Sports and Recreational Injuries Leading to Spinal Damage

Understanding spinal damage in Sports with the Dressie Law Firm

Explore the risks, prevention, and legal aspects of sports-related spinal injuries with The Dressie Law Firm’s comprehensive guide.

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Understanding Spinal Damage in Sports

Spinal damage is trauma to the spine resulting from injury to the vertebral column or spinal cord. It’s common in contact sports and recreational activities like horseback riding and bungee jumping. According to the National Institute of Health, 8.7% of new cases of spinal cord injuries in the U.S. result from playing sports.

Fortunately, you are eligible for compensation for your injuries if they result from another party’s negligent action. Victims can file a spinal injury claim and receive compensation from the at-fault’s party insurance company. Alternatively, they can go to court.

Dressie Law Firm boasts several years of experience handling various sports-related spinal injury claims. Our team of highly qualified lawyers will fight for your fair compensation, guide you through the process, and help you understand your rights.

High-Risk Sports for Spinal Damage

According to a review published on NCBI of countries where sports account for over 13% of spinal cord injuries, the sports with the highest risk for these injuries were skiing, diving, rugby, and horseback riding. Besides the above, other high-risk sports for cervical spine injuries include:

  • American football

  • Ice hockey

  • Gymnastics

  • Wrestling

Sports like Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), trampoline, motorsports, and equestrian sports also have a high risk of back and neck injuries.

    Types of Sports-Related Spinal Injuries

    The type of spinal cord injury in sports depends on the severity of the mechanism of injury and the force and direction of impact. The most common types of spinal cord injuries include:

    • Stingers and Burners: These transient nerve injuries, often seen in contact sports like football, result from sudden stretching or compression of the brachial plexus, leading to shooting pain, weakness, or numbness in the arm or shoulder.

    • Dislocations and subluxation: A spinal dislocation occurs when you displace one or more vertebral discs. A spinal subluxation, on the other hand, occurs when you displace a vertebral disc, but only partially.

    • Herniation: A herniation is the bulging of a spinal disc because of misalignment.

    • Whiplash: Whiplash is a neck injury caused by the sudden jerking motion of your neck and spine, causing hyperextension and flexion of the spine.

    Long-Term Consequences of Spinal Injuries

    Spinal injuries are likely to have long-lasting and significant impacts on victims and affect almost every aspect of their lives. Here are a few ways spinal injuries could affect victims’ lives:

    The Physical Impact

    The spine supports your body structure and houses the nerve roots linking your brain to the rest of the body. When any section of the spine is injured, you can expect the following physical consequences:

    • Problems walking or maintaining balance

    • Paralysis (cervical quadriplegia)

    • Loss of bowel and bladder control

    • Temporary paralysis, sometimes with numbness and tingling

    • Back stiffness and pain

    The Financial Impact

    Spinal injuries also weigh heavy on the pockets of victims and cost a bundle to treat. Many traumatic spinal cord injuries require:

    • Emergency medical care (if applicable)

    • Hospitalization

    • Medications 

    • Assistive devices and equipment

    • Long-Term Care

    • Rehabilitation and physical therapy

    The Emotional Impact

    Finances aside, spinal injuries can have a massive toll on your mental health and that of your close friends and family. The emotional impacts of these injuries may involve:

    • Shock and denial

    • Depression and anxiety

    • Anger and frustration

    • Social isolation

    It’s also not uncommon for victims of cervical injuries to adopt detrimental coping mechanisms like substance abuse, impulse spending, and doomscrolling.

    Understanding Compensation Claims for Sport-Related Injuries

    Under Georgia’s personal injury law, victims of sports-related injuries are entitled to compensation if their injury occurs due to another person or entity’s negligence. However, to establish negligence, the victim must show that the negligent or at-fault party must have owed the victim a duty of care and their actions breached such duty of care. In addition, the victim must demonstrate that they sustained damages as a result of this breach.

    Coaches and organizations may be held liable for negligence in sports-related personal injury claims for:

    • Reckless behaviors or acts of violence

    • Equipment failure

    • Ignoring injury symptoms and warning signs

    • Failure to have qualified medical personnel

    • Failure to conduct adequate training

    • Failure to provide adequate protective gear

    • Dangerous playing fields and surfaces

    Victims may also file claims against manufacturers of sports equipment for:

    • Defective equipment leading to equipment malfunction

    • Inadequate instructions and warnings

    • False advertising

    It’s worth noting that injuries caused by a rival player or teammate may be eligible for compensation so long as they are within what’s usually expected in such a sport. Egregious and violent acts may warrant a civil suit.

    Seeking Compensation for Sports Spinal Injuries

    You can seek compensation for your spinal injury by filing a personal injury claim with the liable party’s insurance carrier or the civil court. Here are a few steps that can guide you along the way:

    • Get Medical help immediately: Besides the need to check on and treat your injuries, seeking medical treatment is crucial for documenting your injuries and their cost.

    • Gather evidence: Sufficient evidence is crucial for advancing your claim. Preserve evidence by taking photographs of your injury and gathering medical records, witness statements, and other documents to support your claim.

    • Talk to a personal injury attorney: A personal injury attorney is your best bet for a straightforward claims process. They’ll evaluate your injury’s circumstance and help establish a breach of duty of care by the at-fault party. For spinal injury claims affecting the brain, you’ll need guidance from an experienced Atlanta brain injury attorney.

    • File a personal injury claim and negotiate your settlement: Your attorney should guide you through the claims process and help you negotiate a fair settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company.

    It’s worth noting that not all claims sail through; some get flat-out denied. When filing a personal injury claim, potential challenges to be aware of include limited evidence, pre-existing conditions, and crude insurance company tactics.

    Contact Us at Dressie Law Firm

    While spinal injuries in sports and recreational activities pose significant challenges, awareness of legal rights and access to professional assistance offer hope to those affected. Experienced personal injury attorneys are pivotal in helping those injured through the legal process and advocating for their rights to fair compensation.

    Did you recently suffer from a spinal injury because of another party’s negligence? If so, contact Dressie Law Firm for legal guidance and support. Fair compensation for your injury is a phone call away.

    The Dressie Law Firm Can Help You

    If you or a loved one is a victim of a reckless or negligent driver, we want you to know that the law is on your side and so is the Dressie Law Firm.

    Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!