Suppose you or a loved one are dealing with the life-altering consequences of a spinal cord injury (SCI) in Reading, Pennsylvania. In that case, you may struggle with physical, emotional, and financial challenges.
Medical conditions can cause spinal cord injuries, but they can also happen due to traumatic events like car accidents, falls, or sports injuries. In cases of the latter, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your losses, including medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future care needs.
With decades of experience in handling Reading spinal cord injury cases, Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys have witnessed firsthand the profound impact that spinal cord injuries have on individuals and their families. We are committed to seeking justice and fighting tirelessly to secure the compensation you deserve.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
In simple terms, the spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs down your back and carries messages between your brain and the rest of your body. When the spinal cord is damaged, it can disrupt these messages, leading to various physical and sensory impairments. The severity of a spinal cord injury can vary widely, ranging from partial loss of sensation and movement to complete paralysis.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH), “Motor vehicle accidents and catastrophic falls are the most common causes of SCI in the U.S.” Other common causes of spinal cord injuries are as follows:
- Medical malpractice: Errors during surgery, improper administration of anesthesia, or failure to diagnose and treat spinal cord conditions promptly can result in spinal cord injuries.
- Car accidents: Negligent driving behaviors such as drunk driving, distracted driving, or reckless driving can lead to severe spinal cord injuries in car crash victims.
- Workplace accidents: Inadequate safety measures, lack of training, or negligence by employers or coworkers can cause spinal cord injuries in industries such as construction, manufacturing, or transportation.
- Slip and fall accidents: Property owners must maintain safe premises. Negligence in addressing hazardous conditions, such as wet floors, uneven surfaces, or lack of proper signage, can lead to falls, resulting in spinal cord injuries.
- Sports or recreational activities: Inadequate supervision, lack of proper safety equipment, or reckless behavior by coaches, organizers, or other participants can cause spinal cord injuries in sports-related incidents.
What Are the Most Common Spinal Cord Injuries?
Each spinal cord injury case is unique, and the specific injuries and legal claims will depend on the individual circumstances.
- Paraplegia: Paralysis affecting the lower body, typically including the legs.
- Quadriplegia (Tetraplegia): Paralysis affecting all four limbs and the torso, often including some or all of the neck and head.
- Herniated or Bulging Discs: Damage to the discs between the vertebrae, causing them to protrude or rupture and potentially compress the spinal cord or nerve roots.
- Spinal Fractures: Broken vertebrae resulting from traumatic events like car accidents, falls, or sports injuries.
- Spinal Cord Compression: Pressure on the spinal cord due to tumors, spinal stenosis, or other conditions that can lead to nerve damage and loss of function.
- Spinal Cord Contusions: Bruising of the spinal cord due to trauma, leading to temporary or permanent loss of function.
- Spinal Cord Lacerations: Cuts or tears in the spinal cord caused by sharp objects or severe trauma, often resulting in permanent damage.
- Spinal Cord Ischemia: Lack of blood flow to the spinal cord, typically caused by a disruption in the blood vessels, leading to tissue damage and potential paralysis.
- Cauda Equina Syndrome: Compression of the nerve roots at the base of the spinal cord, causing severe lower back pain, loss of bowel and bladder control, and lower extremity weakness.
- Nerve Damage: Injury to the peripheral nerves branching off from the spinal cord, resulting in loss of sensation, muscle weakness, or paralysis in specific areas of the body.
How Long Do I Have to File a Spinal Cord Injury Claim in Reading, Pennsylvania?
According to Section 5524(c) of the Pennsylvania Code, “An action to recover damages for injuries to the person or for the death of an individual caused by the wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence of another.”
It’s essential to consult with an attorney specializing in personal injury law, particularly spinal cord injuries, to understand the specific statute of limitations that applies to your spinal cord injury case. Munley Law Personal Injury attorneys will protect your legal rights and ensure the opportunity to pursue compensation for your injuries and related damages.
What Types of Compensation Are Available in a Spinal Injury Cord Case?
In a spinal cord injury case, various damages may be available to compensate you for your losses. In a Reading, PA, spinal cord injury case, here are some common types of damages that may be sought:
- Medical Expenses: This includes compensation for past, current, and future medical costs related to the spinal cord injury, such as hospitalization, surgeries, medications, assistive devices, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and ongoing medical care.
- Lost Wages: If the spinal cord injury has made it impossible to work or has significantly reduced the ability to earn, the injured person might be able to claim some compensation for the wages and benefits they’ve lost, both in the past and in the future.
- Pain and Suffering: Damages for pain, suffering, and emotional distress caused by the spinal cord injury are commonly sought. This can include physical pain, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional trauma associated with the injury.
- Disability and Impairment: You could potentially receive compensation for a long-term disability, impairment, or loss of function caused by the spinal cord injury. This could cover restricted mobility, sensory loss, and how it affects your everyday life and overall well-being.
- Rehabilitation and Assistive Devices: In a spinal cord injury lawsuit, the court often considers all the expenses. Things like rehab programs, specialized therapies, assistive devices (like wheelchairs or prosthetics), and even tweaks to living spaces can be part of the damages sought. It’s essential to cover these costs to ensure the injured person gets the proper care and their environment is adjusted to meet their needs.
- Home Care and Support Services: If the spinal cord injury requires ongoing assistance with daily activities and personal care, damages may be sought for the cost of home care services, personal attendants, and other support needed.
- Loss of Consortium: In some cases, damages may be sought by the spouse or family members for the loss of companionship, affection, and support resulting from the spinal cord injury.
- Punitive Damages: In exceptional cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly reckless or malicious, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the responsible party and deter similar behavior.
Why You Need a Reading, PA Spinal Injury Attorney
At Munley Personal Injury Attorneys, we’re here to help answer any questions about who or what caused your injuries. With our extensive experience in personal injury cases, we’ll dig deep to determine liability, negligence, and more. We aim to pursue maximum compensation for you by exploring all available options. Our team of Reading spinal cord injury attorneys genuinely wants to assist you in reclaiming your life after a devastating accident. Call us for a free consultation today.