Salt Lake City Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
A spinal cord injury often requires lifelong medical care, and can cost the victim and their family millions of dollars in medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and other expenses. But, with 40% of all spinal cord injuries being the result of a motor vehicle accident , they have unfortunately become all too common.
The spinal cord is the heart of the central nervous system and links the brain to the rest of the body. A spinal cord injury can be caused by direct injury to the spinal cord itself, or injury to the bones or soft tissues around the spinal cord.
Salt Lake City Spinal Cord Injury Resources
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Why Choose the Utah Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys From Handy And Handy?
The Salt Lake City spinal cord injury attorneys at Handy & Handy have more than 30 years of combined experience investigating accidents, negotiating with insurance companies, and litigating injury cases in court on behalf of victims of serious injuries sustained in a wide variety of circumstances.
Our Salt Lake City personal injury attorneys know what it takes to assemble compelling evidence and financial records to oblige insurance companies to offer maximum settlements to spinal cord injury victims and their loved one.
Allow an attorney from Handy & Handy to help you and your family after a devastating spinal cord injury. We have been handling personal injury cases in Utah for decades, and can help you obtain the maximum settlement possible in your spinal cord injury case.
Case Results – Salt Lake City
Handy & Handy is proud to represent injury victims across the city of Salt Lake City, Utah. Here are some of our personal injury case results.
- $2.7 Million Result: A wrongful death settlement that involved product liability against a well-known vehicle manufacturer.
- $300,000 Settlement: A slip and fall accident settlement that happened due to a left ankle fracture.
- $281,520 Settlement: A settlement that occurred due to a vehicle rollover that resulted in lower back surgery.
“I am forever grateful for all of their hard work. I hired Handy and Handy Law Firm to represent me for a difficult shoulder injury. They were so helpful and diligent in helping me receive compensation. Everyone was always available, patient, informative and beyond professional. I felt confident with their abilities after our first meeting together. And I was correct in feeling that way. I would refer them to anyone needing an amazing team for legal assistance. They are the best! I am forever grateful for all of their hard work.”
Common Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Paralysis of both the arms and legs is referred to as tetraplegia, while the paralysis of just the legs is referred to as paraplegia . The most common form of spinal cord injury, with 45% of cases, is incomplete tetraplegia, while the least common is complete tetraplegia.
Complete tetraplegia means that there is no sensation below the site of injury. On the other hand, incomplete tetraplegia refers to one that leaves some sensation in the affected areas of the body.
Is a Spinal Cord Injury the Same as a Back Injury?
Spinal cord injuries and back injuries are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. While both involve the spine, there are significant differences in their nature and impact on the body.
A back injury typically refers to damage to the bones, muscles, or soft tissues of the back, such as sprains, strains, or herniated discs. These injuries can cause pain, limited mobility, and discomfort but usually do not affect the spinal cord itself.
On the other hand, a spinal cord injury is much more severe and involves damage to the spinal cord itself, which is a bundle of nerves that transmits messages between the brain and the rest of the body. Spinal cord injuries can result in partial or complete paralysis below the site of the injury, leading to life-altering consequences for the affected individual.
Undiagnosed Spinal Cord Injuries Can Cause Significant Issues
In some cases, spinal cord injuries may go undiagnosed immediately after an accident, especially if there are no visible external injuries. This can be a critical problem as undiagnosed spinal cord injuries can lead to significant issues if not promptly treated.
The initial shock and adrenaline rush after an accident can mask the symptoms of a spinal cord injury, causing the victim to overlook or downplay their pain. However, as the effects of the shock wear off, the symptoms may become more apparent, leading to delayed diagnosis and treatment.
Without timely medical attention, undiagnosed spinal cord injuries can worsen over time and result in permanent damage. Therefore, it is crucial for individuals involved in accidents, especially those with a significant impact, to seek immediate medical evaluation to rule out any potential spinal cord injuries.
What Recovery Is Expected Following Spinal Cord Injury?
The recovery following a spinal cord injury can vary widely depending on the severity and location of the injury. Spinal cord injuries are classified as complete or incomplete, based on whether there is a total or partial loss of sensation and motor function below the site of the injury.
In complete spinal cord injuries, the individual may experience a total loss of sensory and motor function below the injury site. The prognosis for complete injuries is generally less optimistic, and recovery may be limited.
Conversely, incomplete spinal cord injuries allow for some degree of sensory or motor function below the injury level. The extent of recovery depends on various factors, including the age and overall health of the individual, the promptness of medical treatment, and the effectiveness of rehabilitation efforts.
It’s important to note that spinal cord injury recovery is a complex and lengthy process that requires significant medical and rehabilitative intervention. Some individuals may regain some function over time with intensive physical therapy, while others may require lifelong assistance and support.
The Difference Between Spinal Cord Injuries And Nerve Damage
Spinal cord injuries can manifest in different forms, including spinal contusions and nerve damage. Spinal contusions refer to bruising or swelling of the spinal cord due to trauma. This swelling can put pressure on the spinal cord, leading to various neurological issues.
Nerve damage, on the other hand, occurs when the nerve fibers within the spinal cord are injured or severed, disrupting the communication between the brain and the body. Depending on the location and extent of nerve damage, individuals may experience partial or complete paralysis, loss of sensation, and other complications.
Both spinal contusions and nerve damage can have severe consequences, requiring extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation to optimize the chances of recovery.
Spinal Cord Injury Statistics
Spinal cord injuries are significant public health concerns, affecting thousands of people each year. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC):
- The leading causes of spinal cord injuries are vehicular accidents, falls, acts of violence, and sports-related incidents.
- Approximately 17,700 new spinal cord injury cases occur each year in the United States.
