Reno Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Here in Reno and the surrounding area, there are various activities that keep locals and tourists thoroughly engaged. Depending on one’s interests, they catch a sports game at the Greater Nevada Field, take a stroll through Idlewild Park or Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, hit the slopes in the Lake Tahoe area, take a pedicab to see the Reno Arch and other landmarks downtown, or just visit restaurants, resorts and casinos, or go shopping.
Wherever one goes, there are always inherent dangers, one of which is becoming involved in an unexpected accident that leaves a person with a spinal cord injury. These types of injuries are in a unique class of their own in that they’re seldom recoverable but instead have a long-lasting impact on a victim’s life.
While not everyone who suffers such a life-altering injury in Nevada can attribute its onset to someone else’s negligence, our experience at the Law Office of Matthew L. Sharp is that some can. If you are hurt and believe that someone else bears the responsibility for what happened, contact our Reno spinal cord injury lawyer so that they can assess whether you may be eligible to file suit to secure compensation for your outstanding medical bills and the future ones you’re sure to have.
Medical Treatment Spinal Cord Victims Receive
Receiving urgent medical attention is vital in the immediate aftermath of a person suffering a spinal cord injury. That often means a victim must be life-flighted to a level one trauma center, where physicians familiar with treating similar conditions may work. Those specialists may recommend a cool-down procedure to alleviate swelling around the injury site or surgery for stabilization. Patients may also need to be closely observed in the intensive care department, especially if their ability to breathe or regulate their blood pressure is affected.
After a few days in intensive care, a spinal cord injury patient may be moved to one of the recovery floors once their condition is stabilized. Generally, that’s when respiratory, occupational, or physical therapy may begin as doctors continue to monitor the patient’s neurological function.
Once released from the hospital after a lengthy stay, many spinal cord patients may be sent to continue the recovery process in a specialized rehabilitative center if there’s no around-the-clock care available at home or if their home isn’t yet handicap accessible to ensure they continue to receive the rehabilitative and caregiving support they need for the best prognosis.
Regular physical or occupational therapy, experimental nerve treatments involving surgeries, and other types of medical care, including regular follow-up visits to see physicians, purchases of wheelchairs and adaptive devices, and renovations to a home may all be necessary to ensure a spinal cord injury victim remains healthy and lives as long and fulfilling of a life as possible.
What Types of Functional Impairments Do Spinal Cord Injuries Leave Behind?
There are two types of spinal cord injuries someone may suffer, a partial or a complete injury. An incomplete one causes partial damage to the spinal cord. The location and extent of the injury determine the functional impairments it leaves behind. In comparison, a complete spinal cord injury is, more often than not, permanent damage to this vital nerve pathway and leaves individuals with permanent paralysis such as paraplegia.
According to the Shepherd Center, spinal cord patients may recover some degree of bodily functionality for up to 18 months post-injury. A few factors, including the following, can determine whether a patient has any chance of recovering any functionality:
- The site of the injury
- The severity of the severance of the spinal cord
- The immediacy and quality of care a patient receives after getting hurt
Spinal cord injury patients tend to have a better idea of the extent of what’s likely to be permanent injuries once that 18-month window closes. Some common lasting impairments or “chronic complications,” as one study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) referred to it, that people who suffer spinal cord injuries must contend with include:
- Paralysis, and thus the inability to use one’s limbs or a loss of feeling below a certain level
- Bladder dysfunction and urinary tract infections
- A loss of control over one’s body temperature
- Cardiovascular issues, such as low blood pressure
- Respiratory problems
- Chronic pain
- Pressure sores
Another study published by the NIH suggests that individuals who suffer spinal cord injuries are also 13 times more likely to experience cognitive impairments than those who don’t get hurt.
How Do Individuals Sustain Spinal Cord Injuries?
As hinted at above, spinal cord injuries can stem from a person’s involvement in a wide range of activities, such as:
- Medical issues: A doctor’s failure to diagnose and treat a patient in a timely fashion or a doctor’s misstep when performing a neck or back surgery, for example, on a patient, can leave them with spinal cord damage
- Playing contact sports: The force of two individuals colliding with any force, as often occurs in a football game or wrestling or boxing match, can leave someone with a spinal cord injury
- Auto accidents: Someone can suffer this injury in a car crash, truck collision, motorcycle wreck, or get hit while on their bike or struck as a pedestrian
- Physical violence: A hand-to-hand fight, an assault, a gunshot wound, a stabbing, and other physically violent activities can cause a person’s spinal cord to become impacted, leaving them with permanent paralysis
- Slip and falls: Someone losing their footing and falling on a slippery surface, such as a waxy, wet, soapy, debris-strewn, oily, or icy one, leaves them vulnerable to colliding with nearby sturdy objects as they fall or crash down hard to the ground, circumstances which can sever their spinal cord
Our extensive experience in successfully handling legal matters like these gives our Reno spinal cord injury lawyer the confidence necessary to be the strong advocate you need in your case to recover maximum compensation for the current and future expenses you’re sure to have.
Costs Spinal Cord Injury Patients Incur
A patient who suffers a spinal cord injury in their 20s can expect to incur millions of dollars in medical bills alone during the remainder of their lifetime. The medical expenses a patient may incur vary greatly depending on the type of paralysis and residual impairments they may have. National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) data suggests that costs for the following paralyzed individuals are:
- Tetraplegia: This upper spinal cord damage can affect all four limbs, leading patients to incur $3 – $5 million in medical costs throughout their lifetime
- Paraplegia: This affects the lower extremities and can cause a patient to amass bills as high as $2 million during the remainder of their life
Of course, medical costs are constantly on the rise, which means that costs associated with the health care a spinal cord injury patient needs may easily soar beyond the estimates above. Adding in dedicated care at a facility or home, covering wheelchairs and accessories, a handicap-accessible vehicle or transportation, and making a home more navigable can all add up way beyond the limits above.
How a Reno Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Can Help
If there’s one detail we’ve learned in working with seriously injured patients over the years, it’s that receiving top-notch care is critical for spinal cord patients to live as fulfilling of lives as possible in light of their circumstances. Fortunately, Nevada law allows individuals like you to seek compensation from the person who hurt you.
You must meet certain criteria to be allowed to sue someone else for their negligence. You also must file within a certain time frame to be able to take legal action. That’s why it’s imperative that you contact the Law Office of Matthew L. Sharp to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. We can advise you what your legal options are after learning more about how you got hurt, so reach out to our Reno spinal cord injury lawyer to chat today.
“I recently retained the professional services of Matthew Sharp and his law firm to represent my interest in a legal proceeding. Mr. Sharp and his firm shall I say was way over the top in providing excellent and sound legal advice. His professional attitude and attention to detail during the entire process was second to none as well as the rapid and courteous responses from Mr. Sharp and his staff to any and all of my questions regarding my case. Furthermore, I would give my utmost support to anyone choosing Mr. Sharp and his firm in any type of legal representation.”
- RICK S.