A spinal cord injury can change a life in an instant and require long-term care and adaptation to a new lifestyle. A spinal cord injury survivor may need to make modifications to his or her house and vehicles to live independently. Many cannot return to the work they did before the injury. If you or your loved one has suffered spinal cord damage in Albuquerque, you should speak with a spinal cord injury attorney at Parnall Law Firm to understand your legal rights.
Attorney Bert Parnall and the legal team at Parnall Law have years of experience assisting victims of serious injuries throughout Central New Mexico. We understand the life-changing effects a spinal cord injury can have on an accident victim as well as his or her family members. Our compassionate attorneys are dedicated to fighting for maximum compensation for spinal cord injury survivors after accidents caused by the negligence or misconduct of others. We offer a free case review to discuss your legal options.
The Parnall team is ready to assist whether you sustained a spinal cord injury in a car accident
, motorcycle crash
, fall or other type of accident. While you cannot return to the life you had before the accident, you can move forward with confidence that you have knowledgeable attorneys committed to doing everything possible to secure your future. Let Bert Parnall and his team
help you aggressively pursue compensation for your spinal cord injuries.
What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
If you suffer a blow to your back or neck, the bones of your spinal column can break or fracture and cause damage to the spinal cord, the bundle of nerves that run from the base of the head through the center of the spinal column down to the waist. Any trauma to the spinal cord can disrupt the nerve signals transmitted from the brain to other parts of the body and cause partial or complete paralysis. Paraplegia is a form of paralysis that affects a person’s torso and legs. Quadriplegia is defined as paralysis of the torso as well as the arms and legs. A person may lose sensation and use of the arms and legs even if the spinal cord is not severed.
Spinal cord injuries are categorized as either complete or incomplete based on the degree of loss of sensation and motor control.
- Incomplete—An incomplete spinal cord injury means that the person still has some ability to transmit signals through the spinal cord and may have some sensation below the level of the injury.
- Complete—A complete spinal injury indicates that there is a complete absence of sensation and motor control below the level of the injury.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
All spinal cord injuries are serious injuries. The location of the spinal cord injury determines the parts of the body affected and the extent of paralysis. When a spinal cord injury occurs, it usually causes swelling. As the swelling starts to go down, the spinal cord injury survivor may regain some function.
Generally speaking, the higher the injury, the more loss of sensation and dysfunction the injury will cause.
Cervical Spinal Cord Injury C1-C8
Injuries to the high cervical vertebrae (C1 to C4) represent the most severe level of spinal cord injuries. These injuries involving the damage to the neck vertebrae may cause paralysis to the arms, legs and torso and may affect the person’s ability to breathe on his or her own. When all four limbs are affected, the patient is described as having tetraplegia or quadriplegia. The patient will need assistance with daily living including eating, dressing, bathing and getting out of bed.
Thoracic Spinal Cord Injury T1-T12
The thoracic vertebrae are located in the middle back. Injuries in this area of the spine typically affect the legs and trunk and may cause loss of voluntary control of the bowel and bladder and sexual dysfunction.
Lumbar Spinal Cord Injury L1-L5
The lumbar region of the spine contains larger vertebrae that support the weight of the torso. Injuries to the spinal cord in the lumbar region cause loss of motor control in the legs, hips and bowels, but do not affect the upper body. A person who loses sensation and movement in the lower half of the body is described as having paraplegia.
Sacral Spinal Cord Injury S1-S5
The sacral vertebrae, which are fused together, are located just above the tailbone. The nerves in the sacral region control the bladder, bowel and sex organs.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Many types of accidents and misadventures can cause a spinal cord injury.
- Vehicle crashes such as car accidents and motorcycle wrecks cause approximately four of every 10 spinal cord injuries, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. A motorcyclist or a pedestrian who is struck by another motorist has little protection and may sustain serious injuries.
- Falls are the second leading cause, accounting for a third of spinal cord injuries. A property owner who failed to repair a hazardous condition or provide adequate warning may be held legally liable for a serious injury caused by a fall.
- Acts of violence, such as physical assaults and gunshot wounds, account for about 13 percent of spinal injuries. If you have suffered a spinal injury as a result of an assault, the person who attacked you or the owner of the property that had inadequate security may be financially liable for your injuries. You will need to have a personal injury attorney investigate the circumstances to identify all the potentially liable parties. A civil lawsuit can seek compensation from the party liable for your injury.
- Sports and recreation activities account for about one of every 10 spinal cord injuries.
If you or your loved one has sustained a spinal cord injury in Albuquerque or elsewhere in Central New Mexico, you should contact a knowledgeable spinal cord injury lawyer to discuss your legal options. New Mexico does not bar recovery of damages, even if the spinal cord injury survivor is primarily responsible for an accident. Others may have some liability for your injury even if you believe the accident was your fault. You may be entitled to recover damages from others who were partly liable for your injuries. Another’s liability may not be obvious to you.
It does not cost anything to speak with a spinal injury lawyer to understand your choices. Having a conversation with a compassionate and experienced attorney at Parnall Law will allow you to make better informed decisions with your future in mind.
Lifetime Costs of Spinal Cord Injuries
Many spinal cord injury survivors live productive and fulfilling lives. But the lifetime costs of a serious spinal cord injury can be astronomical. The costs range from hundreds of thousands of dollars to $4 million to $5 million depending on the severity of the injury and the age of the spinal cord injury survivor.
Spinal cord injuries require the patients to undergo extensive rehabilitation. Many medical professionals may treat the patient during the recovery process. The medical bills for hospital care and rehabilitation for treatment of a severe spinal cord injury can exceed $1 million in the first year after the accident, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center.
About a third of people with spinal cord injuries require re-admittance to the hospital for treatment of related digestive, circulatory, or respiratory issues during any given year after the injury. Health complications are common.
Many spinal cord injury survivors cannot handle the physical demands of the work they did before the injury. This loss of income can take a financial toll on the victim and their loved ones.
The spinal cord injury survivor and his or her family will need to take advantage of all the types of compensation available to cover their expenses. If your injury was caused by the carelessness or misconduct of another person or business in New Mexico, our spinal cord injury lawyers can fight for your rights to full compensation. If you prevail in a spinal cord injury lawsuit, you may be awarded compensation for current and future medical costs, lost wages, loss in earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
Attorney Bert Parnall and the team at Parnall Law will identify all the potential sources of compensation available. He will fight for the maximum amount of compensation for clients who have sustained spinal cord injuries.
Call an Albuquerque Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer to Fight for Your Rights
The injury lawyer Bert Parnall is committed to helping Albuquerque victims of spinal cord injuries get the compensation they need to move forward after a devastating accident. At Parnall Law Firm, LLC, we can assess your case, discuss your legal options and pursue your claim if you decide to file a lawsuit. To have an opportunity to seek compensation, you must file a personal injury lawsuit in New Mexico within three years of the date of the accident. It is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after the accident to comply with the statute of limitations on filing a claim. We offer compassionate client service while tenaciously advocating for your right to compensation. Call us at 505-985-5355 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.