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“They sent somebody to visit me in the hospital and get my side of the story (totally free). I was assigned Mr. Crawford and told that we had a case. Fast forward about 9 months later and I received literally 14x what the insurance company had offered me. This is after the lawyer and medical fees as well. So basically this was totally free and I barely had to do anything I am so glad I called Marks and Harrison and I will be recommending them to all of my family and friends.”— Robert Smith
If you hurt your back or injure your spinal cord in an accident, it can change your life. This is why these injuries are often called “catastrophic.” A severe back or spine injury can cause paralysis, or a loss of feeling and movement in your limbs. Even a relatively minor back or spine injury can limit your ability to move and lead to chronic, debilitating pain.
If you have suffered a back or spine injury in a car accident, slip and fall or workplace accident, you should seek help from a lawyer right away. You may be eligible to pursue personal injury damages, workers’ compensation benefits or Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits that can help you to pay your medical bills, replace your lost income and handle your daily living expenses.
The lawyers of Marks & Harrison want to help you. We serve clients in Richmond and throughout Virginia. Simply call or click here for a free consultation. We can review the facts of your case, explore your legal options and get to work on seeking relief for you today.
What Is a Back and Spine Injury?
As the American Chiropractor Association (ACA) notes, a person’s back is a “complicated structure” of bones, discs, nerves, joints, ligaments and muscles. A back or spine injury occurs when harm is done to one or more of these components.
The harm usually results from some form of trauma such as overexertion when lifting an object, a fall or the impact from a car accident. However, a back injury can also result from repetitive movement or strain.
If you have been involved in any type of accident, you should pay attention to signs and symptoms of back and spine injuries. According to the Mayo Clinic, red flags include:
- Aching muscles
- Shooting or stabbing pain (which may spread to your legs)
- Restricted range of motion
- Bladder or bowel issues
- Numbness, tingling or weakness in the legs.
If you have any of these signs and symptoms, you should see a doctor right away. A doctor may diagnose your back or spine injury through a physical exam or the use of X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, bone scans or a type of nerve study called an EMG.
A doctor can start you on a course of treatment that may include medication, steroid injections, physical therapy and, in extreme cases, surgery. A back or spine injury victim may also turn to chiropractic care, massage or other alternative forms of treatment that have gained popularity in recent years.
You should also contact a injury lawyer from Marks & Harrison to discuss your legal rights and your options for seeking benefits and other compensation that can help you to get the treatment you need for your back or spine injury.
What Are Different Types of Back and Spinal Cord Injuries?
A broad range of back and spine injuries can affect a person. The injury may cause acute pain (lasting a few days or weeks), chronic pain (lasting three months or more), paralysis (loss of sensation and movement) and other complications.
Common types of back and spine injuries include:
- Sprain, strain or tear – These injuries involve the muscles and ligaments. They can occur due to repeat bending, twisting or lifting of heavy objects or sudden, awkward movements. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that these are the leading type of work-related injury or illness.
- Bulging or ruptured discs – A person can suffer severe pain in the back and limbs if the cushioning between the bones that form the spine, or vertebrae, bulges out and puts pressure on nerves in the spinal cord. This may be caused by one of the vertebrae slipping due to strain or a sudden blow to the spine.
- Compression of the spinal cord – An example is cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM). This condition occurs when the spinal canal is narrowed to the point where it squeezes the nerves in the spinal cord, causing pain primarily in the neck.
- Paralysis – A fracture may cause a person to lose all or part of his or her feeling and movement in the area below the point of the injury. An injury at a high point in the spinal cord may cause tetraplegia (or quadriplegia), which is paralysis of all limbs. A lower point of injury may result in paraplegia, or paralysis in the legs. Complications can also arise, including bowel and bladder problems, sexual dysfunction, breathing problems and inability to regulate blood pressure.
What Causes Back and Spine Injuries?
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), the primary cause of spinal cord injuries is the trauma suffered in a car, truck or motorcycle accident.
This is because the impact of a collision can easily fracture vertebrae or cause a vertebra or a disc to slip. Even a minor accident can cause the type of awkward movement that can damage muscles or ligaments.
However, falls such as those that can occur due to dangerous work or property conditions and sports-related accidents also are common causes of spinal cord injuries.
An estimated 12,000 new cases of spine injury arise each year, and 273,000 people live with this condition, according to the NSCISC.
Additionally, repetitive or sudden strain from moving or lifting heavy items in the workplace can cause back injuries – particularly in the lower back. These are also called musculoskeletal disorders, or MSDs. The BLS reports that six jobs in particular have a high rate of these injuries:
- Laborers and freight, stock and material movers
- Nursing assistants
- Janitors and cleaners
- Heavy and tractor-trailer drivers
- Registered nurses
- Maintenance and repair workers.
How Can a Lawyer Help with Your Back or Spine Injury?
At Marks & Harrison, we can provide a free, timely and confidential consultation about your back or spine injury case, and we can put our team of investigators onto your case right away.
As we work on your case, we can also consult with highly qualified experts who can help us to determine why your accident occurred, who should be held responsible and how much your injury has impacted you physically, emotionally and financially.
We can explore all of your legal options, which may include one or more of the following:
- Personal injury damages – We can seek a full and fair recovery of all of your back- or spine-injury related medical expenses (past and future), lost wages, diminished future earning capacity, pain and suffering and more. We can negotiate directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or, if needed, with your own insurer. We are always prepared to take cases to court in order to fight for just compensation for our clients.
- Workers’ compensation benefits – If you suffered a back or spine injury while working, we can also seek workers’ compensation medical and lost-wage benefits. These benefits can cover all of your medical expenses (without the need to pay a deductible) and replace a portion of your lost wages. In many cases, both workers’ compensation benefits and personal injury damages can be sought. A personal injury recovery would simply be offset by the amount received in workers’ compensation benefits.
- Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits – A back or spine injury suffered in a car accident, workplace accident, slip and fall or other incident may also qualify you to receive SSD benefits. We can help you with determining whether your injury meets the Social Security Administration’s strict definition of “disability,” and we can help you with filing for these benefits.
We understand how challenging it can be to live with a back or spine injury. Our goal is to help you to get through this difficult time and enter a new phase of your life with as much peace and security as possible.
Contact a Richmond Back and Spine Injury Attorney Today
Don’t wait to get legal help after you have suffered a back or spine injury in an accident. Get in touch with Marks & Harrison today. Call or connect with us online. A free consultation with our firm can help you to understand your rights and options, and it get you started on the road to your recovery. We can serve you from our Richmond office or at any one of our other offices located throughout Virginia.
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