Spinal cord injuries are serious and, more often than not, have severe and long-lasting impacts on victims. They manifest in different ways depending on the areas of impact, with neck and back complications being the most common. This pain can range in severity from minor aches and discomfort to complete paralysis. Since your spine is a vital component of your skeletal structure, any injury, no matter how minor, can be devastating and have extensive effects on your day-to-day life. Some of these injuries can resolve themselves relatively quickly but will likely leave you with some ongoing pain and stiffness. Others can change your life completely, especially for those who suffer from some kind of paralysis. Your independence can falter, permanently changing your independence by requiring assistance to complete ordinary tasks.
- Spinal and neck injuries can cause paralysis which can seriously impact quality of life.
- Spine, back, and neck injuries all have different factors that distinguish each injury from one another.
- Experienced spinal cord injury lawyers are more likely to achieve fair compensation and resources for injury victims.
At Bergeron Clifford, we classify these cases as catastrophic injuries. We have a great deal of experience with clients just like these, and we specialize in helping them receive compensation so they can attempt to live some semblance of a normal life.
When you seek out a spinal cord injury lawyer, you may need compensation for time lost from work or because of an inability to go back to your job or perform it at the same level as before. This kind of compensation is likely needed to help you pay for common expenses, upgrades or modifications made to your home, and/or perhaps even a personal support worker who is there to help you with everyday tasks.
The Difficulties of Living With a Back, Neck and/or Spinal Injury
A back, neck, or spinal cord injury can happen anywhere — in a car accident, while playing sports, or even during a slip and fall. You may pull or tear your muscles, slip a disc, or otherwise damage your spinal cord. Injuries to the neck can also affect the head, causing farther-reaching problems like brain damage.
What Classifies as a Back Injury?
Back injuries can include herniated discs, back sprains and strains, pinched nerves, and even fractured vertebrae. These injuries can result from physical activities such as sports and work-related tasks. It is not uncommon to see back injuries as a result of various accidents, such as a car crash. It is worth noting there are a number of factors involved in a back injury case, including whether the defendant exercised their duty of care to prevent the incident that led to the injury.
What Classifies as a Spinal Injury?
The spinal cord is a critical part of your nervous system, facilitating certain motor functions and sending sensory nerve information to the brain. It extends down your back from your brain to your lumbar vertebrae.
A spinal cord injury (SCI) occurs when there is nerve damage or trauma to the spinal column itself. This can either be from a direct or penetrating impact, or occur as a result of stretching, thus resulting in increased pressure, tearing, or loss of blood flow to the spinal cord. While back injuries are typically muscular in nature or a nerve injury to the lumbar spine, an SCI specifically focuses on an injury from the base of your skull to the cauda equina (below your tailbone).In severe cases, spinal injuries can result in partial or complete paralysis. The impact of a spinal cord injury can also result in long-term physical, emotional, and mental pain to the individual and their family.
Our firm actively supports Spinal Cord Injury Ontario (formerly the Canadian Paraplegic Association Ontario), a great organization that advocates exceptional support and quality of life improvements for people living with spinal cord injuries
What Classifies as a Neck Injury?
The neck is a sensitive area of the body that is in close proximity to both your brain and spinal cord. In some cases, even a minor incident can have catastrophic results. Many of the most common neck injuries include whiplash, slipped discs, and fractures, as well as muscle strains.
Extreme neck trauma can also be linked to spinal cord injuries leading to severe pain and potentially paralysis. In addition, the risk of brain damage is a major concern, which is why neck injuries are treated so delicately. While minor neck injuries may need time and medication to heal with a recovery time of a few weeks, severe issues may require surgeries, physical therapy, and long-term care depending on if there is also an associated brain or spinal cord injury as well.
Spinal Cord Injury Help After a Serious Accident
At Bergeron Clifford, we are dedicated spinal cord injury lawyers who handle each of these cases with the utmost care. It can be difficult to determine a course of action after one of these devastating injuries. You might feel isolated and confused, unsure about your next steps, or wondering if you will ever be able to fully recover from the incident.
