Consequences of a Spinal Injury
Injuries to the spine can sometimes be difficult to identify. Since they are caused by anything that compromises the spinal cord’s protective sheath, the injury can cause bruising, partial tears, or complete tears. The spinal cord is initially in shock, which can cause pain or numbness, and decreased flexibility, movement, and reflexes as it swells. Swelling can initially mask some symptoms of injury. As swelling decreases, other symptoms become more apparent.
Common symptoms include:
- Loss of voluntary movement or feeling in chest, arms, or legs
- Breathing problems
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of bladder control and other bodily functions
Typically, the higher the point of injury to the spine, the more severe the symptoms. A “complete injury” results in no feeling or movement below the injury. An “incomplete injury” means there is still some feeling or movement below.
Proving Negligence in Spinal Injuries
To recover damages from another party, you must prove that they owed you a duty of care, they failed to uphold that duty, their failure caused your injuries, and as a result, you incurred damages. This could be an employer who failed to provide safety equipment or sufficient training, or a business owner whose failure to maintain the property created unsafe conditions. It could be a designer, manufacturer, distributor, or buyer of a defective product. It could be a healthcare provider whose negligence led to a fall or infection.
Nebraska is an “at-fault” state, which means you are allowed to file a personal injury claim against the negligent party within four years of the incident that caused your injury.
Nebraska also follows a “modified comparative negligence” rule. This means that you could be held partially responsible for your injury and any settlement or jury award would be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. If you are found to be 50% or more at fault, you are prohibited from pursuing a claim.
Personal injury claimants in Nebraska may pursue economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include those easy to quantify, such as medical expenses, therapy expenses, and lost wages. Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify, including pain and suffering or loss of consortium.
Due to the likelihood of permanent disability with these severe injuries, you can pursue future medical expenses and lifetime income loss as well.
Why You Need an Attorney
Proving negligence in a personal injury case is often challenging. You need an experienced personal injury attorney who knows how to investigate the circumstances surrounding your injury, can retain experts to provide analysis and testimony, and will aggressively pursue your claim with insurance companies and in court.
The long-term ramifications of severe spine, neck, and back injuries are dire. The disability you face is not merely life-changing but could result in premature death.