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Hamilton Spinal Cord Injuries Lawyers

Our Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers will protect your future, your wage losses and ensure you are taken care of for life, no matter where you are in Ontario.

We have seen the devastating effects that spinal cord injuries have on individuals time and time again. Within moments after an accident, a person who had led an active and independent life becomes immobilized and dependent on others to meet his or her basic needs. Suffering a spinal cord injury is truly an overwhelming injury with profound consequences to both the victim and those that surround him. It is an irreversible catastrophic injury with potential devastating impacts including far-reaching physical, psychological, vocational and social consequences to one’s life – and – the beginning of an expensive life-long adjustment process with innumerable and unforeseeable circumstances.

One thing, however, is for certain, if your injury was caused by the negligence or carelessness of another person, you may be entitled to compensation to help fund your lifelong medical and rehabilitation needs. Since 2003, our Hamilton spinal cord injury lawyers have represented SCI victims hurt in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, trucking accidents, pedestrian accidents and other types of personal injury cases.

Hamilton spinal cord injury lawyers with experience

Traumatic spinal cord injuries are devastating life changing injuries which have a profound impact on a victim’s physical and psychosocial well-being. Psychologically, a spinal cord injury is possibly the most disruptive and traumatic event that can occur in anyone’s life.  Experiencing a SCI poses a massive challenge which requires adaptation and resilience to cope in order to develop strengths and discover new ways of doing things, not only physically, socially and vocationally, but also emotionally.

Most spinal cord injury victims will develop severe negative emotions in response to the injury which could threaten both psychological and social integration.  Traumatic spinal cord injury victims may suffer quadriplegia or paraplegia depending on the level of injury affecting the functioning of limbs, trunk, pelvic organs, bladder and bowel, as well as sexual function. This loss of function leads to significant changes in life of the affected individual making routine vocational, social, sexual and recreational activities impossible. Although some individuals do recover partial capacity to perform certain activities of daily living through rehabilitation, many activities are permanently altered – and life is changed forever, in an instant.  These injuries, combined, can result in various levels of paralysis, leaving a spinal cord injury victim in need of lifelong treatment.

If you were injured by the fault of another person or company, it is critical to pursue financial compensation to assist with your expected lifelong needs. The lifetime of care that you will require can cost millions of dollars, placing extreme financial burdens on you and your loved ones. Take the time and speak to our Hamilton spinal cord injury lawyers who will put together a team of occupational therapists and life care planners to determine and project your lifelong requirements and ensure that what you need to assist you for life, is paid to you by the insurance company of person or company that hurt you.  Our Hamilton spinal cord injury lawyers will hire the best team of experts who will aggresively advocate for your protection and well being and ensure that from the start, a comprehensive life care assessment is created to provide an organized, concise plan for your current and future needs, with associated costs.

Our goal as Hamilton spinal cord injury lawyers is to ensure that you are protected financially, as best you can. We aggressively fight for every dollar in order to help support your current and future needs resulting from the onset of this catastrophic injury, from the date you were hurt through to the end of your life expectancy.

The lifetime costs of a spinal cord injury victims can cost millions, and we will fight for every penny.

If you suffered a spinal cord injury, you will likely require need millions of dollars to properly fund your permanent care, modifications to your home and your long-term rehabilitation costs. Our Hamilton spinal cord injury lawyers will fight for every last penny.

Information on the costs of a spinal cord injury victim’s care beyond the acute and initial post-acute phase is sparse except what is available from third party websites – and our own experts that we work with.

In our experience, the average yearly health care costs and expenses do vary quite significantly depending on the severity of spinal cord injury. For example, the first year “post-acute phase” is always more expensive, particularly for high quadriplegia (C1-C4). Incomplete motor functional spinal cord injuries are not as costly as complete spinal cord injuries, but are still very expensive. The recurring annual health care costs of patients with spinal cord injuries is always well below the post-acute phase, but nonetheless quite expensive.

Our spinal injury lawyers in Hamilton work closely with professional life-care planners and occupational therapists and always rely on a multidisciplinary approach to case analysis in order to arrive at a comprehensive life-care plan development. It is important that spinal cord injury victims’ current and future needs and associated costs are best estimated early on, so that settlement with the at-fault party could be fully maximized – and your loved one can be financially protected.

