Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys in Birmingham
Protecting Workers Throughout the United States
Accidents that involve the spinal cord can result in life-altering injuries. In the span of just a few seconds, a person can go from being totally healthy to permanently disabled. Suddenly, they are no longer able to do their normal daily activities, and even seemingly simple tasks can seem overwhelming. The effects of a spinal cord injury can spill over into every area of life and heavily impacting others in the household as well. And when an injury like this is caused by someone else’s negligence or reckless actions, victims deserve to be fully compensated.
At Burge & Burge, we understand that spinal injuries can take a major physical, emotional, and financial toll on victims and their families, and we are here to provide strong legal guidance and moral support during this difficult time. We are a full-service personal injury firm, and our attorneys are dedicated to standing up for injured workers and others who have suffered injuries through no fault of their own.
Our lawyers have several decades of experience in this area of the law, and we have a successful track record with even the most complex cases. We work closely with our clients, devoting the time and attention needed to secure a favorable outcome in their case. When you retain our services, we go to work immediately to gather all of the important facts and pieces of evidence and put together a rock-solid case. This puts our clients in the best possible position to recover maximum compensation.
Reach out to us today at 205-251-9000 to schedule a free consultation and case assessment with one of our experienced attorneys.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries in Alabama
There are a number of reasons why spinal injuries occur, and a large percentage of them are preventable. Some of the common causes include:
- Vehicle and Traffic-Related Accidents: Auto accidents are one of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries, accounting for thousands of these types of injuries every year. Those who are at greatest risk of severe spinal injuries from vehicle crashes are individuals with very little protection, such as pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.
- Slips and Falls: Serious falls are another leading cause of spinal cord injuries. These can happen because of wet and slippery surfaces, tripping over supplies or debris that is left lying around, or falls from a high elevation. Falls also happen frequently to elderly individuals in nursing homes and assisted living centers, often because of not having enough available staff to properly manage the patients.
- Workplace Accidents: In addition to slips, trips, and falls, there are a number of other workplace hazards that can cause a spinal injury. Examples include being struck by an object, being struck against a hard surface, or getting trapped and crushed in an enclosed area.
- Medical Negligence: Spinal cord injuries often occur because of complications from medical procedures. For example, a spinal injury can happen to babies during childbirth, or it can happen while performing spinal surgery. When this type of injury happens during a medical procedure, an investigation needs to be performed to determine if the doctor or hospital may have deviated from acceptable standards of care.
- Dangerous or Defective Products: Spinal injuries can happen because of faulty or dangerous products. One common example of this is in the workplace when individuals are working with heavy machinery that malfunctions and causes an injury. This can also happen with dangerous or faulty consumer products, particularly those that are made for children.
- Sports Accidents: Contact sports such as football have been known to cause serious spinal injuries. And these injuries can also happen when someone is participating in dangerous recreational activities, such as cliff diving or riding an ATV.
- Violence: Spinal injuries have been known to happen because of various types of violence. For example, gunshot wounds can penetrate the spinal column and cause severe and debilitating injuries. These injuries can also happen to younger children who are abused by those around them, and elderly individuals who are abused in nursing homes.
Types of Spinal Injuries
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that carries messages between the brain and the rest of the body. When the spinal cord is damaged, it causes interference with these messages, resulting in temporary or permanent disruption to the muscular function and sensation in various parts of the body. Although a spinal injury can occur at any location along the spine, the majority of these injuries impact the cervical spine/neck area.
Spinal cord injuries can be divided into two general categories:
- Complete: A complete spinal injury is one in which the spinal cord is fully compressed or severed, resulting in a total loss of sensation and movement in the affected area. This condition is commonly known as paralysis. Less than three out of 10 spinal cord injuries are complete, and some patients have the potential for at least a partial recovery from their condition.
- Incomplete: An incomplete spinal injury is one in which there is damage to the spinal cord, but signals/messages can still be at least partially transmitted from the brain to the affected area, allowing for some movement and sensation.
Depending on the type of spinal injury and how severe it is, there are number of different problems that a patient may have to deal with. In addition to loss of sensation and loss of motor function in various parts of the body, some of the other effects include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Problems with digestion
- Bulging and herniated discs
- Lumbar strains
- Urinary tract infections
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Loss of sexual function
- High blood pressure/hypertension
- Depression and anxiety.
It is extremely important to seek immediate care after a spinal injury. Otherwise, there is a greater chance of the condition becoming permanent and debilitating. The long-term prognosis for a spinal cord injury victim depends largely on the severity of the condition, how quickly they receive care, how well their body responds to treatment, and other specific factors.
How Can A Spinal Injury Affect You?
Even a minor spinal injury can produce significant pain and limitations for the victim. Unfortunately, some of these injuries will not improve with time but will require long-term medical treatment and care. The most common types of serious spinal injuries are:
- Paraparesis. This is a spinal injury resulting in partial paralysis of the lower body.
- Paraplegia. This is an injury that results in full paralysis of the body’s lower extremities.
- Quadriparesis. This spinal injury results in partial paralysis of all four of the body’s extremities.
- Quadriplegia. This type of spine injury is the most severe and results in full paralysis of all four extremities.
These conditions could require a lifetime of medical care, home and lifestyle accommodations, and result in lost earning capacity.
Pursuing a Spinal Injury Claim in Alabama
Victims often feel the effects of spinal cord injuries for a long time, and sometimes these injuries are permanent and debilitating. If the injury happened at work, then the injured worker should be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If the injury was work-related but caused by an outside party or it happened outside of work because of someone else’s negligence, then you can file a personal injury claim against the responsible party.
A personal injury claim will allow you to pursue damages for both economic and noneconomic losses. This may include reimbursement for:
- Hospitalization costs
- Costs for surgeries and other treatments
- Rehabilitation expenses
- The cost of ongoing medical care
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Permanent injury
Spinal cord injury cases can be difficult to pursue because of the substantial amount of damages victims are often entitled to. Insurance companies do not like to pay out large damage claims, so they typically spend a lot of resources fighting these types of cases. This is why it is very important to have strong legal counsel by your side advocating aggressively for the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Contact a Knowledgeable and Compassionate Alabama Spinal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury in Alabama, Burge & Burge is ready to go to work for you. To get started, call our office today at 205-251-9000 or send us an online message to schedule your free consultation and case assessment.