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Utah Spinal Cord and Neck Injury Lawyers

A spinal cord injury can change a victim’s life forever, leaving them with lifelong challenges or, in the most severe cases, life-altering paralysis. When you have suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident, you deserve to pursue financial recovery from those responsible for your injuries and losses. A Utah spinal cord injury lawyer from Swenson & Shelley can help.

Our nationally recognized spinal cord injury law firm has an extensive, proven track record of successfully representing victims of catastrophic injuries. We have the skills and resources to build a strong, persuasive case for the financial recovery you need to get the best possible care. Our seasoned litigators are known for going toe-to-toe with large insurance companies on behalf of accident victims who deserve the relentless pursuit of justice.

If you have sustained a spinal cord injury caused by someone else’s negligence, talk to a compassionate and skilled attorney at Swenson & Shelley today. We’ll review your best options in a free, no-obligation consultation.

Can You File a Personal Injury Claim After a Spinal Cord Injury?

You may be entitled to file a spine injury claim if your injury occurred in an accident or other incident caused by another party’s carelessness or wrongdoing. For example, if you were hurt in a truck accident caused by a negligent driver, this could lead to a personal injury claim. As part of your spinal cord injury claim, you must also show the financial and personal losses you have suffered. This would include medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other tangible or intangible losses.

What Can You Be Compensated for in a Spinal Cord Injury Claim?

You may be entitled to pursue financial recovery for your expenses, losses, and future needs through a spinal cord injury claim. Compensation for a spinal cord injury may cover:

  • Medical treatment and rehabilitation expenses, including hospital stays, surgeries, inpatient and outpatient physical or occupational therapy, and purchases of medical or mobility equipment
  • Long-term care expenses, including for home health services or renovations to your home to help accommodate permanent disabilities
  • Loss of income if you miss time from work while rehabilitating, or loss of future earning potential and employment benefits if you are permanently disabled from working
  • Physical pain and emotional trauma and distress
  • Loss of enjoyment and quality of life or reduction in life expectancy

From the outset, there is no way to calculate how much your spinal cord injury case is worth. It will take time to understand what treatment you will need and how your injury will affect your life. You want to ensure your compensation claim considers the full impact of your injury. And it will take time to understand that.

Time Limit for Filing a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit in Utah

Under Utah’s statute of limitations, you normally have four years from the date of a spinal cord injury to file a lawsuit against the party or parties responsible for your injury and your related expenses and losses. This may seem like a long time to take legal action. But in reality, you should begin working with a lawyer on your claim as soon as possible. Evidence should be gathered quickly before it is lost or destroyed, and you will need to document your treatment and losses right from the start.

At Swenson & Shelley, our Utah spine injury lawyers are ready to begin work on your case right away. Contact us now to get started with a free consultation.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

There are two basic types of spinal cord injuries: incomplete and complete.

With an incomplete spinal cord injury, the spinal cord is only partially damaged or severed. Incomplete spinal cord injuries lead to varying degrees of loss of sensation or paralysis below the level of the injury. A few types of incomplete spinal cord injuries include:

  • Central cord syndrome, or injury to the nerves in the core of the spinal cord, which can cause partial paralysis and loss of fine motor control
  • Anterior cord syndrome, or an injury to the front of the spinal cord, which often affects movement
  • Brown-Sequard syndrome, or trauma to the side of the spinal cord, which may cause paralysis on one side of the body and reduced sensation on the other side

With a complete spinal cord injury, the spinal cord is crushed or completely severed all the way through. A complete injury permanently eliminates the brain’s ability to send signals to parts of the body below the level of the injury, resulting in paralysis.

An injury lower on the spinal cord may result in paraplegia, or paralysis of the legs and/or pelvis and torso, while a complete injury in the cervical spine typically results in quadriplegia, or paralysis from the neck or shoulders all the way down the body.

What Are the Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury?

