Motorcycle Safety and Awareness

With the cold months almost behind us, it is time for people to take advantage of the warm weather outside. May is just around the corner, and with it comes Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

Most motorcycle accidents occur in the spring and summer months when the weather is better for driving. Last year the OPP said there was a 60% increase in fatalities while travelling where a motorcycle was involved. If you have been in an accident expert personal injury lawyers at Dye and Russell can aid in informing you of your legal rights, how damages are measured, and the best course of action moving forward.

As new motorcyclists join the road it is important to be knowledgeable of road safety and the possible injuries that can happen while on a motorcycle. Here are some tips for driving on the road as safely as possible.

 

Common Motorcyclists Injuries and How to Avoid Them:

Head Injury
This can be the most dangerous while riding a motorcycle, it is imperative to wear a well secured helmet to prevent brain injuries and lower the risk of head trauma or disabilities as the result of an accident.

After an injury it is important to reach out to emergency services as well as qualified lawyers to help you ensure you receive the compensation you deserve while pursuing legal action.

 

Muscle, Bone, Skin, and Nerve Damage

Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries. Without a seatbelt there is nothing to help motorcyclists to brace themselves from impact during an accident. Wearing the right safety gear such as thicker pants and jackets, safety pads, and gloves can aid in preventing road rash, muscle injuries, and nerve damage to the body upon impact.

Since motorcycle accidents are common it is important that you seek the right representation when making your case and claiming your earned compensation. The lawyers at Dye and Russell are highly qualified to help you through this process.


Mental Trauma

Being in an accident is a scary experience and can often cause anyone involved to experience shock immediately or after the accident. Mental stress is difficult and overwhelming, but it is important to try and take the right steps after an accident.

Knowing these safety rules of the road and how to properly operate a motorcycle can lower the risk of traumatic accidents.  After an accident has occurred reaching out to a personal injury lawyer like the ones at Dye and Russell can help quickly answer any questions you have.

 

Safety Tips for Drivers and Motorcyclists:

Check the Weather

The roads can still have rough conditions in the warmer summer months due to heavy rain, dust and debris, and high winds which can be difficult to handle while operating a vehicle. Here are some of our helpful tips on how to drive safely during the rainy months. Checking the weather before traveling will allow proper preparations for what to do in climate change.

If you’ve been in an accident, you can reach out to Dye and Russell for a free claim evaluation and answers to any legal questions you may have.


Check for Blind Spots

Motorcycles are smaller than cars and thus harder to see while driving. When trying to change lanes or make turns on the road, thoroughly check your vehicle’s blind spots to lower the risk of collision.

Even if you are partially at fault for the accident, you may still be eligible to claim some compensation and accident benefits. At Dye and Russell guiding clients down the road to recovery is the main goal. Reach out for answers to any questions regarding your case.


Slow Down and Leave Room

Speeding is often one of the main causes of fatalities involving motorcycles. Due to the size and speed of motorcycles they are more sensitive to any changes in the road, so slowing down will allow for more time to react and lower the force of impact of a collision. A common occurrence with motorcycle accidents is rear ending. Making sure to give adequate space between you and any vehicle will make driving safer.

Being the victim in a hit and run can happen, so it is important to immediately contact a personal injury lawyer to get the compensation you deserve.

Remaining knowledgeable of the risks of riding and sharing the road with motorcycles is important for more than only the month of May. Knowing how to drive safely and sharing these tips is a great way to have a safer summer while spreading information for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

 

Have any questions? Reach out to Dye and Russell today.

For more information on Ontario motorcycle laws and safety tips, visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website. If you or a motorcyclist you know of has been involved in an accident, have them contact us at our Ajax (905-427-2000) or Barrie offices (705-726-2146) for their free consultation. Your road to recovery is important to us.

 

 

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Skye OliverMotorcycle Safety and Awareness
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Important Steps to Take After A Slip and Fall

A slip, trip or fall accident can happen anywhere – to anybody – at any time. Since these types of accidents are not specific to one particular individual or location, knowing what steps to take after suffering from an injury is important.

