Columbia Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Spinal cord injuries, also referred to as SCI, are some of the most severe injuries that can result from accidents. Spinal injuries can have life changing impacts on those who were injured, as well as their loved ones. Damage to the spinal cord is often irreversible and can have varying effects, such as loss of sensation, loss of motor control, and paralysis. These injuries can also have significant effects on mental state, emotional health, careers, and relationships.
Whether you are recovering from a spinal cord injury yourself, or helping a loved one heal, we understand that this can be a daunting process that requires hard work and patience on a daily basis. We are dedicated to much more than handling the legal aspects of your case. Our team will be here to help you throughout the process however we can.
Having an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer on your team will help ensure that you are getting the maximum compensation available under South Carolina law to give you hope for the future ahead. We understand that taking legal action won’t change what has happened, but we’ve seen that it can help you feel a sense of justice and greatly ease the financial burden. We’re here to take on the legal battle for you so you and your loved ones can focus on healing and looking towards the future ahead. Our friendly and professional team will fight to get you everything you deserve, and we won’t settle for less. Don’t go through this process alone – contact our team at Cavanaugh & Thickens today to learn more about how we can help you by calling (803) 888-2200.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries in Columbia, South Carolina
Generally, spinal cord injuries happen when there is a direct blow to the spinal cord/back or there is a severe twist of the spine that puts too much pressure on the spinal cord and the surrounding vertebrae. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), the leading causes of spine injuries include:
- Auto Accidents (38.6%) – Including car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents and similar.
- Falls (32.2%) – This may include falls while on-the-job or in other places.
- Violence (14%) – Spinal cord injuries can result from gunshot wounds, knife wounds, physical assaults, and other criminal acts.
- Sports (7.8) – Devastatingly, some children and athletes suffer spinal cord injuries while at practice or during performances/games. These injuries may happen in both team and individual sports, such as diving, cheerleading, football, hockey, rugby, and others.
- Medical/Surgical Malpractice (4.2%) – While rare, surgical mistakes can lead to serious spinal cord injuries.
- Other Accidents (3.2%)
Every case is different and understanding the specifics of your case will help determine the cause of the accident. No matter how the spinal cord injury occurred, we’re here to help you.
Can I File a Lawsuit For a Spinal Cord Injury in Columbia, SC?
The state of South Carolina runs on a fault based system. This means that if you or your loved one is found to be less than 51% at fault for the accident that resulted in the spinal cord injury, then you may qualify for significant compensation.
You should not be worrying about identifying the at-fault party and proving negligence, that is what your attorney is trained to do and has the experience and resources needed to do successfully. Rest assured, our lawyers have over 60 years of experience handling different forms of accidents that cause SCI, and we are ready to help you. To learn more, give our office a call at (803) 888-2200.
Who May Be Held Liable For My Compensation After an Injury Resulting in SCI?
Every single case is unique, so it’s in your best interest to speak directly with a lawyer who is experienced in handling these cases for more specific information. From our experience, there are a few different parties that may be found at-fault for the accident:
- The At-Fault Motorist/Driver(s)
- Construction Companies
- Roadway Designers
- Property Owner(s)
- Healthcare Provider(s)
- Product Manufacturers
- Equipment Manufacturers
- And More.
In some cases, our team may identify multiple at-fault parties that share responsibility for the accident and resulting injuries. In order to prove who was at fault, our team will gather critical evidence and optimize your claim on your behalf to prove the at-fault party acted negligently, a critical part to every personal injury claim. We will do this by:
- Proving the at-fault party owed you a duty of care,
- He/She breached that duty of care, and,
- The breach of duty caused your injuries (“damages”).
While this may sound like a simple process; unfortunately, it is not designed to be easy for you. Without a lawyer, you would have to go up against insurance adjusters who are trained to do everything in their power to limit or deny your claim. Based on extensive experience, hiring an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer is imperative for your case and will ensure you are taken seriously and given everything that you are owed.
What Compensation Can Be Recovered From a Spinal Cord Injury?
According to research, patients with injuries to the cervical spinal cord can expect to pay between $950,603 to $1,315,554 on health care costs and living expenses during the first year of the injury alone. Following the first year, you can expect to pay between $140,144 and $228,450 annually.
However, these estimates do not include the costs for lost wages, emotional damages, pain and suffering, and other damages commonly associated with these injuries. These are additional damages we will work with you to value and optimize within your personal injury claim.
In addition, thoracic spinal cord injuries resulting in paraplegia can cost patients aged around 25, roughly $2,854,343 throughout their lifetime on health care costs and living expenses. Again, this estimate does not include the costs of lost wages, emotional damages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other damages.
When it comes to filing for compensation after a spinal cord injury, we will work with you to seek compensation for all past, present and future damages related to the accident to best set you up for the future ahead. This includes:
- Emergency Room Bills
- Past, Present, and Future Medical Bills
- Paralysis Complication Costs: blood clothes, infections, pressure sores, and more
- Medical Equipment
- In-Home Care Costs
- Wheelchair Costs
- Adaptive Technology Costs
- Rehabilitation Costs: physical therapy, occupational therapy, vocational therapy, educational training, recreation therapy, and more.
- Lost Income
- Lost Earning Capacity
- Loss of Consortium
- Lost Quality of Life
- Emotional Distress
- Wrongful Death
- Mental Health Counseling
- And More.
When it comes to filing a personal injury claim seeking compensation and justice after a spinal cord injury, it’s critical to hire a team of attorneys who understand these injuries in specific, the treatment plans for SCI, and the long-term effects they have on both those who are injured and their loved ones. With over 60 years of combined experience handling these types of cases, our lawyers have the experience and resources needed to help you. Allow us to aggressively fight for you and give you hope for the future ahead. To get started, call our Columbia spinal cord injury attorneys today at (803) 888-2200 for a free case evaluation.
