Because the spine houses the central nervous cord, injuries to this area of the body are often devastating. Even in the mildest cases, victims are likely to suffer severe chronic pain, mobility issues, and other complications; in the most serious of cases, they can be completely paralyzed. Worse still, a spinal cord injury can be fatal.
If you or someone you love sustained a spine injury due to the careless, negligent, or wrongful conduct of another person or party, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options. Since 1909, Pringle & Herigstad, P.C. has been fighting on behalf of victims of negligence in Minot and the surrounding areas. Our North Dakota spine injury lawyers can help you bring a claim or lawsuit against the liable party and seek the full, fair recovery you are owed.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Injuries to the spine and spinal cord are classified as either complete or incomplete. Complete spinal cord injuries are generally considered more severe and result in the complete severing of communication between the brain and the body below the point of injury. A person who suffers an incomplete spinal cord injury, on the other hand, will retain some degree of feeling, movement, sensation, and function below the point of injury.
Some common complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries include:
- Paraplegia: A complete/incomplete spinal cord injury that results in paralysis of the lower half of the body (both legs and lower torso)
- Quadriplegia/Tetraplegia: A complete spinal cord injury that causes total paralysis of all four limbs and the torso
- Anterior Cord Syndrome: An incomplete spinal cord injury that generally affects the portion of the spine nearest the head
- Slipped Discs: Also known as ruptured or herniated discs, this injury occurs when the interior portion of the spinal disc pushes through a tear in the exterior
- Whiplash: Technically a neck injury rather than a spine injury, whiplash is the straining or spraining of muscles and ligaments in the neck due to sudden back-and-forth motion
Injuries to the neck, back, and spine often result in significant pain, reduced mobility, weakness, numbness, loss of sensation, and paralysis. They can also lead to other complications, like difficulty breathing, eating/drinking problems, sexual dysfunction, and incontinence.
Who Is Liable?
In most cases, spinal cord injuries are the result of negligent or wrongful conduct. Determining liability for a spine injury typically involves identifying how the injury occurred and who caused the incident.
Some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Large truck collisions
- Falls, including slip and falls
- Sports and recreation accidents
- Criminal acts/violence
- Workplace accidents
Whether you were hit by a drunk driver, fell on a construction site, or suffered a serious spine injury due to another person’s careless or intentional conduct, it may be possible to hold the at-fault party legally liable for your damages.
To do so, you will need to establish several things:
- The other party had a legal responsibility to act reasonably and take measures to prevent you from being injured/harmed
- The other party failed to uphold this responsibility, either by acting negligently, intentionally, or wrongfully in some way
- You were injured and suffered measurable damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering
- The other party’s negligent, intentional, or wrongful conduct was the proximate or direct cause of your injuries
Depending on the type of accident that caused your injury, you may have several options when it comes to recovering compensation. For example, if you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, you can file a personal injury protection (PIP) claim with your auto insurance provider and seek compensation through North Dakota’s no-fault system. However, you may also have grounds to step outside the no-fault system and pursue a lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver, as spinal cord injuries are generally considered significant and will likely result in medical expenses in excess of $2,500.
If you were injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, and you may also have grounds for a third-party work injury claim if you can prove that another entity aside from your employer was at fault for the accident.
Regardless of your specific situation, Pringle & Herigstad, P.C. can help you identify the liable party or parties and work to recover a fair settlement. If the at-fault person or party’s insurance company disputes or denies your claim, we are prepared to aggressively represent you and your best interests in the courtroom.
Talk to Our Attorneys Today
Spinal cord injuries force victims to cope with new disabilities and immense life changes. At Pringle & Herigstad, P.C., we believe you should not have to face these challenges alone. Our North Dakota spinal cord injury lawyers can fight for maximum compensation on your behalf so you can simply focus on healing and moving forward with your life.
It costs absolutely nothing to discuss your potential case with a member of our legal team. We also do not collect any attorney fees unless we secure compensation for you—if we do not recover a settlement or verdict on your behalf, you do not pay a dime.