Experienced Car Accidents Spinal Cord Injury Law Firm in Hamilton, Ontario 

The instantaneous effects of a spinal cord injury results in a total disruption to a car accident victim’s life, and the beginning of an expensive life-long adjustement process. Our lawyers can help you recover the financial protection you deserve.

Within moments after a car accident, a victims who has been active and independent becomes immobilized and dependent on others to meet his or her basic needs. Suffering a spinal cord injury in a car accident is truly a devastating injury with profound consequences to both the victim and those that surround him. It is a catastrophic injury with potential devastating impacts including far-reaching physical, psychological, vocational and social consequences. If you or your loved one has suffered a car accident related spinal cord injury there will no doubt be stages of grief that one will go through which will take an emotional toll on your overall well-being. For a car accident victim that has suffered a spinal cord injury, going from an active independent person one minute, to being dependent on others, for the remainder of your life, will no doubt cause grief, distress, anger, frustration, anxiety, sadness and despair.

As spinal cord injury lawyers, we understand that there is nothing predictable about the physical and psychological sequelae of a spinal cord injury. We understand that there may be many physical and psychosocial changes that will accompany a spinal cord injury, such as:

  • chronic pain
  • fatigue
  • helplessness
  • disbelief and guilt
  • loneliness and isolation
  • the lack of privacy and independence
  • changes to your job and working environment
  • possible separation from your friends
  • frustration with the inability to control bodily functions
  • changes in appearance, physical health and overall functional ability

We understand the innumerable and unforeseeable circumstances in the lives of our clients after suffering from a car accident related spinal cord injuries. Adapting to a spinal cord injury is a life-long and expensive process. One thing is for certain, if your injury was caused by the negligence of another driver, then you may be entitled to compensation to help fund your lifelong medical and rehabilitation needs. As your car accident spinal cord lawyers, we aggressively fight for every dollar to comprehensively support your current and future needs resulting from the onset of this catastrophic injury, through to the end of your life expectancy.

Our spinal cord injury experts, work with multi-disciplinary professionals, including pain doctors, supported and assisted living, nursing, engineering, biomechanics, dietary nutrition, pharmacology, accounting, personal support worker’s, rehab specialists and occupational therapists they can all work together and who may be called upon to help support your coping with your life altering injury.

Understanding Spinal Cord Anatomy Basics

Most people  are not aware, but your spinal cord is a very soft and spongy like, protected by 33 bones that run from your neck to your hips, called vertebrate. Inside the vertebrae, there is a small circular opening. Your vertebraes are stacked one on top of the other, and separated by a soft spongy like rubbery pads of cartilage, called disks, often described as shock absorbers for your vertebral bones. Once stacked, your spinal cord extends through the holes in your vertebrae, similar to a tunnel.

Your vertebral bones, from your neck to your hips, are divided into different segments. In your neck area, you have 7 vertebrae is called the cervical vertebrae, that extend from the back of your head down to the top of your back.

Your upper back, which attaches to your rib cage, houses 12 thoracic vertebrae’s.

Your lower back, which we know as the lumbar area, houses 5 vertebrates that extend into the hip area. Underneath your lumbar area you have the 5 coccygeal vertebrae, fused into the tailbone.

Your spinal cord is also divided into segments, similar to your vertebral bones. In your neck area, in addition to the cervical vertebrae, your cervical anatomy contains eight cervical nerve roots that branch from your spinal cord (C1 to C8), Thoracic nerves (T1 to T12), 5 lumbar spinal nerves (L1 to L5) and 5 Sacral spinal nerves (S1 to S5).

Traumatic spinal cord injuries in car accidents

Spinal cord injuries can happen in a variety of different ways, most commonly by traumatic instances such as car accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, falls, gunshot wounds, diving accidents etc) and non-traumatic instances, such as tumour development, ischemia, developmental disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, demyelinative diseases, transverse myelitis, and vascular malformation.

