CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH A TEXAS SPINAL CORD INJURY LAWYER
After an accident, there is no such thing as an injury that is fun or easy to deal with. However, there are some types of injuries that may present more complications than others. For example, a sprained wrist from a car accident, though not pleasant, can be treated fairly easily through bracing or a cast. Suffering a spinal cord injury in Texas can be a different story entirely. Spinal cord injuries can result in lots of therapy and complicated medical procedures. To handle the legal ramifications of your accident, your best shot of success may be to hire a spinal cord injury attorney in Texas.
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury after an accident, contact Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312.
CAUSES OF SPINAL CORD INJURIES
The spinal cord is a central component of the human body that has many functions. Unfortunately, there also many ways in which a victim can sustain serious damage to their spinal cord. Some of the more common ways include:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries, causing almost half of all the spinal cord injuries that occur in a given year. Car accidents, depending on the severity, can place a large amount of stress on the body, and the spinal cord can be the unfortunate victim. Tearing, bruising, or more serious sorts of injuries can occur as the result of a very sudden change of speed, such as a rear-end accident causing whiplash, or blunt force trauma, such as if an accident victim is t-boned while sitting in an intersection.
Slips and Falls
For people over the age of 65, the most common cause of spinal cord injuries is a fall. This can be precipitated by something as seemingly innocuous as a loose bit of carpet or a plank that hasn’t been nailed down correctly. Overall, falls cause almost a third of all of the spinal cord injuries that occur in a given year.
Acts of Violence
More than 10% of spinal cord injuries are caused by acts of violence. These most commonly involve gunshot wounds, but they can also be caused by knife attacks. Spinal cord injuries caused by acts of violence differ from other spinal cord accidents in that they involve a criminal component that can impact how the legal side of things plays out.
Sports and Recreational Activities
Athletic events cause around 10% of spinal cord injuries. They are typically caused by collisions such as you might find in a contact sport like tackle football, but they can also occur from activities like diving into a pool that is too shallow or colliding with another participant in a sport like basketball or soccer.
RAMIFICATIONS OF SPINAL CORD INJURIES
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, then you know full-well what some of the potential ramifications can be. However, there are some issues that can crop up with spinal cord injuries that might not be immediately apparent. Some of the potential consequences of spinal cord injuries are listed below.
The muscles needed for breathing and coughing may become weak after a spinal cord injury. Coughing is important because it can help to clear the lungs of secretion and bacteria. If a person has a weak cough and therefore cannot clear their lungs in this way, they can be at a higher risk of infections like pneumonia.
Breathing can be affected in different ways depending on exactly where on the spinal cord the injury occurred. An injury at vertebrae C4 or higher will affect the diaphragm, the muscles that move the lungs for breathing. Injuries at other locations on the spinal cord can affect the intercoastal and abdominal muscles, and the body needs all of these systems in working order to be able to breathe.
A person might not be able to sweat or make goosebumps below the level of the injury on their body, which can affect their ability to adjust or regulate their body’s temperature. They may feel cold and pile on blankets one minute and feel like they are burning up the next.
Bone and Joint Issues
When there is a lack of motion in joints due to being unable to move from a spinal cord injury, calcium deposits in the form of bone spurs can form in a process known as heterotopic ossification. These bone spurs can cause pain, spasms, and an overall lowered ability to function. The process of bone spur formation will typically begin to happen anywhere from 2 weeks to 4 months after injury, and the most common locations for them to form are the hips, knees, shoulders, and elbows.
One common denominator of many of the complications that result from a spinal cord injury is pain. Pain from a spinal cord injury can be acute or chronic, and it can be brought about by bruising, broken bones, surgery, or positioning. It can also be brought on by overuse of joints and muscles, or changes in muscles, joints, and ligaments. When you are experiencing pain, it is important to remember that pain is a very real phenomenon with an associated physical cause.
COMPENSATION FOR SPINAL CORD INJURIES
After your spinal cord injury in Texas, you could be dealing with any number of the complications listed above and possibly some of the other numerous complications that can arise. This, on its own, is enough for any person to handle at one time. However, the costs for all of the treatment required by spinal cord injuries can quickly add up and leave victims wondering how to pay for all of it. While there is no guarantee that you will be able to recover compensation through a lawsuit, your potential damages fall into two categories.
Economic damages are the tangible, objectively verifiable, damages that you sustain as a result of your injuries. They include things like medical bills, damage to your personal property, and lost wages from being unable to perform your work duties. Economic damages can typically be proven with a fairly high degree of certainty.
Spinal cord injuries typically bring with them a fair degree of pain and suffering. This is where non-economic damages come in. Accident victims can be compensated for the pain and suffering that they experience on top of the more tangible economic damages. While there is no objective way to measure or estimate non-economic damages, the general rule is that the worse the injury, the more a victim stands to receive in non-economic damages.
Punitive damages differ from the other two categories of damages in that they focus on the wrongdoer instead of the victim. Punitive damages attempt to punish the wrongdoer and prevent other people from acting similarly by demonstrating what the consequences could be. They are not available in every personal injury case, but only in cases where the wrongdoer acted in a very reckless or purposeful way.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Personal injury cases are governed by statutes of limitation, which are the amount of time that accident victims have to file a claim based on their accident. In Texas, the statute of limitations that generally applies to spinal cord injuries is two years, which means that accident victims have two years from the date of their accident to file a claim or risk having it thrown out for a lack of timeliness. Because spinal cord injuries can result from a wide variety of accidents, the time limit that applies to your case could be different, but two years will likely be the amount of time.
There are certain exceptions that could apply to lengthen or pause the statute of limitations. For example, if you don’t find out about the extent of your injuries until well after your accident or if the accident victim is a minor, then you may have longer than two years to file a claim. However, it is advisable to speak with a Texas spinal cord injury attorney as quickly as possible to avoid running into any problems simply because you didn’t file in time.
WHY CALL AN ATTORNEY?
To victims, accidents may seem cut and dry. The other person caused my injuries, so it would seem logical that they would have to pay for the resulting damages. this can seem like this is how the system should work, it isn’t always the case. It is important to remember that in a personal injury case, you are the only person who has your best interests at heart. The insurance companies involved in your case are aiming to pay you as little as they are legally obligated to, and this is likely true of the other parties as well.
An attorney may be able to help you by utilizing their experience to help fight for your rights during your case. They may understand what your case is worth and be able to craft persuasive arguments to help you seek it.
CALL ZINDA LAW GROUP’s TEXAS SPINAL CORD INJURY ATTORNEYS TODAY
Spinal cord injuries are one of the most painful and difficult categories of injury for an accident victim to be forced to deal with. Having a Texas spinal cord injury attorney on your side can make a world of difference and relieve you of a massive burden. Zinda Law Group attorneys may assist you, and you won’t pay us anything unless we win your case for you. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.