Arizona Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers

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Spinal cord injuries are often severe; depending on the degree of injury, they can potentially cause temporary or permanent paralysis and undoubtedly take a toll on a victim’s emotional, physical, and financial well-being. Fortunately, you do not have to face this difficult and confusing time in your life alone, because an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer can help you better understand your options after your injury. Specifically, Zinda Law Group’s Arizona spinal cord injury lawyers can help you pursue compensation to offset the financial toll of your injury, while allowing you to focus on your physical and emotional recovery.

If you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury, call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 to schedule your 100% free consultation with one of our experienced spinal cord injury lawyers. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.

Learn more here: Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers

What is a spinal cord injury?

Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) generally refer to any damage that occurs to a person’s spinal nerves, which make up the body’s central and most crucial nerve bundle. Typically, these injuries occur as a result of trauma suffered by the backbone. The spinal cord injury happens when this trauma squeezes and breaks the bones of the back, called vertebrae, which then in turn damages the long nerve cell “wires,” called axons, which pass through the vertebrae carrying signals between a person’s brain and the rest of their body.

According to a 2016 estimate by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), there are at least 17,000 new spinal cord injury cases each year, with males accounting for about 80 percent of these new cases. Meanwhile, the NSCISC estimates that there are almost 300,000 people in the United States currently living with a spinal cord injury.

Common causes of spinal cord injuries

Spinal cord injuries can be caused by nontraumatic events such as an internal force like an infection or disease, or by externally traumatic events such as a violent blow to the spine. Common causes of SCIs include:

  • Vehicle crashes
  • Falls
  • Acts of violence
  • Recreation or sports accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Various spinal cord diseases or infections

According to the NSCISC, vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States, followed by falls, acts of violence, and recreation or sports activities. Since 2010, vehicle crashes have accounted for approximately 38 percent of SCIs while falls have been responsible for about 30.5 percent of spinal cord injuries.

Regardless of the cause of your spinal cord injury, hiring a skilled injury attorney to handle your case can be essential when pursuing compensation after an accident. If you or a loved one has suffered an SCI, you should call an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer at Zinda Law Group to help you determine whether another party may be liable for your SCI and if so, help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries so that you can begin to financially recover while you undergo physical and emotional recovery.

Symptoms of a spinal cord injury

If you have been involved in an accident, it is crucial that you recognize any potential spinal cord injury symptoms, such as:

  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Paralysis or weakness in any part of your body
  • Tingling or numbness in your hands, fingers, feet, or toes
  • A twisted back or neck
  • Extreme back pain or pressure in your back, head, or neck

Potential degrees of spinal cord injuries

Because a person’s spinal cord is one of the most complex body parts, it can suffer a wide variety of injuries. The spinal cord houses thousands of nerve fibers which transmit signals between the person’s brain to their muscles, so a spinal cord injury can seriously impair or cripple someone depending on the degree of the spinal cord injury. Generally, the higher up on the spinal cord where the injury occurs, the more severe the injury to the victim will be, with types of spinal cord injury including:

Sacral Spinal Cord Injury

The lowest part of the spine is called sacral spine, representing vertebrae S1 to S5. Injuries along the sacral spine can potentially cause some partial loss of function in the victim’s lower body, as well as potentially impact bladder or bowel control. However, the victim will generally still be able to walk, with sacral spine injuries potentially not causing any permanent paralysis at all.

Lumbar Spinal Cord Injury

Lumbar spinal cord injuries occur when there is damage to the vertebrae L1 to L5. If the nerves in the lumbar spine are damaged, paraplegia can occur in addition to the victim losing almost all or all control over his or her bowels and bladder. Meanwhile, the degree of the victim’s paralysis will still depend on the specific nature of the injury to the lumbar spine.