Immediately following an accident or other trauma, symptoms that someone might experience if they have sustained a spinal cord injury include:

  • Weakness or paralysis
  • Numbness or lack of sensation in extremities
  • Severe pressure or pain in the neck, back, or head
  • Difficulty walking or maintaining balance
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Odd twisting or positioning of the neck or back

Longer-term, a spinal cord injury will cause chronic symptoms, such as:

  • Pain or intense burning or stinging sensations in the back
  • Paralysis or loss of motor control
  • Altered sensations or loss of sensations of touch, heat, or cold
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Extreme muscle spasms
  • Loss of sexual function
  • Difficulty with breathing or coughing

What to Expect as You Begin Treatment for a Spinal Cord Injury

Unfortunately, the damage that occurs in a spinal cord injury cannot be repaired. Instead, treatment for spinal cord injuries focuses on preventing further damage and rehabilitation to help injury victims resume an active and productive life. Immediately following an accident, treatment for spinal cord injuries include:

  • Immobilization of the head, neck, and back to prevent further damage to the spinal cord
  • Medications to help with swelling or pain
  • Surgery to remove foreign objects or bone fragments, repair herniated discs, treat fractured vertebrae, and install plates, rods, or screws to help stabilize the spine and prevent future deformity

Once a spinal cord injury has been stabilized, treatment shifts to rehabilitation and to preventing or reducing the risk of secondary complications of the injury. Treatments may include:

  • Medications to manage the secondary effects of a spinal cord injury, including pain medications, muscle relaxers to help with spasticity, drugs to manage bladder and bowel control, blood pressure or blood thinner medications, or medications to help improve sexual function
  • Rehabilitation services, including physical and occupational therapy, recreational therapy, dietician services, social services, or psychotherapy for depression, anxiety, or other emotional distress that a spinal cord injury victim may experience
  • Medical and mobility devices to help an injury victim remain active and independent, including wheelchairs, electronic aids, and voice-controlled computer systems

What Are the Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?

Examples of accidents that can lead to spinal cord injuries include:

What to Expect in the Long Term from a Spinal Cord Injury

A spinal cord injury victim typically makes the fastest rate of recovery in the first six months following an injury, although progress may continue for another year or two. In most cases, someone who suffers a spinal cord injury will be left with some form of physical limitation. Some of the long-term effects that someone with a spinal cord injury may experience include:

  • Loss of strength or coordination below the level of the spinal cord injury, or total paralysis of the affected parts of the body
  • Issues with bladder and bowel control, which can increase the risk of kidney stones, kidney or urinary tract infections, or gastrointestinal conditions
  • Reduced skin sensation or loss of sensation, which increases the risk of burns, frostbite injuries, or pressure ulcers
  • Problems with maintaining blood pressure or the development of blood clots due to immobilization
  • Breathing issues, which can increase the risk of lung problems or respiratory infections
  • Loss of bone density, including increased risk of fractures or the onset of osteoporosis
  • Loss of muscle tone
  • Increased risk of obesity and the potential onset of diabetes or cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Development of chronic anxiety or depression or other mental health issues

Our Utah Spinal Injury Lawyers Are Relentless Advocates for You

If you have sustained a catastrophic spinal cord injury, you may be facing months of treatment and rehabilitation to regain as much lost function and independence as possible. Your energy should be completely focused on working toward getting back to your life after your injury. Let our Utah spinal cord injury lawyers help by handling all aspects of your legal claim for compensation.

Our firm will work to pursue justice for you by:

  • Investigating the circumstances of the accident that caused your injury and recovering evidence we can use to build your case for compensation
  • Identifying liable parties and applicable sources of compensation, such as insurance coverages
  • Calculating your ongoing and future anticipated expenses and needs to determine what full compensation looks like in your case
  • Filing insurance claims and demands for compensation on your behalf to begin the process of negotiating a settlement for full compensation as efficiently as possible
  • Taking your spine injury case to trial, if necessary, to fully pursue your legal options for securing financial recovery and accountability for your injuries

Get Help from a Trusted Utah Spine Injury Attorney Now

Don’t wait another day to begin pursuing the compensation you need and deserve after a spinal cord injury. Contact Swenson & Shelley today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a spinal cord injury lawyer in Utah. We do not charge any fees upfront to start work on your case. In fact, we only get paid if we secure payment for you.