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Case Types We Handle
Personal Injuries
Car Accidents
Truck Accidents
Motorcycle Accidents
Bicycle Accidents
Nursing Home Abuse
Wrongful Death
Slip and Fall Accidents
Daycare Injury & Abuse
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St. Louis
Case Types We Handle
Personal Injuries
Car Accidents
Truck Accidents
Motorcycle Accidents
Bicycle Accidents
Construction Accidents
Nursing Home Abuse
Wrongful Death
Slip and Fall Accidents
Daycare Injury & Abuse
Dangerous Drugs
Defective Products
Chemical Exposure

The #1 Chicago Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers

Written By:
Tor Hoerman
Tor Hoerman

Attorney Tor Hoerman, admitted to the Illinois State Bar Association since 1995 and The Missouri Bar since 2009, specializes nationally in mass tort litigations. Locally, Tor specializes in auto accidents and a wide variety of personal injury incidents occuring in Illinois and Missouri.

This article has been written and reviewed for legal accuracy and clarity by the team of writers and attorneys at TorHoerman Law and is as accurate as possible. This content should not be taken as legal advice from an attorney. If you would like to learn more about our owner and experienced injury lawyer, Tor Hoerman, you can do so here.

TorHoerman Law does everything possible to make sure the information in this article is up to date and accurate. If you need specific legal advice about your case, contact us. This article should not be taken as advice from an attorney.

Chicago Car Accident Lawyers for Spinal Cord Injuries

On this page, we’ll discuss the benefits of hiring Chicago Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers, the legal process for pursuing compensation for spinal cord injuries from car accidents, how spinal injuries occur, and much more.

Have You Suffered a Spinal Cord Injury After a Car Accident in Chicago?

Spinal cord injuries can have a devastating and life-altering impact on an individual’s life.

A spinal injury can result in permanent disabilities, loss of income, and substantial medical expenses.

If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of a car accident in Chicago, you are likely facing significant life changes and challenges.

Chicago Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers

It is essential to understand your rights and options for pursuing compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other impacts this injury may have on your life.

If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal injury from a car accident in Chicago, seek legal representation from an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer.

At TorHoerman Law, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a spine injury can have on a car accident victim and their families.

Our dedicated Chicago spinal cord injury attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help secure the compensation needed for recovery and ongoing care.

Contact us for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a spinal cord injury lawsuit instantly.

Table of Contents

Chicago, Car Accidents, and Spinal Cord Injuries

Chicago unfortunately sees a high number of car accidents each year.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reported 181 fatalities and 16,830 injuries from car crashes in the city of Chicago in 2022.

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) recorded 115 traffic deaths in 2023 and 13 traffic casualties so far in 2024.

Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries in the United States, accounting for 38% of all SCI injuries.

The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) reports that there are 11,000 new traumatic spinal injury cases yearly in the country, and 260,000 Americans are living with chronic SCI.

An auto accident can result from various factors, including:

  • Reckless driving
  • Distracted driving
  • Fatigued driving
  • Drunk or impaired driving
  • Poor road conditions
  • Vehicle defects

No matter the cause, the impact of a car accident can cause severe damage to the human body, and a spinal cord injury is one of the most devastating outcomes.

If a victim suffers spinal injuries from a car accident, it is crucial to seek medical treatment immediately and then consult with a skilled Chicago spinal injury lawyer to understand their legal rights.

Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal column is made up of bones called vertebrae, which are disc-shaped and stacked on top of each other to form the backbone.

These bones serve as vital protection for the spinal cord, a long bundle of nerves running through a canal in the spinal column.

The spine or vertebral column is composed of 33 vertebrae, divided into five sections.

The five sections include: 

  • Cervical: The first seven vertebrae in the neck region
  • Thoracic: The successive 12 vertebrae below the cervical spine that make up the upper back
  • Lumbar: Five vertebrae below the thoracic spine responsible for supporting most of a person’s body weight
  • Sacral: Five vertebrae fused together and located below the lumbar spine and above the tailbone
  • Coccygeal: The last four vertebrae at the very bottom of the spinal column, also known as the tailbone

These sections correspond to different body parts and are responsible for specific functions.