This becomes even more true when an accident is not your fault. Legally, buildings, homes, parking lots and even walkways are required to be maintained to ensure pedestrian safety when in use.

The steps you take immediately following an accident can be critical. The lawyers at Dye and Russell want to make sure you know what steps to take if you find yourself or someone you love in this situation.

  1. Get Medical Treatment

Seeking medical treatment is one of the first things that should be done after a slip, trip and or fall accident. Visiting the doctor and having your injuries properly documented is important, especially if you choose to seek compensation for your injuries.

There is a limited window of time to file a legal claim. Our lawyers will worry about the deadlines while you focus on recovery.

  1. Report the Accident

Regardless of where the accident takes place (sidewalk, friends house, store etc.) make sure it is reported to a manager, owner, or landlord. You should request the details of what happened be put in writing. If there is no formal reporting process, ask the individual you report the incident to, to write their own account of what happened. Be sure to get a copy of this report for your own records.

This report will help a personal injury lawyer build your case if you choose to pursue legal action.

  1. Collect Documentation

Gather the names, addresses, and contact information of any potential witnesses. If you decide to move forward with a legal claim, their statements may help prove your case. It is also a good idea to take pictures of the exact location the slip, trip or fall accident occurred. Capturing images of the surrounding areas, including stairs, icy areas, uneven walkways, or any other condition that may have played a factor in your accident.

Collecting as much information as you can, including images and written statements, will help our team navigate your case quickly and efficiently. Our goal is to get you the settlement you deserve so you can get back to living the life you had before your accident.

  1. Call a Personal Injury Lawyer

The best person to have on your side when you consider taking legal action after an accident is a personal injury lawyer. Many slip, trip and fall accidents can be complicated and require the resources of a successful law firm.  Our experienced legal team is here to take care of all the details so you can focus on getting better.

 

Dye and Russell Personal Injury Lawyers have the skills needed to handle complex and hard to prove cases. Using our unique approach, we have been able to successfully secure top settlements for our clients. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as a result of a slip, trip, or fall, do not wait any longer. Call our team today and start your recovery journey with Dye and Russell.

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How Do I Know If I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

After experiencing a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or other serious injury, focusing on your recovery and getting the appropriate medical attention is important. If the injury occurred in a motor vehicle accident, at work or home, contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your legal rights. A lawyer can also help explain your options if your injuries were the result of negligence or malpractice.

There are many reasons why contacting a personal injury lawyer is in your best interest. Here are our top four:

 

1.    A personal injury lawyer will help answer your questions.

Anyone that has been seriously injured or had a loved one struggle with a major injury undoubtedly has questions. Personal injury lawyers with experience handling serious injury cases can help answer your important questions, such as “What happened?” and  “Do we have a case?”.

A personal injury lawyer will conduct a factual investigation through interviews, review of records, and through the experience of professional investigators/consultants to gain information leading up to and at the time of your injury.

The insurance companies representing any possible defendants will be conducting the same type of investigations. The experts at Dye and Russell have experience working with insurance companies and know how to get you the settlement you deserve.

 

2.    A personal injury lawyer will help you understand why an injury may have occurred.

Individuals that have experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI), as well as their families, may not recognize that other individuals or entities may have contributed to their injury.

A lawyer will be able to assist in identifying all the individuals or entities that may have been a contributing factor to your injury. They will also ensure that those responsible are held accountable to the full extent of the law.

 

3.    A personal injury lawyer will help you understand your rights so you can make informed decisions.

Many serious injuries, such as a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), are often permanent and require a considerable number of medical treatments and/or ongoing care.

Speaking with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible, like the ones at Dye and Russell, will help preserve your right to civil action. Our experienced lawyers will work with you to understand your options and help you make an informed decision about moving forward with your case.

 

4.    A personal injury lawyer will help ensure you are fully compensated.

We understand how injuries impact you and your family in the present and how you will be impacted in the future.

The lawyers at Dye and Russell will work to ensure you and your family receive the maximum settlement that you are entitled to for current and future medical expenses. A personal injury lawyer will also seek compensation for current and future pain and suffering, both physical and mental, as well as any loss of wages.

