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Spinal cord injuries are among the most severe injuries to result from ordinary accidents. While an accident may not seem extreme from the onset, the slightest impact on a person’s spine during an accident could have life-threatening repercussions.

If you have suffered a back injury because of someone else’s negligence, a Richmond spinal cord injury attorney at Christina Pendleton & Associates can help you recover the damages you deserve.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal injuries are not injuries that can heal easily over time, but instead require months of rehabilitation and often an unsettling future diagnosis. These impact thousands of people across the country every year, many often resulting in paralysis.

Spinal cord injuries are defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as “an acute traumatic lesion of the neural elements in the spinal canal, resulting in temporary or permanent sensory deficit, motor deficit, or bowel/bladder dysfunction.”

A herniated disc is a relatively common spinal injury. A severe herniated disc can also hurt your spinal cord. Therefore, if you were diagnosed with this type of injury after an accident, contact a herniated disc attorney for legal help.

It is devastating to understand that an accident which simply hits a victim at the wrong place with the wrong pressure could have such an impact on their future.

Types of Paralysis

Spinal cord injuries often result in paralysis and are divided between two distinct types of paralysis: paraplegia and tetraplegia. These are often devastating to the victim and require extensive medical care within the first year, as well as ongoing rehabilitation sessions with the victim and their family.

Injuries to the spinal cord below the first thoracic vertebra lead to paraplegia, or the loss of feeling in the torso and the complete or partial loss of feeling in the legs. Paraplegics retain control of their arms and hands and often find that they can continue a reasonable lifestyle at the same pace with ongoing rehabilitation.

Injuries to the spinal cord above the first thoracic vertebra result in tetraplegia, which is the partial or total loss of all limbs and torso. Depending on the extent of the injuries, a victim may also lose the ability to breathe on their own, and may require ongoing care for the rest of their lives.

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What Are Other Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries?

According to the Mayo Clinic, other symptoms of spinal cord injuries beyond paralysis include:

  • Loss of movement
  • Loss of or altered sensation
  • Loss of bowel and bladder control
  • Spasms and exaggerated reflexes
  • Sexual side effects, including infertility
  • Pain and stinging sensations
  • Difficulty breathing or coughing
  • Weakness and incoordination
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Feelings of extreme pressure
  • Balance issues
  • Twisted neck or back

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How Do Spinal Injuries Occur?

Spinal injuries can occur because of a number of unintentional accidents, including:

Most spinal injuries happen because of external trauma. Rarely, a medical mistake not caused by trauma could cause a spinal cord injury, like an infection. However your injury occurred, your spinal cord injury lawyer in Richmond can help you navigate the claims process to hold the negligent party responsible for your damages.

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Personal Injury Recovery

Victims and their families can bring an action for damages against the responsible party after an accident leads to a spinal cord injury. Virginia is, unfortunately, a contributory negligence state, which means that if the victim was even one percent at fault, a court may rule against their personal injury claim.

However, a dedicated Richmond spinal cord injury lawyer at Christina Pendleton & Associates will work closely with you to develop a claim for damages after carefully reviewing the facts of your case.

You and your family should not be forced to go through the financial burden of long-term costs on top of the lifestyle alteration after a traumatic accident leading to spinal cord injuries. A claim for damages after a spinal cord injury can include the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium

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How Soon Can I Start My Lawsuit?

As soon as you’ve seen a doctor to confirm an injury, that’s the time to contact a lawyer. You do not want to wait too long. The longer you wait, the more leverage the insurers will have to pay you less or nothing at all.

Also, you have a two-year deadline from the start of your injury to begin a lawsuit in Virginia. This is the statute of limitations for civil personal injury cases. If your case is complex, this can be extended but you must have an attorney working your case to do this.

The sooner you have a lawyer on your side after your accident, the better your chances are of a favorable recovery. Also, once you have one, you can refer all legal and insurance communications to your lawyer and avoid the tactics of the insurance companies.

Call Our Richmond Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys

Our Richmond spinal cord injury attorneys will assist you in projecting out those expenses which may not have a current dollar amount, such as future earnings or pain and suffering. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident resulting in a spinal cord injury, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Christina Pendleton & Associates.

Our lawyers will work tirelessly on your claim so that you can focus on what is important: your recovery. Contact our firm today for a free initial consultation and appraisal of your injury claim.

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