Need A Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer? Call Maggie.


“We provide you with experienced, fierce, and relentless legal advocacy while treating you with the care, respect, and dignity that you deserve. That is our promise...and we keep our promises.” – Maggie Shankle


Maggie Shankle, the owner / principal spinal cord injury attorney at Shankle Law Firm, is a North Carolina Board Certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law and a recognized Super Lawyer who has over twenty years of experience in, and exceptional results with, spinal cord injury and personal injury cases.

For a FREE consultation, please call our law office, Shankle Law Firm, at 704-370-1212.

We will immediately schedule an appointment for you to meet with Maggie Shankle to discuss your case, the cause and extent of your injury claim, current medical bills (CT scans, surgery, rehabilitation), any financial losses you have suffered as a result of the catastrophic injury, and the legal options available to you in a full case evaluation.

When you hire Maggie Shankle and her outstanding team, you will get a workers' compensation and personal injury law firm that will fight for you every single step of the way, communicate with you regularly, ensure you get the care you need and will not charge you any fees until we win your case and you receive your financial compensation.  



A spinal cord injury (SCI) starts with a sudden, traumatic blow to the spine that fractures or dislocates vertebrae. The resulting displaced bone fragments, disc material, or ligaments bruise or tear into spinal cord tissue. Most spinal cord injury victims don't completely sever their spinal column. Instead, an injury is more likely to cause fractures and compression of the vertebrae, which then crush and destroy axons—the long nerve cell "wires" that pass through vertebrae, carrying signals between the brain and the rest of the body.

Someone with injury to only a few axons might be able to recover completely from their injury. On the other hand, a person with damage to all axons will most likely be paralyzed in the areas below the injury.

If you, a family member or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of a work-related accident, car accident, trucking accident, medical malpractice, slip and fall accident, sports-related accident,  pedestrian accident, motorcycle accident, all-terrain vehicle accident, or other types of accidents involving someone else’s negligence, contact a spinal cord injury lawyer immediately. In most spinal cord injury cases, you are facing substantial lost income and months, possibly years, of medical expenses. Experienced, exceptional legal help is crucial not only to you, but to your family, and your financial future.

A spinal cord injury is described by level, type, and severity.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the level of injury for a person with SCI is the lowest point on the spinal cord below which sensory feeling and motor movement diminish or disappear.

The level is denoted by the letter-and-number name of the vertebra at the injury site.

  • Cervical vertebrae (C1 through C7), which are in the neck
  • Thoracic vertebrae (T1 through T12), which are in the upper back
  • Lumbar vertebrae (L1 through L5), which are found in the lower back
  • Sacral vertebrae (S1 through S5) which are located between the lumbar vertebrae and the coccyx (tailbone)
  • Coccygeal vertebrae Three to five separate or fused vertebrae make up the coccyx (tailbone).

There are two broad types of SCI, each comprising a number of different levels:

  • Tetraplegia (formerly called quadriplegia) generally describes the condition of a person with an SCI that is at a level anywhere from the C1 vertebra down to the T1. These individuals can experience a loss of sensation, function, or movement in their head, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, upper chest, pelvic organs, and legs.
  • Paraplegia is the general term describing the condition of people who have lost feeling in or are not able to move the lower parts of their body. The body parts that may be affected are the chest, stomach, hips, legs, and feet. The state of an individual with an SCI level from the T2 vertebra to the S5 can usually be called paraplegic.


In addition, there are two degrees of SCI severity:

Complete spinal cord injury is the situation when the injury is so severe that almost all feeling (sensory function) and all ability to control movement (motor function) are lost below the area of the SCI.

Incomplete spinal cord injury occurs when there is some sensory or motor function below the damaged area on the spine.  

SCI severity is further delineated according to the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) grading scale. The scale is graded with letters:

  • ASIA A: injury is complete spinal cord injury with no sensory or motor function preserved.
  • ASIA B: a sensory incomplete injury with complete motor function loss.
  • ASIA C: a motor incomplete injury, where there is some movement, but less than half the muscle groups are anti-gravity (can lift up against the force of gravity with a full range of motion).
  • ASIA D: a motor incomplete injury with more than half of the muscle groups are anti-gravity.
  • ASIA E: normal.



Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of SCI in the United States in younger individuals, while falls are the leading cause for SCI for people over 65. Acts of violence and sports/recreation activities are other common causes for these injuries.

Just over half of all SCI occurs in persons age 16-30, most of whom are male (80%). Males also represent nearly all (90%) of sports-related SCIs.

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, the following are the most common causes of SCI

  • Vehicular / Automobile Accidents 39.3% 
  • Falls 31.8%
  • Violence (Primarily From Gunshot Wounds) 13.5% 
  • Sports Injury 8% 
  • Medical / Surgical Complications 4.3% 
  • Miscellaneous / Other Causes 3.1

Symptoms of a spinal cord injury include:

  • Extreme pain or pressure in the neck, head or back
  • Tingling or loss of sensation in the hand, fingers, feet or toes
  • Partial or complete loss of control over any part of the body
  • Urinary or bowel urgency, incontinence or retention
  • Difficulty with balance or walking
  • Impaired breathing after injury
  • Unusual lumps on the head or spine



Insurance companies and their personal injury attorneys do all that they can to avoid paying out anything to you. That is their job and they are good at it.  Some of their more common tactics include:

  • Not returning you calls or ignoring your emails
  • Denying claims or withholding payments
  • Inundating you with excuses, confusing processes and red tape
  • Offering settlements that are far less than you actually are qualified to receive.

Going up against the insurance companies and their lawyers without experienced and exceptional legal representation is a true recipe for disaster.  You need a Super Lawyer by your side, one that will fight for the medical care and the financial compensation you need and are due.  It is important for the injured person to understand that the levels of medical care, medical costs and financial compensation associated with an SCI are not set in stone.   They are negotiable and depend on how well your attorney understands the nuances of the law, has analyzed and prepared your case (investigations, medical opinions, witness dispositions, etc...) and their negotiation skills. Don’t gamble with your and your family’s future and quality of life when it comes to injury law. Hire an experienced spinal cord injury attorney to get you the very best care and highest compensation you deserve.

With Maggie Shankle and Shankle Law Firm fighting for you, you'll rest easy knowing you have outstanding legal representation in your corner who will fight for every penny, health service and rehabilitation service you are entitled to under the law.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident and left with spinal injuries, contact us today at 704-370-1212 so we can start fighting for you. There are absolutely no charges to you for our services until your case and you receive your injury lawsuit settlement check.



According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, as many as 450,000 people in the United States are living with a spinal cord injury (SCI). Other organizations conservatively estimate this figure to be about 250,000.

Every year, an estimated 17,000 new SCIs occur in the U.S. Most of these are caused by trauma to the vertebral column, thereby affecting the spinal cord's ability to send and receive messages from the brain to the body's systems that control sensory, motor and autonomic function below the level of injury.

According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), SCI costs the nation an estimated $9.7 billion each year.