Spinal Cord Injuries
Many assume that someone who suffered sensory loss following a spinal cord injury feels no pain, let alone anything in the affected area. Yet, paraplegics and quadriplegics suffer intense agony and other abnormal sensations.
Partial or complete sensory loss is a complex effect of a spinal cord injury, requiring that you retain seasoned counsel who has the resources and experience necessary to tell your story. The attorneys at DeShaw Trial Lawyers provide intelligent representation and dedication to our clients.
Long-Term Medical Needs for Spinal Cord Injuries is Expensive
Victims of spinal cord injuries may require nursing and attendant care to assist with the activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, brushing teeth, eating, and even repositions to avoid pressure sores. The costs associated with long-term medical care are astronomical. Most people cannot afford the nursing and attendant care they need following a spinal cord injury. Pneumonia and infections from ulcers or bedsores are common complications for those who are confined to a wheelchair or bedridden, and are the leading cause of death for victims of spinal cord injuries. While proper attendant and medical care can significantly reduce the risk of these complications, such treatment is extremely expensive.
Types of Spinal Cord Injury Cases:
- Quadriplegia and Paraplegia
- Sensory Loss
- Motor Function Loss
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (“CRPS”) formerly known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (“RSD”)
Things you should ask a potential brain injury or catastrophic injury lawyer:
- How many brain injury or spinal cord injury cases have you handled during your career?
- How many brain injury or spinal cord injury cases have you handled during your career?
- How many brain injury/spinal cord injury trials have you done?
- Do you belong to any national litigation specialty groups for brain injury or spinal cord injury lawyers?
- Do you have a good knowledge of the neuroanatomy of my injury?
- Do you have a good understanding of the permanent consequences for someone with my injury?
- Do you understand the loss of earning capacity for people with physical or cognitive disability?
- Will you go to trial with me if the insurance company doesn't make me a reasonable offer for my injuries?
- When is the last time you went to trial?
- Will you fully fund the costs of my case up through trial if the insurance company doesn't make a reasonable offer?*
- Do you hire high quality experts who can credibly testify on the following areas:
- Neuropsychology (testing of the brain with standardized tests)
- Neuroradiology with a 3T MRI or other advanced imaging (diffuse Tensor Imaging, Fiber Tracing, SPECT, PET).
- The cost of all wage loss and health care costs from the date of the collision to trial, and for the rest of your life. (Usually an economist)
- Credit Damage (for those out of work more than 60 days, who’s credit has been damaged by your financial losses)
- Future Loss of Earning Capacity (in the event you can work, but can’t make as much after the collision, or can’t get promoted the same way as before.)
- Life care planning
- Grief and loss therapy (sometimes involving Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) and / or Depression.
- Vocational Rehab
- Future medical costs
Investing in Our Clients in Hopes of Providing Them a Stable Future
Cases involving brain and spinal cord injuries are medically complex. Our lawyers are dedicated to an ongoing study of the human body, how trauma impacts it, and participate in e-mail list serves with other doctors and lawyers regarding brain injury and neurological injury research. Aaron DeShaw is one of few lawyers in the northwest to belong to the American Association for Justice - Brain Injury Litigation Group.
Several times per week, we find important new medical or scientific research regarding the injuries we see in our cases. Over our years as a firm, we have compiled shelves of notebooks of medical and scientific studies on brain injuries, neurological injuries, neuroradiology and neuropsychology that we regularly use in trial. It is our in-depth study of these injuries that allows us to represent people with brain and spinal cord injury cases so well.
Cases involving brain and spinal cord injuries are also very expensive to litigate
At Dr. Aaron DeShaw, Esq., P.C., we invest the resources necessary to retain high quality expert witnesses, including neuropsychologists, physiatrists, life care planners, and economists, and take your case through trial to get you full and fair compensation. There are two reasons; our number one goal for our clients is to fully heal. In order to do so, you need to understand the type of injury, the location of injury, and get to the right treating doctor for your needs. Secondly, we need to understand your injuries from an objective and credible source who can help us understand what is wrong.
