Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

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Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

Of all the injuries you can sustain in a car crash or other accident, a spinal cord injury is one of the most serious. These types of injuries likely will change your life forever, most notably by requiring you to use a wheelchair in order to get around. The sooner you contact an experienced local spinal cord injury lawyer after your accident, the sooner he or she can begin the process of getting the compensation you deserve from the person or entity whose negligence or wrongdoing caused your accident

Understanding SCIs and Your Consequent Need For A Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer


To understand the grave physical, mental, emotional and financial consequences of a spinal cord injury, it is necessary to first understand what your spinal cord is and how it works.

Spinal Cord Definition

Your spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that extends from the base of your brain down to the middle of your back. It is the information highway that sends messages back and forth between your brain and the other parts of your body. A spinal cord injury interrupts this flow of information, resulting in your brain’s inability to instruct your muscles how to move and how to feel sensations such as pain, hot and cold, pressure, etc. An experienced spinal cord injury lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation of your accident to help you assess its consequences.

Spinal Vertebrae

Thirty-three bones, called vertebrae, surround and protect your spinal cord. Medical personnel divide these vertebrae into the following three main areas:

  1. Cervical area: Seven bones, delineated C1 through C7, located in the back of your neck
  2. Thoracic area: 12 bones, delineated T1 through T12, located in your upper back
  3. Lumbar area: Five bones, delineated L1 through L5, located in your lower back

In addition, five fused bones are located in your back’s lowest area, called the sacrum, and four fused bones are located in your coccyx, i.e., tailbone, area. Your spinal cord, however, ends above these two areas, so these fused bones don’t protect it or come into play when you sustain a spinal cord injury.

An SCI in one of your three primary areas, on the other hand, affects all parts of your body below that injury.

Complete Versus Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury

The amount of devastation a spinal cord injury causes depends on whether it is complete or incomplete. If you sustain a complete SCI, this means that your spinal cord was severed or severely damaged and you likely will not recover any voluntary movement or sensation below you point of injury. Conversely, if you sustain an incomplete SCI, this means that there is a possibility that you will retain some motor and/or sensory function below your point of injury and that you may well increase this functionality through a long course of extensive rehabilitation and physical therapy. Here again, a qualified spinal cord injury lawyer can ensure that your medical records are broad in scope and fully analyze and document your injury. In addition, he or she may be able to help you obtain the ongoing therapy and services you require.

Paraplegia Versus Quadriplegia


Since a spinal cord injury affects the parts of your body below it, it should come as no surprise to you that the higher up your SCI, the more loss of voluntary motor function (paralysis) and sensation you will experience.


If your spinal cord injury occurs in your lumbar region or the lower part of your thoracic region, the result likely will be paraplegia. As a paraplegic, you will not be able to more or feel your legs or feet much, if at all, and will require the use of a wheelchair. In addition you may well lose control of your bladder and bowel functions.


If your spinal cord injury occurs in your cervical area or the upper part of your thoracic region, the result likely will be quadriplegia, also called tetraplegia. As a quadriplegic, you will not be able to move or feel your arms, hands or trunk, as well as your legs and feet. In other words, you will be dependent on caregivers for virtually all your day-to-day needs, including such things as the following:

  • Getting in an out of bed
  • Eating and drinking
  • Grooming
  • Dressing and undressing
  • Removing wastes from your body

In a worst-case scenario, you may require constant mechanical ventilation in order to breathe and therefore remain alive.

Spinal Cord Injury Costs


As you might imagine, the financial costs resulting from a spinal cord injury can be, and often are, as devastating as the injury itself. For instance, the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center estimates the direct costs during your first year post-injury as follows:

  • High tetraplegia (C1-C4): $1,149,629
  • Low tetraplegia (C5-C7): $830,708
  • Paraplegia: $560.287

As mind-numbing as these figures are, they represent only the tip of the iceberg. The NSCISC estimates your ongoing yearly costs as follows:

  • High tetraplegia (C1-C4): $199,637
  • Low tetraplegia (C5-C7): $122,468
  • Paraplegia: $74,221

Also keep in mind that these estimated costs consist of only your direct expenses. They don’t take into consideration your loss of wages, fringe benefits or productivity. The NSCISC estimates such indirect costs to be $77,701 annually, depending on your age when your SCI occurs and your pre-injury employment history. Getting you the compensation you deserve for both your direct and indirect costs may well be the way in which an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer can most help you deal with and acclimate to your new reality.

Life Expectancy Effects of a Spinal Cord Injury


Unfortunately, sustaining an SCI also decreases your life expectancy dramatically because it makes you significantly more susceptible to such things as the following:

  • Pneumonia
  • Septicemmia
  • Endocrine diseases
  • Metabolic diseases
  • Nutritional diseases
  • Nervous system diseases
  • Musculoskeletal disorders

Perhaps not surprisingly, the most deaths following an SCI occur during the first year post-accident. Even assuming that you survive this first critical year, however, your remaining life expectancy if your injury occurs at age 20 decreases from 59.4 years with no SCI to 33.6 years with a high tetraplegia injury, 40.0 years with a low tetraplegia injury, 45.1 years with a paraplegic injury, and only 16.9 years if your injury results in your becoming dependent on a ventilator.

Spinal Cord Injury Causes


While car crashes and other motor vehicle accidents account for most of the spinal cord injuries that occur in the United States, other types of accidents, including the following, likewise cause them:

Whatever type of accident caused your SCI, an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer can determine the persons or entities whose negligence or wrongdoing was responsible for it and file a personal injury lawsuit against him, her, it or them on your behalf. Your lawyer can then deal with the various insurance companies involved to obtain the maximum settlement amount or, if necessary, take your case all the way to a jury trial verdict.

Additional Ways in Which an Experienced Local Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Can Help You


If the accident that caused your spinal cord injury occurred in Michigan, the Mike Morse Law Firm stands ready, willing and able to help you. As one of the leading personal injury law firms in Michigan, we have been helping our injured clients for decades by practicing only personal injury law. Our track record is impressive. To date, we have recovered more than $1.5 billion in settlements and verdicts for our clients.

Keep in mind that you have only a limited amount of time in which to allow us to file a lawsuit on your behalf. Michigan’s statute of limitations requires you to file your lawsuit no later than three years after the date of your injury. Our team of dedicated lawyers can ensure that you meet this deadline, plus all others.

Also keep in mind that Michigan is a comparative negligence state. What this means is that, for purposes of the amount of compensation you can receive in a personal injury settlement or jury verdict, if the evidence shows that your own negligence caused more than 50% of your accident, you cannot recover any noneconomic damages, such as for pain and suffering. You can, however, recover economic damages, such as for hospital bills, surgical expenses, rehabilitation and physical therapy fees, prescription medicine costs and the costs of a wheelchair and other adaptive equipment. regardless of the percentage of your own fault, although their amount will be reduced by your percentage of negligence.

Perhaps the most important way in which a spinal cord injury lawyer from the Mike Morse Law Firm can can help you, though, is by being not only your strong advocate, but also your concerned friend. You may rest assured that we will do everything possible to make your life easier, including the fact that you owe us nothing unless and until we successfully conclude your case. So contact us today. We look forward to receiving your call and putting our dedication and experience to work for you.

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