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​Rice & Kendig Over 40 years of experience
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Shreveport Spine Injury Lawyer

Back and spine injuries are among the most common and devastating consequences of tragic accidents. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, approximately 300,000 Americans are living with spinal cord injuries, with around 17,000 new cases occurring each year. As passionate advocates for victims of spinal injuries, our experienced team is dedicated to helping individuals seek the compensation they deserve for their medical bills and other losses, particularly if their injuries resulted from someone else’s negligence. With decades of combined experience, our Shreveport personal injury attorneys are committed to defending the rights of accident victims and ensuring they receive the financial support necessary for a full recovery. If you or a loved one has suffered a spine injury in North Louisiana, don’t hesitate to call a Shreveport spine injury lawyer at 318-222-2772 to schedule a free consultation today.

Basic Spine Anatomy

Understanding the basic spine anatomy first is crucial for understanding spinal injury claims. The spine, also known as the vertebral column, is a crucial structure that provides support, stability, and protection for the body. Composed of four main sections – cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacrum/coccyx – each segment plays a vital role in facilitating movement and transmitting signals between the brain and the rest of the body. Here are the key components of the spine:

  • Vertebrae: The spine consists of 33 vertebrae, which are stacked on top of one another and separated by intervertebral discs. These bony structures help support the body’s weight and protect the spinal cord.
  • Intervertebral Discs: Intervertebral discs are located between each pair of vertebrae and act as shock absorbers, cushioning the spine and allowing for flexibility and range of motion.
  • Spinal Cord and Nerves: The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs through the vertebral canal, transmitting sensory information from the body to the brain and motor signals from the brain to the muscles. Nerves branching off the spinal cord innervate various regions of the body, controlling movement and sensation.
  • Muscles and Ligaments: Muscles and ligaments surrounding the spine provide support and stability, helping to maintain proper alignment and posture. These structures also play a role in facilitating movement and protecting against injury.
  • Facet Joints: Facet joints, located on the back of each vertebra, enable smooth movement and flexibility of the spine. These joints articulate with each other, allowing for bending, twisting, and other movements.

Understanding the basic anatomy of the spine is essential for recognizing the potential impact of spinal injuries and the importance of seeking appropriate medical and legal assistance in the event of an accident.

Common Types of Spine Injuries

Spine injuries can vary widely in severity and impact, often leading to significant physical and emotional challenges for those affected. Here are some of the most common types of spinal injuries:

  • Fractures: Fractures occur when one or more vertebrae are broken or cracked, often due to trauma such as falls, car accidents, or sports injuries. These fractures can range from mild compression fractures to more severe burst fractures.
  • Herniated Discs: Herniated discs, also known as slipped or ruptured discs, occur when the soft, gel-like material inside a spinal disc protrudes through the tough outer layer, putting pressure on nearby nerves. This can result in pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected area.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI): Spinal cord injuries involve damage to the spinal cord itself, disrupting the transmission of signals between the brain and the body. Depending on the location and severity of the injury, SCI can lead to partial paralysis or complete paralysis of all four limbs, loss of sensation, and impaired bodily functions.
  • Spinal Stenosis: Spinal stenosis is a condition characterized by the narrowing of the spinal canal, which can compress the spinal cord and nerves. This can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the affected area, particularly with activity.
  • Whiplash: Whiplash is a common injury that occurs when the neck is suddenly and forcefully jerked backward and then forward, often in rear-end car accidents. This can strain the muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues of the neck, resulting in pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion.

Recognizing the symptoms and implications of these spinal injuries is crucial for timely diagnosis and treatment, as well as for pursuing legal recourse in cases where negligence or wrongful conduct has led to the injury. If you have suffered from one or more of these personal injuries, don’t hesitate to reach out to Shreveport personal injury lawyers at Rice & Kendig.

Common Causes of Spinal Injuries

Spinal injuries can occur in various circumstances, but some of the most common causes include:

Motor Vehicle Collisions

Motor vehicle collisions, including car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents, are leading causes of back and spinal cord injuries. The sheer force and impact involved in these accidents can subject occupants to tremendous physical trauma, resulting in a range of spinal injuries. If you have suffered a severe spine injury in a car accident, you may have grounds to take legal action. Be sure to consult with a Shreveport car accident lawyer, a Shreveport truck accident lawyer, or a Shreveport motorcycle accident lawyer today.

Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents pose a significant risk of back and spinal cord injuries due to the vulnerability of pedestrians and the force of impact involved in vehicle collisions. When a pedestrian is struck by a car, truck, or other motor vehicle, the sudden and forceful impact can result in various spinal injuries. The primary mechanism of injury in pedestrian accidents is often the collision itself, which can cause fractures, herniated discs, and spinal cord trauma. Even low-speed collisions can lead to serious spinal injuries, particularly if the pedestrian is thrown or pinned against another object. By filing a personal injury claim, Shreveport pedestrian accident attorneys at Rice & Kendig can help relieve the financial burden these accident victims face during the recovery process.

Boating Accidents

Collisions between boats, or between a boat and a stationary object, can easily cause severe spinal trauma to passengers. When individuals are thrown or ejected from a boat during a collision or sudden impact, they may land forcefully on the water’s surface or collide with other objects in the water, leading to spinal injuries such as fractures, herniated discs, or spinal cord damage. Additionally, falls onboard vessels, especially from elevated surfaces like decks or platforms, can also result in spinal injuries. It’s important for spine injury victims to seek legal guidance from Shreveport boat accident lawyers in order to obtain a fair settlement.

Premises Liability Violations

Premises liability violations encompass a wide range of scenarios on commercial property, from slip and fall accidents to swimming pool diving accidents and even incidents occurring in amusement parks, all of which can result in back and spinal cord injuries.

Slip and fall accidents often occur due to hazardous conditions such as wet or uneven surfaces, inadequate lighting, or poorly maintained walkways, leading to sudden falls and impacts on the back or spine. Similarly, swimming pool diving accidents can cause serious spinal injuries if the water is too shallow or improperly marked for diving, resulting in collisions with the bottom of the pool or other submerged objects. Additionally, amusement park accidents involving rides or attractions can lead to jolts, jerks, or sudden stops that may result in spinal trauma.

In all these instances, victims may suffer fractures, herniated discs, or spinal cord injuries, underscoring the importance of premises owners maintaining safe environments to prevent such incidents and the need for legal recourse to hold negligent parties accountable.

Oilfield Accidents

Oilfield accidents pose serious risks of spinal cord, back, and neck injuries due to the hazardous nature of the work environment and the heavy machinery involved. Workers in the oil and gas industry often face demanding physical tasks, such as heavy lifting, operating equipment, and working at heights, all of which increase the likelihood of accidents.

Common scenarios leading to back and spinal cord injuries in oil fields include falls from elevated platforms or equipment, being struck by moving machinery or falling objects, and vehicle accidents. The high-energy forces generated by these incidents can result in fractures, herniated discs, spinal cord compression, or even paralysis. Additionally, exposure to toxic chemicals, fires, and explosions in oilfield environments can exacerbate the severity of spinal injuries.

Shreveport oilfield injury attorneys at Rice & Kendig can protect the legal rights of these injured workers, and also ensure that they receive the compensation they need to fund initial spinal treatment, assistive technology, and ongoing care.

Can You Suffer From a Spinal Cord Injury and a Traumatic Brain Injury At the Same Time?

Yes, individuals can suffer from both a spinal cord injury and a traumatic brain injury simultaneously. In fact, according to research from the National Library of Medicine, up to 74% of accident victims may experience this dual injury occurrence. This combination is particularly prevalent in certain types of accidents, including car accidents and swimming pool diving accidents, where high-impact forces and sudden deceleration can cause both spine and brain damage at the same time. The severity and complexity of these co-occurring injuries can significantly impact a victim’s prognosis and recovery trajectory, often necessitating comprehensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. For more information about your legal options, be sure to consult with a Shreveport brain injury lawyer today.

Long-Term Complications of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can lead to a myriad of long-term complications, significantly impacting the quality of life for those affected. Here are some of the most common long-term complications:

  • Paralysis: Depending on the severity and location of the spinal cord injury, individuals may experience partial or complete paralysis, affecting mobility and sensation below the injury site.
  • Poor Mobility: Spinal cord injuries often result in impaired motor function, requiring the use of assistive devices such as wheelchairs or crutches to navigate daily life.
  • Bedsores: Immobility and pressure on certain areas of the body can lead to the development of bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, which can be painful and prone to infection.
  • Urinary Tract Infections: Spinal cord injuries can disrupt bladder function, increasing the risk of urinary tract infections and other urinary complications.
  • Diabetes: Individuals with spinal cord injuries may be at a higher risk of developing diabetes due to changes in metabolism and physical activity levels.
  • Respiratory Infections: Reduced respiratory function and weakened immune systems can make individuals with spinal cord injuries more susceptible to respiratory infections, such as pneumonia.
  • Chronic Pain: Chronic pain is a common complication of spinal cord injuries, often stemming from nerve damage, muscle spasms, or other sources of discomfort.