When a spinal cord injury occurs by direct trauma, such as in a serious car accident, typically it is a shocking blow to the spine that fractures or dislocates the vertebral bones. Bone fragments, disc materials, ligaments or other foreign objects Terran to the spinal cord, causing permanent injury. Axons are bruised or cut in the neural membranes are broken. Bleeding may occur around or onto the cord’s central grey matter, spreading to other areas of the cord. Spinal cord begins to swell and fills the entire cavity of the spinal canal which, in turn, causes a loss of blood flow and a reduction or loss of oxygen to the spinal cord tissue.  This initial direct trauma sets off a series of cellular measures spinal shock occurs in approximately half of spinal cord injury cases. During Spinal shock, undamaged areas of the spinal cord becomes temporarily disabled and is unable to communicate to the brain.

Spinal Cord Injuries and Car Accidents

Traumatic spinal cord injuries, either paraplegic or quadriplegic type injuries, are no doubt disabling and have a significant influence on the accident victim social, physical, psychological and financial situation. Road traffic accidents are by far the most common cause of traumatic spinal cord injuries. Car accidents compose approximately 40% of traumatic spinal cord injuries due to road traffic accidents.

Rollover accidents, side impact and high impact head-on collisions are major contributors to traumatic spinal cord injuries resulting in varying degrees of long-term paralysis. In rollover type accidents, studies show that roof crush and vertical roof intrusion onto the head of the accident victim often results in bending and compression loads on the spine, causing major injury and disruption to a driver or passengers cervical vertebrae.

Site impacts, commonly known as T-bone type crashes, is the type of car accident where the side of one vehicle is hit by the front or rear of another vehicle or a fixed object. The driver or passenger in a T-bone accident on the struck side of the vehicle, if the accident happens at high speed, often suffers far more severe injuries then otherwise similar front or rear collision type accidents. In high-speed T-bone collisions, strains and serious fractures can happen to a person’s cervical vertebrae, muscles, and ligaments can be stretched beyond their breaking strength, damaging nerve roots and the spinal cord, which causes permanent injury.

Spinal cord injury and Psychological Difficulties

There is no doubt that a spinal cord injury is a devastating condition that will lead to significant neurological impairment and reduce quality of life, both from a physical and psychosocial perspective. More often than not, car accident victims suffering a traumatic spinal cord injury will suffered severe emotional negative reactions, which often warrants long-term therapeutic psychosocial adjustment.

While some people are able to emotionally recover, to some degree – some spinal cord injury victims simply do not adjust well and go on to suffer lifelong disabling emotional, behavioural or cognitive symptoms following in SCI. Some people experienced permanent raise levels of depressed mood and negative psychological states, especially when there is:

  • a significantly lowered quality of life
  • a lack of support
  • a lack of friendship
  • a lack of therapeutic intervention
  • little or no family to help
  • diminished employability
  • lack of social engagement
  • impairment of sexuality
  • chronic pain

The psychological adjustment to a spinal cord injury needs to be properly addressed, which requires proper funding. Psychological care can be easily facilitated if proper funding assists with all facets of a spinal cord injury victim’s life, and not just psychological care. For example, if a person’s life is properly accommodated with appropriate aids for independent living, personal assistance, mobility, proper physical rehabilitation, daily care, and other activities that allow an injured person more of a sense of choice, control and self-reliance – psychological complications can be better dealt with.

Overall, each person is unique and will respond to car accident spinal cord injuries differently based on their own individual personality, coping style, and characteristics.

One thing is for sure – a person’s emotional recovery following a traumatic spinal cord injury caused by a car accident will more likely than not improve with structure and normality, as well as proper and continued intervention.

Understanding that your life will never be the same

During hospitalization it will be very difficult to understand the massive uncertainties and changes in your life. The questions will be endless. You may also find a difficult to think clearly. He will experience anxiety confusion and concern.,  You will experience worry. You will try to remember your car accident which will probably be a foggy memory. All of this may have to do with your reaction to the pain you are suffering or the medication or poor sleep.

For spinal cord injury victims, all of this is very normal. Moving through a grieving process is also normal. There been many books written on the grieving process after suffering a spinal cord injury – the one thing is for sure the grieving process does help in coming to terms with your loss and accepting the reality of life today. For example, car accident victims that suffer a traumatic spinal cord injury often, for a very long time, suffer symptoms such as:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • sadness
  • social withdrawal
  • thoughts of suicide
  • anger
  • impatience
  • disbelief
  • loneliness
  • confusion
  • obsessive thoughts with life before the accident ect.

