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Washington Spinal Injury Lawyers

Legal Representation for Victims of Spine Trauma

Serious accidents can happen to anyone at just about any time. It may be something as seemingly minor as slipping and falling on a wet sidewalk, or obviously severe like a major car crash. Getting into a car, bicycle, or motorcycle accident is traumatic, and spinal cord injuries are some of the most serious injuries that can occur.

While spinal cord injuries do not always result in paralysis, even minor injuries can be extremely painful and require a great deal of recovery. Chronic pain from neck and back injuries can cause changes in lifestyle, loss of sleep, and may require surgery and physical therapy. More serious spinal injuries can result in paralysis, which can greatly impact the rest of a person's life. If you or a family member has been in a serious accident resulting in a spinal cord injury, call Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., at (888) 228-3860 for a free legal consultation.

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Doctor examining spine x-ray

How Do Spinal Cord Injuries Occur?

A spinal cord injury occurs when the body is struck by an external force. It is not a condition that results from disease. A spinal cord injury creates weakness and sometimes complete immobility in the normal motor functions of the body. The degree of impairment will depend on where the spine is injured, and how severe the injury is.

Some of the side effects of a spinal cord injury include: loss of mobility, feeling, bladder control; sexual dysfunction; pain due to nerve damage; and difficulty breathing. Whether the injury is complete (loss of feeling, sensations, pain, and respiratory issue) or incomplete (some motor functioning still possible), long-term treatment is essential to slow down continued damage, and increased pain or incapacity.

There is no way to reverse the impairments caused by a spinal cord injury. Treatment consists of preventing further injury to the spine, medication to manage any pain, and physical therapy to allow the victim of a spinal cord injury to live as active a life as possible. You may be able to overcome your injuries and recover from them to some degree, but doing so usually requires a great deal of time and expensive medical treatment.

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Spinal Cord Injury in a Car Accident

Car accidents account for 40% of all new spinal cord injuries in this country. While the effects of a spinal cord injury are debilitating, they are not always readily apparent. The damage inflicted on the body is immediate, as bone fragments, disc protrusions, or ligaments bruise or tear into spinal cord tissue; but symptoms of a spinal cord injury, such as weakness, loss of sensation, pain, or trouble breathing, may not be felt until much later.

The time between the impact or injury and the time medical treatment is administered has been shown to determine the degree of impairment, if any, a person will suffer. That is why, whenever you are involved in a car accident, it is imperative that you get medical treatment immediately, if only to rule out a spinal cord injury.

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Spinal Cord Injury in Bicycle Accidents

Thanks to its economic, environmental, and health benefits, bicycling has become an ideal form of transportation and recreation for many in Washington. Whether you are riding down E. Madison Street in Seattle or riding through Mt. Rainier National Park, bicycling can provide many benefits, but it also presents risks. As a bicyclist, you are at the mercy of other drivers, and just one distracted driver can cause a serious injury accident. While riding a bike, you do not have the protection afforded by a motor vehicle, leaving you exposed to far greater injury. Wearing a helmet can help prevent traumatic brain injuries, but there is no protective gear you can wear on a bicycle to protect your spine.

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Spinal Cord Injury in Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcyclists are just as exposed as bicyclists, yet they typically travel much faster. This creates a far greater opportunity for serious injuries to the neck and spine. In fact, even though people on motorcycles account for a small portion of those involved in auto accidents, they are far more likely to be seriously injured or suffer a fatality.

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Spinal Cord Injury in a Slip-and-Fall

Falls are the second leading cause of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Though not always fatal, slip-and-falls can lead to serious trauma to the head and neck, including spinal cord injury. Adults over 65 are at greatest risk for falls. Ironically, once someone has suffered a fall, he or she is much for likely to suffer another fall.

Hitting the ground at the wrong angle can fracture, dislocate, crush, or compress a person’s vertebrae, especially if there’s a change in elevation on the ground - for example, coming down hard on the edge of a stair, or a curb. After the initial injury to the spinal cord area, there will be bleeding, swelling, and fluid buildup, which can cause even greater injury in the days and weeks that follow. That’s why it’s important to get medical attention right away after suffering a slip-and-fall.

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section of the spineTreatment for any type of spinal cord injury will take time - and money. Get legal help by calling a Seattle car accident spinal injury attorney at (888) 228-3860.

Protect Your Rights and Future

After some spine injuries, medical care will be necessary for your entire life. Managing your care is your utmost priority. In order to do that though, you will need financial resources. In the state of Washington, the statute of limitations for personal injuries allows you to file a claim or pursue a lawsuit for only two years after the accident that caused the injury. Receiving just compensation from the person(s) responsible for your car accident spinal cord injury should be entrusted to competent, experienced, legal counsel like the Seattle injury lawyers at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. Call us for a free consultation at (888) 228-3860.

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