If a herniated or bulged disk results along the spinal cord and the nerves are impinged upon, excruciating pain or tingling can result.
Often, a whiplash injury is downplayed as a minor injury that will correct itself within a few days, but sometimes spinal cord damage means that the healing becomes complicated.
How Can A Spinal Cord Injury Affect The Body?
Because of the central role of the spinal cord in transmitting messages between the brain and the rest of the body, any injury to the cord can affect multiple areas of the body.
The negative effects can be felt in the following functions/areas:
- Bladder and bowel (intestinal) function
- Heart rate
- Metabolism (how the body converts food into energy)
- Muscle movement
How Are Spinal Cord Injuries Diagnosed?
Most spinal cord injuries are diagnosed during tests at a medical facility immediately after an accident. If no injury was felt by the victim at the time of the accident and no medical checkup was sought, the injury may be diagnosed at any time after the accident if the patient presents with symptoms.
Serious spinal cord injuries are often diagnosed in emergencies, where other injuries and complications may also require treatment. The medical practitioner will check if a spinal cord injury is affecting breathing or heart rate and assess whether the nerves are impacted as well as the following:
- Motor function (your ability to move parts of your body)
- Sensory function (your ability to feel touch)
If spinal injuries or other internal injuries are suspected, your medical professional may request a CT scan, MRI or X-ray. In rare cases with spinal injuries, an electromyography (EMG) is used to check electrical activity in muscles and nerve cells.
How Are Spinal Cord Injuries Treated?
Depending on how serious a spinal cord injury is, emergency surgery may be required. This can help to redress spinal cord problems from broken bones, blood clots or damaged tissue.
Victims may also receive corticosteroid injections to improve blood flow, help preserve nerve function and reduce inflammation.
Treatments are highly individualized. If the injury is complex and takes time to heal, victims may receive treatment designed to enhance independence and quality of life, reduce the risk of other chronic conditions developing and restore nerve function.
If complications occur with blood pressure, body temperature, the heart, the lungs, bladder control, sexual dysfunction, paralysis or persistent pain, an emended treatment plan may be required.
At The Bendell Law Firm, PLLC, at Post Falls, Idaho, our spinal cord injury lawyer can manage your case and ensure that you get the best treatment available as well as fair compensation for your injuries.
We offer an initial free 15-minute consultation so that you can explain your situation and we can inform you of your legal options. Call 208-623-0280.