The Different Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
There are two classifications of spinal cord injuries:
- Complete Spinal Cord Injuries
- Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries
Complete spinal cord injuries result in permanent damage to the area of the spinal cord that was injured. Often, these injuries are irreparable and result in paraplegia, tetraplegia, or loss of life.
Incomplete spinal cord injuries temporarily or partially affect the spinal cord. Typically, with these injuries, the brain and spinal cord are still able to communicate with each other, resulting in partial sensations and the ability to perform certain movements.
The Different Levels of Spinal Cord Injuries
In addition to the different classifications of spinal cord injuries, spinal cord injuries impact different areas of the spinal cord. Where the injury occurs will greatly impact the severity of the injury.
Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries [C1 to C8]
Located at the top of the spinal cord and forming the neck, cervical spinal cord injuries are generally the most severe form of SCI. These injuries impact one or both sides of the body, and often result in paralysis, quadriplegia, or loss of life.Many times, victims who survive these injuries are not able to breathe on their own and require some form of around the clock care and attention. However, some people may still have motor and sensory functions, particularly if the injury impacted the lower-cervical nerves.
Treatment for these injuries typically include surgery, adequate pain relief, steroid injections, ongoing therapy, mental health counseling, and more.
Thoracic Spinal Cord Injuries [T1 to T12]
Thoracic spinal cord injuries affect the upper check, mid-back, and abdominal areas. Typically resulting in paraplegia, most people will survive these injuries and still be able to use their arms, chest, and upper back.The most common thoracic spinal cord injuries include compression fractures, osteoporosis, trauma, motor vehicle accidents, tumors, infections, and more.
Treatment may involve traction therapy, surgery, rehabilitation, and counseling.
Lumbar Spinal Cord Injuries [L1 to L5]
Located on the lower half of the spine, lumbar spinal cord injuries typically affect the hips and legs. While serious injuries, lumbar injuries are typically not life-threatening. Many times, people who suffered from these injuries will use a wheelchair or walk with braces.Treatment usually includes surgery, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NDAIS), and physical/occupational therapy.
Sacral Spinal Cord Injuries [S1 to S5]
Located at the bottom of the spinal cord, sacral injuries tend to affect the hips, back of thighs, buttocks, and pelvic regions.People who have suffered from these injuries can expect therapy to include surgery, medication, and rehabilitation programs focused on strengthening the damaged area(s).
What Are The Different Types of Paralysis?
Serious spinal cord injuries can result in a few different forms of paralysis, including:
- Paraplegia – Paralysis in the lower half of the body.
- Diplegia – Paralysis of the same area on both sides of the body, such as both legs, both arms, both sides of the face
- Hemiplegia – Paralysis on one side of the body affecting multiple limbs
- Monoplegia – Paralysis of one limb
Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury
Symptoms of a spinal cord injury will vary based on which area of the spine was injured and how severe the injury is. Some symptoms of spinal cord injuries may include:
- Loss of movement
- Loss of sensations
- Loss of bladder control
- Loss of bowel control
- Exaggerated reflexes
- Intense stinging sensation
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty coughing
- Extreme pain
- Extreme pressure in the neck, head, or back
- Difficulty balancing
What is the Legal Process for a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit in Columbia, SC?
Personal injury attorneys who have experience with spinal cord injury cases and equipped to represent injured victims in court. One of their main roles is to educate their clients on their legal options, including the benefits and drawbacks of each one, and provide counsel on which option may be the right choice for this particular case. They have extensive experience with settling cases out of court as well as taking them to trial, so they can offer an informed opinion on what your chances are if you want to go to trial and what a reasonable settlement offer may be.
If you do decide to try to settle out of court, your attorney will represent you throughout the negotiations and be your voice. When there is a point to be contested, your attorney will talk privately with you to determine what you want to do or offer and then take that back to the legal team for the other side. This continues until a settlement is reached or a decision is made to proceed with moving to trial. It’s easy to get caught up in the emotions and stress at this point in the process, and an attorney can help present a more objective viewpoint and ensure that you are being practical in your approach.
If settlement negotiations don’t work out or either party isn’t open to settling, the case will end up in court for a trial. This is where an attorney is especially helpful because the evidence and procedure rules for the courtroom are very particular, and it’s easy to make mistakes and miss opportunities to better your case if you aren’t familiar with them. As part of your legal team, your attorney will question witnesses, present evidence on your behalf, cross examine witnesses for the defense, and make opening and closing statements to the jury. If you don’t win your case, they can also talk to you about your options for appeal.
Don’t wait to find out what your legal options are for seeking compensation through the civil courts. At Cavanaugh & Thickens, LLC, our team of spinal cord injury lawyers has extensive experience with these types of cases, and we’re prepared to represent your interests. Call today to schedule an appointment for a free consultation with a member of our team and find out more about our firm.
Get a Free Spinal Cord Injury Case Evaluation Today
Get the peace of mind you and your family deserve following a serious spinal injury. Our reputable lawyers have a history of obtaining great results for our clients, helping them heal physically, financially, and emotionally following serious injuries and wrongful death. We are here to help you understand your rights and get you moving in the right direction.
To get a free case evaluation with an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer in Columbia, call our office at (803) 888-2200 – we are available via phone 24/7. You may also email our team at [email protected] or complete our online form.
How Much Will a Lawyer Cost?
With Cavanaugh & Thickens, there are no upfront costs or fees to hire our law firm. In addition, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning our law firm earns a percentage of the total compensation secured on your behalf at the end of your case. If for some reason there is no recovery made on your behalf, then you owe our team nothing.
Schedule your complimentary case evaluation with our team today by calling (803) 888-2200.