 

Consulting an experienced personal injury lawyer in the wake of an accident is in your best interest. A lawyer will answer your questions and help you understand your rights or why an injury may have occurred. They are there to make sure you receive the maximum settlement you deserve so you can make a full recovery.

Contact the team at Dye and Russell today by calling 1-877-883-6171 or fast dial #1000 from your cell phone.

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Skye OliverHow Do I Know If I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?
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Tips for Safe Winter Driving

Staying safe and following the rules of the road is always important. It becomes even more important during the winter months when roads and driving conditions are less than ideal.

It is during this time that our team at Dye and Russell Personal Injury Lawyers see an increase in vehicle accidents among other seasonal accidents such as a slip and fall.

Contacting a #personalinjury lawyer if you have been involved in an accident is one of the first things you should do. The experts at Dye and Russell have experience working with #vehicleaccident claims and understand your frustrations. We are here to get you what you deserve and make recovery as smooth as possible.

If you plan on driving anywhere this winter, here’s what you should know.

 

  1. Winterize your vehicle. 

 Prepare your vehicle for the Canadian winters by taking the necessary precautions.

  • Change your tires from all-seasons to winter tires.
  • Properly defrost windows and remove any obstructions like ice.
  • Update your car safety-kit with winter items like an ice scraper.

Failing to equip your vehicle with the proper tires or performing regular maintenance could lead to an accident and potentially cause serious #injury. In instances when an accident has occurred reaching out to an experienced personal injury lawyer can help answer many of the questions you will no doubt have.

  1. Keep fluid levels topped up.

In addition to regular maintenance, it is important to keep your fluids (like gas and windshield-washer fluid) topped up. Condensation in the gas tank has the potential to freeze and cause problems and a lack of windshield-washer fluid can limit visibility when driving.

The lack of visibility is a serious risk while driving in winter conditions. It is easy for ice to build up and for a vehicle to spin out of control. Should you find yourself in this situation and an accident you have been involved in has caused injuries, you should contact an expert like the lawyers at Dye and Russell. They work quickly and diligently to ensure you receive the financial and physical compensation you deserve.

  1. Wipe off your vehicle.

Wiping snow off your vehicle reduces the likelihood of snow sliding off and obstructing the view of drivers behind you. Drivers who have been involved in an accident because of the #negligence of another person should speak with a lawyer immediately.

  1. Have a cellphone. 

In the event of an accident, having a cellphone will allow you to connect with help and emergency services (if needed). It also gives you the ability to connect with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible following the accident. When you fast dial #1000 from your cellphone, you will be connected with our team at Dye and Russell Personal Injury Lawyers. Helping you from the start is part of the Dye and Russell experience.

By no means should a cellphone be used by the individual while driving; drivers should pull off to the side of the road before making a call.

  1. Adjust for the road conditions. 

No matter what tips you follow, adjust your driving to match the road conditions. It is your responsibility to be a safe driver and take the necessary precautions.

 

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, contact the experts at Dye and Russell Personal Injury Lawyers. Their team of professionals have years of experience in #personalinjury law and fighting for the compensation you deserve. Call and book your FREE consultation today at 1-877-883-6171 or fast dial #1000 on your cell phone.

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Hit and Run Accident: Why You Should Contact A Lawyer

A hit and run accident is an accident where one of the parties involved leaves the scene of the accident. Often the vehicle that leaves the scene is unidentified and has failed to exchange information with the other driver, however, this is not always the case. There are instances where the other vehicle has been successfully identified whether by someone at the scene or at a later date. Hit and run accidents can also involve pedestrians who have been struck by a vehicle that has then fled the scene.

Leaving the scene of a hit and run accident between vehicles is a criminal offence under the Highway Traffic Act – especially if an individual is injured because of the accident.

These types of accidents can have serious consequences. It becomes harder to determine liability and collect accident details when there is no one at the scene to be held accountable or question. Hiring a skilled personal injury lawyer right away will help ensure victims are fully compensated.

