Have you recently suffered a spinal cord injury in Las Vegas? You may be struggling with expensive medical bills, lost wages from time away from work, pain and suffering, and other difficulties. If your injury was caused by the negligence of another party, such as a motorist or doctor, you may be able to recover these damages by filing a lawsuit against the negligent party.

At the Cottle Firm, our dedicated Las Vegas spinal cord injury lawyers help our clients fight for the financial compensation they deserve after preventable injuries. We are prepared to evaluate your case and help determine if you have grounds for a personal injury or medical malpractice claim. Get in touch with us today at 702-722-6111 to learn more about your legal options in a free consultation.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are two main categories of spinal cord injuries:

  • Incomplete: Incomplete spinal cord injuries are isolated to certain parts of the spine. Other parts of the spine are left unaffected, so the victim may still retain functioning in these parts.
  • Complete: A complete spinal cord injury affects all parts of the spine. There is no communication and those who suffer these injuries usually permanently lose all functioning below the injury. In most cases, this includes paralysis.

Medical professionals also evaluate spinal cord injuries based on their location:

  • Cervical spine: This part of the spine is in the neck, beginning at the bottom of the skull and running to about shoulder level.
  • Lumbar spine – This spine section is found in the lower back, extending to around the top of the buttocks. The spinal cord ends a couple of inches above this point.
  • Thoracic spine – This section of the spine goes from the upper back to just under the belly button.
  • Sacral spine – This portion of the spine is in the back and contains nerve roots extending from underneath the buttocks to the tailbone.

Spinal cord injuries often progress through phases. After the initial injury, it is common for secondary injuries to appear. These secondary injuries often lead to swelling and additional damage to the spinal cord.

Accidents That Can Cause Spinal Cord Injuries

Many types of accidents can result in spinal cord injuries. In some cases, these accidents are the result of negligence by another party, such as another driver or a property owner. 

Motor Vehicle Accidents

According to the Mayo Clinic, motor vehicle crashes are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States. Car and motorcycle accidents combine to account for nearly half of new spinal cord injuries each year. The strong impact of a car accident can cause severe damage to the spinal cord, including the vertebrae, ligaments, discs, and nearby tissues. 


The Cleveland Clinic cites falls as the second-most common cause of spinal cord injuries, accounting for about 31% of them. This includes both falls from heights and slip-and-fall accidents. Property owners and employers should ensure that their premises have adequate fall protection and are free of slip-and-fall hazards that could result in spinal cord injuries and other types of injuries.


Victims of violent crime often suffer spinal cord injuries. Bullets and sharp objects can cause severe damage when they penetrate the spinal cord. Violence-related injuries account for approximately 15% of all spinal cord injuries.

Sports Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can happen in both contact and non-contact sports. About 8 percent of all spinal cord injuries are sports-related. According to the Cleveland Clinic, diving is the most common cause of sports-related spinal cord injuries.

How Negligence Can Cause Spinal Cord Injuries

Not all spinal cord injuries are someone else’s fault. However, many of these injuries only occur due to the negligence of someone other than the victim. Here are some of the most common forms of negligence our lawyers have seen in personal injury claims involving spinal cord injuries.

Car Accidents

Car accidents can cause severe spinal cord injuries due to the high impact force of a crash. Various forms of negligence can lead to car accidents involving spinal cord injuries, such as speeding, driving under the influence, and failing to obey road signs and stoplights. When another driver’s negligence causes an accident involving spinal cord injuries, those injured may have grounds for a personal injury claim against the negligent driver.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Property owners have a legal duty to maintain safe premises and minimize the risk of injuries to guests. Although slip and fall accidents may seem minor, they can cause severe injuries, including spinal cord injuries. If a property guest suffers a slip and fall injury because of the property’s negligence, such as a casino failing to address the hazard that caused their fall, they may file a personal injury claim against the property owner.

Falls From Heights

Falls from heights are a common problem on construction sites, other workplaces, and unsafe buildings. Victims of such falls are vulnerable to a wide range of injuries, including spinal cord injuries. Property owners, employers, and contractors have a legal duty to implement property safety measures to prevent such accidents. Those who fail to do so could potentially owe damages in a personal injury claim, wrongful death lawsuit, or workers’ compensation claim.

Negligent Security

Property owners have a legal duty to implement security measures that minimize the crime risk on the premises. If a guest becomes a victim of violent crime and suffers a spinal cord injury due to inadequate security, the property owner could be considered negligent and held liable for damages.

Medical Malpractice and Spinal Cord Injuries

Some spinal cord injuries are caused by medical negligence by healthcare professionals. Medical professionals owe their patients a high duty of care. When they deviate from this high expected standard of care, patients are at risk of preventable injuries and related physical, emotional, and financial difficulties.

Here are some common ways medical malpractice can cause spinal cord injuries:

Surgical Errors

Surgeons have a legal duty to exercise extreme caution during operations. In surgeries involving the spine, even a slight error can cause a severe spinal cord injury. Common forms of negligence that can lead to spinal cord injuries during surgery include accidentally cutting the spinal cord, failing to position the patient properly, or failing to monitor the function of the spinal cord.

Anesthesia Errors

Like other medical professionals, anesthesiologists must be extremely careful when administering anesthesia. Errors during administration can sometimes result in spinal column bleeding, known as an epidural hematoma. This can potentially result in severe and sometimes permanent spinal cord injuries.

Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose

Most spinal cord injuries occur due to trauma, such as car accidents and falls. However, some spinal cord injuries occur as a result of certain types of diseases and health conditions, such as cancer and meningitis. Doctors have a duty to promptly and accurately diagnose such conditions, and to follow their diagnoses up with proper treatment. 

When a doctor fails to diagnose a serious condition and the patient suffers a related spinal cord injury as a result of this failure, the patient may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.

Birth Injuries

Although some birth injuries are unavoidable, many only occur due to negligence by a doctor or other medical professional. Newborns can sometimes suffer spinal cord injuries during birth, which can lead to permanently debilitating conditions, including paralysis. When a spinal cord birth injury occurs due to medical negligence, the child’s parents may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.

Spinal Cord Injury FAQ

What If I Was Partially At Fault For My Spinal Cord Injury?

Fortunately, Nevada is a comparative fault state. In a personal injury claim, the court will evaluate the circumstances of the injury and assign a percentage of fault to both the victim and the defendant. Even if you were partially at fault, you can still file a personal injury claim – as long as your fault percentage is 50 percent or lower. 

If you receive a settlement or court verdict, the amount awarded will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were deemed 25 percent at fault and received a $100,000 settlement, the final amount awarded would be $75,000.

How Much Is My Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit Worth?

The amount of financial compensation awarded in a personal injury claim depends on the damages suffered. You may seek economic damages for the financial losses you have suffered due to your injury – such as medical bills and lost wages – and non-economic damages for non-quantifiable damages, such as pain and suffering. 

To get a better idea of how much your lawsuit could be worth, it is best to discuss your case with an experienced personal injury lawyer. The dedicated Nevada personal injury lawyers of the Cottle Firm can evaluate your case and provide an estimate of the damages you could potentially seek if you have a valid claim.

Discuss Your Case With Our Las Vegas Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers

Are you struggling with high medical bills and lost wages while out of work after a spinal cord injury? At the Cottle Firm, we fight for our clients and strive to help them obtain the financial compensation they deserve for injuries caused by negligence. Give us a call today at 702-722-6111 to discuss your legal options after suffering a spinal cord injury caused by negligence.