If you or a loved one has suffered an injury to the spinal cord due to another’s negligence, the Clifford Law Offices can help. Our experienced attorneys understand the devastation a spinal cord injury can have on a victim and his or her family. Some spinal cord injuries result in permanent loss of function, and others may leave a victim completely paralyzed and unable to live independently without constant care.
When Chicago area residents suffer spinal cord injuries from negligence, we can help them determine their best options for recovering damages and securing justice. We have decades of experience with spinal cord injury cases.
The spinal cord is the thick bundle of nerve tissue that extends from the brain down through the bones of the spine. The nerve endings that extend out from the spinal cord allow the brain to communicate with the rest of the body, allowing control over conscious and unconscious bodily functions. Even though the spinal cord is one of the most important structures in the human body, it does not have the ability to self-repair like the rest of the body. Any injury to the spinal cord can have permanent, life-changing effects.
Medical professionals generally categorize spinal injuries in two groups: complete and incomplete. A complete injury is one that completely severs the spinal cord. The brain will no longer be able to communicate with the nerve endings below the injury site; therefore, an injury higher on the spine will have much more of an impact than an injury lower on the spine. A complete injury typically results in a loss of motor function and touch sensation in the affected areas. After a complete injury in the lower portion of the spine, the victim may no longer be able to walk or control bowel functions. An injury closer to the base of the skull may result in quadriplegia, and the victim may be unable to even breathe without assistance.
An incomplete injury may leave some of the affected nerve tissue connected, but the victim will still experience a wide range of effects. Some may lose motor function and retain sensation while others lose sensation but retain function. Others may experience a combination of both. An incomplete spinal injury may make it difficult for the victim to perform typical everyday tasks or return to his or her job.
People who experience spinal cord injuries not only endure significant physical challenges following these injuries, but also psychological distress from a diminished quality of life, limited ability to live independently, and reduced capacity to work. Plaintiffs in spinal injury lawsuits can potentially secure substantial compensation for their losses.
Four basic elements of negligence must have occurred to succeed with the claim. The plaintiff must show the court that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care. For example, drivers have a duty of care to others on the road to follow the traffic laws and drive safely. Next, the plaintiff must prove how the defendant breached his or her duty of care.
The plaintiff only has a claim if he or she suffered actual harm. In a spinal injury case, the harm is typically obvious as the effects of a spinal injury can be devastating. Finally, the plaintiff needs to prove causation and provide evidence that his or her claimed losses were the direct result of the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause.
The attorneys at the Clifford Law Offices in Chicago, IL, have been handling civil claims since 1984. We understand the devastating toll a spinal injury can take on a victim and his or her family, and we work relentlessly to maximize our clients’ compensation for their spinal injury claims. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your spinal injury claim.