 

Accident Claims
Even if an individual is involved in a hit and run accident that results in injury and the other vehicle cannot be identified, our team of professionals will find you coverage through your own insurance policy. In Ontario, the standard policy of insurance, referred to as OAP 1, contains provisions that allow you to seek recourse through unidentified and/or uninsured conditions of your own insurance policy. An experienced lawyer at Dye and Russell can help explain these legal difficulties & help recover fair compensation for your injuries.
Persons injured as a pedestrian, even while lacking an OAP 1, are still eligible to receive compensation. The Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund (MVACF) is a provincial body, set by the Province of Ontario, to assist persons without insurance. It is through this fund that a person can obtain accident benefits. Connecting with a personal injury lawyer is the best way to ensure you receive fair compensation.

 

Working with a Personal Injury Lawyer
When you work with a personal injury lawyer from Dye and Russell, we’ll make sure you have access to certain types of benefits and provide the help you need to navigate the system of insurance. Often times people think because the vehicle or person responsible for the accident cannot be identified, they have no options.
Our lawyers have experience working with big insurance companies and know how to get you maximum coverage. It is our responsibility to help identify the opportunities of recourse available to you. For instance, your own insurance policy. Any dependents, such as a spouse or child, are able to seek legal remedy under that policy.

 

Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer
An expert lawyer from Dye and Russell can help you navigate the insurance system and help you get the fair and rightful compensation you deserve. They can assist with getting access to additional coverage under your policy and help you understand the legal side of your case.

 

If you or someone you know has been involved in a hit and run accident, call the professional lawyers at Dye and Russell today at 1-877-883-6171.

 

 

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Skye OliverHit and Run Accident: Why You Should Contact A Lawyer
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Tips & Tricks: Bike Safety Basics

Cycling is a great way to get around—it gets you from point A to point B all while keeping you fit and helping the environment. Some studies have even shown that it is the safest mode of transportation, particularly for young adults. Even so, around 7,500 cyclists suffer severe injuries every year in Canada, while 70, 000 are treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to cycling, according to the CBC.

Over half of the Toronto population cycles, that’s 54% of Torontonians. Luckily, the Toronto Cycling Network Plan is working on making Toronto a more bike-friendly city. Hopefully, Canadian cities will one day be as welcoming to cyclists as European cities, where cyclist injury and death rates are substantially lower. As this eco-friendly method of transportation becomes more popular, cyclists and drivers will become more aware of their places on the roads and fewer accidents will occur.

Until then, there are many things cyclists can be aware of to ensure their safety on the roads. Here are some bike safety tips and tricks based on facts from the CBC and Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation:

Where you can and cannot ride

  • Cyclists must stay as close to the right side of the road as possible, especially if you’re slower than other traffic.
  • Cyclists cannot ride on controlled-access highways, such as Ontario’s 400-series highways
  • Cyclists are only allowed to walk their bikes through pedestrian crossovers.

Where and when it’s best to ride

If cyclists aren’t planning to ride to and from work, they should avoid riding during the afternoon rush hour—17% of cyclist deaths and 23% of cyclist injuries occur during this time.

The worst time for a cyclist to ride is at night—30% of cyclist deaths occur at this time. Avoiding busy cities and intersections is ideal for a cyclist’s safety—despite traffic control signs, cyclists are more likely to be injured in an area with these features. Cyclists should also avoid rural areas where the speed limits are 80km/h or more—44% of cyclist deaths happen on these roads.

Wearing a helmet

It is illegal for any cyclist under the age of 18 to ride without a helmet.

For any cyclist under the age of 16, a parent or guardian must ensure that they are not riding without a helmet. Adults are not required to wear a helmet, although it is strongly recommended, as it lowers a cyclist’s chance of injury by 90%.

Additional cycling laws 

The following are changes made regarding cycling law after the passing of Bill 31- Transportation Statute Law Amendment Act , effective September 1, 2015: 

  • All drivers of motor vehicles are required to maintain a minimum distance of one metre, where practical, when passing cyclists on highways;
  • Persons who improperly open or leave opened the doors of motor vehicles on highways face increased penalties (commonly known as “dooring”).
  • The fine for non-compliance with bicycle light, reflector and reflective requirements will increase; and
  • Cyclists are permitted to use lamps that produce intermittent flashes of red light.

