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Spine Injury Lawyers

Our Louisiana Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys Have Won Billions for the Injured

Louisiana Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys

Experienced Spine Injury Lawyers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The spine is one of the body's most critical components. Each piece of the spinal column provides a protective structure for function and movement. As a result, injuries to the spinal column have serious repercussions. Our Louisiana spinal cord injury attorneys have the experience and care required to help those who have suffered catastrophic injuries—fighting to get them medical care while holding their wrongdoers accountable.

Facts from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC):

  • Nearly 18,000 people experience a spinal cord injury each year in the United States.
  • Approximately 288,000 people with spinal cord injuries are currently living in the U.S.
  • Vehicle collisions are the leading cause of spinal cord injury.

Why Spinal Cord Injuries Are Serious

Spinal injuries often occur when trauma compresses the vertebrae in the neck. Once this happens, irreversible damage may be done. Like brain injuries, spinal cord injuries are serious because they can change the rest of a person's life. However, a common misconception is these injuries only result from a severed spine. In actuality, they are often the result of compressed vertebrae and destroyed axons (components of a nerve that carry key impulses down the spine). Once an axon is damaged, it can no longer effectively transmit signals for movement.

Depending on the area of damage to the spinal cord, two common types of paralysis may occur. Quadriplegia is the loss of motor functions in all four limbs, while paraplegia is the loss of function in the lower limbs. The severity of each injury will vary, and an individual's ability to move may return with time and rehabilitation.

Representing Victims of Paralysis Injuries in Louisiana & Nationwide

Paralysis is the complete loss of nerve and muscle function in one or more limbs. Roughly 1 in every 50 Americans live with paralysis—27% of these cases are caused by spinal cord injuries. Depending on the damage, paralysis can be total or partial. Regardless, paralysis profoundly affects a person's life and career. For those with jobs involving physical labor, including fishers, construction workers, contractors, truckers, or oil and gas industry workers, paralysis means the end of a stable income. For everyone, paralysis demands a significant shift in how they live and work. That shift is costly—emotionally, physically, socially, and financially.

Types of Paralysis

Paralysis can affect any area of the body—it can be localized or generalized, partial or complete, and temporary or permanent. Localized paralysis affects only one part of your body, such as your face or hand. Different types of localized paralysis are often described by the number of limbs affected. For instance, cervical spine injuries (C1-C8) affect the spinal cord's upper portion and leaves victims with lost function in the arms and legs.

The higher the injury on the spine, the more severe the consequences, including:

  • Loss of sensation
  • Dysfunction of the bowel and bladder
  • Needing a brace or permanent stabilization
  • Inability to breathe without assistance

Thoracic spinal cord injuries (T1-T12) are the most common spinal injuries and affect the middle portion of the spine. This causes paralysis in the legs. Injuries below the thoracic spine are called lumbar spine injuries (L1-L5) and cause loss of motor function in the legs, leaving the upper limbs functional.

The following is a breakdown of how the location of the injury will impact the body:

  • Cervical Section (C1 to C8): Controls the upper body, including the head, neck, and shoulders.
  • Thoracic Spinal Nerves (T1 to T12): Controls the chest, portions of the back, and abdomen.
  • Lumbar Spinal Nerves (L1 to L5): Supports the lower abdomen, back, legs, and genital organs.
  • Sacral Spinal Nerves (S1 to S5): Sends signals to the thighs, feet, and anus.

Spinal Fractures

When vertebrae are fractured, it is usually caused by trauma violent enough to damage the spine's generally resilient bones. Fractured vertebrae often result from falls, car accidents, assault, or sports injuries. These injuries are often painful, cause numbness, may result in a high fever, and cause the loss of motor control.

Types of spine fractures include:

  • Compression fracture: This happens when a vertebra has its frontside broken while the back remains undamaged. An axial burst happens when the entire vertebra collapses.
  • Flexion-distraction: Often seen with seatbelt injuries or whiplash, this type of spine fracture occurs when a vertebra is pulled apart.
  • Transverse process: This involves a rotation of the vertebra.
  • Fracture-dislocation: This injury involves broken vertebra and torn ligaments.

