CALL (512) 246 2224 TO SPEAK WITH A SPINAL INJURY ATTORNEY FOR FREE
Spinal Injuries include damage to any part of the spinal cord or the nerves that surround it. These types of injuries are often quite serious and may have a long-lasting or permanent effect on a victim’s life. While spinal injuries are serious, there are many different types of treatment options available to help recovering victims get their lives back on track.
Suffering a personal injury such as a spinal injury can affect a victim both physically and emotionally. The process of trying to physically recover while dealing with the legal process of holding a responsible party liable is overwhelming. You don’t have to go through this process alone. The attorneys at Zinda Law Group have the experience to assist you with your claim and may speak with you today to discuss your case.
EFFECTS OF A SPINAL INJURY
Spinal injuries most prominently affect your motor functions, which primarily include the ability to control limb function. Your range of limb function and movement after your injury is often qualified by specialists as either being “complete” or “incomplete.” Complete injuries occur when you lose all feeling below the placement of your spinal cord injury. Incomplete injuries occur when you still have partial function of the area below your spinal injury.
Beyond your motor functions, spinal injuries can affect a victim in both a physical and emotional way. A few of the other common effects of spinal cord injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Loss or altered sensation
- Loss of bladder control
- Spasms or other reflex issues
- Changes in sexual function
- Difficulty breathing
- Weight gain
- Emotional trauma
COMMON CAUSES OF SPINAL CORD INJURIES
Spinal injuries come in many different shapes and sizes and can be caused by a wide array of accidents. The following causes are a few of the common situations that may lead to a spinal cord injury:
- Sudden traumatic impact to your spine, such as a car accident or sports accident.
- A penetration to your spine that could result from debris, a knife, a gunshot, or any other sharp objects.
- Fluid accumulation in your spinal cord, which may result as the symptom of some other type of severe bodily injury.
- Arthritis, infections, inflammation, or any other type of non-traumatic ailment that may lead to spinal nerve damage.
COMMON TYPES OF SPINAL INJURIES
While spinal injuries come in many forms, they are almost always serious to some extent. Here are a few of the common types of spinal injuries a victim may experience after an accident:
- Tetraplegia: Often referred to as quadriplegia, tetraplegia is a type of incomplete injury where your arms, hands, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs are affected.
- Paraplegia: Paraplegia is an incomplete injury where either all or part of your trunk, legs, and pelvic organs are affected.
- Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries: This type of injury occurs when the head and the neck above the shoulders are affected.
- Lumbar Spinal Cord Injuries: Lumbar spinal cord injuries occur where the hips and the legs are affected.
- Thoracic Spinal Injuries: This type of injury occurs where the upper chest, mid-back, and abdominal muscles are affected.
- Sacral Spinal Injuries: Where the hips, back of the thighs, buttocks, and pelvic organs are injured during a spinal injury.
Fault in a personal injury case is typically determined through a negligence standard. This means that a party, who owed a duty of care to another person, breached that duty and caused harm. To determine someone is at fault for your spinal cord injury, you will need to be able to show that they breached some duty they owed to you. This liability can fall on an individual, a group of people, an employer, and sometimes liability can even be partially imputed to the victims themselves.
The circumstances of fault are heavily dependent on the circumstances surrounding your claim and injury. Our attorneys may speak with you today free of charge in order to further discuss your claim.
WHO CAN I SUE?
If you are injured in an accident that leads to some spinal injury, you can sue the negligent party. As described above, this could be an individual, multiple people, or even the victims themselves depending on the circumstances of the accident. For example, if you are injured in a truck accident, the trucking company may be liable for negligently hiring the driver or for failing to enforce the proper regulations on their drivers.
One of the only scenarios in which you may not be able to seek compensation from another person or entity is by being responsible for the incident that led to your injuries. Many states follow a system of comparative fault. Comparative fault jurisdictions assess what percentage of your accident can be attributed to you. Courts will then reduce your amount of recoverable compensation by the percentage you were responsible for. For example, if you are awarded $100, but are 20% at fault, the court will reduce your compensation to $80. If you are found to be over 50% responsible for your accident, many jurisdictions will bar you from seeking compensation for your injuries altogether.
Filing a Claim for Spinal Injury
1. Seek Medical Attention
No matter what, the most important thing to do in order to file a claim is to seek medical attention for any bodily injuries. We want to encourage everyone to be safe and receive the treatment they need for all injuries, big and small. Receiving medical treatment can make a big difference in your claim because you will have official documentation about your injuries, treatment, and treatment plan going forward.
2. Maintain Thorough Documentation
Documentation is always essential. Document anything and everything you can by taking photos, making notes, and speaking with any eyewitness’ who might have seen the accident take place. Do your best to obtain documentation of relevant information as soon as possible to ensure its accuracy and quality. Keep a record of all medical expenses that arose due to the accident.
3. Speak with an Attorney
Having an attorney with experience handling spinal injury cases is the best way to protect yourself from being taken advantage of. An attorney may be able to help advise you on your options, open a claim with your insurance carrier, and negotiate any settlement offers.
COMPENSATION FOR SPINAL CORD INJURIES
When you sustain a spinal cord injury, there is the potential to recover two different types of damages. You can seek economic damages and non-economic damages for your injury.
Economic damages cover bills that are easily quantified with a set amount of money. This includes medical bills, lost wages, and other incidentals like gas money for driving to and from doctor’s appointments. Medical bills can be quite high in spinal injury cases; however, the recoverable amount will ultimately depend on the circumstance of your injury.
Non-economic damages are based on the impact the injury is going to have on your life going forward, and are therefore less concrete. These types of damages generally cover things such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life. These damages are not as quantifiable and are heavily dependent on the accident and your individual injury. Nonetheless, non-economic damages are particularly important in spinal injury cases, as spinal injuries have the potential to impact a victim’s life in a long-lasting way.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Each state has a statute of limitations placed on each type of legal claim. The statute of limitations places a legally permissible time limit in which you can file a lawsuit and seek any compensation for a claim. Each state has a different statute of limitations for spinal cord injuries, however, a lot of states place a 2-year cap on the amount of time in which you can file a lawsuit.
Time is always an important and vital consideration in the legal process. Ultimately, if you wait to file a claim, you may be barred from recovery altogether.
Get Help Today
Our injury attorneys have experience handling spinal injury cases and seek maximum compensation for clients. Call Zinda Law Group today for a free case evaluation with a spinal injury attorney at 512 246 2224. You will not owe us anything unless we are able to win your case.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.