 

For more information on Ontario bike laws, visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website. If you know of a cyclist who has been in an accident, have them contact us at our Ajax (905-427-2000) or Barrie offices (705-726-2146) for their free consultation.

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Water Safety Tips for Toddlers & Children

Teaching your kids to swim & understanding how to be safe around pools or open water is a responsibility every parent takes on. Knowing your toddler or child(ren) can swim can be comforting for parents, but it shouldn’t be your only strategy for keeping them safe.

You teach them to stop & look both ways before crossing the street, not to run out on to the road, to look for cars & where to safely cross the street, yet you wouldn’t leave your toddler or young child unattended playing by the road.

The same goes for pools, open water & even bathtubs. Drownings can occur in as little as 1.5 inches (4 cm) of water.

 

Supervision

A parent or guardian should always be present when toddlers & or young children are near water. They should always know where their child(ren) are & what potential hazards are nearby.

Creating barriers between the child(ren) & the water reduces the ability & likelihood that the child can reach the hazard. Fencing around a pool is a common method used to keep the area inaccessible. Self-latching or locking gates that are also self-closing add additional safety measures. Any gates or barriers should be regularly inspected to ensure they’re functioning properly.

 

Pool Rules

Having established pool rules can help instill the need for safety around the water.

The most common & well-known pool rule of them all is no running around the pool. A slip & fall is more likely to occur on wet surfaces & can result in serious injury.

Cleaning up the pool deck so it’s free from water toys or other pool accessories can minimize a child’s temptation to play in that area. It can also reduce the potential for someone to trip over the objects & fall into the water headfirst.

No adult, no entry. Teach them that entering the pool, lake, pond etc. can only be done once a parent has done so. This will enforce to toddlers & younger children that they shouldn’t be going in the water by themselves & that an adult needs to be with them to be in the water.

Follow through. If you say you’re going to go swimming, make sure you keep that promise. By following through with this promise, the child(ren) won’t feel as strong of a need to go near the water when you aren’t around.

 

Open Water VS Swimming Pool

Swimming at the cottage or in another open body of water is not the same as swimming in a pool at home or recreation centre. A swimming pool is a contained space where the elements can be controlled. Open water brings new hazards that swimmers are faced with. Strong currents, colder water temperatures, greater distances to land or shore, undertows, & even other watercrafts to name a few.

If you or a child has become caught in a river current or fast moving water, the Canadian Red Cross suggests rolling on your back & pointing your feet downstream. This is to avoid hitting any obstacles headfirst. When out of the strongest part of the current, swim straight towards the shore.

 

Lifejackets & Personal Flotation Devices (PFD)

Drowning accidents can be preventable. When worn properly, a Canadian approved standard lifejacket is designed to turn an unconscious person from their front, over to their back so their face up in the water, allowing them to breathe.

When buying a lifejacket for a child there are certain things you want to look for:

  • Canadian approval label containing the chest size or weight it is intended for
  • Large collars will help support a child’s head & give additional protection
  • A strap on the collar to grab on to
  • A secure strap that fastens between the child’s legs, so the device doesn’t slip off
  • Bright colours are more noticeable in the water; red, yellow & orange are preferred options

Having a lifejacket or PFD close by, even within reach, isn’t close enough. The need for adult supervision is always required around water & lifejackets or PFDs aren’t a replacement.

 

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident your road to recovery is important to us. Fast dial #1000 free from your cell and our experienced team at Dye and Russell will get you the support you need.

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Skye OliverWater Safety Tips for Toddlers & Children
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Common Questions Personal Injury Lawyers Get

The field of personal injury law can be unclear and often leave people feeling confused and overwhelmed. There is emotional and financial stress that coincides with an injury and navigating the recovery process, both legally and health wise, can be daunting.

