At Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C., our compassionate and skillful attorneys represent clients who have suffered trauma to the spinal cord due to another person’s negligence.
Before a legal professional can provide the best possible representation for a client, they must first understand the root cause of an injury, as well as the extent of an individual’s losses.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury or damage to your spinal cord, you need the help of a top-rated Michigan spinal cord injury lawyer.
Our team of attorneys has earned the highest ratings in the legal profession for skill, experience, and integrity. Our awards and accolades include:
- Best Law Firm from U.S. News & World Report
- National Top 100 Trial Lawyers
- Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
- Best Attorneys in America
We are also members of the Michigan Spinal Cord Injury Association and the Michigan Brain Injury Council.
We specialize in helping people with catastrophic and life-changing injuries.
Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can result from a number of different ways, including trauma, surgical mistakes, or disease processes. In many cases, the injury was the result of another’s negligence or was preventable with proper medical treatment.
Our attorneys will determine if you have the legal right to compensation for the injury to your spine and central nervous system.
Trauma to the spinal cord usually begins with a sudden, severe blow to the spine that fractures or dislocates vertebrae. The damage begins at the moment of injury when displaced bone fragments, disc material, or ligaments bruise or tear into spinal cord tissue.
Most traumatic injuries to the spinal cord do not completely sever it. Instead, an injury is more likely to cause fractures and compression of the vertebrae, which then crush and destroy the axons, extensions of nerve cells that carry signals up and down the spinal cord between the brain and the rest of the body. An injury to this area can damage a few, many, or almost all of these axons. As a result, some cases of damage will allow almost complete recovery, while others may result in complete paralysis.
Other causes include medical mistakes during surgery or as a result of anesthesia error during an operation. A surgeon may be negligent in damaging the spinal cord either by nicking it during the surgery or improperly placing screws and hardware that cause permanent harm.
In other cases, a patient may present to the doctor or hospital with spinal infection, like transverse myelitis, that requires immediate intervention.
Other patients may have signs of cauda equina syndrome that requires urgent surgery. Any delay in providing necessary treatment will likely cause permanent and irreversible harm to the patient.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are often the result of unintentional acts by other people or corporations.
When an injury is due to someone else’s negligence, the victim can file a lawsuit seeking compensation for their injury. Common reasons for these severe injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents, including car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian crashes.
- Falls due to ice, sidewalk hazards, and from ladders, roofs, and high places.
- Falling merchandise and boxes in large stores.
- Medical malpractice including surgery errors, anesthesia mistakes, infections, and birth trauma.
- Recreational accidents like, skiing, boating, equestrian, hunting accidents, and other sports injuries.
- Assault and battery, including physical assaults and police shootings.
- Construction accidents, including falls from scaffolding.
- Work-related injuries.
The pie chart below shows the percentage share of accident types that led to spinal injuries in the United States in 2017. Automobile accidents led to the most amount of spinal injuries, followed by falls and violence. Nearly 1 out of every 10 spinal injuries comes from sports-related activities.
- Automobile: 38.4%
- Falls: 30.5%
- Violence: 13.5%
- Sports: 8.9%
- Medical/Surgical: 4.7%
- Other: 4.0%
When these or other negligent acts result in severe trauma, our Michigan spinal cord injury lawyers will help you pursue compensation against the at-fault party.
Spinal Cord Injury Statistics
Statistics show that there are more than 17,000 new spinal cord injuries every year in the United States. It is estimated that approximately 300,000 or more people were living with a spinal cord injury in the U.S. in 2017. More than half of the injuries each year occur in those between 16-30 years of age.
Automobiles account for the highest cause of these injuries at 38.4%. This is followed by falls at 30.5% and then gunshot wounds at 13.5%. T
Classifications of Injuries
Damage to the spinal cord is classified as either complete or incomplete.
An incomplete injury means that the ability of the spinal cord to convey messages to or from the brain is not completely lost. People with incomplete injuries retain some motor or sensory function below the damaged area.
A complete injury, on the other hand, is indicated by a total lack of sensory and motor function below the level of injury. People who survive these injuries will most likely have medical complications, such as chronic pain and bladder and bowel dysfunction, along with increased susceptibility to respiratory and heart problems.
Successful recovery depends upon how well these chronic conditions are handled day to day.
Because the spinal cord is central for so much of a person’s functionality, damage to this area can result in severe injuries. These are broken down into multiple categories, including:
- Anterior cord syndrome: Injury to the front of the spinal cord resulted in motor and sensory pathways from the brain to the spinal cord.
- Central cord syndrome: Injury to the center of the spinal cord and damages nerves that carry signals from the brain to the spinal cord. This can result in the loss of fine motor skills, paralysis of the arms, and partial impairment in the legs. It can also cause bladder, bowel, and sexual dysfunction.
- Brown-Sequard Syndrome: Injury to one side of the spinal cord. The injury to the victim varies based upon the severity and location of the damage.
There are many great organizations and support groups for spinal cord injury patients. These include national organizations and local Michigan support groups.
Patients with new injuries and their families should look to these groups for support, resources for treatment, and counseling. Furthermore, enlisting the help of a hardworking spinal cord injury lawyer in Michigan might help an injured individual determine if they have grounds for a legal claim.
Filing a Lawsuit for a Spinal Cord Injury
A spinal cord injury victim may have the legal right to compensation. Our law firm files lawsuits against individuals, companies, doctors, and hospitals that are responsible for the injury. These cases result in significant settlements for the victim.
There are two types of recoverable damages for personal injury lawsuits in Michigan. The first type is known as non-economic damages. These are money damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disability from daily activities, and loss of relationships.
The second claim is for economic damages. These are significant in a spinal cord injury lawsuit and demand compensation for the financial losses suffered by the plaintiff. Economic damages include:
- Loss of income for the past, present, and future.
- Payment for necessary 24-hour supervision and care.
- Expenses related to medical care, rehabilitation, and treatment.
- Costs for home modifications, vehicle modifications, and medical equipment.
Quite often, we will hire a physician or a Life Care Planner to perform a detailed analysis of the future needs of the patient and then itemize the lifetime costs of those needs. We then use an economist to provide total costs over the person’s lifetime and we claim that amount in the case.
Examples of Spinal Cord Injury Settlements
- $3,500,000 medical malpractice settlement for a patient who suffered a spinal cord injury.
- $1,375,000 spinal cord injury settlement for a paralyzed Detroit woman.
- $1,325,000 slip and fall settlement for a client who suffered a spinal injury in Pontiac, Michigan.
- $900,000 medical malpractice settlement for a client who suffered a spinal cored injury in mid-Michigan.
Seek the Services of a Michigan Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
If you were involved in an accident or the victim of medical negligence, you have legal options and should contact the experienced attorneys at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. for help. We will listen to your story and tell you how you can seek just compensation for your injury.
We do not charge any legal fees unless you get a settlement and we pay all of the case costs and expenses. It costs you nothing to get started and we only get paid at the end of the case.
Spinal Cord References and Resources
- 29000 Inkster Road
Southfield, MI 48034
- Phone: (248) 595-7544
- 19 Clifford St.
Suite 805 Merchants Row
Detroit, MI 48226
- Phone: (313) 992-8281
- 1001 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
- Phone: (313) 777-8482
- 343 S. Main Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
- Phone: (734) 888-3003
- 51424 Van Dyke Ave
Shelby Township, MI 48316
- Phone: (586) 250-2626