Vancouver Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers
When a serious spinal cord injury occurs, the victim may wonder if he or she will ever be able to walk or walk without physical limitations again. Victims may also be unaware of all the other side effects from spinal cord damage, including muscle spasms, loss of bladder control, problems breathing, and an increased risk of overheating. The emotional and psychological effects of living with these limitations is overwhelming. People with these injuries may also struggle to hold down employment, and in some cases could need round-the-clock help with the most basic of tasks.
While nothing can change what happened, the law does allow victims of negligence to take legal action to try to recover compensation for their damages. While you are not required to seek legal help, it can give you an advantage in the legal process, particularly if you work with a reputable, experienced and accomplished attorney. The Vancouver spinal cord injury lawyers at Rizk Law are standing by to assist spinal cord injury victims as they attempt to hold the other party liable. Our firm has recovered more than $15 million in combined compensation for our clients. Your free consultation with our attorneys is a chance to review your case and find out if you may be owed compensation. If you want to move forward, you will not be charged for having us represent you unless we obtain compensation. There is no obligation on you to take legal action, you decide what you want to do.
What Causes Spinal Cord Injuries?
A spinal cord injury is the result of damage to the vertebrae, ligaments or discs in the spinal cord or damage to the spinal cord itself. These injuries often result from a sudden blow to the spine that causes fractures, dislocations, or crush or compression injuries. After the initial blow, bleeding, swelling and the accumulation of fluid can cause more damages in the days and weeks after the injury.
One of the most common situations that results in a spinal cord injury is a motor vehicle accident. These accidents often account for about half of new spinal cord injuries each year. The impact of a car accident could cause a blow to the spine that results in serious injury. This is much more likely to happen in a high-speed wreck or one involving drunk driving. The impact from a truck accident can be particularly bad and may be more likely to result in spinal cord injuries.
Other causes for spinal cord injuries include:
- Slip, trip or fall accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Boating accidents
- Swimming pool accidents
- Violence, particularly incidents involving gunshots or stab wounds
- Motorcycle crashes
- Falling objects, such as falling objects on a construction site
- Pedestrian injuries
- Accidents involving bicyclists
- Contact sports injuries (such as football)
These accidents could be caused by various forms of negligence, such as:
- Reckless driving – This could include distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, disobeying the rules of the road, speeding, poor vehicle maintenance or driving the wrong way.
- Property owner negligence – Property owners are legally required to take steps to keep their property safe to prevent slip and fall injuries. This can include cleaning up spills, removing tripping obstacles, repairing staircases and warning visitors about dangerous walkways.
Proving that negligence occurred can be quite challenging, particularly because the attorneys for the at-fault party will be intent on having their client not be held legally responsible. Our Vancouver spinal cord injury lawyers are fully prepared for this and know how to thoroughly investigate your situation to build a strong case.
How to Establish Negligence in a Personal Injury Case
As with other personal injury cases, there are four elements that must be established to prove another party is liable for an injury.
- Existence of a duty of care – This essentially means the at-fault party had a legal requirement to behave like a reasonable person. This means he or she needed to take reasonable precautions to prevent others from getting hurt.
- Violation of the duty of care – You also need to prove the at-fault party did not uphold the duty of care for the situation.
- Connection to your injury – There is no case unless you can show your injury occurred because of the other party's breach of the duty of care.
- Existence of financial and/or other damages – Did you suffer an injury that required medical treatment? Did you miss work or lose your earning capacity because of the injury? These are different kinds of damages that could result from an injury.
Rizk Law's spinal cord injury lawyers in Vancouver have many years of combined experience collecting evidence to prove these four elements. We know what it takes to build a strong case and contend with claims from the other side that the at-fault party acted in a reasonable manner and the injury resulted from something else.
What are the Types of Spinal Cord Injuries?
There are various types of spinal cord injuries, based on the site of the injury and the paralysis and weakness that is caused.
Cervical Spinal Cord Injury
This is caused by damage to the spine anywhere between the C1 and C8 vertebrae. Injuries to this area will cause paralysis or weakness in the arms and legs, also known as quadriplegia. Usually, everything below the level of the injury is negatively affected. Some individuals with this type of injury have breathing problems and inability to regulate bowels, bladder or body temperature.
The injury gets more serious the higher up you go. In other words, a C1 injury is the worst while a C8 injury is the best-case scenario. With an injury to the C1 or C4 vertebrae, victims may struggle with the ability to speak. Some victims can no longer breathe on their own. These individuals often require 24-hour-a-day care.
Thoracic Spinal Cord Injury
This is an injury to the middle of the spinal cord and is directly connected to the rib cage. The nerves that come out from this part of the spinal cord communicate with the central parts of the body:
- T1 vertebrae – The nerves from here control the medial side of the forearm and the ability to flex the wrist.
- T2 vertebrae – This controls the posterior of your upper arms.
- T3 vertebrae – This controls the pectoral muscles in the chest.
- T4 - T8 vertebrae – These control the other muscles not mentioned above.
Injuries to these vertebrae can cause paralysis or weakness in the legs, including problems with sexual function, bowel and bladder control. Patients often wear a brace on the trunk to help them build up core muscles.
Lumbar Spinal Cord Injury
This is an injury to the vertebrae below the thoracic area of the body. This injury can result in paraplegia, where the victim cannot use his or her legs. This section controls nerve signals to the bottom of the abdomen and back.
No matter your type of spinal cord injury, you may be owed compensation if it was the result of another's negligence. Our Vancouver spinal cord injury lawyers are ready to help you and offer a free, no obligation legal consultation.
Call us today at 503.245.5677.
Discuss Your Case Today with a Vancouver Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
The life-changing effects of a spinal cord injury cannot be overstated, from physical mobility issues to fine-motor skills, sexual dysfunction and trouble with daily tasks. These injuries also have a devastating toll on the families of the victim, which is why victims often go to support groups.
Another sad thing about many of these injuries is that they were caused by negligent individuals or entities, which means all the pain and suffering could have been avoided.
When this happens, the Vancouver spinal cord injury lawyers at Rizk Law are prepared to step in to help victims pursue the justice and compensation they are rightfully owed. We have a successful track record of obtaining fair compensation for numerous victims of negligence.
Schedule your free legal consultation right now. Remember, there is no obligation and you will not be assessed legal fees or costs unless you are compensated.