At Dye & Russell it’s our mission to help guide you and your family through the entire process, protecting your rights and fighting to make sure you receive what you’re entitled to. Big insurance companies don’t have your best interests at the forefront and aren’t going to fight to get what you deserve; they want to pay out as little as possible.

As personal injury lawyers, it’s important that our clients feel empowered and knowledgeable about their case; after all it’s their lives that are impacted. To alleviate some of the unknown, here are some of the common questions asked of our lawyers at Dye & Russell.

  1. Why do I need a personal injury lawyer?

Simply put, personal injury law is one of, if not the most, complex areas of law. It requires going after compensation from large insurance companies, all while navigating the elusive, ever changing laws and regulations. Having been in the industry for over 20 years, our personal injury lawyers have the experience and expertise to protect your rights and get you on the right path to a complete recovery.

 

  1. How soon after and accident or injury can I contact a personal injury lawyer?

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident, it’s important that you contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. There are certain cases that require you to put the defendant on notice within a matter of days if you will be suing. If this doesn’t occur, the defendant can argue the claim is out of time & that you weren’t really injured, potentially barring your claim. Dye & Russell aims to protect your rights and provide you access to the treatment needed in the beginning stages of your injury. Acting quickly to collect and preserve necessary evidence to present your case makes a difference in receiving what’s fair.

 

  1. How do I pay for the legal services?

One of the common reason’s individuals don’t seek out a personal injury lawyer is the fear of what it will cost. Often their injury has prevented them from working so the thought of another expense is off-putting. At Dye & Russell we offer a free claim evaluation of your case, no obligation. When you do decide to have us represent you, you don’t pay until we’ve settled or won your case. We ensure you receive the proper funding for necessary treatment and do whatever it takes to properly assess and present your claim. Little things like this can help relieve some of the stress and financial burden that is tied to a personal injury case.

 

  1. How long does it take to settle my claim?

The amount of time it takes to settle a personal injury claim can change based on the complexity of the case. It isn’t uncommon for cases to range from 2-3 years before being resolved; although some are resolved much quicker. When you contact Dye & Russell we’ll happily explain the claim and litigation process, in addition to providing you with an estimate on how long it will take to resolve the claim.

 

If you feel you have been wrongfully injured in an accident due to the negligence of another or have had your claim denied, contact Dye & Russell.

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Skye OliverCommon Questions Personal Injury Lawyers Get
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What You Should Consider When Disputing an Insurance Claim

 

Everyone knows that dealing with the big insurance companies can give you a headache and have you running around in circles with no answers. Policies can be so complex that sadly, insurance companies have often used their inside knowledge to take advantage of insureds through policy loopholes. This can leave insureds at a standstill in regards to their insurance claims and even result in a claim being denied.

Insurance is one of those things that you love to hate but have it anyways. It gives you and your family the protection they will need if something should happen to them or yourself. However, even if you are paying your bill on time each month and never miss a payment, insurance companies will look to find the cheapest way to pay out your claim to save money for themselves, if they pay out at all. This can be the last thing you want to deal with when you’re faced with a loss.

Here are four steps to consider when resolving a dispute with an insurance company.

Gather information

  • Insurance policies aren’t always easily understood by the average person. Ask your agent, broker or insurance representative for clarification about your concern/issue. The rights and responsibilities of all parties are written within the policy (aka contract), however miscommunications can occur.
  • If you have general questions you can contact the IBC Consumer Information Centre (CIC). They can assist with basic questions about policy wording, coverage or how to proceed with a complaint

Get in touch with the insurance companies Complaint Liaison Officer or Ombudsperson

  • Licensed insurers have a complaint resolution process, and someone assigned to enforce this process. This role is regulated by the provincial regulator.
  • If you plan on making a complaint through this channel, be sure to state your complaint clearly, including the expected resolution. Be sure to have all your documentation readily available and take note of all persons you spoke with regarding the complaint as well as what was spoken about. Finally, give the Complaint Liaison Officer or Ombudsperson sufficient time to investigate & respond to your complaint.