It’s because of these long-term complications that many accident victims contact Rice & Kendig about seeking compensation after a spinal injury. A Shreveport spinal cord injury lawyer at our law firm understands the true costs of these injuries, and will make sure that all victims are justly compensated.

How to Prove Negligence in a Spinal Injury Claim

Proving negligence in personal injury claims is the first step towards recovering financial compensation. Establishing someone else’s negligence involves demonstrating that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff, breached that duty, and caused the plaintiff’s injuries as a result. Additionally, the plaintiff must show the extent of their damages, both economic and non-economic, attributable to the defendant’s negligence. Here’s a breakdown of the key elements involved in proving negligence in a personal injury claim:

Duty of Care

The duty of care is a legal obligation imposed on individuals to act reasonably and avoid causing harm to others. In the context of a spinal injury claim, the defendant (the party allegedly responsible for the injury) must have owed a duty of care to the plaintiff (the injured party). For example, drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles safely and follow traffic laws, property owners have a duty to maintain safe premises for visitors, and manufacturers have a duty to produce safe products. Establishing the existence of a duty of care is the first step in proving negligence in a personal injury case.

Breached Duty of Care

Once the duty of care is established, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the liable party breached that duty by failing to meet the standard of care expected under the circumstances. This is usually done by gathering evidence at the accident scene.

Examples of a breached duty of care could involve actions such as reckless driving, failure to maintain safe premises, or manufacturing defective products. The key question is whether a reasonable person in the defendant’s position would have acted differently under similar circumstances. Evidence such as witness testimony, expert opinions, and documentation of safety violations can help establish that the defendant breached their duty of care.

Causation

Causation links the defendant’s breach of duty to the plaintiff’s injuries, establishing that the defendant’s actions (or inaction) directly caused or contributed to the harm suffered by the plaintiff. Proving causation requires demonstrating that the defendant’s negligence was a substantial factor in bringing about the plaintiff’s spinal injury. This often involves showing that the injury would not have occurred “but for” the defendant’s actions. Medical evidence, accident reconstruction reports, and expert testimony may be used to establish causation in a spinal injury claim.

Damages

Finally, the plaintiff must provide evidence of the damages they have suffered as a result of the spinal injury caused by the defendant’s negligence. Damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and diminished quality of life. Documenting the extent of the plaintiff’s damages is crucial for seeking damages for a Louisiana spinal injury claim.

Damages for a Spinal Cord Injury or a Back Injury

Damages for a spinal cord injury or a back injury can encompass various types of compensation aimed at addressing the physical, emotional, and financial toll of the injury. Here are the most common types of damages sought in spinal cord injury cases:

Economic Damages

  • Medical costs, including hospital bills, surgeries, rehabilitation, and ongoing treatment costs.
  • Lost wages and diminished earning capacity due to the inability to work or reduced productivity.
  • Property damage, such as vehicle repairs or replacement, if the injury occurred in a motor vehicle accident.
  • Future medical expenses and physical therapy expenses, including anticipated expenses for ongoing medical care and assistive medical devices.
  • Home modifications and accessibility improvements to accommodate disabilities resulting from the injury.
  • Funeral and burial expenses if the spinal cord injury results in wrongful death. Be sure to consult with a Shreveport wrongful death attorney to learn more about all the different types of damages you could recover in a wrongful death claim.

Non-Economic Damages

  • Pain and suffering endured as a result of the injury, including physical discomfort and emotional trauma.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life, reflecting the diminished ability to engage in activities and hobbies previously enjoyed.
  • Loss of consortium, compensating for the impact of the injury on personal relationships and familial support.
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish caused by the trauma of the injury and its long-term consequences.

These damages aim to provide financial compensation for the tangible and intangible losses suffered by the victim of a spinal cord injury or a back injury, helping them rebuild their lives and secure the resources necessary for recovery and rehabilitation. Seeking legal representation from our experienced personal injury attorneys is essential for accurately assessing the full extent of damages and advocating for fair compensation on behalf of the injured party.

Call Shreveport Spine Injury Attorneys at Rice & Kendig Today

If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal injury due to negligence in Shreveport or Bossier City, don’t hesitate to reach out to the dedicated team of spine injury attorneys at Rice & Kendig. With decades of combined legal experience and a track record of success in litigating personal injury cases, we are committed to advocating for the rights of accident victims and helping them obtain the compensation they deserve. Our compassionate and skilled legal team understands the complexities of all types of personal injury cases and is prepared to provide personalized attention and aggressive representation to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients.

Don’t navigate the legal process alone—call an experienced spinal injury lawyer at Rice & Kendig today at 318-222-2772 to schedule a free consultation and take the first step toward justice and recovery.

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