What is a comprehensive lifecare plan?

Spinal cord injury is expensive. The economic burden of a spinal cord injury SCI can place undue strain on all loving caregivers and family members with life-long direct and indirect costs, which in our experience, can easily range anywhere from $150,000 to $250,000 per year depending on the severity of the injury – as the higher in the spinal column the spinal cord injury occurs, the more neurological dysfunction a person will experience.

The costs of care, once a person stabilizes medically and functionally, can be quantified and calculated throughout life expectancy. The life care plan often serves as an educational tool on which the injured person and families may rely to make informed decisions, anticipate changes throughout the life span of the injured person, and plan for future care costs and needs. By defining a person’s long-term needs, identifying costs of care and rehabilitation, and decreasing

complications by recommending proactive preventive interventions, a life care plan can enhance the quality of life

of a person with a spinal cord injury. To do so, various items and services must be costed for the life of your loved one, by our Hamilton spinal injury lawyers, including such items as, but certainly not limited to:

  • medications
  • long-term rehabilitation
  • psychological care – ongoing or for life
  • occupational therapy
  • physical therapy
  • vocational therapy
  • adapted driver therapy
  • vehicle modifications or purchase
  • family education and family counselling
  • accessible home and house modifications
  • long term physical therapy
  • wheelchairs and replacement
  • power wheelchair and replacement
  • roll-in shower wheelchair and replacement ect.
  • wheelchair batteries, battery chargers, wheelchair cushions and covers
  • transfer equipment like boards, lifts and slings
  • hand and elbow orthotics
  • beds, power beds, lifts, hoyer lift ect.
  • adaptive clothing
  • supplies for ADL’s’s and bowel and bladder care
  • skin inspection mirrors

If you were working, proper vocational rehabilitation may also be needed. There may always be a good chance that you can return to work in some capacity. Vocational counselling may be necessary, particularly when you can’t perform the overall essential functions of your preinjury job and retraining may be necessary.

If your child has suffered a spinal cord injury then perhaps special educational recommendations, supplemental tutoring, individualized support, and post secondary assistance will be needed. There may be special education services, classroom accommodations required.

There may be mobility limitations imposed by your disability and it’s important that the project lifetime costs of wheelchairs (for use in different environments) are costed for you in order to facilitate your community integration. For example, you may require a power wheelchair, manual wheelchair, specialized models if you are athletic, if you are a child, you may require a power scooter, shower wheelchair etc. etc. maintenance and accessories such as wheelchair gloves, pouches, safety belts, transfer boards, lap boards, cupholders etc. should also be cost at properly.

Physical therapists will play critical role in your recovery and throughout your life. There’s no doubt that you will require ongoing rehabilitation for the duration of your natural life. Also, you may require orthopedics, prosthetics, arm splints, form splints, hand splints, tables, body support systems, exercise equipment etc.

You may also need medication that may be related to your injury or chronic illness.

Our Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers will help encapsulate the costs and concerns that you may have in the future, along with a life care plan to comprehensively identify your future needs, to facilitate the delivery of your requirements, to help with your rehabilitation, work recovery, and medical recovery potential.

Overall, the importance is to ensure that you have recovered a settlement extensive enough to facilitate your reintegration into community and enhance your quality of life.

Understanding that your life will never be the same after a spinal cord injury.

During hospitalization it will be very difficult to understand the massive uncertainties and changes in your life. The questions will be endless. You may also find a difficult to think clearly. He will experience anxiety confusion and concern.,  You will experience worry. You will try to remember your car accident which will probably be a foggy memory. All of this may have to do with your reaction to the pain you are suffering or the medication or poor sleep.

For spinal cord injury victims, all of this is very normal. Moving through a grieving process is also normal. There been many books written on the grieving process after suffering a spinal cord injury – the one thing is for sure the grieving process does help in coming to terms with your loss and accepting the reality of life today. For example, car accident victims that suffer a traumatic spinal cord injury often, for a very long time, suffer symptoms such as:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • sadness
  • social withdrawal
  • thoughts of suicide
  • anger
  • impatience
  • disbelief
  • loneliness
  • confusion
  • obsessive thoughts with life before the accident ect.

