Upper Marlboro Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers
Filing a Spine Injury Claim in Prince George’s County, MD
A spinal cord injury (SCI) is a catastrophic injury, meaning it has a profound and lasting effect on the life of the victim and the lives of the victim’s loved ones. If you or someone you care about has suffered an SCI due to the careless, reckless, or wrongful behavior of someone else, you could be entitled to financial compensation for your resulting medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages.
At Farmer & Klopfer, we represent clients who have sustained severe, life-altering injuries. Our Upper Marlboro, MD spinal cord injury lawyers understand the devastating nature of these injuries, as well as the many challenges you are facing. Our goal is to help you protect your rights and fight for the full, fair compensation you are owed.
On This page:
- Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
- Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
- What Is the Average Settlement for a Spinal Cord Injury?
- Damages in Spinal Cord Injury Cases
- How Our Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers Can Help with Your Case
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
While there are many types of spinal cord injuries, these injuries are generally classified as one of the following:
- Complete: A complete SCI refers to total and permanent damage to the spinal cord, often resulting in partial or complete paralysis. With a complete SCI, the victim typically loses all motor and sensory function below the point of injury.
- Incomplete: An incomplete SCI occurs when the victim retains some motor and/or sensory function below the point of injury. In other words, there is only partial damage (vs. total) to the spinal cord with an incomplete SCI. Common types of incomplete SCIs include:
- Central Cord Syndrome: This type of SCI primarily affects the cervical region of the spinal cord. It often results in greater weakness and impairment in the upper extremities than in the lower extremities.
- Brown-Sequard Syndrome: This syndrome is characterized by partial damage to one side of the spinal cord, causing weakness and loss of sensation on the affected side while preserving function on the opposite side. The severity and extent of symptoms can vary.
- Anterior Cord Syndrome: In this type of injury, damage occurs mainly to the front (anterior) portion of the spinal cord, resulting in loss of motor function, temperature sensation, and pain sensation below the level of the injury. However, touch and proprioception (awareness of body position) may be preserved.
- Conus Medullaris Syndrome: This injury occurs near the end of the spinal cord (conus) and can affect the lumbar and sacral segments. It typically results in bowel, bladder, and sexual dysfunction.
Complete spinal cord injuries are generally considered to be more serious than incomplete spinal cord injuries, but incomplete SCIs may still lead to significant and permanent complications. Both types of injuries can result in paralysis (partial or total), loss of sensation, loss of motor function, and more.
Some of the many complications associated with spinal cord injuries include:
- Paralysis, including tetraplegia (quadriplegia) and paraplegia: Tetraplegia or quadriplegia refers to the paralysis of both the upper and lower limbs and often occurs when the spinal cord injury is high in the cervical region. It affects all four limbs and may also impact respiratory muscles. Paraplegia involves the loss of motor and sensory function in the lower half of the body, including the legs. It typically occurs when the spinal cord injury is located in the thoracic, lumbar, or sacral regions.
- Severe, chronic pain: Individuals with spinal cord injuries often experience chronic neuropathic pain, which is characterized by persistent, stabbing, or burning sensations. This pain can be challenging to manage and significantly impact an individual's quality of life.
- Incontinence (loss of bladder and/or bowel control): Loss of bladder and/or bowel control is common after a spinal cord injury. The level and extent of incontinence depend on the level of the injury, with higher injuries often resulting in more significant issues with bladder and bowel function.
- Sexual dysfunction/loss of sexual function: Spinal cord injuries can lead to sexual dysfunction, affecting both sexual arousal and function. This can have a profound impact on an individual's sexual relationships and overall quality of life.
- An increased risk of heart and/or lung problems: Immobility and reduced physical activity associated with spinal cord injuries can increase the risk of cardiovascular issues, such as heart disease. Lung problems may also arise due to impaired respiratory muscles or susceptibility to pneumonia.
- Difficulty breathing: Depending on the level of the injury, individuals may experience difficulty breathing. High cervical injuries can affect the diaphragm and respiratory muscles, necessitating the use of ventilatory support.
- Difficulty regulating blood pressure: SCI can disrupt the autonomic nervous system, leading to difficulty in regulating blood pressure. This can result in issues like orthostatic hypotension (a sudden drop in blood pressure when changing positions) and autonomic dysreflexia, a potentially life-threatening condition characterized by a sudden spike in blood pressure.