Spinal Cord Injury Complications

Spinal injuries are devastating as they may result in more than losing the victim's ability to move. These injuries may also significantly change the way the body can accomplish basic functions.

Injury complications include:

  • Breathing: Victims may need to be placed on a ventilator after losing the ability to control their own respiratory functions.
  • Irregular heartbeat: Injuries may cause the heart to function improperly. This may also be accompanied by low blood pressure.
  • Spasms: These occur when the brain can no longer send signals to specific destinations.
  • Pain: Because they send pain signals, damage to nerves may be extremely painful.
  • Blood clots: Clots often form in limbs that can no longer function. This risk must be monitored and carefully managed.
  • Incontinence: This occurs when the victim can no longer control the function of muscles needed for defecation and urination.

Treatment for Spinal Cord Injuries

Immediate medical attention should be sought after a spinal cord injury. Notably, the victim's spine should be immobilized by qualified emergency responders using a neck collar and stiff carrying board to help prevent worsening the injury. After, treatment for victims of spinal cord injuries is generally focused on restoring their lives with as much comfort and function as possible. Rehabilitation often focuses on breathing, preventing shock, and avoiding future damage and complications. Additionally, a patient may be given methylprednisolone within 8 hours of the injury. This drug reduces swelling around the spinal column, assisting in relieving pressure and reducing further damage to nerves. Finally, surgery may be required to decompress and stabilize the spine.

Rehabilitation for People with Paralysis

Although there is no cure for paralysis, rehabilitation can improve a patient's quality of life. The sooner muscles start working again after the spinal cord injury, the better the chances are of recovery.

Multiple specialists may be needed to ensure an effective recovery, including:

  • Psychiatrists can help develop a long-term plan for handling the pain and emotional struggles.
  • Rehab nurses can help with areas such as nutrition, self-care, breathing, and education.
  • Occupational and physical therapists can encourage movement through everyday routines.

Check out the Reeve Foundation's brief look at the lifetime cost of paralysis treatment.

Physical Therapy

One of the most challenging aspects of the recovery process is physical therapy. Physical therapists focus on strengthening muscle function and teaching fine motor skills the individual may have lost. Additionally, therapists seek to help the victims learn how to live with their new challenges. Though it is necessary, some patients find the process's physical requirements and time commitments challenging. Ultimately, this process can be extremely costly as it can require expensive custom equipment and numerous doctors and specialists.

About Baton Rouge, LA

Baton Rouge is the capital of Louisiana and the second-largest city in the state. At an elevation that ranges from 56 to 62 feet above sea level, Baton Rouge has a humid subtropical climate and lands fifth on the list of wettest cities in the United States in terms of annual precipitation. Baton Rouge is at risk of experiencing tornadoes and strong winds throughout the year, as well as hurricanes because of its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. The Baton Rouge area experiences hot and humid summers and mild winters. The city is located approximately 79 miles from New Orleans and 56 miles from Lafayette; it is considered a central transportation hub between these metropolitan areas as well as Houston, Texas and Jackson, Mississippi.

Baton Rouge’s status as a transportation hub is further solidified by the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, which is the furthest inland port on the Mississippi River. It ranks about tenth in terms of tonnage shipped for inland ports in the United States. The Port of Greater Baton Rouge supports the city’s economy; there is also a strong presence from the petrochemical industry. ExxonMobil’s refinery complex is the one of the largest in the country and has been in operation since 1909. Other prominent industries in the Baton Rouge area include medical research, technology, and education. In 2002, Baton Rouge offered tax incentives that led to a significant film industry presence and the nickname of the “Hollywood South.”

