A former NBA player who played for multiple NBA teams and who retired from the NBA in 2005 was paralyzed after a motor vehicle struck him while he was riding his bicycle in St. George, Utah. He sustained a severe spinal cord injury that resulted in him becoming paralyzed. While not all spinal cord injuries result in complete or incomplete paralysis, there are some signs and symptoms that should not be ignored after sustaining trauma: loss of control of your bladder or bowels, impaired coordination or difficulty walking, numbness, tingling or loss of feeling in your extremities, weakness or paralysis in any part of your body, and others. Spinal trauma victims should seek immediate medical attention to get the treatment necessary which could lessen the severity and permanency of their symptoms.
Spinal Cord Injuries Caused by Bicycle Accidents
As bicycling has increased in popularity in the last three years, doctors have noticed a disturbing trend: Spinal cord injuries caused by bicycle accidents have increased. Between 2010 and 2013, spinal cord injuries involving bicycling have increased by 200%. The most common type of spinal cord injury in a bicycle accident is a cervical spine injury, which affects 71% of those who sustain spinal cord injuries.
Of bicyclists who received spinal cord injuries, 12.5% suffered complete paralysis. Researchers discovered that competitive cycling on a racer-style bicycle was a factor in most severely injured patients. However, the injuries to recreational bicyclists have also increased significantly. Most of the people injured in bicycle accidents are wearing helmets, showing us that even the safest bicyclist could suffer a spinal cord injury.
Not all Spinal Injuries Result in Immediate Paralysis
Serious spinal injuries don’t always result in immediate paralysis. In fact, numbness or paralysis may occur gradually over time and can be just as serious as those were the injuries are immediately apparent. Further, the time between the injury and the treatment can be extremely important in determining the extent and severity of the injury and can affect the extent of recovery.
Proving Negligence in a Spinal Cord Injury Accident
Individuals who experience spinal cord injuries may have a right to compensation. Under Missouri law, personal injury victims can seek compensation from the person or company whose negligence caused their spinal cord injury. Distracted driving, such as cell phone usage, inattentiveness, speeding, drunken driving and other factors cause many collisions with bicyclists.
Consulting with a personal injury lawyer is one of the most important things you can do after experiencing a spinal cord injury. Your lawyer will advise you of whether you have a legal case. Additionally, your lawyer will begin to gather evidence that proves the defendant’s negligence. For example, if the at-fault driver was texting and driving, your lawyer can subpoena cell phone records to prove that he or she was texting. Personal injury lawsuits are complex, especially those involving spinal cord injuries. Your lawyer will help you determine the cost of your medical expenses going forward so that you can recover the total amount of compensation you need.
Contact a Missouri Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If your loved one has been diagnosed with a spinal cord injury, the personal injury lawyers at Griggs Injury Law are here to help you. We understand how devastating it is for our clients to adjust to their new normal after a spinal cord accident. Whether you plan to file an insurance claim or pursue a personal injury lawsuit, we will represent your best interest. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.