SPINAL INJURY ATTORNEY
IN OMAHA, NEBRASKA
The spinal cord is the conduit through which the body communicates with the brain. The spine comprises three sections: the cervical spine (neck and upper back), the thoracic spine (middle back), and the lumbar spine ( lower back). Spinal cord injuries are common due to the complex structure of ligaments, tendons, bones, and discs.
Injuries to the spinal cord disrupt — or in cases of severe injury, cut off — that vital communication entirely. Nearly 18,000 new spinal cord injuries occur in the United States each year. It is estimated that between 249,000 and 363,000 people are currently living with a spinal cord injury.
If you have sustained a severe neck or back injury, you may be partially or totally unable to walk or control bodily functions. You may be in excruciating pain. If you suffered an injury because someone else was negligent at work, on the roadway, at a sporting event, or healthcare facility, you may be able to hold them liable for your injuries and the long-term implications of your permanent injury.
At Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O., we help clients in Omaha, Nebraska and the surrounding communities hold negligent parties accountable for their damages. If you have a personal injury claim, we are ready to help.
HOW SPINAL INJURIES CAN OCCUR
Severe injuries to the spine, neck, and back can occur in a fall or if something falls on you. They may happen while lifting something, playing sports, or participating in other activities such as diving. You can injure your spine in a vehicle crash, or if shot, stabbed, or struck. Infants may sustain injuries during birth. Even illness and infections can cause them. They occur at work, on the sports field, in the water, in healthcare facilities, on the road, and elsewhere.
The nature of a severe spine injury, neck injury, or back injury is not temporary. You typically sustain a permanent injury that drastically changes the course of your life moving forward.
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
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.
SPINAL INJURY ATTORNEY
SERVING OMAHA, NEBRASKA
If you have suffered a severe spine, neck, or back injury, call us at Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O. to schedule a free consultation. Find out why hundreds of personal injury clients from Omaha and the Nebraska counties of Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, and Lancaster have turned to us when faced with severe and permanent injuries. Call or reach out to our office today for help!