Spinal Cord Peer Support is an excellent program put on by Spinal Cord Injury Ontario. Spinal cord injury victims graciously offer their time to car accident victim to discuss life after spinal cord injury. Peer Support is a fantastic way to relate to people who have chosen to believe in themselves, focus on hope and determination and getting to maximum medical recovery to enjoy life the best they can. Going from an independent energetic person, and having control of your body for movement, mobility, transfer, toileting, sexual activity etc. etc. to being dependent on others is not an easy thing to bear. However, in time you will become happier with proper adjustment. You will bounce back, create goals, understand there will be ups and downs, come to accept uncertainty regarding the future, perhaps get back to school, work and lead a fulfilling life.

Who pays for my lifetime care?

If you been involved in a car accident and suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury and the accident was partially or not your fault, then the at fault driver’s insurance company will be funding your lifetime care. In addition, your own insurance company (or that of your parents or to whom whoever you might’ve been a dependent of) will also be funding the cost of your lifetime care, which can range into the millions.

If you been involved in a car accident and suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury, you need to hire a spinal cord injury lawyer who has experience working with proper life care planners in order to ensure that appropriate aids for your independent functioning.  The cost of insuring your lifelong proper care after a car accident is complex. Projected evaluations and costs must be completed over your life expectancy in all your needs must be properly identified.

For example depending on your injuries, you may need funding for:

  • physical therapy
  • mobility aids
  • personal support workers
  • rehabilitation workers
  • occupational therapy
  • psychological therapy
  • audiology, assistive technology
  • dieting and nutrition
  • funding for help with recreational therapy, ect.

If you were working, proper vocational rehabilitation may be needed. There may always be a good chance that you can return to work in some capacity. Vocational counselling may be necessary, particularly when you can’t perform the overall essential functions of your preinjury job and retraining may be necessary.

If your child has suffered a spinal cord injury then perhaps special educational recommendations, supplemental tutoring, individualized support, and post secondary assistance will be needed. There may be special education services, classroom accommodations required.

There may be mobility limitations imposed by your disability and it’s important that the project lifetime costs of wheelchairs (for use in different environments) are costed for you in order to facilitate your community integration. For example you may require a power wheelchair, manual wheelchair, specialized models if you are athletic, if you are a child, you may require a power scooter, shower wheelchair etc. etc. maintenance and accessories such as wheelchair gloves, pouches, safety belts, transfer boards, lap boards, cupholders etc. should also be cost at properly.

Physical therapists will play critical role in your recovery and throughout your life. There’s no doubt that you will require ongoing rehabilitation for the duration of your natural life. Also, you may require orthopedics, prosthetics, arm splints, form splints, hand splints, tables, body support systems, exercise equipment etc.

You may also need medication that may be related to your injury or chronic illness.

The last thing we want is for you and your family to have difficulty working with your insurance companies to have any necessary equipment for medical necessity approved. We do not want you or your family to ever have to spend money out of your own pocket to wait through the claims process. Your car accident lawyer will help encapsulate the concerns that you may have in the future, along with a life care plan to comprehensively identify your future needs, to facilitate the delivery of your requirements, to help with your rehabilitation, work recovery, and medical recovery potential. Overall, the importance is to ensure that you have recovered a settlement extensive enough to facilitate your reintegration into community and enhance your quality of life.

Contact us an Experienced Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

We understand that the instantaneous effects of aSpinal cord injury (SCI) leads to overwhelming  life-long disability and adjustment. The treatment and rehabilitation process of SCI is long, expensive and requires a multidisciplinary approach. Early rehabilitation is important to prevent disability and complications. Optimal care is imperative for both emotional and phsyical adjustment during immediate and through the rehabilitation process.

If you or your loved one has been involved in a serious car accident and has suffered a spinal cord injury we can help. Feel free to contact our live chat, fill in a contact form, email us, of call us at 905-333-8888 for more information.

We never charge consultations fees and we will never ask you for money upfront. We only get paid if we win your case.

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