Spinal Cord Peer Support is an excellent program put on by Spinal Cord Injury Ontario. Spinal cord injury victims graciously offer their time to car accident victim to discuss life after spinal cord injury. Peer Support is a fantastic way to relate to people who have chosen to believe in themselves, focus on hope and determination and getting to maximum medical recovery to enjoy life the best they can. Going from an independent energetic person, and having control of your body for movement, mobility, transfer, toileting, sexual activity etc. etc. to being dependent on others is not an easy thing to bear. However, in time you will become happier with proper adjustment. You will bounce back, create goals, understand there will be ups and downs, come to accept uncertainty regarding the future, perhaps get back to school, work and lead a fulfilling life.

Our spinal cord injury lawyers can help your discharge Back Home

For patients with a spinal cord injury, there is no doubt that a successful discharge from the Regional Rehabilitation Center relies on a smooth transition home. Many patients with spinal cord injuries remain with limited functional outcomes after rehabilitation, and readiness for discharge from rehabilitation is often difficult to assess.

Lalande Personal Injury Lawyers works with local and experienced occupational therapists to assist with all aspects of discharge from the Regional Rehab Center. Our experts will ensure to make appropriate recommendations, as well as ensure that your individual needs are itemized, provided and paid for by the appropriate insurance company. We will also assist with the coordination, hiring and payment of your home renovations for accommodation, vehicle and transportation, attendant care providers, your physical therapy, your psychological counseling, neuropsychology needs, developmental psychology, audiology, assistive technology, nutrition, behavioral psychology, recreational therapy, speech therapy, vocational rehabilitation, or other accommodation or areas of assistance that you may require.

Understanding the spinal cord and it’s critical function

Most people are not aware, but your spinal cord is a very soft and spongy rope like structure, made up of millions of nerves and protected by 33 vertebral bones that run from your neck to your hips, called vertebrate. Its purpose is to carry information between the brain and, by way of the peripheral nerves, to other parts of the body, such as the arms, legs, and all of the organs in the body. Some of the nerves in the spinal cord send messages telling a particular body part to move in a certain way. Other nerve fibers send messages about heat, cold, or pain. Some tell your bladder or bowel to “hold on a little longer,” or “it’s OK to go now.” Still others control your body’s involuntary (autonomic) activities, such as your blood pressure, body temperature, and sweating. In addition, information from various parts of your body travels back to the brain by way of the spinal cord.

Your vertebral bones, from your neck to your hips, are divided into different segments. In your neck area, you have 7 vertebrae is called the cervical vertebrae, that extend from the back of your head down to the top of your back.

Your upper back, which attaches to your rib cage, houses 12 thoracic vertebraes.

Your lower back, which we know as the lumbar area, houses 5 vertebrates that extend into the hip area. Underneath your lumbar area you have the 5 coccygeal vertebrae, fused into the tailbone.

Your spinal cord is also divided into segments, similar to your vertebral bones. In your neck area, in addition to the cervical vertebrae, your cervical anatomy contains eight cervical nerve roots that branch from your spinal cord (C1 to C8), Thoracic nerves (T1 to T12), 5 lumbar spinal nerves (L1 to L5) and 5 Sacral spinal nerves (S1 to S5).

What are some different types of spinal cord injuries?

Spinal Cord Injuries can be divided into several types of injury, including complete, incomplete, traumatic and non-traumatic spinal cord injuries:

What are some Causes of a Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury?

Traumatic spinal cord injuries, which normally happens with sudden traumatic impact on the spine that fractures or dislocates vertebrae. Traumatic spinal cord injuries are life changing neurological conditions which are often caused by serious car accidents, falls, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, trucking accidents, bicycle accidents and diving accidents:

What are some different kinds of spinal cord injury syndromes?

