Suffering a spinal cord injury in an accident can be life-changing for you and your loved ones. If someone else caused the accident, you may be entitled to money to pay the unexpected medical bills related to your injury and cover your lost income. You need an experienced Wisconsin spinal cord injury attorney to pursue the compensation you deserve.

At LawtonCates, we have the knowledge and skill to handle the most complex personal injury cases. Whether you suffered a spine injury, herniated disc, or neck injury, our attorneys are well-equipped to handle your case. Call us today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation with an experienced Wisconsin spinal cord injury lawyer.

How a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Can Help with Your Case

With a Wisconsin spinal cord injury attorney handling your case from the start, you can rest assured you have a strong legal advocate working hard to pursue the compensation you are due. Your attorney will guide you through the legal process as they build your case.

An experienced spinal injury lawyer from LawtonCates will:

  • Gather the necessary to support your claim
  • Obtain your medical records and bills to bolster your claim
  • Calculate your lost wages and expected future lost income
  • Consider how the spinal cord injury has impacted your life
  • Evaluate the total value of your claim to demand maximum compensation
  • File the necessary paperwork with the insurance companies
  • Negotiate with the insurance companies for a full and fair settlement
  • Prepare and file a spine injury lawsuit if a satisfactory settlement is not reached
  • Represent you throughout the litigation and trial

What Compensation Can I Pursue for a Spinal Cord Injury?

Spine injury compensation can vary depending on the extent of your injuries and losses. An experienced back injury lawyer from LawtonCates can advise you concerning the type and amount of compensation you can seek from the at-fault party responsible for your injuries.

Your lawyer can assess the details of your case to demand money for:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental distress
  • Loss of consortium for your spouse

How Long Do I Have to File a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit in Wisconsin?

Under Wisconsin law, you generally have three years from the date of the accident or incident that caused your spinal cord injury to file a lawsuit for compensation. The state’s statute of limitations sets this deadline; you should contact an attorney at LawtonCates for the filing date specific to your case. If you do not file your lawsuit before the three-year deadline expires, a judge will likely dismiss your case, and you will not be able to pursue the compensation you need in court.

For this reason, it is crucial to contact our spinal cord injury law firm shortly after your injury. Your attorney can keep track of this and other deadlines while you heal from your injury.

We understand that three years may seem like a long time, but your attorney needs this time to build a strong case on your behalf. During this time, they will gather and review all the evidence necessary to support your spine injury claim. They must be prepared to file a lawsuit if the insurance companies involved refuse to offer a reasonable settlement to compensate you for your losses.

What Are Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?

Spinal cord injuries often arise from traumatic events and require emergency medical intervention. Spinal cord injuries can be caused by:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Falls
  • Sports events
  • Surgical complications
  • Diving accidents

Spinal cord injuries are typically categorized as complete or incomplete. A complete spinal cord injury means permanent damage has occurred at the affected area of the spinal cord. Paraplegia and tetraplegia are the result of complete spinal cord injuries. An incomplete spinal cord injury means only partial damage has occurred. Whether the injured person can move and how much feeling they retain depends on the area of the spine that was injured and the extent of the harm.

In addition to these categories, a spinal cord injury can also be identified by the section of the spinal cord affected. These sections are described as the following:

  • Cervical – Cervical spinal cord injuries affect the spine above the shoulders and represent the most devastating level of injury. A complete injury to the cervical spine can result in quadriplegia.
  • Thoracic – These injuries affect the upper chest, mid-back, and abdominal muscles. An accident victim typically maintains normal hand and arm function with this level of spinal cord injury.
  • Lumbar – With a lumbar spinal cord injury, the legs and hips are affected. People with an injury at this level might require braces to walk or a wheelchair.
  • Sacral – This spinal cord injury affects the buttocks, pelvic organs, back of the thighs, and hips. The accident victim could still be able to walk.

According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of spinal cord injuries include:

  • Loss of movement
  • Loss of or a change in sensation, including the ability to feel hot and cold
  • Loss of bowel control
  • Differences in sexual function and fertility
  • Changes in reflexes
  • Intense nerve pain
  • Trouble breathing

However, you should still seek emergency medical care if these symptoms are present after an accident:

  • Weakness or loss of control in the body
  • Extreme back pain or pressure in the neck or back
  • Numbness or loss of feeling in hands and feet
  • Trouble walking
  • Loss of balance
  • A twisted neck or back
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

Treatment for spinal cord injuries depends on whether the injury is due to trauma. Under these circumstances, a potential spinal cord injury requires emergency medical care.

The accident victim should not be moved by someone without proper training except to move them out of harm’s way. Emergency medical personnel will evaluate the victim for a possible spinal cord injury and immobilize them to prevent further injury. Once stable in a hospital, the accident victim may undergo surgery to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or repair damage to any injured areas around the spinal cord.

Other treatments may be used, including:

  • Medication – Steroids are often used to reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Traction – This stabilizes the accident victim and helps minimize movement.
  • Support devices – Splints or halos may help stabilize the area around the spinal cord injury.

Spinal cord injuries are serious injuries that can have life-altering, long-term effects, including:

  • Paralysis – Although it can be short-term, paralysis is more often permanent. The type of paralysis the injured person may suffer depends on the location of the injury and severity. Types of paralysis resulting from a spinal cord injury include:
    • High tetraplegia, which impairs the individual’s ability to feel from the neck down;
    • Low tetraplegia, which also affects movement below the neck but is not as severe (the person can breathe on their own); and
    • Paraplegia, a type of paralysis that affects the lower extremities below the waist.
  • Osteoporosis – Though often associated with the elderly population, this condition is common in individuals with a spinal cord injury. Most people with severe spinal cord injuries develop osteoporosis within a few years of their injury.
  • Syringomyelia – This develops when a fluid-filled cyst forms in the spinal cord, causing numbness or weakness in the extremities. It is a progressive condition that may require surgery to drain cysts.
  • Muscle spasticity – This exaggerated movement, characterized by uncontrollable spasms or twitches, typically occurs sporadically and can cause muscles to lock in place for prolonged periods of time.
  • Infections – Because spinal cord injuries can result in victims losing control of part of their body, that area is susceptible to infections.

It is difficult to provide an average settlement for car accident back injury because several factors impact the amount you may receive in a settlement. Every case is different, from how the accident occurred to the severity of the injuries sustained to the parties who may be held responsible for your losses. The compensation an insurance company may offer to settle your spine injury case will vary significantly from anyone else’s case.

An experienced personal injury attorney will fully evaluate your claim — including your injuries, financial losses, and how your back injury has impacted your everyday life — to suggest a potential settlement range based on your unique circumstances. However, according to Forbes, the average settlement range in the United States for neck and back injuries could be between $100,000 and $500,000.