Houston Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers
CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH HOUSTON SPINAL CORD INJURY LAWYERS FOR FREE
Your spinal cord is an integral part of the nervous system, relaying signals throughout the body and allowing movement and feeling in your limbs. Spinal cord injuries can greatly impact your quality of life while presenting a costly financial burden.
If you have suffered a spinal injury in an accident, you should consult the Houston spinal cord injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation. If we are unable to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
HOW ARE SPINAL CORD INJURIES DIAGNOSED
- X-rays may reveal the presence of a spinal cord injury or other degenerative spinal problems.
- More sophisticated tests, such as an MRI, may be necessary to examine the spinal cord and look for any compressions in the images generated by a computer using strong magnetic fields and radio waves.
- In some cases, doctors may order a CT scan to provide a clearer look at suspected abnormalities on the spine by using computers to create a series of cross-sectional images that define problems within the spinal cord, vertebrae, or disks
SPINAL CORD INJURIES IN THE UNITED STATES
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistics Center (NSCISC),
- There are almost 300,000 people living in the United States with spinal cord injuries (SCI)
- Between 15,000 to 20,000 people suffer spinal cord injuries every year
- Car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, followed by falls
- Together, car wrecks and slip and falls account for over 70 percent of spinal cord injuries since 2015
- The average life expectancy for victims with spinal cord injuries is significantly below the life expectancy for persons without a spinal cord injury
- Mortality rates for SCI victims are highest during the first year after the injury
HOW SPINAL CORD INJURIES MAY IMPACT YOUR LIFE
Spinal cord injuries generally occur when a vertebra encasing the spinal cord is damaged. They may also occur from injuries to the disks or surrounding ligaments. This damage does not always stop after the accident but may continue to worsen for days or even weeks in some cases. Spinal cord injuries range in severity as well as area affected. According to the Mayo Clinic, a spinal cord injury is “damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal.” Spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis as well as a loss of sensation in areas below the injury.
The severity of the injury is usually classified into one of two groups, complete and incomplete.
An incomplete injury may only have a limited impact on motor control or sensation, with the victim retaining some movement and feeling below the injury. A complete spinal cord injury results in the victim having no movement or feeling below the injury. Paralysis of the legs and pelvic area is known as paraplegia, while paralysis of the legs, pelvic area, arms, and hands is generally called quadriplegia.
However, symptoms of spinal cord injuries are not limited to paralysis. Spinal cord injuries can also impact:
- Bladder control
- Bowel control
- Circulatory and respiratory systems, and
- Sexual health
Nerve damage in the spinal cord is not reversible, and most treatments seek to simply halt further damage from occurring. Spinal cord injuries may leave you unable to work and may drastically alter your everyday life. You may require continuing medical treatments, as well as home health assistance to help you perform previously routine everyday activities, such as eating, dressing, or bathing.
COMMON EFFECTS OF SPINAL CORD INJURIES
Spinal cord injuries may have a variety of negative impacts on your life, but common health effects may include:
- Pain throughout the body
- Spasms caused by interruptions in signals from the brain regulating reflexes which may lead them to become spastic or exaggerated
- Difficulty breathing that may require the victim to be placed on a ventilator
- Blood clots
- Bowel or bladder problems that may require victims to have a catheter implanted to control bladder functions and to prevent infections
- Low blood pressure or irregular heartbeats caused by a loss of tone in blood vessels, which may then widen and lead to blood pooling in smaller arteries away from the heart
- Pressure sores caused by skin tissue breaking down from paralyzed victims being unable to move easily without assistance
- Sexual or reproductive difficulties, including loss of fertility
CAUSES OF SPINAL CORD INJURIES
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents cause the majority of all spinal injuries in the United States. Vehicle crashes can be violent events causing serious injuries, including spinal injuries. The risk for spinal cord injuries increases exponentially in accidents involving a vehicle striking a bicyclist or pedestrian due to the size, speed, and force of the vehicle. If you have suffered a spinal injury as a result of a vehicle accident, the at-fault driver may be liable.
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents may not seem terribly serious most of the time, but they may result in spinal injuries. Indeed, falls are the second-leading cause of spinal cord injuries, with these injuries often occurring at work or while inside a store or business. If you have suffered a spinal injury due to a slip and fall accident, the property owner may be liable.
Violent attacks upon a person may also result in spinal cord injuries, especially those involving firearms or knives. The attacker will generally be liable for their victim’s injuries.
Participation in athletic events can be rewarding, but it can also be dangerous, especially in contact sports such as football, which may result in hard collisions where a player’s spine is injured from the force of a collision. For sports-related injuries, it may be difficult to hold the player liable, but coaches or others responsible for the program may be liable in some cases for failing to properly train players to avoid or reduce the risk of these injuries.
The workplace is often a dangerous place, and if employers fail to take proper safety precautions, such as providing safety gear and training, they may be liable for spinal injuries that result. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury at work, the employer or a third-party contractor may often be liable while workers’ compensation insurance may also cover your injuries.
Finally, spinal cord injuries may also occur as a result of medical malpractice. Doctors may make mistakes while operating on or near the spine by failing to use the utmost precision to avoid inflicting serious injury and often irreversible damage to the victim’s spine. In this case, the doctor may generally be liable for your injuries, while the hospital or the doctor’s employer may also be liable for your injuries in some cases.
WHAT TO DO AFTER AN ACCIDENT IF YOU SUSPECT A SPINAL INJURY
- Do not move the injured person, as this may worsen the condition and lead to paralysis
- Immediately seek medical attention
- Ensure the victim remains completely still and does not move
- Use heavy towels or other soft objects to immobilize the victim’s head by placing them on both sides of the neck or holding it in place to help prevent further injury.
- Render any aid that may be required, such as stopping bleeding
HOW TO FILE A SPINAL INJURY CLAIM
1. Consult an Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident and suffered a spinal cord injury, you should consult a Houston spinal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Spinal cord injuries often cause lifelong health problems and may require ongoing treatment, which can become a considerable financial and emotional burden. A Houston spinal cord injury attorney may be able to help you seek compensation for your injury.
After securing the services of an attorney, your attorney may then begin to investigate the accident to determine the cause of your injuries and who may be liable. During such an investigation, your attorney may also interview any witnesses, examine the scene of the accident, as well as examine your medical records and bills. Your Houston spine injury lawyer may also gather medical records to document the severity of your spinal cord injury as well as its effects on your health.
After concluding the investigation, your Houston spine injury attorney may then submit a claim to the insurer. Insurance companies generally seek to pay out as little as possible, as they are for-profit businesses, and as such, they may reject the claim entirely or simply offer a much lower amount of compensation than you may be entitled to. Your attorney may then be able to use the evidence discovered during the investigation to support your claim. Your attorney and the insurer may continue to negotiate to ultimately reach an agreement on the amount of compensation offered.
If your attorney and the insurer successfully agree on the amount of compensation, you may settle your case and avoid trial.
If a settlement cannot be reached, your case may instead have to go to trial. Your attorney may represent you at this and present evidence to support your claim. Any compensation that may be awarded will be decided by a jury.
GET A CASE EVALUATiON FROM ZINDA LAW GROUP
At Zinda Law Group, our experienced spinal cord injury lawyers may help you with your claim. We assist our clients in seeking the maximum compensation they may be entitled to after they or their loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury in Houston.
Call (800) 863-5312 today for a free consultation with one of our Houston personal injury lawyers. You will not pay anything unless we can win your spinal cord injury claim. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
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