Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Philadelphia Pennsylvania
The Spinal Cord
The spinal cord is a collection of nerves that travels from the bottom of a person's brain down the back. Some of these nerves leave the spinal cord and go to arms, legs, chest and abdomen, allowing the brain to give commands to the muscles and cause movements of the arms and legs. Other nerves travel from the arms and legs back to the spinal cord, bringing back information from a person's body to the brain including the senses of touch, pain, temperature, and position.
The Spinal Cord Injury
The spinal cord is very sensitive to injury, because it does not have the ability to repair itself if it is damaged. A spinal cord injury (SCI) occurs when there is damage to the spinal cord either from trauma, loss of blood supply, or compression from tumor or infection. Spinal cord injuries can be either complete or incomplete. In a complete spinal cord injury there is complete loss of sensation and muscle function in the body below the level of injury. In an incomplete spinal cord injury there is some remaining function below the level of the injury.
Quadriplegia: An injury to the upper portion of the spinal cord in the neck can cause quadriplegia. Quadriplegia is paralysis of both arms and both legs.
Paraplegia: If the injury to the spinal cord occurs in the lower back it can cause paraplegia. Paraplegia is paralysis of both legs.
Because the spinal cord acts as the main information pathway between the brain and the rest of the body, a spinal cord injury can have significant physiological consequences. 85% of spinal cord injury patients who survived the first 24 hours remain alive 10 years later. However, serious SCI complications such as respiratory ailment and renal failure can cause death.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injury
There are approximately 10,000 new cases of spinal cord injury each year in the United States. The most common cause of spinal cord injury is trauma. 38.5 percent of all spinal cord injuries happen during car accidents. 24.5 percent of spinal cord injuries result from violent encounters, often involving guns and knives such as stabbing or gunshot wounds to the spine). The rest are due to sporting accidents (diving, football, jet skiing, baseball, soccer, skiing), work-related accidents, catastrophic falls from heights, being thrown from a horse or through a windshield, or any kind of physical trauma that crushes and compresses the vertebrae in the neck. Automobile accidents are often responsible for spinal cord damage in the middle back, which can cause paraplegia. Injuries that directly penetrate the spinal cord, such as gunshot or knife wounds, can either completely or partially sever the spinal cord and create life-long disabilities.
The Cost of Spinal Cord Injuries
Injuries to the spinal cord can cause weakness or complete loss of muscle function and loss of sensation in the body below the level of injury, loss of control of the bowels and bladder, and loss of normal sexual function. Spinal cord injuries to the upper neck can cause difficulty breathing and may require the use of a breathing machine, or ventilator. Because of the severity of most of spinal cord injuries and devastating physical consequences associated with them, the cost of spinal injury can be very high.
Often, an injured person requires hospitalization in acute care units, which, on average, lasts 15 days and costs approximately $140,000. The average stay in a rehabilitation unit is 44 days. During the first year following a spinal cord injury, an injured person accrues on average $198,000 in medical bills. Paraplegics spend approximately $152,000 on medical care in the first year following injury, and $428,000 during their lifetime. Quadriplegics spend twice as much on medical care - approximately $417,000 in the first year following the injury and almost $1.35 million during lifetime. The majority of people who sustain spinal cord injuries are not able to gain meaningful employment during their lifetime. The cost of foregone opportunities and loss of future employability is also factored into the calculation of the total cost of spinal cord injuries.
Why You Need A Lawyer
Because of the high cost of medical and rehabilitative treatment associated with SCI, the most pressing concern for injured patients and their families is the ability to pay for long-lasting medical treatment and rehabilitative care. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, your recovery process may be compounded by the financial struggle with insurance companies. This is where an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer comes in.
Whether you sustained your SCI as a result of a motor vehicle accident, fall, violent attack or sports, the Lassen Law Firm can help you get compensation. If the negligent or reckless conduct of another caused or contributed to the accident, the injured party may claim money damages for his/her injuries. Without an experienced spinal injury attorney on your side, the opponent party may force you to admit that your own negligence caused your injury. However, in Pennsylvania, even if your behavior contributed to the accident, you may still recover a portion of the damages from another party who was also negligent. Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence state. It means that in a negligence action, the fact that plaintiff (the injured party filing a lawsuit for damages) may have been guilty of contributory negligence shall not bar recovery by plaintiff where such negligence was not greater than the causal negligence of the defendant against whom recovery is sought. An experienced SCI attorney will thoroughly investigate the accident, identify all the responsible parties, determine the cause of the injury and will file and litigate a lawsuit to recover full and fair monetary compensation.
At the Lassen Law Firm, our attorneys are legal experts in cases of spinal cord injuries, including paraplegia and quadriplegia. We have helped hundreds of injured clients get back on their feet by recovering high out-of-court settlements and jury awards. At the Lassen Law Firm, Philadelphia spinal cord injury lawyers, our goal is to serve your legal needs. We will fight for your just compensation and will leave no stone unturned until we get you the money damages to which you are entitled under the law. We represent personal injury clients on a contingency fee basis and will get no fee unless we win your case. Let the Lassen Law Firm serve you.
The Lassen Law Firm only deducts a 29% contingency fee, not the standard 45% like other firms. We serve ALL of Pennsylvania. We can sign you up over the phone and start working on your case today.
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Authored by: Christian Lassen