The spinal cord is a vital part of the central nervous system (CNR), a bundle of nerves that runs from the base of the skull down to the lower back.

It transmits nerve signals and relays messages between the brain and the rest of the body, controlling motor and sensory functions.

A spinal cord injury occurs when there is trauma or damage to the spinal cord, leading to the disruption of nerve signals and a loss of function below the injury site.

The spinal cord, as essential as it is fragile, can affect the entire body even when only a small portion is injured.

The severity and location of the injury will determine the extent of impairment and symptoms experienced by the individual.

This loss of function can manifest in various ways, including chronic pain, complete or partial paralysis, loss of sensation, and impaired bowel and bladder control.

Seeking immediate medical attention following a car accident is crucial to improve treatment outcomes and prevent further complications.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can vary greatly in severity and can be classified as either complete or incomplete, depending on the extent of nerve damage.

These injuries can range from partial loss of motor or sensory functions to complete paralysis, dramatically impacting the quality of life and requiring long-term medical care.

Spinal cord injuries can vary in severity and location along the spinal column.

Types of Spinal Injuries Based on Severity

The severity of a spinal cord injury generally falls into two categories: complete and incomplete.

Complete Spinal Cord Injury

A complete spinal cord injury means there is complete damage to the spinal cord, causing a total loss of function.

Individuals with complete SCI will experience paralysis and loss of sensation below the injury site.

A complete spinal cord injury can be further classified into two types:

  • Tetraplegia or Quadriplegia: When the spinal cord injury occurs in the cervical spine, the victim may experience paralysis of all four limbs and possibly the torso and organs.
    • This condition causes significant limitations and impairments in daily life, requiring extensive medical care and support.
  • Paraplegia: When the spinal cord injury occurs below the cervical spine — typically affecting the thoracic or lumbar vertebrae — the victim may have paralysis of the legs and partial loss of bodily function in other areas, depending on the location of the injury.
    • Individuals with paraplegia may need assistive devices such as walkers or crutches to walk.

Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury

An incomplete spinal cord injury leads to partial damage to the spinal cord.

This condition means that some nerve signals can still pass through the injured area, allowing for some function and sensation.

Depending on the severity and location of the injury, incomplete spinal cord injuries can affect motor, sensory, or both functions to varying degrees.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries Based on Location

Spinal cord injuries can also be classified based on the location of the injury along the spinal column.

Cervical Vertebrae Injuries

Out of the many types of spinal injuries, injuries to the cervical spine are often the most severe and life-altering.

Cervical vertebrae injuries can result in total or partial paralysis of all four limbs, loss of sensation below the neck, and other complications such as respiratory problems.

Individuals with injuries in this area will need assistance with daily living activities.

Thoracic Vertebrae Injuries

The thoracic spine in the upper back can sustain severe damage, especially if the victim gets thrown forward from a car accident.

Thoracic vertebrae injuries also impact the upper chest, middle back, and abdominal muscles.

In most cases, the victim’s arm and hand functions remain intact, allowing for some independence.

Lumbar Vertebrae Injuries

The lumbar spine is the largest and strongest part of the spinal column in the lower back, supporting most of a person’s body weight.

Lumbar vertebrae injuries can make walking, standing, and sitting difficult.

They would need braces or assistive devices such as wheelchairs to support their lower body.

Sacral Vertebrae Injuries

The sacrum is a triangular-shaped bone located between the hip bones and forms the back wall of the pelvis, providing stability and support for the body.

Sacral vertebrae injuries may result in loss of function and sensation in the legs, hips, buttocks, the back of the thighs, and pelvic organs.

Individuals with injuries to this area may still be able to walk but may experience difficulty with balance and coordination.

Other Types of Spinal Injuries

Aside from the types of spinal cord injuries mentioned above, other conditions can affect the spinal cord and its functions.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal canal narrows, putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.

This compression can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the affected areas.

In severe cases, it can lead to sexual dysfunction, paralysis, or loss of bodily functions.

Spinal Fractures

A spinal fracture is a break or crack in one or more vertebrae.

Common causes of spinal fractures include trauma, osteoporosis, and other spinal conditions.

Depending on the severity and location of the fracture, it can result in nerve damage, loss of function, and other complications.