- Inability to regulate body temperature: Impaired ability to sweat or shiver below the level of the injury can make it difficult to regulate body temperature. This can result in susceptibility to overheating or hypothermia.
- Spasticity/joint contracture: Spasticity involves muscle stiffness and involuntary muscle contractions, which can lead to joint contractures (permanent shortening of muscles or tendons). These can cause pain, discomfort, and limited range of motion.
- Metabolic problems: Individuals with SCI often experience metabolic changes, including muscle atrophy and changes in body composition. Maintaining a healthy body weight and muscle mass can be challenging, and the risk of metabolic conditions like diabetes may increase.
These and other complications can significantly impact the victim’s life for years to come. Many SCI victims will require extensive and, in some cases, lifelong care.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Accidents, violence, and other traumatic events are the most common causes of spinal cord injuries in the United States.
Specifically, these incidents include:
- Car, motorcycle, truck, and other motor vehicle accidents
- Collisions between vehicles and pedestrians or bicyclists
- Falls, including slip and fall accidents and falls from heights
- Gunshot wounds, assault, and other forms of violence
- Sports- and recreation-related accidents
- Industrial accidents and workplace accidents
- Disease and other health conditions
In many cases, these incidents are the result of someone else’s negligent or wrongful actions. If this was the case for you, you likely have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. Reach out to our Upper Marlboro spinal cord injury attorneys today to learn more during a free, no-obligation consultation.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Spinal Cord Injury?
Every case is unique and, therefore, there is no “average” spinal cord injury claim or “average” settlement. Rather, the specific details of your case determine the expected value of your SCI claim.
Some of the many factors that influence the potential value of your spinal cord injury case include:
- The severity of your spinal cord injury
- The overall cost and duration of your medical care
- Projected future medical treatment costs
- The value of your lost wages
- Whether you are disabled due to your injury
- Whether you are able to work after being injured
- Your percentage of fault (if any) in the incident that caused your injury
- The calculated value of your pain and suffering and other noneconomic damages
Some SCI cases settle for tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars, while others result in millions of dollars recovered for the injured. It’s important to remember that not all cases settle; many will go to trial.
At Farmer & Klopfer, we fight tirelessly for our clients and are always willing to go to court if that is what is necessary to seek the maximum amount our clients are owed. Our experienced trial attorneys understand the law and the legal system. We know how to effectively advocate for your rights and your recovery.
Damages in Spinal Cord Injury Cases
Although the overall value of your SCI case depends on the factors listed above, you may be entitled to certain types of damages.
Examples of common damages in spinal cord injury cases include:
- Past, current, and future medical care costs
- Past, current, and future lost income/wages
- Past, current, and future pain and suffering
- Loss of earning ability due to disability or impairment
- Emotional distress and/or trauma
- Out-of-pocket costs related to the injury
In some cases, SCI victims may also be entitled to punitive (or exemplary) damages. Such damages are meant to punish the defendant and are typically only available in cases involving egregious or gross negligence, intentional misconduct, or wanton disregard for the safety of others.
How Our Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers Can Help with Your Case
At Farmer & Klopfer, we are prepared to assist you with every aspect of your case. Our experienced Upper Marlboro spinal cord injury lawyers have helped numerous people in situations similar to yours. We have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients, including many million- and multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts.
We recognize that every case is different, which is why we provide our clients with the personalized attention, service, and legal support they need. We want to help you navigate this challenging time in your life so that you can begin to heal and move forward.
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We could not have asked for a better group of attorneys to handle our legal problem. James Farmer and Melvin Allen were very knowledgeable, confident and successful in handling our case. I will definitely be referring this Law Firm to others.”
Showed me true dedication that goes far beyond a paycheck
“James Farmer and his team exceeded all expectations! I had a very serious criminal case and his firm was recommended to me by a family member. I was incarcerated during this time and he and his associate Stephanie came to update me on multiple occasions on the progress of my case. They were not only professional but the amount of time and energy they put into my case showed me true dedication that goes far beyond a paycheck! They prepared for trial, but in the end was able to work out a plea deal that did not include any jail time. I couldn’t have asked for a better attorney. I highly recommend Mr. Farmer and his team for any criminal case!”
Truly cared about my case and how the accident affected me.
“I have used James Farmer office for two accidents I have been in; both times they were exceptional.”
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Our firm has won tens of millions of dollars in financial compensation for individuals & their families.
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Valuable InsightWe know how to skillfully navigate government bureaucracies to help our clients obtain workers’ compensation benefits.