Baton Rouge is known for its history and diverse cultural background, which can be experienced through the city’s many museums, art galleries, plantation homes, and restaurants. Some of the most popular attractions, for residents and tourists alike, are Baton Rouge’s many parks and recreation areas, the warship turned museum, the USS Kid, Louisiana’s Old State Capitol building, and the Baton Rouge Zoo, which features more than 1,800 species.

Baton Rouge is nicknamed The Red Stick, which comes from the French phrase, “le bâton rouge.” Upon encountering the area in 1698, French explorers spotted a red pole reportedly adorned with fish bones. The pole is said to have marked a boundary between the tribal hunting grounds of the native Houma and Bayagoula peoples.

Baton Rouge: Helpful Resources

Our Louisiana Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers Fight to Make Recovery Possible

Those who have sustained a spinal cord injury or are helping a loved one recover from this type of trauma must face many difficult choices during a highly tumultuous time. Patients and family members must often make quick medical decisions that will affect the injured person's long-term prognosis, even as they struggle to accept the reality of the situation. When a spinal cord injury results from another person's negligence, it is vitally important to hire a lawyer with a track record of winning these types of cases. At Arnold & Itkin, our Louisiana injury attorneys have won billions of dollars—helping our clients receive the best available care to ensure a better quality of life.

Call (888) 493-1629 or contact us online. You only pay if we win your case. Get a free consultation today!

Case Results

Check Out Our Victories

  • $8 Billion Top 3 Largest Jury Verdict in U.S. History Arnold & Itkin tried a case against Johnson & Johnson for failing to warn about a drug’s most damaging side effects: gynecomastia. Our skill, hard work, and dedication resulted in the third-largest jury verdict ever obtained for an individual ...
  • $860 Million History-Making Verdict After Fatal Crane Accident Arnold & Itkin took up the case of a woman who lost her daughter after a crane collapsed on her daughter’s apartment building. After nearly four years of delays, the defendant was forced to take responsibility.
  • $557 Million Massive Verdict Won Against Union Pacific Arnold & Itkin won a half-a-billion-dollar verdict against one of the nation’s largest rail companies after train operators mercilessly struck our client despite knowing she was on the tracks.
  • $357 Million Largest Workplace Accident Settlement in Texas History Arnold & Itkin LLP secured a massive nine-figure settlement against a transnational corporation for a workplace incident. The settlement set a Texas record for being the largest personal injury settlement in the state’s history.
  • $222 Million Record-Breaking Verdict for Widow Our firm won $222 million for a woman who lost her husband in an industrial accident caused by a faulty valve. We took the case to trial because the at-fault company refused to take responsibility. The jury saw through the corporate lies and double ...
  • $205 Million Confidential Settlement Obtained for Numerous Clients Arnold & Itkin reached a record $205,000,000 settlement on behalf of clients after several years of hard-fought litigation. The case settled just before trial was set to begin.
  • $193 Million Settlement Won for Victims of Pipeline Explosion Offshore injury lawyers at Arnold & Itkin fought for two workers who were injured in a pipeline explosion at sea, one of whom passed away. Our relentless investigation and advocacy resulted in a nine-figure settlement that will provide for our ...
  • $171 Million One of the Largest Confidential Settlements in History Arnold & Itkin worked over the course of several years to represent clients in a case that many other law firms turned down. In the end, we were able to obtain a record-setting confidential settlement.
  • $139 Million Massive Settlement Achieved for Victims of an Oilfield Incident Arnold & Itkin LLP negotiated a huge $139,000,000 settlement for injured families affected by an oilfield incident in the eastern United States, settling one week before trial.
  • $125 Million Settlement Won for Widow of Dredge Worker Offshore lawyers at Arnold & Itkin LLP won a nine-figure settlement for a woman who lost her husband in a pipeline explosion. By pushing the case toward trial, our firm pressured the defendant into settling with our client, allowing her to rebuild ...
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“They were just so understanding and they got it. They got that we lost our child, they got that no one else probably loved our child like we loved our child, and they understood that. They said ‘We’re going to look at this and do everything we can to try to get your family some kind of justice.’”
Larry Client

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