Atlanta Spine Injury Lawyer
An injury to the spine is likely to be permanent and create a lifelong disability that severely impacts one’s quality of life. Spinal injuries can significantly shorten one’s lifespan, and some spinal injuries can be fatal. Depending upon the location and severity of the injury, a spine injury can cause anything from total body paralysis to weakness in the hands and feet and a loss of sexual function and bowel and bladder control. Persons living with spine injuries are also at heightened risk of other serious or deadly conditions, including diabetes, septic shock, urinary tract and respiratory infections, pressure ulcers (bedsores) and more.
Spinal injuries are expensive to treat and even more expensive to live with. The first year after a spinal injury costs between $375,000 and $1.15 million on average, while lifetime costs exceed $5 million on average. For some spine injury victims, the costs range much higher. The Atlanta spine injury lawyers at Shiver Hamilton Campbell are known for taking on cases involving the most catastrophic injuries and obtaining high-value verdicts that help to compensate accident victims for the harm done to them. If you or a family member has suffered a tragic spine injury because of another party’s negligence or misconduct, or if you are an attorney needing help with a spine injury case in metro Atlanta, call Shiver Hamilton Campbell for skilled and dedicated assistance.
Spine Injury Facts and Treatment
The spinal cord is a nerve bundle that travels the entire length of the spine and connects the brain with the body’s peripheral nervous system. The spinal cord is therefore essential to feeling and function throughout the entire body, including vital functions such as breathing and swallowing.
Spine injuries are classified according to where they occur along the spine. The spine is divided into three sections and numbered according to the number of vertebrae in each section. The cervical spine is located along the neck and is numbered C1-C7. The thoracic spine covers the chest or torso and is numbered T1-T12. The lower back is known as the lumbar spine and is labeled L1-L5.
Injuries higher up along the spine are more severe and affect more areas of the body. A person with an injury to the spine at the C1-C-3 levels will likely need to be connected to a ventilator to breathe and require other mechanical assistance to perform basic functions like eating and swallowing. Needless to say, an injury at this level can prove fatal if the accident victim is not reached in time with emergency medical care. At the bottom of the cervical spine, a person with a C7 injury might have limited movements in their fingertips, enough to help them control a motorized wheelchair or adaptive keyboard. Any injury to the cervical spine, however, is likely to result in paralysis of all four limbs, depending on whether the spine injury is partial or complete.
A spine injury along the thoracic vertebrae is more likely to cause paraplegia rather than quadriplegia or tetraplegia, meaning the accident victim will have the use their arms but be paralyzed below the waist. Injuries to the lumbar spine are considered severe, although they are generally not life-threatening. These injuries can cause paraplegia or weakness/numbness in the legs, along with loss of bowel and bladder control, depending on the level of injury.
Treatment for a spine injury can include surgery and the insertion of metal hardware along the spine, physical therapy, medications, and follow-up nursing care. Depending on the level of injury, ongoing care might require round-the-clock monitoring in a hospital or nursing home or in-home care and assistance with daily living activities. With proper medical equipment and modifications to the person’s home and car, people with less severe spine injuries can live and work independently. Getting the right medical care can often dramatically improve the accident victim’s ability to function and quality of life after a spine injury.
Causes of Spine Injuries in Atlanta
Construction Accidents: Falls are a leading cause of spine injury, and falls are the most common type of accident to occur on a construction site. Falls at construction sites include ladder falls and scaffold collapses, as well as other falls from heights. Construction workers can also suffer spine injuries after being struck by falling, flying or swinging objects, or if they get caught or crushed in or between machinery, vehicles, or collapsing trenches. Injured construction workers can benefit from workers’ compensation claims as well as civil negligence claims for accidents caused by third parties or independent contractors.
Car Accidents: Spine injuries can happen in many different kinds of car crashes, from rear-end collisions to rollover and roof crush accidents. Even rear-end crashes that occur at speeds as slow as 25 miles per hour can cause a spine injury. When a car is struck, the occupant’s body (neck and spine) moves back and forth at two and a half times the speed of the vehicle, causing hyperextension and torn muscles, tendons or ligaments, or fractures. A seat or seatback failure can cause a more severe spine injury, as can accidents at higher speeds. Victims of motorcycle or truck accidents are at an even greater risk of spine injury in a crash.
Help After a Spine Injury in Metro Atlanta
After a spine injury, getting emergency medical treatment and the right kind of follow-up care can make all the difference in the outcome for the accident victim and their future. At Shiver Hamilton Campbell, we strive to obtain as much compensation as possible for spine injury victims to ensure they get the care they need and the financial support to maximize their quality of life and capacity for self-care and independence to the maximum extent possible.
If you have suffered a spine injury in a metro Atlanta construction accident, car or truck accident, or some other incidence involving another’s negligence, call Shiver Hamilton Campbell at 404-593-0020 for a free consultation regarding your claims for compensation. We take on cases involving the most serious catastrophic injuries or wrongful death, and we fight to secure significant compensation for our clients who were hurt because of another’s negligence or wrongful conduct.