Have you or someone you love sustained a spinal cord injury in a car accident that was caused by someone else? If so, you may be entitled to compensation.
Call the experienced Georgia car accident attorneys of Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. for help getting the just compensation you deserve. Call us today at (770) 205-8827 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
There are two different types of spinal cord injuries: a complete spinal cord injury and an incomplete spinal cord injury. A complete spinal cord injury is an injury that so severely damages a part of the spinal cord that all motor function below the damaged part of the spinal cord is lost. Paralysis is usually a result of a complete spinal cord injury. An incomplete spinal cord injury is a partial injury to a part of the spinal cord but some motor function below the damaged part of the spinal cord is retained.
Additionally, there are several levels of spinal cord injuries based on the location of the damage. The spine is composed of nerves and vertebrae throughout, and these nerves and vertebrae are grouped into four sections from the top of the spine to the base of the spine: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral.
- Cervical spinal cord injuries – The cervical part of the spinal cord is composed of the C1-C7 vertebrae and eight nerves. These are located at the top of the neck. The cervical area is the most delicate part of the spinal cord, so injuries to this area can be especially serious. Often, cervical spinal cord injuries result in paralysis or death.
- Thoracic spinal cord injuries – The thoracic part of the spinal cord starts at the top of the back and extends down through the middle of the back. This part of the spinal cord is composed of vertebrae T1-T12 as well as nerves T1-T12. Nerves T1-T5 are responsible for our ability to breathe. The nerves control our upper body and abdominal muscles, diaphragm, rib cage, and lungs. Nerves T6-T12 help support our posture and balance through our back and abdominal muscles. The thoracic spine is the bridge between the cervical and lumbar spine.
- Lumbar spinal cord injuries – The lumbar spine is comprised of vertebrae L1-L5, some of the largest vertebrae in our spines. The lumbar region contains five nerves, as well. The large vertebrae in this part of the spine carry the bulk of our body’s weight. Vertebrae L1-L5 are responsible for the functioning and mobility of our hips and legs. Lumbar spinal cord injuries typically result in functional issues with the hips and legs.
- Sacral spinal cord injuries – The sacral spine injuries typically result in the mildest injuries out of all four levels of spinal cord injuries. Located on top of the tailbone, the sacral spine is comprised of five bones and corresponding nerves, S1-S5. The nerves in the sacral spine are connected to the hips, the area containing reproductive organs, and the front and back of the thighs.
Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can cause symptoms that are similar to injuries in other parts of the body, such as head and brain injuries. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention so that you can be properly diagnosed and treated.
Some of the common symptoms of spinal cord injuries include:
- Sudden inability to control bladder or bowel function
- Muscle spasms and random reflex movements
- Reproductive organ changes, such as issues with fertility or sexual function
- Back pain
- Breathing difficulty
- Difficulty coughing
- Loss of mobility
- Pressure in the back, neck, or head
- Sudden weakness in parts of your body
- Tingling or numbness in feet, hands, toes, or fingers
- Disorientation or a sudden difficulty walking or maintaining balance
- Visibly ill-positioned back or neck
Compensation for Spinal Cord Injuries
When you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by someone else’s actions, you have the right to seek compensation from them for your injuries.
First, it must be determined who was at fault for the accident. This is an important determination for a few reasons. One, the person who injured you would be liable for compensating you. Second, if you were determined to be at fault for a portion of the accident, that would reduce your compensation. This is because of Georgia’s comparative negligence law. Comparative negligence states that if you are found to have been partially responsible for the accident, your compensation will be reduced in proportion to your fault.
For example, if you were 20 percent responsible for the accident and the other party was 80 percent responsible for the accident, your compensable losses of $100,000 would be reduced by 20 percent. So you would receive $80,000 in damages. If, however, you were responsible for 50 percent or more of the accident, you wouldn’t receive any compensation.
Your total compensation will be comprised of both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages cover your present and future accident-related medical expenses, your loss of income or wages related to your absence from work during your recovery, any future loss of earning ability, and reimbursement for any damage done to your property in the accident.
Non-economic damages compensate you for the mental and emotional consequences you’ve had to deal with as a result of the accident. This includes compensation for your pain and suffering, mental anguish, a decline in your personal relationships as a result of your injuries, and loss in your enjoyment and quality of life.
You may also receive punitive damages, but these are only awarded in cases where the injured party can prove with clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault party acted with extreme negligence. The objective of ordering the at-fault party to pay you punitive damages is to punish them and deter any similar behavior in the future.
Why Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. Is The Best for Spinal Cord Injury Claims
We were founded over two decades ago by Attorney Jonathan Brockman to help the people of Georgia get the justice and compensation they deserve after they’ve been injured in car accidents. We’ve secured millions of dollars in settlements and awards on behalf of our clients through negotiations with insurance companies and in litigation in court. We’ll work hard and fearlessly to get you the maximum compensation that you’re entitled to.
Call Us Today
If you or someone you know has suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident due to someone else’s actions, call the spinal cord injury attorneys at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C.. We can help you pursue compensation for your injuries. Call us at (770) 205-8827 or reach us online to schedule a free consultation today.