Oklahoma City Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers
Filing a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit in Oklahoma
Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are incredibly serious, often leading to significant, life-changing consequences. Severe SCIs can result in permanent and total paralysis, and even less-serious SCIs may cause chronic pain, impairment, and partial or total loss of movement, sensation, and function.
At Fulmer Sill, we understand the immense impact these injuries have, both on victims and their families. Our Oklahoma City spinal cord injury attorneys work with medical professionals and other experts to put together powerful evidence proving their clients’ injuries and the extent of their damages. Our collaborative approach utilizes the full experience and skill of each individual member of our team, as well as the complete resources of our firm. As a client, you can expect to receive a high level of personal attention, guidance, and support throughout the legal process, along with reliable and consistent communication regarding the status of your case.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are categorized in one of the following two ways:
- Complete Spinal Cord Injury: A complete SCI occurs when the spinal cord is completely severed, leading to a total loss of communication between the brain and the body below the point of injury. Complete SCIs are the most severe type of spinal cord injury.
- Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury: An incomplete SCI occurs when the spinal cord is compressed or otherwise damaged, but not entirely severed. Typically, the brain retains some ability to send messages to the body below the point of injury with an incomplete SCI.
The effects of a spinal cord injury depend on several factors, including its severity, type, and location along the spinal column.
Some examples of complete SCIs include:
- Quadriplegia/Tetraplegia: Quadriplegia (also known as tetraplegia) is the most severe type of spinal cord injury involving complete loss of movement and motor function (paralysis) of all four limbs, or paralysis from the neck down. Quadriplegia typically results from a complete SCI that occurs at the base of the skull or neck.
- Paraplegia: Paraplegia is paralysis of the legs and lower half of the body. This often results from a complete SCI occurring along the spine below the neck. Paraplegia can also be caused by brain or spine tumors, brain or spine lesions, stroke, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), and other neurological and autoimmune conditions.
Additionally, some examples of incomplete SCIs include:
- Anterior Cord Syndrome: “Anterior” refers to the front of the spinal cord; therefore, anterior cord syndrome is a spinal cord injury affecting the front of the spinal cord. This condition often leads to partial or total loss of movement, as well as changes to sensory pathways involving pain, sensation, touch, and temperature.
- Brown-Sequard Syndrome: Brown-Sequard syndrome occurs when a spine lesion causes loss of movement and/or sensation below the point of injury. This rare SCI is characterized by asymmetrical effects, meaning the body is not equally affected on either side. Rather, a person with Brown-Sequard syndrome may experience varying degrees of impaired motor and sensory function on different sides of the body.
- Cauda Equina Syndrome: Cauda equina syndrome involves the “cauda equina” nerves, which is a bundle of nerve roots located near the bottom of the spinal cord. The cauda equina nerves are responsible for motor and sensory function in the legs and bladder, meaning people with this syndrome may experience loss of sensation and muscle weakness in the legs, as well as incontinence. Cauda equina syndrome is often caused by compression of the spine.
- Central Cord Syndrome: Incomplete SCIs that occur at the center of the spinal cord may cause central cord syndrome. This condition is characterized by loss of sensory and/or motor function in the hands and arms, as well as the legs (in some cases). Central cord syndrome is the most common type of incomplete SCI.
- Posterior Cord Syndrome: In contrast to anterior cord syndrome, posterior cord syndrome occurs as a result of an injury or damage to the back of the spinal cord. Individuals with this condition often experience issues with fine motor skills, sense of touch and self-movement, coordination, and body positioning and movement. However, most retain relatively normal posture and muscle tone.
These and other spinal cord injuries tend to have long-lasting physical, emotional, and financial effects on victims, as well as their families.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 90 percent of all spinal cord injuries worldwide are the result of traumatic events.
Specifically, some of the leading causes of SCIs include:
- Falls, including falls from heights and slip and fall accidents
- Car accidents, motorcycle crashes, and other automobile accidents
- Large truck and commercial vehicle collisions
- Motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists
- Sports- and recreation-related accidents, including diving accidents
- Birth injuries affecting the neck and/or spinal cord
- Infections, illnesses, and various medical conditions
- Violence, such as gunshot or stab wounds, assault, and other criminal acts
If someone else—whether it was another person, a business, an employer, or some other entity—is partly or fully responsible for the incident that caused your or your loved one’s spinal cord injury, you are likely entitled to financial compensation for your resulting damages. Reach out to our team at Fulmer Sill today to learn more during a free initial consultation.
Compensation for Spinal Cord Injury Victims
Because SCIs have such devastating and far-reaching effects, victims tend to sustain significant economic and non-economic losses. Known as “damages,” these losses can add considerable hardship to an already difficult situation, making it extremely challenging to heal and move forward with your life.
At Fulmer Sill, our Oklahoma City spinal cord injury attorneys help SCI victims and their loved ones seek maximum compensation for the following types of damages:
- Emergency medical care
- Ambulance/emergency transportation fees
- Surgery and other treatments
- Pain management programs
- Medical equipment and devices
- Rehabilitation/physical therapy
- Ongoing and future medical expenses
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
- Lost income, wages, and benefits
- Loss of future expected earnings and benefits
- Lost or reduced earning capacity due to permanent injury or impairment
- Home modifications to accommodate a new disability
- In-home assistance and care costs
Every case is different, and the exact type and amount in damages you can expect to receive will depend on the specific details of your situation. Our team can review your claim during a complimentary consultation and provide more information specific to your case.
We encourage you to reach out to our team as soon as possible after a spinal cord injury. The statute of limitations on most personal injury lawsuits in Oklahoma is just two years from the date of injury. If you fail to file a lawsuit within two years, you will almost certainly lose your right to sue the liable party for damages.
You can rely on our tenacious and hardworking team to fight tirelessly for every penny you are owed.