Spine injury

Kansas City Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer, in Missouri and Kansas

Working to hold drivers, property owners, and others liable for causing a spinal cord injury

Spinal cord injuries cause pain and disability. In many accidents, a victim may suffer partial or full paralysis. Many spinal cord injury (SCI) patients can never return to the work they did before the accident, or enjoy life the way they did beforehand. SCI patients may also face a lifetime of complications and medical care.

At Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys, all of our lawyers have been fighting for personal injury victims in Missouri and Kansas for decades. We work with investigators and use the discovery process to determine how the accident caused your injuries and who is responsible. Our lawyers work with your medical team to show just how serious and restricting your injuries are and how your spinal cord injuries have changed your life. Our team is ready to help you fight for all the compensation you deserve.

How common are spinal cord injuries?

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, nearly 300,000 people in the United States are living with a spinal cord injury. Vehicle accidents account for nearly 40 percent of all SCIs. The common length of hospital stay for an SCI is 11 days, with the common rehabilitation time being 31 days. Many patients need a lifetime of medical care to manage their condition.

Since 2015, about 30 percent of SCI victims need to be re-admitted to a hospital in any given year following the accident date. The average length of a readmission is 18 days. The reasons for readmittance include diseases of the genitourinary system; skin disorders; and respiratory, digestive, circulatory, and musculoskeletal diseases.

Only about 18 percent of spinal cord injury victims return to work within one year. About 32 percent have returned to work within 40 years.

What kinds of accidents cause spinal cord injuries?

Our seasoned Missouri and Kansas trial lawyers represent victims who have suffered a spinal cord injury from accidents including:

How are spinal cord injuries classified?

According to Spinalcord.com, an SCI can be complete or incomplete:

  • Complete means that the entire spinal cord is severed.
  • Incomplete means that part of the spinal cord is severed.

An SCI is normally more severe if the injury occurs higher up on the spine. The spine is composed of:

  • The cervical spine, which contains vertebrae (C1-C7) that form the neck.
  • The thoracic spine, which contains vertebrae (T1-T12) that form the upper back.
  • The lumbar spine, which contains vertebrae (L1-L5) near the base of the spine. The spinal cord ends near the L1/L2 vertebrae.
  • The sacral spine (identified as S1-S5), at the end of the spinal column (but not the spinal cord).

There are also four different forms of paralysis:

  • Monoplegia
  • Hemiplegia
  • Paraplegia
  • Quadriplegia/tetraplegia

The severity of your or a loved one’s paralysis depends on whether the injury is “complete,” the location of the injury, and the therapy used after the injury. Quadriplegia/tetraplegia is considered the most serious.

Tetraplegia is the more formal term for quadriplegia; paralysis that affects both legs and arms. Patients may require respirators or other breathing devices.

Paraplegia is paralysis that affects both legs. Monoplegia means paralysis of just one leg.

How is a spinal cord injury diagnosed?

The Mayo Clinic states that SCIs are commonly diagnosed through the following imaging tests, in addition to a hands-on examination by a physician:

  • X-rays. X-rays produce images of the interior of your body, mainly your bones. They are used to show fractures, cancer tumors, arthritis, and degenerative changes.
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scans. CT scans create cross-sectional computer images to examine car accident and trauma victims. They help doctors see almost all parts of the body. They’re useful in planning what treatments, such as surgery or radiation, are necessary.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests. An MRI uses magnetic fields and computer-generated radio waves to examine your tissues, organs, discs, blood clots, and spinal cord disorders.

A hands-on examination normally involves determining how well patients respond to certain stimuli.

What are the treatments for a spinal cord injury?