Herniated Discs

A herniated disc occurs when the soft, gel-like cushion between the vertebrae slips out of place and presses against a nerve, causing pain and discomfort.

Herniated discs can also cause numbness, tingling, weakness, and shooting pain in the affected area.

Treatment for herniated discs may include physical therapy, medication, or surgery.

Facet Joint Injuries

The facet joints are located on either side of the spine and provide stability and flexibility to the spinal column.

Injuries to facet joints can occur due to trauma, repetitive strain, or degenerative spinal conditions.

Symptoms may include stiffness, pain, and difficulty moving the spine in a particular direction.

Neck Injuries

While not technically a spinal injury, the neck is an essential part of the spinal column and can sustain damage during accidents or falls.

Neck injuries such as whiplash can cause pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving the head and neck.

In severe cases, it may also result in nerve damage and other complications.

The Severe Impact of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can have a profound and lasting impact on every aspect of a person’s life.

Understanding these impacts is crucial to appreciate the full scope of the challenges faced by individuals affected by such injuries.

Physical Impact

The physical consequences of a spinal cord injury can be devastating, often resulting in partial or complete paralysis and loss of motor function.

This loss of mobility can significantly impact an individual’s ability to perform daily tasks, engage in activities they once enjoyed, and maintain independence.

Spine injuries can also lead to other health complications, such as respiratory problems, pressure ulcers, and muscle atrophy.

Emotional Impact

The emotional impact of a spinal cord injury can be just as significant as the physical effects.

The sudden loss of mobility and independence can be a considerable shock and cause feelings of depression, anxiety, anger, and frustration.

Coping with these emotions while adjusting to a new way of life can be challenging and may require support from professionals and loved ones.

Financial Impact

The financial burden associated with spinal cord injuries is substantial.

The cost of initial medical treatment and ongoing rehabilitation can quickly accumulate.

Individuals with spinal cord injuries may often face challenges in returning to work or finding employment, resulting in a loss of income and financial stability.

Additional Needs of SCI Victims

Spinal cord injury victims often require additional treatment, support, and accommodations to facilitate their daily lives.

These may include:

  • Long-Term Care: Individuals with severe spinal cord injuries may require long-term care and assistance with daily tasks, such as dressing, bathing, and eating.
  • Rehabilitation: Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other forms of rehabilitation are crucial for individuals to regain function and independence.
  • Daily Living Adjustments: Modifications to the home — such as wheelchair ramps and accessible bathrooms — may be necessary to accommodate a person’s needs.
  • Adaptive Devices: Assistive devices such as wheelchairs, walkers, and other equipment can help individuals with spinal cord injuries perform everyday tasks more easily.

The costs associated with these needs can be overwhelming without adequate compensation.

The Role of Chicago Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers

Given the complexities and challenges associated with spinal cord injury claims, seeking legal representation from an experienced Chicago spinal cord injury attorney is essential.

Our attorneys specialize in personal injury law and have the knowledge, expertise, and resources to navigate the legal system and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.

Ways a spinal cord injury lawyer can help include:

  • Case evaluation
  • Investigation
  • Expert consultation
  • Determining liability
  • Calculating damages
  • Negotiation and litigation

Case Evaluation

Our lawyers offer a comprehensive case evaluation to assess the merits of an injury claim.

They provide expert guidance on the legal options and the best course of action.

This evaluation is the first step in building a solid case and ensuring fair compensation.


Our lawyers conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident.

They will gather crucial evidence such as medical records, accident reports, and witness statements to establish liability and support your injury claim.

This evidence is critical in proving the extent of the injury and its impact on your life.

Expert Consultation

Collaboration with medical experts is integral to understanding the full extent of the injury and its impact on victims.

This expertise helps quantify the damages and build a compelling case for compensation.

Medical professionals can also provide insight into future treatment needs and potential long-term effects of the injury.

Determining Liability

Identifying all liable parties is essential in spinal cord injury cases.

Liability may extend beyond another driver to vehicle manufacturers, government entities responsible for road maintenance, or other negligent parties.

A spinal cord injury lawyer can thoroughly investigate the accident to ensure all responsible parties are held accountable.

