Providence Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
A spinal cord injury (SCI) causes damage to the bundle of nerves and cells that send and receive signals from the brain to the rest of the body. Depending on its severity, a spinal cord injury can result in permanent or temporary changes in strength, sensation, and body functions.
Spinal Cord Injuries In Motor Vehicle Accidents
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Database’s 2020 fact sheet, motor vehicle accidents, such as truck and car crashes, are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. Auto accidents accounted for 38.6 percent of spinal cord injuries from 2015 to 2020.
Symptoms Of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries typically cause one or more of the following symptoms:
- Tingling, numbness, or a loss or change in sensation in the feet and hands
- Paralysis that happens immediately or develops over time as bleeding and swelling affect the spinal cord
- Weakness or inability to move some or every part of the body
- Unnatural head, neck, and spine positions
- Changes to or loss of sexual function
- Loss of voluntary movement in the legs, chest, or arms
- Loss of feeling in the arms, chest, or legs
- Muscle weakness
- Breathing problems
Note, however, that spinal cord injuries can often take days or weeks to manifest. Accordingly, you should seek medical attention immediately after a serious accident.
Once you’ve reached out to health care providers, contact the Providence personal injury attorneys at Marasco & Nesselbush LLP to learn more about your options. Our knowledgeable attorneys will walk you through the next steps and help you recover your losses.
Can Spinal Cord Injuries Cause Brain Damage?
Yes, a spinal cord injury can cause brain injury or damage. Recent University of Maryland School of Medicine research has shown that spinal cord injuries can cause sustained and widespread brain inflammation that leads to progressive loss of nerve cells, resulting in depression and cognitive problems such as memory loss. Spinal cord injury medications, such as opiates and antidepressants, can also cause concentration difficulty and fatigue.
How Are Spinal Cord Injuries Treated?
Immediately after the injury, medical professionals will immobilize the victim’s head to prevent movement.
The next steps depend on the following factors:
- Spinal cord injury type
- Severity and location of the spinal cord injury
- Patient’s overall health, age, and medical history
- How the patient responded to initial treatment
- Patient’s preferences
- Spinal cord injury’s expected course
While there is currently no way to fix a bruised or damaged spinal cord, medical professionals can perform surgeries to evaluate the condition of the spinal cord, release pressure from the affected area, stabilize fractured bones, and treat other injuries that may have been caused by the accident.
A typical course of treatment may include the following:
- A catheter for draining urine into a collection bag
- Medical treatment in the intensive care unit (ICU)
- A mechanical ventilator or breathing machine to help the patient breathe
- Medicines such as corticosteroids to minimize the swelling in the spinal cord
- A feeding tube to provide extra calories and nutrition
- Long-term hospitalization and rehabilitation to evaluate and monitor heart function, body temperature, bowel and bladder function, and nutritional health
What Is the Recovery Time for a Spinal Cord Injury?
Recovery time depends on the spinal cord injury’s severity and location. If a spinal cord injury is severe and causes total paralysis, the patient may never recover from the injury. In other words, they will be paralyzed for the rest of their lives and will need to rely on assistive technology to support key bodily functions such as breathing and mobility. However, patients may recover from mild spinal cord injuries in the first six months after the accident. They may also make small improvements for the next one to two years.
Spinal Cord Injury Resources in Providence
Rhode Island Hospital
The Orthopedics Institute at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence “incorporates the expertise of physicians from several areas, including anesthesiology, neurology, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery and rheumatology.”
Spine specialists at the Orthopedics Institute treat:
- Herniated discs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Arthritis of the spine
- Spinal stenosis (heavy legs)
- Spinal cord injury
Rehabilitation Hospital of Rhode Island
Rehabilitation Hospital of Rhode Island is located north of Providence in North Smithfield, Rhode Island.
The hospital’s Spinal Cord Injury program is a “specialized inpatient rehabilitation program dedicated to providing expert and compassionate care for recovery after spinal cord injury.”
- Teaching adapted activities of daily living (ADLs)
- Managing bowel and bladder control
- Addressing social issues
- Improving psychological state
- Promoting a positive self-image
- Maximizing overall mobility, health, and independence
The Spinal Cord Injury program also emphasizes caregiver support, offering guidance and resources to the family and friends who play such an important role in their loved one’s recovery.
What Compensation Can I Recover for My Spinal Cord Injury?
The compensation you can recover for your spinal cord injury will depend on several factors, such as the type of injury, the impact on your quality of life, and your estimated current and future medical bills.
Factors that Affect Compensation for Injury Victims
- The severity of your injury
- The impact of the injury on your life
- The degree of neurological impairment
- Your education history
- Your pre-injury employment history
- Your level of loss of enjoyment of life
Generally speaking, the more severe your injury, the more compensation you can recover. Serious injuries require ongoing medical treatment, and your attorney will fight tirelessly for the financial compensation to cover your medical costs.
A fatal spinal cord injury may be grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death claims are actions brought by an executor or qualifying administrator of the deceased, typically an immediate family member.
Book a free consultation with Marasco & Nesselbush’s Providence personal injury lawyers today to learn more about how much compensation you can recover.
Don’t walk away from your initial consultation without the answers to all your questions. It’s important to us that you’re confident in your choice of legal representation. The attorney-client relationship is a high priority among our top-rated legal team, and we strive to earn your trust throughout the legal process.
How Long Do I Have To File a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit in Providence?
Time is of the essence if you have a spinal cord injury. Under Title 9, Ch. 1, Sec. 9-1-14 of the Rhode Island statutes, you usually have three years from the date of an accident resulting in a spinal cord injury to file your lawsuit. If you don’t file your case by the three-year deadline, the court may disregard it.
How Marasco & Nesselbush’s Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers Can Help
If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury in Providence, it’s important to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at Marasco & Nesselbush right away. Skilled in handling personal injury cases, tactful, and well-resourced, attorneys at our law firm will guide you through the entire process. We will also handle all case communication for you, so you won’t be coerced into accepting a paltry and unjust settlement offer from the defendant or self-serving insurance companies.
Your free consultation with our Providence law office will be completely confidential.