There are few areas of the body more difficult to test for injury than the brain. We do not hire doctors or other experts who will necessarily say what we want. Instead, we hire doctors and experts who will help us understand the truth about your injuries and their personal and financial consequences. We believe that honesty and credibility is key to any injury case. We hire the best quality regional and national experts who can objectively analyze your case and provide the jury members a credible, objective opinion based upon the facts of your case.
The willingness to fully investigate a case, and hire nationally recognized experts in their field when necessary, is an important trait to consider when hiring a law firm for a case that will impact you the rest of your life. You will only have one chance to present your case to a jury, and if you lose, you will never have another chance to obtain compensation for your injuries and your financial losses.
Many people with spinal cord injuries suffer neurogenic pain, which is pain due to a dysfunction of the central nervous system. An example of neurogenic pain is what is called "phantom pain," which occurs in paralyzed patients or amputee victims when pain is felt coming from a part of the body that has no sensation or is no longer there due to the misfiring nerve endings. The worst part of neurogenic pain is that there are no drugs on the market that can treat it completely. The suffering is all too real for those experiencing neurogenic pain in areas of significant and complete sensory loss.
At DeShaw Trial Lawyers, we are equipped to handle complex sensory loss cases. We bring not only experience and knowledge, but also the resources needed to communicate the effects of the spinal cord injury via cutting-edge technology. We retain experts recognized throughout the field on your behalf. You deserve that level of representation if you or a family member has experienced a spinal cord injury.
Although it takes only a moment to cause a permanent spinal cord injury, the pain it causes the victim will last a lifetime. That momentary lapse of judgment can cause a once active person to be confined to a wheelchair for life and causes a lifetime of medical care costs without the ability to earn money.
On average the length of stay in a hospital for acute care and initial rehabilitation is 95 days for quadriplegics and 67 days for paraplegics. The average hospital bill related exclusively to this care and treatment is $100,000, and insurance only covers approximately half of this amount.
Those who are confined to a wheelchair or bedridden have an increased risk of pneumonia and infections from ulcers or bedsores. These complications are the leading cause of death for victims of spinal cord injuries. Proper attendant and medical care can significantly reduce the risk of these complications, however this treatment can be extremely expensive. That is why it is important to recover full and fair compensation from the parties responsible for causing a spinal cord injury.
Motor Function Loss
Assessing the Effects of Motor Function Loss
Our motor function is our ability to physically perform tasks. Without control over your motor functions, everyday activities are no longer under your power. Working can be impossible and it can be very difficult to enjoy the life you once had.
The loss of motor functions following an accident depends on the extent of the spinal cord injury and whether it was complete or incomplete. Damage to the Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar or Sacral part of your spinal cord will have varying results. Similar to brain injuries, the location of the spinal cord injury will determine how groups of muscles, organs and various sensations will be affected.
Paraplegia & Quadriplegia
Serious Spinal Cord Injuries Resulting in Paralysis
Many spinal cord injuries result in paralysis, leaving the victims with minimal or no feeling or control below the point of an injury suffered in an accident. Many are unable to walk on their own and dependent on loved ones and medical staff.
Paraplegia involves paralysis of the lower part of the body where quadriplegia encompasses paralysis of the upper and lower extremities. Paralysis can be complete or incomplete, depending on the location and extent of the spinal cord injury. The cord may have been damaged or severed, resulting in sensory and loss of motor function.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment with an experienced trial lawyer regarding spinal cord damage that has left you, a friend or family member paralyzed, please contact us. The phone call, and the initial consultation are both free. 503.227.1233 | Toll Free: 866.843.3476* Please note that under both Oregon and Washington law, clients must repay the costs forwarded by a law firm, regardless of which law firm accepts the case. We believe it is important to be honest with potential clients from the beginning of our interaction, that Oregon and Washington require that injured people must repay all amounts that a law firm pays on their behalf at the conclusion of their case regardless of whether the client wins or loses the trial. These rules apply to every lawyer practicing in Oregon and Washington. The only question is whether a law firm is willing or able to fully fund the litigation until its conclusion, or whether they will require the client to make monetary deposits for the costs throughout the period of representation.