Early intervention treatments, according to the Mayo Clinic, include:

  • Immobilizing the spine as quickly but as gently as possible, using a rigid carrying board and neck collar, to transport the patient to the hospital.
  • Emergency room treatment includes helping you breathe, preventing shock, continuing to immobilize your neck to prevent further spinal cord damage, and avoiding complications. Complications include respiratory failure, cardiac failure, blood clots in the extremities, and urine/stool retention.
  • At the hospital or a regional spine center, you’ll be under the care of neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, psychologists, nurses, therapists, social workers, and other medical specialists.
  • Surgery may be necessary to remove bone fragments or foreign objects. Surgeons will work to address any conditions that are compressing your spine, or to stabilize the spine to prevent future pain or deformity.
  • Working to prevent secondary problems such as infections, pressure ulcers, and other concerns.

Rehabilitation involves working with therapists to help you strengthen and maintain muscle function, redevelop fine motor skills, and learn adaptive methods to accomplish daily tasks. Rehabilitation usually includes using new technology and equipment to help you become as independent as possible. With long-term help, many SCI victims can return to work or school and engage in social activities.

Rehabilitative therapy includes:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Recreational therapy
  • Vocational therapy
  • Psychological help
  • Nutritional help

What are some of the new technologies helping spinal cord injury victims?

Researchers make new inventions and discoveries every year to help SCI victims. Some of the inventions currently in use include:

  • Modern wheelchairs. These devices assist with mobility, including climbing stairs, helping patients reach places like high shelves, and even travel over rougher terrain.
  • Computer adaptations. Computer adaptations include such items as speech-to-text recognition so patients don’t need to use their hands.
  • Electronic daily living aids. These devices use voice controls and computer-based remotes to help patients with daily living tasks.
  • Electrical stimulation devices. These devices use electrical stimulation to help SCI patients walk, stand, grip, and reach.
  • Robotic gait training. This cutting-edge technology is helping patients walk after a spinal cord accident.

Finally, spinal cord stimulators can help patients manage their pain.

What is my Kansas City spinal cord injury case worth?

At Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys, we’re dedicated to helping spinal cord injury victims in Missouri and Kansas obtain compensation for everything they deserve. Most SCI patients live with a lifetime of pain and need extensive medical care. We review the full range of medical treatments and devices you’ll need and just how much your pain is preventing you from living a full life. We demand compensation from the people who caused your spinal cord injury, including:

  • Medical expenses. This includes ER care, hospital surgeries and stays, visits with specialists and your family doctor, and time with many different types of therapists. Medical bills also include the cost of any medical devices and medications to treat your injuries.
  • Lost income. You’re entitled to compensation for all wage loss through the time of settlement or trial, including any future income loss because of your inability to work.
  • Pain and suffering. Most SCI victims live with chronic pain. They can’t enjoy their spouse, children, relatives, and friends. Many have difficulty with simple tasks. SCI victims often need to treat with psychologists to help manage their anxiety and stress, something commonly referred to as the psychological overlay of a serious physical injury.
  • Property damage. If the SCI was due to a car accident, victims can demand compensation for the cost to repair or replace their vehicle.
  • Loss of consortium. Victims and spouses can claim compensation because they can’t enjoy their marital relationship. Generally, in Missouri, the spouse of the injury victim files the claim, while in Kansas the injury victim files this claim.

If the accident that caused your SCI was reckless or involves other aggravating circumstances, we also seek punitive damages.

Contact the Kansas and Missouri lawyers with experience protecting your rights

Our Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys are dedicated to strong representation. We understand the tricks and defenses insurance companies and their lawyers use to try to delay, defend, and deny your rights. Our Missouri and Kansas spinal cord injury lawyers are respected for our tough negotiations and our readiness to try your case before a jury. Because of our thorough hands-on approach, and because the insurance company and their lawyers know that we will litigate and try your case unless they pay fair value for your injuries, we have established a strong track record of securing fair compensation for our accident injured clients without having to file a lawsuit in many cases. Our main office is in Kansas City. We also have offices in Lee's Summit, Parkville, and St. Joseph, MO, as well as in Overland Park or Olathe, KS by appointment only. To learn more about how we’ll fight for you, or for a free case review, please call 816-471-5111 or fill out our contact form.

Spine injury v