In Baldwin County and Alabama in general, injuries can often occur on another person or business’s property. Oftentimes, the property owner is at fault for the injuries sustained.
In fact, according to a study released in 2012 by the Louisiana Public Health Institute, 38% of Baldwin County residents work in occupations that have a high risk for on-the-job injury. And, 16% of Baldwin County residents work in occupations with a high risk of fatal injury. These occupations include such areas as construction, installation and repair, transporting goods, public service, farming, forestry, and more.
One of the most serious injuries that can occur on another’s premises while working in a high-risk environment is a spinal cord injury.
A spinal cord injury occurs whenever there is direct trauma which damages the nerves themselves or indirect damage either to the bones, soft tissues, or vessels which surround the spinal cord and spinal column.
Symptoms Related to a Spinal Cord Injury
Symptoms experienced by someone after the trauma occurs, will vary depending on the severity of the spinal cord injury as well as exactly where on the spinal column the injury occurs. Serious spinal cord injuries are not always obvious from the moment of the incident and if it goes untreated can develop into a much more serious problem. According to the Mayo Clinic typical symptoms include:
- Loss of movement
- Loss of sensation, including the ability to feel heat, cold and touch
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Exaggerated reflex activities or spasms
- Changes in sexual function, sexual sensitivity and fertility
- Pain or an intense stinging sensation caused by damage to the nerve fibers in your spinal cord
- Difficulty breathing, coughing or clearing secretions from your lungs
Unfortunately for many people, the after-effects of this type of injury are permanent.
Spinal injuries most commonly occur in automobile accidents. Rear impacts can often cause trauma directly to the spine. Falls, as noted by the Mayo Clinic, are also a common cause of spinal cord injuries. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that about 8,000,000 people suffer from nonfatal injuries from falls each year. Many of these can result in a spinal injury as well.
Alabama Premises Liability Laws
In the state of Alabama, when a serious personal injury occurs on another’s premises the property owner may have some liability for the injury. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious spinal cord injury in Baldwin County due to another person or businesses’ negligence or wrongful actions, consider filing a personal injury claim, especially if the injury occurred on a premises other than your own.
By law, every property must be well-maintained, meaning sidewalks should be clear, water should be dried off the floor, or a sign should be placed where it’s wet. Any potentially dangerous or hazardous areas should be labeled as such. When a property owner acts negligently, then he or she may be liable according to Alabama’s premises liability laws.
These laws not only cover “slip and fall” injuries but also “defective” premises as well as “hazardous” premises liability. With these specific types of cases it is often up to the plaintiff to show that the defect or hazardous condition in fact caused the injury. In a more traditional premises liability case, the plaintiff will have to demonstrate that whatever condition was present did in fact cause the accident and that the property owner neglected to forewarn the plaintiff about it prior.
When suing specifically for a spinal cord injury, your personal injury attorney must prove your injury was not the result of a pre-existing condition. And they must prove that the property owner was negligent or at fault for the injury occurring on their premises.
Those suffering from a spinal cord injury may be entitled to financial compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering or lost wages. If death occurs, funeral expenses will be covered, and a loved one may receive compensation.
Noel B. Leonard is a Foley Attorney, representing clients in serious personal injury cases such as spinal cord injuries in Baldwin and Escambia County, AL. His personal injury experience and previous case work enable him to clearly understand the severity of a spinal cord injury, the ill-effects it may have for your quality of life moving forward, as well as how to properly handle your claim if the injury was sustained on another’s premises. Schedule a consultation today with Attorney Noel B. Leonard.