We have years of experience with clients who have suffered from these kinds of injuries. We bring our professionalism and expertise to the table, and we ask you to tell us how this accident has impacted your life and health. This will help us decide on the best approach to ensure you are fairly compensated for any fees and damages you have had to deal with.
Compensation for Your Injuries
The impacts a spinal cord, neck, or back injury can have on your quality of life might be immediately apparent, or they may emerge over time. Initially, you may need tests and surgeries that keep you from heading back to work. Medication costs could run high, and you might even not be able to return to the job you once loved. It is possible that you will need a personal support worker to help you complete certain tasks, costing hundreds of dollars a day.
Your mental health could deteriorate as well, and the confidence you once had from being independent could disappear. You may also suffer from anxiety or depression and struggle to find joy in things you once did, fearing entering a car again or even leaving the house if you are left with an immediately perceivable injury. Compensation will differ greatly from case to case and will take into account a combination of your immediate injuries as well as intangible damages.
The Benefits of an Experienced Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
At Bergeron Clifford, we have a proven track record as spinal injury lawyers. We understand the details that are crucial for building a strong case of this kind, and have worked alongside many professionals in the medical field on the diverse effects these types of injuries can have on both physical and mental health.
It is important to recognize the total impact caused by a tragic accident of this magnitude. We seek to understand the difficulties that come along with each of our clients’ injuries, working on a case-by-case basis to best identify an approach that will help them retain their dignity and get them fair compensation. There are no catch-all solutions when it comes to this type of injury, and every legal case is different. This is an event that will likely impact the opportunities you have and the way you live for the rest of your life, and we treat it as such.
Although we cannot turn back the clock, we can help make the future more manageable. To find out more about our services, please contact us. We are here for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
In most cases, victims of this type of injury will notice signs almost immediately following the incident. These can range from numbness, weakness, and incoordination to difficulty breathing.
You will likely notice the major signs of a spinal cord injury from muscle weakness and loss of movement, or a loss of feeling in the affected area. You may also feel extreme pressure on your neck, head, or back. If the injury has resulted in paraplegia, it is likely that you will lose control of your bladder and/or bowels.
Defendants filing a lawsuit for these types of injuries may do so for all kinds of reasons. The compensation they are seeking will vary, and it is important to be transparent and honest with your legal team when it comes to the extent of your injuries. Depending on the severity of your case, your compensation could cover lost wages, rehabilitation and medical costs, or even long-term care such as the services of a personal support worker.
Paralysis is an umbrella term referring to the loss of movement anywhere in your body. Paraplegia is a form of paralysis that affects the movement of the lower body, namely the legs, feet, and sometimes the abdomen. Tetraplegia, also known as quadriplegia, refers to the loss of movement in the hands, arms, and shoulders as well as the lower body.
A victim who lives with an incomplete injury will still have some feeling and perhaps control in the area in which they are injured. A complete injury means there is no feeling or movement in that area.
This largely depends on the type of injury sustained. For many with an incomplete injury, it is possible to regain control of some muscle movements, although there is no way to know for sure if this is possible. For victims living with a complete injury, they may be able to regain one or two levels of muscle movement, but this isn’t possible to know right away. In general, completing physical therapy is important and seeing some improvement is a good sign. However, a prolonged period with no improvement will significantly lower the chances of regaining movement or feeling.
If you have injured your back or neck, contact us at 866-384-5886 or fill out our online form. We represent clients throughout Eastern Ontario and can meet you at our offices in Kingston, Ottawa, Whitby, Carleton Place, Perth, at your home or hospital, or wherever is most convenient for you.
A Proud Community Partner of Spinal Cord Injury Ontario
Living with spinal cord injuries may be challenging.
Recovering from, or adapting to, a serious injury can take time. However, given enough time and proper care, many injured people are able to return to a life very much like the one they knew before suffering the injury.
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