Spinal Cord Injuries are often grouped by their clinical presentation into 6 syndromes – central cord syndrome (CCS), Brown-Sequard syndrome (BSS), anterior cord syndrome (ACS), posterior cord syndrome (PCS), conus medullaris syndrome (CMS), and cauda equina syndrome (CES):

Other common spinal cord injury concerns and questions

For more information about spinal cord injuries, please see the following:

A common concern – the cost of home renovations after spinal cord injuries

Yes, if you suffer a spinal cord injury your home can be modified to accommodate your disability. Proper submission to your accident benefits is required. Recovery can also be made our of the defendant’s insurance limits. We understand that home and vehicle modifications can be expensive and are important for community reintegration. The most common modifications were building ramps, widening doors, and remodeling bathrooms or other rooms in the house. Most victims with a spinal cord injury with acute SCI are discharged to home, housing accessibility is vital to successful discharge planning and social reintegration. Our lawyer will work with you and your family to ensure that your return home is as comfortable as possible.

Claiming wage loss after a spinal cord injury

Many quadriplegics and paraplegics lead full, busy lives including working full- or part-time. Many advances in bladder management after a spinal cord injury have been made in recent years which allow an SCI victim to return to a full and productive work lives. For others, however, returning to work after a spinal cord injury involves many challenges.Unemployment remains a prevalent and serious problem for persons with SCI, which is especially disturbing in light of evidence that vocational outcomes affect both quality of life and longevity.

Returning to work can be a challenge and if you are unable to resume work (no matter if you are a tradesman or a surgeon), you will need to hire the experience of a spinal cord injury lawyer and Hamilton to assist in quantifying your wage loss is presently and into the future, until your anticipated and statistical retirement age. For many people the suffered a spinal cord injury, the inability to work often means becoming unable to support themselves, or their family and can lead to a major decline in socioeconomic status. Our Hamilton spinal cord injury lawyers will ensure that you are protected financially, we forecast your appropriate lost earning data based in your pre-injury career path and ensure that you are paid the economic compensation that you deserve.

In short, if you cannot return to work or start the career path that you had planned, we will seek your lost wages, until your projected date of retirement.

The psychology of suffering with a spinal cord injury

There is no doubt that a spinal cord injury is a devastating condition that will lead to significant neurological impairment and reduce quality of life, both from a physical and psychosocial perspective. More often than not, car accident victims suffering a traumatic spinal cord injury will suffered severe emotional negative reactions, which often warrants long-term therapeutic psychosocial adjustment.

While some people are able to emotionally recover, to some degree – some spinal cord injury victims simply do not adjust well and go on to suffer lifelong disabling emotional, behavioural or cognitive symptoms following in SCI. Some people experienced permanent raise levels of depressed mood and negative psychological states, especially when there is:

  • a significantly lowered quality of life
  • a lack of support
  • a lack of friendship
  • a lack of therapeutic intervention
  • little or no family to help
  • diminished employability
  • lack of social engagement
  • impairment of sexuality
  • chronic pain

The psychological adjustment to a spinal cord injury needs to be properly addressed, which requires proper funding. Psychological care can be easily facilitated if proper funding assists with all facets of a spinal cord injury victim’s life, and not just psychological care. For example, if a person’s life is properly accommodated with appropriate aids for independent living, personal assistance, mobility, proper physical rehabilitation, daily care, and other activities that allow an injured person more of a sense of choice, control and self-reliance – psychological complications can be better dealt with.

Overall, each person is unique and will respond to car accident spinal cord injuries differently based on their own individual personality, coping style, and characteristics.

One thing is for sure – a person’s emotional recovery following a traumatic spinal cord injury caused by a car accident will more likely than not improve with structure and normality, as well as proper and continued intervention.

If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, Call us today to recovery every penny you deserve.

Since 2003 Matt Lalande has been representing spinal cord injury victims that have suffered complete or incomplete paraplegia or quadriplegia.  Our firm is experienced and familiar with catastrophic spinal cord injury claims and can ensure that both your own insurance company and the insurance company at-fault provide you with the compensation you deserve. We will make sure that your future needs are fully projected in order to provide you economic security. 

