Negligence and Malpractice Can Cause Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuits in Cleveland, Ohio
Your spinal cord is the backbone of your central nervous system, which allows you to move, feel sensory functions, and regulate bodily functions. Your spine is integral to daily activities; however, there are an estimated 17,500 new spinal cord injury cases each year. The experienced Cleveland spinal cord injury lawyers at Tittle & Perlmuter know first hand how drastically a spinal cord injury can affect your life. We are ready to hear your case and advise you on your next course of action as you adapt after a life-changing accident.
What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
Mayo Clinic defines a spinal cord injury as, “damage to any part of the spinal cord nerves at the end of the spinal canal.” These injuries impact your strength, sensation and body functions below the site of the injury. There are different ranges of spinal cord injuries depending on how badly you were hurt.
- Complete: A complete injury is when you lose almost all feeling and movement below the injury site.
- Incomplete: With an incomplete spinal injury you still have some motor and sensory function.
One of the worst symptoms of a spinal cord injury is paralysis. The following types of paralysis include:
- Tetraplegia/Quadriplegia: This form of paralysis affects your arms, hands, torso, legs, and pelvic organs.
- Paraplegia: This type of paralysis affects all or parts of your torso, legs, and pelvic organs.
Not every spinal cord injury has the same symptoms. It is important to be aware of any potential sign for an injury to the spine, which include:
- Loss of movement or sensation
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Exaggerated spasms
- Changes in sexual function
- Pain or intense stinging (caused by nerve damage)
- Impaired breathing
- Extreme pain or pressure to the back, head, or neck
- Difficulty walking or maintaining balance
- Numbness or tingling in your extremities (hands, feet)
- A twisted neck or back
Anytime you have symptoms of a spinal cord injury, you should seek medical attention immediately.
How Does a Spinal Cord Injury Happen?
Hey folks, Allen Tittle here, Cleveland’s paralysis lawyer. One thing I want to talk about today is spinal cord injuries. Folks, 282,000 people a year in the United States of America suffer a spinal cord injury that leads to paralysis. There’s two big types of paralysis that I see in my practice, basically involving paralysis from the neck down or the waist down. And the cause of those injuries often time are preventable, and that’s where lawyers step in.
The main sort of areas that I’ve seen in play result in spinal cord injuries are both medical malpractice or crash crashes, truck crashes or motorcycle crashes. So, if we sort of delineate between the two, medical malpractice and crashes. The most common type of medical malpractice cases that result in spinal cord injury are anesthesia errors. And what I mean by that is, say you’re getting a “spinal” for a surgery and the anesthesiologist makes a mistake; either hits the spinal cord the wrong way and creates a hematoma, which puts pressure on that spinal cord. It swells up and creates instability, and is not diagnosed, eventually that patient becomes paralyzed.
Other options or cases that I’ve seen is a failure or delay in diagnoses of an infection in the spinal cord itself, in the bone. Folks that creates instability in the spine, and if not surgically fixed, oftentimes that can lead to paralysis. Obvious ones: falls or being dropped in the hospital unfortunately can cause paralysis.
There is an estimated 282,000 people who have a spinal cord injury in the United States, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. A spinal cord injury is an unexpected accident that changes the rest of your life. Car accidents, medical malpractice or defective products are just a few causes contributing to the massive amount of spine injuries each year.
- Motor vehicle crashes cause 4% of injuries
- Falls cause 5% of injuries
- Acts of violence cause 5% of injuries
- Medical or surgical errors cause 7% of injuries
- Sports related activities cause 9% of injuries
Spinal Cord Injury Negligence
People put a lot of trust into the healthcare professionals they go to. You expect that your doctor will provide the best possible care to any of your health issues. However, physician or medical negligence occurs in the forms of medical mistakes and errors.
Imagine you go to the hospital for a spine surgery. Your surgeon accidentally nicks the wrong part of your spine with a scalpel and causes damage to your nerves. Then, the doctor doesn’t notice or chooses to overlook their error. This malpractice leads to you now being paralyzed. Medical malpractice resulting in a spinal cord injury is serious and the person responsible for it should be held accountable. Other forms of medical malpractice that could cause a spinal cord injury include:
- Anesthesia Malpractice: A mistake in using anesthesia can result in anesthesia malpractice, causing spinal cord injuries. Often times, the negligence results in an epidural hematoma leading to lifelong spinal cord issues. This can occur when doing a spinal block, spinal anesthetic or an epidural.
- Malpractice during surgery: As evident above, surgeons carry out procedures on a patient’s spine; and therefore, have a legal responsibility to perform the procedure safely and carefully. If a surgeon isn’t paying attention, fails to position the patient correctly, or lacks the training, a patient can be permanently injured.
- Failure to have fall precautions (typically in nursing homes)
- Birth injury
- Undiagnosed or delayed diagnosed spinal cord infection
How to Prove Medical Malpractice?
In order to prove your healthcare provider was negligent, resulting in a spinal cord injury, you must be able to show:
- The healthcare professional responsible had a duty to care for you;
- That medical care provider was negligent in their care;
- That negligence caused your spinal cord injury.
It is important that you hire an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who handles spinal cord injuries who can do the following:
- Gather the medical records and evidence;
- Review and analyze the evidence gathered;
- Interview witnesses;
- Conduct an investigation on the medical provider’s background; and
- Consult with experts on the care of the medical providers.
Imagine you are driving home from work after a long day. You stop at a stoplight, until the light flashes green and you start accelerating. Out of no where another car runs a red light and crashes into your vehicle. You survive the accident, however the crash permanently injured your spine.
This is an unfortunate situation that happens too often. Car, truck, as well as bicycle accidents are caused by distracted driving, driving under the influence, driving a defective vehicle, speeding and fatigue. Negligent drivers who cause accidents and spinal cord injuries should be held accountable. The spinal cord injury lawyers at Tittle & Perlmuter have the experience in handling these claims.
Receiving Compensation for Damages from your Spinal Cord Injury
The experienced attorneys at Tittle & Perlmuter are dedicated to fighting for the justice and compensation that our clients deserve. When you suffer from a spinal cord injury, it affects your ability to work. Paying the bills for your medical care is distressing without the same work capability you had before your injury. If you hold the negligent party accountable for your injury, then you can receive compensation for the damages you incurred in the form of:
- Medical bill expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
If you or a loved one was in an accident that resulted in a spinal cord injury, contact our Cleveland spinal cord injury lawyers today. Call our office at 216-308-1522 or fill out an online contact form for a free case evaluation. We are available on weeknights and weekends, and we can come to you. DO NOT WAIT to act! From the very moment you first pick up the phone and call us, we will guide you through the entire process with care and compassion, while we do everything in our power to earn you the maximum financial compensation you are entitled to. There is NO FEE until after we WIN, so you have nothing more to lose and so much more to gain by calling us now!