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South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys
Fighting for fair compensation for victims of spine injuries
Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) can be extremely devastating, often leaving a person with permanent disability. An SCI can cause anything from nerve damage to paralysis, along with lifelong complications. Depending on the nature of an SCI, some patients are able to regain some function. However, some may never recover and require medical assistance for the rest of their life.
The South Carolina serious injury lawyers at McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, understand the significant expense and pain of a spinal cord injury. Our attorneys hold negligent parties responsible for your injury and seek compensation on your behalf. We have more than 100 combined years of experience, and have obtained millions in settlements and verdicts for our valued clients.
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What is a spinal cord injury?
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, there are about 17,810 new spinal cord injury cases each year. Injuries include temporary, partial or permanent nerve damage or paralysis. Most people who suffer a spinal cord injury do not fully recover from their injuries. A spinal cord injury is any damage that occurs to the spinal cord. An SCI can cause changes in sensation, strength, and bodily functions below the site of the injury. Spinal cord injuries can be either:
- Complete, meaning that all sensation and movement below the site of the SCI is lost (paralysis)
- Incomplete, meaning that the patient still has some level of movement and sensation
Further, paralysis from an SCI can be classified as either:
- Tetraplegia, also called quadriplegia, when the arms, hands, trunk, and legs are all affected by the SCI
- Paraplegia, where the SCI affects the trunk and legs
The spinal cord does not have to be severed for loss of function to occur – for many SCI patients, their spinal cord is intact but the damage still results in catastrophic injury.
What are the levels of spinal cord injury?
The spinal cord has four sections, each of which protects different groups of nerves that control different functions of the body. The level of your SCI depends upon which section of the spinal cord is injured.
- Cervical SCIs. A cervical spinal cord injury affects the region from the shoulders down. It is the most severe level of SCI and encompasses the C1 to C8 vertebrae. Cervical SCIs cause paralysis in the arms, trunk and legs. They also may impair a patient’s ability to breathe, control their bladder, and require assistance with daily living skills and activities.
- Thoracic SCIs. These types of SCIs affect the chest, mid-back, and trunk area. Patients usually have arm and hand movement. Thoracic SCIs encompass the T1 to T12 vertebrae, and patients may experience paraplegia. Patients may be able to use a wheelchair but still need assistance with some activities.
- Lumbar SCIs. A lumbar SCI affects the hips and legs, with damage between the L1 to L5 vertebrae. Patients may be able to use a wheelchair or walk with braces.
- Sacral SCIs. These types of spinal cord injuries affect the hips, buttocks, and thighs. Encompassing the S1 to S5 vertebrae, patients are most likely able to walk but may experience loss of bladder control.
The SCI attorneys at McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC can work with your medical team to establish the level and type of your injury to ensure you secure the right amount of compensation for your losses and damages.
What are the signs and symptoms of spinal cord injury?
When the spinal cord cannot communicate with the brain, which is what happens in an SCI, the body can lose the ability to perform many essential functions. Symptoms of an SCI may present immediately after the trauma or take a few days to symptomize after the physical shock wears off. These symptoms can include:
- Burning sensation
- Difficulty breathing
- Inability to feel cold, heat or pressure
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Muscle spasms
- Pain or numbness
Emergency signs of a serious SCI can include extreme pain or pressure in the back or neck, numbness or tingling in the extremities, or weakness or paralysis in any part of the body. Any person who experiences trauma to the head or neck should receive immediate medical attention.
New medical technologies such as robotics, electronic stimulators and other devices may be of help to spinal cord injury patients. Despite this progress, it is important for spinal cord injury patients and their medical teams to be extremely vigilant to avoid life-threatening secondary medical conditions, including infections, inflammation, Autonomic Dysreflexia Syndrome, pressure sores and blood clots.
What are the most common causes of spinal cord injuries?
Determining why and how an injury happened is a prerequisite to successfully securing compensation for your SCI. Our South Carolina spinal cord injury lawyers work tirelessly to prove that your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness. Some of the most common causes of serious spinal cord injuries include:
- Auto accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle accidents
- Negligent security
- Slip and fall accidents
- Sports injuries
- Truck accidents
- Violence and assaults
We investigate the circumstances of your accident, injury and any associated complications, and then build a strong claim against the responsible party. You can count on our South Carolina attorneys for dedicated and strategic representation.
What is my spinal cord injury case worth?
Each case is unique. Some patients suffer a partial or incomplete paralysis or paraplegia, but can often live a full and fairly active life with long-term rehabilitation and assistance. Patients with complete paralysis will require much more financial compensation and lifetime help. Other spinal cord injuries handled by our firm include degenerative disc disease, herniated or ruptured discs, and spondylosis.
The attorneys at McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC work to prove that your SCI was caused by the negligent actions of another. We hold them responsible and accountable for your losses and seek compensation on your behalf, which includes:
- Medical expenses, current and ongoing care
- Lost income and diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress
We ensure that your compensation takes into account the entire scope of your injuries. Because SCIs tend to affect mobility and may require a wheelchair and other accommodations, our attorneys also seek the necessary financial compensation for modifications or assistance like:
- Accessible housing or remodeling your current home to accommodate a disability
- Home care aides
- Occupational therapy
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Wheelchair-accessible transportation or modification of your vehicle
- Wheelchair ramps and lifts
If you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury that was not your fault, talk to our law firm today. We want to help.
Experienced spinal cord injury attorneys serving SC
The lawyers at McGowan, Hood, Felder & Phillips, LLC, are dedicated, driven, and committed to delivering results. Your spinal cord injury accident case matters to us. If you suffered an SCI or lost a loved one due to complications from a spinal cord injury, let us help you secure the justice and compensation you deserve. Call us today at 803-327-7800 or fill out our contact form and schedule an appointment. We proudly serve clients throughout South Carolina and nationwide from offices in Columbia, Rock Hill, Sumter, Greenville, Charleston, and Georgetown.