While money can never replace the pain, suffering and loss caused by your loved one’s spinal cord injury, it can certainly ease the financial burden of present and future medical costs and other damages associated with the loss of spine function or the pain of spinal injury related conditions.

Call our Hamilton Personal Injury Lawyers today no matter where you are in Ontario at 1-844-LALANDE or local in the Hamilton/GTA/Niagara regions at 905-333-8888 and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Alternatively, you may contact us online, confidentially, by filling out a contact form or having your social worker or nurse practitioner reach out to us on your behalf if you are unable to do do.  We will get back to you within 24 hours.

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Spinal Cord Injuries can be divided into several types of injury, including comeplete, incomplete, traumatic and non-traumatic spinal cord injuries.

The nervous system is the electrical system of the body, carrying messages that control most, if not all, information about bodily functions. The nervous system is divided into three major divisions, based on the location of the nerves as follows: Central nervous system—the brain and spinal cord Peripheral nervous system—the peripheral or spinal nerves Autonomic nervous system—sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic nervous system

The spinal cord is a soft, rope-like structure that is made up of millions of nerves. It runs from the base of the brain to the lower part of the back. Its purpose is to carry information between the brain and, by way of the peripheral nerves, to other parts of the body, such as the arms, legs, and all of the organs in the body. Some of the nerves in the spinal cord send messages telling a particular body part to move in a certain way.

The spinal cord is surrounded and protected by 29 vertebrae—the small back bones that make up the spinal column. The vertebrae are stacked one on top of another and each has a hole, creating a canal through which the spinal cord passes. The vertebrae are cushioned from one another by spongy material called disks. Ligaments (very tough and strong ropes) hold the vertebrae in the proper alignment.

The spinal cord emerges from the base of the skull and ends at the lower part of the back.

The sections of the spine are:

The cervical or neck section (C1 to C8), which includes 8 nerves and 7 vertebrae in the neck area. The thoracic or chest section (T1 to T12), which includes 12 nerves and 12 vertebrae in the chest and abdomen (belly) area. The lumbar or low back section (L1 to L5), which includes 5 nerves and 5 vertebrae in the lower back. The spinal cord ends at the L2 level. Beyond this point, a collection of many nerves form the cauda equina, or “horse’s tail,” which is just what the bundle of nerves looks like. The sacral section (S1 to S5) includes the lowest nerves exiting the spinal cord in the pelvic area (area of the buttocks). The sacrum is actually several vertebral bones that are fused, or attached, to form one large bone with 5 nerves emerging from holes in each side of the bone.

When an injury to the back or neck causes a vertebra to break or a ligament to tear, the backbone can pinch the spinal cord. This pinching or pressure may cause bruising, swelling, or bleeding of the spinal cord.   This type of injury to the spinal cord may temporarily or permanently impair some or all of the communication between the brain and various parts of the body.  Then, the ability of the nervous system to send and receive messages back and forth between the brain and your arms, legs, bowel, bladder, and other body organs is lost to some degree. In turn, the ability to move, feel, and control involuntary (autonomic) body functions can be impaired.

Tetraplegia (formerly called quadriplegia) refers to an injury to the cervical (neck) section of the spinal cord. It can involve either partial or complete loss of movement and/or feeling in the head, neck, shoulders, upper chest, arms, and legs. Paraplegia refers to an injury in the thoracic, lumbar, or sacral sections of the spinal cord. It can involve either partial or complete loss of movement or feeling in the chest, stomach, hips, legs, and feet. Tetraplegia is slightly more common than paraplegia.

A complete injury is one that results in no voluntary movement and no measurable feeling below the level of injury.

An incomplete spinal cord injury is one in which there is some measurable feeling and/or voluntary movement below the level of the injury.

If your spinal cord injury was caused by the negligence of another person, there’s absolutely no doubt you need to speak to a qualified spinal cord injury lawyer. Our Hamilton Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers can assist with the pointing the right experts right away, assisting with your discharge home, ensuring all of the insurance benefits owing to you are put in place, assisting with home modifications, transportation, occupational therapy and putting a plan in motion to assist with making sure you return home safely and comfortably, without financial worry.

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