Thoracic Spinal Cord Injury

The thoracic spine is made up of the twelve vertebrae from T1 to T12, located in the middle of the back. Depending on the nature of the injury, an injury to the thoracic spine may result in:

  • Paraplegia, which is paralysis in the lower half of the body
  • Hemiplegia, which is paralysis in one arm and one leg
  • Triplegia, which is paralysis in both legs and one arm

Cervical Spinal Cord Injury

The vertebrae from C1 to C8 at the very top of the spinal cord make up the cervical spine; any injury to this part of the spine can potentially be very severe and possibly cause permanent paralysis and disability for the victim. Cervical spinal cord injuries can be fatal or could cause severe and permanent paralysis from the neck down, known as quadriplegia. Indeed, depending on the severity of the cervical spine injury, a victim may not even be able to breathe on his or her own.

Finally, there are two degrees of spinal cord injury severity:

  • Complete spinal cord injuries refer to injuries where the injury is so severe that the victim loses almost all ability to control movement and almost all feeling below the area of the SCI.
  • An incomplete spinal cord injury refers to injuries where some motor or sensory function remains below the damaged area of the victim’s spine.

Costs of spinal cord injuries over a lifetime

Depending on whether you suffer a complete or incomplete spinal cord injury, the costs of your injury over a lifetime can be extensive. Treatment for an SCI has improved significantly over the past few decades, with the average lengths of stay in hospital acute care units for SCIs down from about 24 days in the 1970s to an average of 11 days, and the average lengths of stay for rehabilitation down from 98 days in the 1970s to about 35 days. Approximately 30 percent of spinal cord injury victims are hospitalized again at least one or more times during any given year after their initial injury, with the average length of hospital stays for those re-hospitalized lasting about 22 days.

Meanwhile, the lifetime financial costs of living with a spinal cord injury can be significant, especially for more severe SCI cases. While the estimated lifetime costs for these injuries can vary depending on the degree of neurological impairment, pre-injury employment history, and education, the NSCISC currently estimates the average lifetime costs, depending on the age of the victim when injured and the severity of injury, as:

  • Approximately $2.6 million for a 50-year-old victim, or about $4.7 million for a 25-year-old victim who suffers a high tetraplegia injury to the C1 to C4 vertebrae
  • Approximately $2.1 million for a 50-year-old victim, or about $3.5 million for a 25-year-old victim who suffers a low tetraplegia injury to the C5 to C8 vertebrae
  • Approximately $1.5 million for a 50-year-old victim, or about $2.3 million for a 25-year-old victim who suffers paraplegia in their lower body
  • Approximately $1.1 million for a 50-year-old victim, or about $1.6 million for a 25-year-old victim who suffers motor functional disability at any level

Finally, these estimated lifetime costs do not include an estimated $72,000 per year in indirect costs attributed to losses in wages, productivity, and fringe benefits.

Loss of life expectancy for sci victims

Unfortunately, the average life expectancy for victims of spinal cord injuries has not improved significantly and continues to remain well below the life expectancies for other people without an SCI, with ranges of the average loss of life expectancy largely depending on the age of the victims when they suffered the SCI. For injuries with any motor functional disability, victims appear to lose about 6 to 7 years of life expectancy on average; paraplegics appear to lose about 10 to 14 years of life expectancy on average. For low tetraplegia injuries, victims lose about 13 to 19 years of life expectancy, while victims of high tetraplegia injuries lose about 15 to 24 years of life expectancy.

Contact a spinal cord injury lawyer near you today

Regardless of the cause, a spinal cord injury can devastate your life, but you do not have to face the aftermath alone. Pursuing the compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries and damages can be especially complex when a spinal cord injury is involved. By contacting a spinal cord injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident, you can better understand your legal options while relying on your attorney to handle your case.

If you or your loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury, call Zinda Law Group today to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys to discuss your legal options and the next steps to take following your accident. Our skilled team can help you pursue maximum compensation by using years of experience helping other injury victims to benefit your claim. Further, our team can help you contact the Arizona Spinal Cord Injury Association to help you focus on your physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual recovery following your injury; they can assist you with peer and family support and connect you to vital resources for your recovery.

Call (800) 863-5312 today for a free consultation with a skilled spinal cord injury lawyer from Zinda Law Group. You will not pay anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.

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