- Males account for about 78% of new spinal cord injury cases, while females account for approximately 22%.
- The average age at injury is around 43 years old, with the highest rate of injury occurring between ages 16 and 30.
- Incomplete tetraplegia (paralysis of all four limbs) is the most common neurological category of spinal cord injuries, followed by incomplete paraplegia (paralysis of the lower extremities).
These statistics highlight the significance of spinal cord injuries as a major public health issue, necessitating improved prevention measures, medical care, and support for affected individuals.
Are All Spinal Cord Injuries a Result of Falls and A Car Accident?
According to our Salt Lake City car accident lawyers, while falls and vehicular accidents are among the leading causes of spinal cord injuries, they are not the only causes. Spinal cord injuries can result from various situations, including:
- Acts of violence, such as gunshot wounds or physical assaults.
- Sports-related accidents, especially in contact sports or those involving high-impact collisions.
- Recreational activities like diving into shallow water or performing stunts without proper safety precautions.
- Medical conditions like tumors, infections, or degenerative diseases that affect the spinal cord.
Understanding the diverse causes of spinal cord injuries emphasizes the importance of taking preventive measures and promoting safety in various aspects of life.
What Long-Term Medical Follow-Up Is Needed for a Spinal Cord Injury?
Spinal cord injuries often require lifelong medical care and follow-up to manage the potential complications and maintain the best possible quality of life for the affected individual. Some key aspects of long-term medical follow-up for spinal cord injury patients include:
- Regular Check-Ups: Frequent check-ups with medical specialists, including neurologists and orthopedic surgeons, are essential to monitor the individual’s condition, assess any changes in neurological function, and address new challenges.
- Rehabilitation Services: Continued participation in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other rehabilitation programs can help improve mobility, strength, and functional independence.
- Pain Management: Chronic pain is a common issue for individuals with spinal cord injuries. Long-term medical follow-up should include pain management strategies to enhance comfort and well-being.
- Assistive Devices: Many individuals with spinal cord injuries require assistive devices such as wheelchairs, braces, or communication aids to support their daily activities and improve their overall quality of life.
- Mental Health Support: Dealing with the life-altering effects of a spinal cord injury can take a toll on mental health. Access to mental health counseling and support groups is crucial to address emotional and psychological challenges.
- Preventive Care: Individuals with spinal cord injuries may be more susceptible to certain medical conditions, such as pressure sores, urinary tract infections, and respiratory issues. Regular preventive care can help reduce the risk of complications and promote overall health.
- Adaptive Living: Long-term follow-up should focus on helping individuals adapt to their new circumstances and make necessary adjustments to their living environment to enhance accessibility and comfort.
If you need help paying for long term medical care, don’t hesitate to contact the spinal cord injury lawyers from Handy & Handy today.
Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury
Injury to the spinal cord can result in the following symptoms:
- Muscle spasms
- Chronic pain and numbness
- Bladder and bowel dysfunction
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty with moving extremities or walking
- Tingling, burning, or loss of sensation in extremities
- Stiffness in the back or neck
A herniated disc (also referred to as a ruptured disc or slipped disc) is another type of spinal cord injury that can be extremely painful and disabling. This type of spinal cord injury involves trauma to the discs that act as cushions between the vertebrae in your spine, causing swelling and irritation in the spinal cord itself or to the nerves around it. A herniated disc can cause weakness and numbness in the arms and legs and pain in the area of the spine where they occur.
The Cost of a Spinal Cord Injury
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, approximately 275,000 people in the United States are living with a spinal cord injury, with lifetime costs ranging from just over $1 million for a fifty-year-old living with incomplete tetraplegia, to more than $4.5 million for a 24-year-old with widespread tetraplegia. 50% of all spinal cord injuries are sustained when the victim was between the ages of 16 and 30 years of age.
The cost of a spinal cord injury can leave you and your family in financial ruin, especially if the victim is the family’s main breadwinner. However, if your spinal cord injury or that of a loved one was caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness, the at-fault party may be held liable to compensate you for your injuries and financial losses.
Salt Lake City Spinal Cord Injury FAQs
What Types of Compensation Can Be Pursued In A Spinal Cord Injury Case?
In a spinal cord injury lawsuit, you may seek compensation for medical costs, rehabilitation expenses, ongoing medical needs, assistive equipment, lost income, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
What If The Injured Individual Bears Some Responsibility For The Injury?
Utah follows a comparative negligence approach. If the injured party shares some blame, any compensation received might be reduced. Consulting an attorney can help you understand how your level of responsibility might affect your case.
Is Filing A Lawsuit Worth it For A Spinal Cord Injury?
If another party’s negligence caused your spinal cord injury, pursuing legal action can be crucial to securing compensation for medical treatment and rehabilitation. A Salt Lake City spinal cord injury attorney can assess your case’s strength and provide insights into its potential success.
Call The Salt Lake City Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer From Handy & Handy
If you or someone you care about has suffered a spinal cord injury in Utah, call the personal injury attorneys at Handy & Handy in Salt Lake City at (801) 264-6677, or contact us to arrange a free consultation regarding your spinal cord injury settlement. We charge no fee unless we recover compensation for you.
Locations We Serve
We serve all of Salt Lake City, including:
Downtown | Sugar House | The Avenues | Capitol Hill | Marmalade | Central City | East Central | Liberty Wells | Rose Park | Glendale | Poplar Grove | Fairpark | Westpointe | Bonneville Hills | Millcreek | Holladay | Cottonwood Heights | Mount Olympus | Yalecrest | Highland Park | Federal Heights | Gilmer Park | Wasatch Hollow | North Temple.