Reach out to the GIO (General Insurance OmbudsService)

  • If you’ve gone through your insurers complaint processes and aren’t satisfied you can request a Final Position Letter and contact the GIO. The GIO is an impartial consumer dispute resolution system. It is in place to help you and the insurer resolve disputes about claim-related matters.

Take it to the Federal or Provincial level

  • If your dispute cannot be solved by the GIO, or if the insurance company isn’t a member of the GIO, you can take it a step further by contacting a Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

Dye & Russell should be your first call if you’re having issues claiming insurance compensation. We have the experience and knowledge of the industry that keep us from being pushed around by policymakers. Let us handle the big insurance companies and take the stress away from you to get you what you deserve.

If you’ve experienced a claim denial or want to dispute a claim, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

 

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Understanding the Levels of Spinal Cord Injury

Accidents that result in a spinal cord injury can be scary stuff. The spine is made up of vertebrae and depending on the location of the injury there can be life changing effects, like losing the ability to walk or use other parts or functions of the body all together. Generally, injuries have a greater severity and dysfunction tends to occur the higher up the injury is on the spinal cord.

The spine is split into 3 levels; the lower back containing lumbar and sacral nerves, the thoracic nerves in the mid-back and the upper back with the upper and lower cervical nerves. These are some of the outcomes that can be expected if a spinal cord injury is sustained.

Lower Back

Lumbar nerves (L1 – L5)

  • Often, insured parties suffer from loss of function in their hips or legs.
  • There is limited or no voluntary control over the use of the bladder or bowel. However, with the use of special equipment this can be managed on their own.
  • Use of a wheelchair or leg braces may be required depending on the strength of their legs.

Sacral nerves (S1 – S5)

  • Like lumbar nerve injuries, there is often some loss of hip or leg movement as well as limited or no voluntary use of the bladder or bowels. Persons can manage this with use of special equipment.
  • There is a likelihood that walking will occur.


Mid Back

Thoracic nerves (T1 – T5)

  • Injured nerves impact muscles in the upper chest, mid-back and abdominal areas.
  • While hand and arm function may be normal, often times the trunk and legs are affected (known as paraplegia).
  • Persons will typically be able to use a manual wheelchair and eventually drive a modified vehicle. Others will be able to stand in a standing frame or walk with leg braces.

Thoracic nerves (T6 – T12)

  • Tends to result in paraplegia with normal use of the upper body.
  • Persons can maintain control and their balance when in the seated position.
  • May experience some productive coughing if the abdominal muscles are intact.
  • As with the thoracic nerve T1 – T5 injuries, persons most likely use manual wheelchairs, learn to drive modified vehicles, stand with a standing frame and some even walk with braces.

Upper Back

High-cervical nerves (C1 – C4)

  • This most severe level of spinal cord injury; results in complete paralysis of the arms, hands, trunk and legs
  • Generally, persons are unable to breathe, cough, or control bowel or bladder movements on their own.
  • Requires assistance with daily living activities (e.g., bathing, eating) and needs 24-hour a day care.
  • Cannot drive motor vehicles on their own however may be able to use a powered wheelchair with special controls.
  • Speech can also be impaired or reduced.

Low-cervical nerves (C5 – C8)

  • Nerves in this group control the arms and hands
  • This level of injury may allow a person to breathe and speak normally on their own.
  • Each of the vertebrae in this level affects different nerves and muscles and depending on the specific vertebrae that is injured, have different outcomes
    • Injury of the C5 vertebrae for example may leave a person with the ability to move their hands and arms and bend their elbows while an injury of the C7 could mean the person’s elbow and finger extension range is impacted.
    • Injuries of the C6 typically cause paralysis of the hands, trunk and legs where as C8 injuries can affect hand movement and the ability to grasp and release objects.

 

No matter the level of spinal cord injury that a person faces, it is life altering. A task that used to be easy, maybe even taken for granted, is now difficult and could require assistance. Sadly, spinal cord injuries affect approximately 85, 000 Canadians with an average increase of 4000 per year.

 

If you have been injured and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone. We will offer you a FREE claim assessment.

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Skye OliverUnderstanding the Levels of Spinal Cord Injury
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