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Spinal Cord injury

Tempe Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers

Fighting for accident victims who suffer from paralysis and damage to the spinal cord.

The spinal cord is a series of vertebra, discs, nerves, and ligaments that connect from your head and neck down through your lower back. Any fracture, dislocation, nerve damage, herniated disc, or other damage can cause chronic pain. In severe cases, the damage can cause full or partial paralysis or even death. Many victims with spinal cord damage spend a lifetime in agony. Their lives are never the same. Spinal cord injury victims may never work again.

The Tempe spinal cord lawyers at Plattner Verderame, P.C., have the experience and resources to help you get justice for accidents that change your life. The focus of our practice is two-fold. First, we work to show how the accident happened and who’s responsible. Second, we work with your physicians and independent health providers to properly assess the damage, your medical needs, your ability to work, and your pain and suffering.

Why do Tempe residents suffer spinal cord injuries?

There are several reasons why someone might sustain a spinal cord injury. Some of the more common causes include:

  • A vehicle accident. Any car, truck, motorcycle, bus, or other vehicle accident can injure drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. The violent force of most crashes causes the torso to make quick unusual movements or to collide with other parts of the vehicle or with other passengers. Anyone thrown from a motorcycle or other vehicle is likely to crash hard into the ground on the back injuring their spine.
  • A slip and fall. A slippery floor, a lose tile, a torn carpet, or fallen merchandise can someone to slip and fall. When the body hits the ground, damage to the spinal cord can easily occur.
  • A construction accident. Workers at construction site are in constant danger of being struck by machines, of falling due to uneven ground, or being hit in the back or neck by a fallen object.
  • An act of medical malpractice. A surgical error or misdiagnosis can lead to spinal cord damage, which may or may not be permanent.
  • An act of violence. From bar fights, playground brawls, professional boxing or MMA, even police brutality: an act of violence, whether intended or accidental, can have devastating consequences.
  • Sports injuries. Contact sports like football may get a lot of attention, but spinal injuries are a more likely result from equestrian sports. A misplaced hit or fall can lead to chronic pain or disability.

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) about 17,000 Americans will develop an SCI each year.

How much does an SCI cost?

According to the NSCISC, the average yearly health and living expenses for SCI victims in 2017 were:

  • High Tetraplegia (C1–C4): more than one million for the first year, and about $191,000 for each subsequent year.
  • Low Tetraplegia (C5–C8): about $796,583 for the first year, and $117,437 for each subsequent year
  • Paraplegia: about $537,271 for the first year, and $71,172 for each subsequent year
  • Motor Functional at Any Level: about $359,783 for the first year, and $43,700 for each subsequent year.

Please note: these cost figures do not include lost wages, fringe benefits, or productivity benefits. The costs will vary, too, based on the age of the victim. As such, SCI costs are much higher for the average 25-year-old than they are for the average 50-year-old.

These numbers also don’t include the costs of additional problems that may arise. For example, some paralysis victims are more prone to respiratory infections, because they require assistance to breathe. Others may suffer with pressure sores or blood clots, because they are unable to move.


Spinal cord damage

Tetraplegia is paralysis that affect both arms, both legs, and the torso. Paraplegia is paralysis of the legs and torso, but not the arms. Both forms of paralysis can be total or partial. In addition to the possibility of paralysis, other spinal cord damage symptoms include:

  • Severe neck and back pain which can be chronic
  • Reduced mobility
  • Difficult breathing
  • A loss of bladder or muscle control
  • Numbness
  • Problems with the victim’s blood pressure
  • Herniated discs
  • Nerve damage
  • Sensory disorders
  • Heart disease
  • Osteoporosis

Depending on the severity of the spinal cord damage, the victim may never walk again, may never work again, and may have difficulty with social relationships. Most patients with severe spinal cord damage live with a great amount of pain. Spinal cord damage can also seriously affect the brain, which can create a whole new set of health problems. In many cases, it is one of these underlying problems that will lead to the eventual death of the victim.

Spinal cord injury treatment options for victims in Tempe

Treatments vary depending on the severity of the spinal cord damage, the type of damage, and the location of the damage. According to the National Institutes of Health, spinal cord damage victims may require:

  • Surgery
  • Being placed in traction
  • Use of assistive devices such as walkers
  • Steroid injections
  • Extensive physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy to help with fine motor skills
  • “Coping strategies for dealing with spasticity and pain”
  • Assistive communication devices
  • Electrical stimulation for muscular disorders
  • Vocational therapy

In addition, spinal cord injury victims may find that spinal cord stimulator implants help.


What damages are Tempe spinal cord injury victims entitled to receive?

Victims who can prove their injuries were caused by the fault of negligence of a driver, property owner, construction site owner (if they are not an employee), or anyone else can generally demand compensation for the following:

  • Medical costs. These expenses include all reasonable and necessary surgeries, doctor visits, treatments with therapists and counselors, assistive devices, and medications.
  • Lost wages. Many spinal cord injury victims can never work again, can only work after they take a lot of time off, or can only work at a lower paying less-strenuous job. Experienced Tempe spinal cord injury lawyers work to prove all your lost income including wages and lost profits
  • Pain and suffering. The pain and suffering due to a spinal cord injury can be severe and constant. Accident victims have the right to be compensated by wrongdoers for the negative changes to their daily lives.

Damages in spinal cord injury cases often require a reasonable assessment of how all these damages will exist for the rest of the victim’s life. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can help you chart a path forward.


Seek help from a respected Tempe spinal cord damage injury lawyer

At Plattner Verderame, P.C., we understand how crushing spinal cord injuries can be. For many victims, these injuries are life-altering. Many victims live with agony and fear. Our Tempe spinal cord injury lawyers fight to hold everyone who caused your pain accountable. We work with investigators and conduct extensive discovery to prove someone else caused your pain. We work with spinal cord injury health professionals to understand all your medical needs and complaints. To speak with an aggressive Tempe spinal cord injury lawyer, call us at 602.266.2002 or contact us today to schedule a free consultation.