A spinal cord injury is one of the most serious injuries a person can sustain in an accident. Injuries to the spine can take a heavy, lifelong toll not just on the victim, but on the victim’s family as well.
At Wagoner Desai, we represent West Virginians who have suffered spinal cord injuries in legal actions seeking full and fair compensation from the parties whose actions caused them harm. Contact our West Virginia spinal cord injury attorneys today for a free consultation to learn about your legal rights and options after a spinal cord injury disrupts your or a loved one’s life.
Overview of West Virginia Spinal Cord Injuries
According to the Shepherd Center, nearly 300,000 people currently live with a spinal cord injury in the United States. Every year, around 17,700 patients receive a new, spinal cord injury diagnosis. For the most part, these injuries are permanent.
There are two main types of spinal cord injuries: incomplete spinal cord injuries and complete spinal cord injuries. They differ in the degree to which the spinal cord injury affects each side of the body. Complete spinal cord injuries result in full paralysis equally on both sides of the body below the point of injury on the spine down. Approximately 50 percent of all spinal cord injuries are complete. With incomplete spinal cord injuries, the patient retains some feeling and movement on one side of the body.
Common West Virginia Spinal Cord Injury Cases We Handle
Spinal cord injuries have numerous causes, but the bulk of them result from a relatively small set of circumstances. At Wagoner Desai, we routinely represent clients who have suffered severe injuries, including spinal cord injuries, in:
- Motor vehicle accidents: The Mayo Clinic reports motor vehicle accidents—from cars and trucks to motorcycles, bicycles, and ATVs, as the number one cause of spinal cord injuries in the country, accounting for almost half of all injuries nationwide. A severe impact collision, particularly if it collapses part of the passenger cabin of a motor vehicle, commonly results in damage to a victim’s spinal cord.
- Falls: Nearly one-third of all spinal cord injuries result from a fall. Both same-level falls and falls from an elevation contribute to this number. Falls are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries for adults 65 and over.
- Gunshot wounds and other violent events: A hard impact to the spine or a penetrating wound generally cause spinal cord injuries. Gunshot wounds top the list for spinal cord injuries caused by violence, but stabbing wounds and physical assaults can also result in permanent damage to the spinal cord.
- Coal mining, oil and gas rig, and construction accidents: Coal mining remains a major—and dangerous—occupation in West Virginia, and about the same number of oilfield workers died on the job as military personnel did in Afghanistan during an eight-year period. As well as these jobs pay, a spinal cord injury could wipe out a person’s savings and ability to work. If this happened to you, give us a call to see how we can help you recover the compensation you need to pay your bills and regain your independence.
No matter what the cause of a spinal cord injury in West Virginia, the team at Wagoner Desai has the know-how and resources to advocate on behalf of injury victims and to get them the compensation they need and deserve.
Common Symptoms of a West Virginia Spinal Cord Injury
Once a spinal cord injury reaches the point of paralysis, it is almost always permanent. In some cases, the injury and paralysis happen to the victim simultaneously.
However, spinal cord injuries can also develop over time because of a separate injury to the victim that puts pressure on the spinal cord or damages it. In these cases, quick medical treatment may save a victim from the worst effects of a spinal cord injury.
If you experience any of the following symptoms after any kind of accident, seek emergency medical attention right away:
- Loss of sensation or difficulty moving;
- Numbness or tingling;
- Growing pressure in the neck;
- Extreme pain in the neck or back;
- Loss of bowel or bladder control;
- Difficulty breathing.
This list is not comprehensive. For a full list of symptoms and when to seek medical care, visit this link from The American Association of Neurological Surgeons.
The Heavy Cost of West Virginia Spinal Cord Injuries
According to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, the annual cost of living with a spinal cord injury can range from $42,206 to $184,891. This can include the cost of doctor visits, surgeries, medication, secondary health complications, and the cost of wheelchairs and other mobility devices. Over a lifetime, spinal cord injuries can cost victims and their families millions-and-millions of dollars, particularly when you add-in the limitations some spinal cord injuries can place on a victim’s ability to earn an income.
Seeking Compensation for a West Virginia Spinal Cord Injury
Victims of spinal cord injuries caused by someone else’s wrongful decisions or actions may have rights under West Virginia law to file a lawsuit for compensation.
Every spinal cord injury case we handle at Wagoner Desai differs, but in general, our clients can often take legal action to obtain payment for:
Past and future medical costs associated with their spinal cord injury and the health complications it causes;
- Past and future non-medical out-of-pocket expenses victims face because of a spinal cord injury, such as the cost of modifying living space to accommodate mobility devices;
- Current and future wages the victim loses because of the spinal cord injury;
- The victim’s physical pain, emotional suffering, and diminished quality of life; and
- Sometimes, victims can receive punitive damages to punish the at-fault party’s conduct.
Because every case has unique facts and circumstances, it takes careful analysis by a skilled attorney to determine the amount of money a spinal cord injury victim may have the right to secure through a lawsuit or insurance claim. Contact the experienced spinal cord injury team at Wagoner Desai today to learn about your options for seeking spinal cord injury compensation.
Call Our Experienced West Virginia Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers
Spinal cord injuries take a heavy physical, emotional, and financial toll. Victims and their families need skilled, experienced lawyers on their side fighting for full and fair compensation.
If a spinal cord injury has disrupted your or a loved one’s life, then don’t delay getting the legal help you need. Contact Wagoner Desai at (304) 470-2056 or fill out our online contact request form for a free consultation about your legal and financial rights.
Wagoner Desai, PLLC
265 High Street 3rd Floor, Citizens Bank Building
Morgantown, WV 26505
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