Calculating Damages

Lawyers meticulously evaluate the full scope of damages incurred.

Damages can include:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages
  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Future Care Needs
  • Lifestyle Modifications

A comprehensive assessment ensures that all aspects of the injury are accounted for in the claim.

Completely assessing damages allows for a fair and accurate calculation of the compensation needed to cover current and future expenses related to the injury.

Negotiation and Litigation

Skilled negotiation with insurance companies is critical to securing a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your losses.

If parties cannot reach a settlement, lawyers are prepared to litigate in court to pursue the compensation you deserve.

Challenges and Complexities of Spinal Cord and Neck Injury Cases

Spinal cord injury cases present unique challenges and complexities that require specialized legal knowledge and expertise to address effectively.

These include:

  • Proving the Extent of Injury and Long-Term Effects: Demonstrating the full extent of a spinal cord injury and its long-term implications requires extensive medical evidence and expert testimony.
    • Lawyers work closely with medical professionals to establish the severity of the injury and its impact on the client’s quality of life.
  • Securing Adequate Compensation for Ongoing Care and Rehabilitation: One of the primary challenges in spinal cord injury cases is ensuring that the compensation obtained covers the high costs of ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, and necessary lifestyle modifications.
    • Lawyers advocate to secure sufficient compensation to meet the client’s long-term needs.

Seeking Legal Help

For individuals and families affected by spinal cord injuries in Chicago, seeking the support of a reputable law firm like TorHoerman Law is vital to protecting their rights and securing the compensation they deserve.

At TorHoerman Law, our Chicago spinal cord injury lawyers have a successful track record of handling personal injury cases and helping clients obtain maximum compensation.

Reasons to choose a lawyer include:

  • Specialized Knowledge: We specialize in spinal injury claims and relevant laws governing personal injury cases.
  • Advocacy and Compassion: We are dedicated to fighting for your rights and well-being and will serve as advocates throughout the legal process. We are committed to providing compassionate guidance every step of the way.
  • Comprehensive Support: We offer holistic and personalized assistance to our clients and their families. Trust us to handle all aspects of your case, from initial consultation to litigation.

TorHoerman Law: Experienced Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been in a car accident and suffered a spinal injury, do not hesitate to reach out to TorHoerman Law for assistance.

Our team is here to provide comprehensive support and seek compensation for what you’ve been through.

Contact us for a free consultation.

You can also use the chatbot on this page to find out if you qualify for a spinal cord injury lawsuit instantly.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the most common causes of spinal cord injuries in car accidents?

    Spinal cord injuries in car accidents typically occur due to high-impact collisions that cause significant trauma to the spinal column.

    Car crashes that result in the compression or severance of the spinal cord due to forceful impacts, often seen in rollovers, side-impacts, and head-on collisions, are known to cause spinal injuries.

    Spinal cord injuries can range from herniated discs and spinal fractures to more severe damage like complete spinal cord injuries that can result in permanent paralysis.

  • What types of compensation can I pursue if I've suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident?

    Victims of spinal cord injuries from car accidents may be able to pursue various types of compensation, including medical expenses for emergency care, ongoing rehabilitation, and any necessary surgeries.

    Compensation can also cover lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and costs for modifications needed in the home.

    Damages may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and in severe cases, compensation for permanent disability and loss of life quality.

  • What should I do immediately after a car accident if I suspect a spinal cord injury?

    If you suspect a spinal cord injury after a car accident, it’s crucial to remain as still as possible and avoid moving, which can exacerbate the injury.

    Call emergency services immediately.

    It’s important for medical professionals to stabilize your spine at the scene to prevent further injury.

    Inform them of your symptoms, such as inability to move limbs, numbness, or loss of bowel or bladder control, which are indicative of spinal injuries.

  • How long do I have to file a spinal cord injury claim in Chicago?

    In Chicago, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim, including spinal cord injuries resulting from car accidents, is generally two years from the date of the accident.

    It’s essential to consult with a Chicago Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer as soon as possible to ensure your claim is filed within this time frame.

    An attorney can help you gather the necessary documentation and evidence, such as medical records and accident reports, to support your claim effectively.

Written By:
Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law

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