Corpus Christi Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Corpus Christi Spinal Injury Law Firm
Many accidents and injuries can alter your life forever. Spinal cord injuries are one such injury. While many people associate paralysis with spinal cord injuries, paralysis accounts for only about two percent of all spinal cord injuries. Paralysis is tragic, but fortunately, it’s fairly rare.
Spinal cord injuries may occur due to severe car accidents or from seemingly minor slip and fall accidents. No matter what caused your spinal cord injury, however, your life may never be the same as it was before your accident. Because of this, you deserve to have a Corpus Christi Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer, like those at the Patel Firm PLLC, working hard to secure you compensation for the full cost of your injuries and help you recover.
Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms
A spinal cord injury, depending on its severity, may cause you to lose control over your limbs. But this isn’t the only sign that you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury. According to the Mayo Clinic, other common symptoms include:
- Altered sensations
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Changes in sexual function
- Difficulty breathing
- Numbness in your extremities
Noticing these signs allows you to be proactive and ensure that you are quickly seen and evaluated by a medical professional. If you don’t see a doctor quickly, you risk doing additional damage to your body, causing further injury.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
A variety of accidents can cause spinal cord injuries, including:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Sport injuries
Car accidents are by far the most frequent cause of spinal cord injuries. Car accidents cause about 40 percent of all spinal cord injuries each year. But you don’t have to be involved in a car accident to be the victim of a spinal cord injury.
The spinal cord has protection, but it is still a delicate part of your body. It takes just the right set of circumstances to cause you a life-altering injury. The fact that these injuries can alter your life forever makes them especially tragic. You may end up in a wheelchair, unable to move your limbs, or needing in-home care for the rest of your life.
These medical services are not cheap, and since you’ll be unable to work, you must have money to cover these expenses. It’s not uncommon to see a family put in financial ruin by the expenses required after a spinal cord injury. People declare bankruptcy every day because of extreme medical costs. We don’t want to see the same thing happen to you. By getting ahead of this now, by being proactive about both your physical and financial recovery, you can help to ensure that you don’t end up like other victims of spinal cord injuries.
Types of Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are defined as either incomplete or complete. Incomplete spinal cord injuries damage just a portion of the spinal cord, usually limiting the use of limbs but not losing complete control over them. Complete spinal cord injuries cause permanent damage.
Incomplete injuries include:
- Anterior cord syndrome. This injury impacts the front of the spinal cord disrupting your motor and sensory skills. It will be difficult to move your limbs. You also might lose feeling in your extremities.
- Central cord syndrome. These injuries are often severe. The central spinal cord carries messages from your brain. Even minor damage in this region can cause trouble moving arms and legs.
- Brown-Sequard syndrome. This injury impacts only one side of your spinal cord, and usually results in a loss of control over one side of your body.
Complete injuries include:
- Paraplegia. Paralysis of the bottom half of the body.
- Tetraplegia or quadriplegia. Total paralysis resulting in a lack of control over your limbs.
All spinal cord injuries are tragic. They usually require a lifetime of medical care, which impacts not only the individuals who suffered the injury, but also their families and livelihoods. But suffering a spinal cord injury doesn’t mean you no longer enjoy life, though life will change. If you or a loved one has sustained a spinal cord injury, there is hope.
What to Do After Your Accident
After the accident that caused your spinal cord injury, take these three steps to help preserve any evidence showing who caused your accident. It’s also helpful for your personal injury lawyer to review the information to help develop a legal strategy that attempts to maximize your recovery.
- Call 911. It does not matter if a car accident or a slip and fall caused your injury, you should call 911. Calling the authorities helps create a record of your accident. The police officers will speak with witnesses and diagram the accident scene. The officers may not assign fault, but their records will help prove who caused the accident that led to your injuries.
- Get immediate medical attention. Spinal cord injuries are very serious and will not go away on their own. Prioritizing your health is important. Do not refuse medical attention at the scene of your injury. Prompt medical attention can make a big difference in your recovery—but keep seeing your doctor. Spinal cord injuries require lots of medical care and could require several surgeries to help you get better. Following your doctor’s advice is paramount.
- Keep a journal. Your injuries are not going to go away quickly. In fact, you may live with your injuries forever, requiring a substantial change in your life. Keeping a journal allows you the opportunity to keep a detailed record of your recovery and your day to day suffering. This is important for your personal injury lawyer to show how much you suffer on a daily basis and will help hold the negligent party liable for your injuries.
The last step is to contact a skilled and experienced spinal cord injury attorney in Corpus Christi. We can help you maximize your recovery and give you confidence that your medical expenses will be covered.
Spinal Cord Injury Treatments
The treatment of your spinal cord injury starts at the hospital. While medical personnel will evaluate you and stabilize you at the scene of your accident, the hospital is where your treatment really begins. Emergency medical personnel must stabilize you so you don’t suffer any further injuries or damage to your spinal cord. At the hospital, you may undergo emergency surgery to align your spine. You may also require several surgeries to correct all of the spinal damage that you’ve suffered.
After your initial treatment in hospital emergency care, doctors may transfer you to the intensive care unit. This is done to give you the best chance of recovery. Placing you in the intensive care unit allows doctors to maintain a constant eye on your recovery and closely monitor your vitals and ensure that you’re not overexerting yourself, which may potentially cause more damage to your spine.
After your time in the hospital, your next steps will depend on the severity of your injuries. If you have lost all control over your limbs, you will be able to leave the hospital eventually, but you’ll have to completely adjust your lifestyle. You will likely require in-home medical care and may require future surgeries.
The good news is that if you have regained some control over your limbs within a few days after your accident, it’s a positive sign that you may continue to recover. While a full and complete recovery is unlikely, and you probably won’t be able to completely resume your old life, you may be able to regain some independence.
Once stabilized and back home, even if you’re able to regain some independence, you’ll still likely need some in-home medical care and treatment. This might be something simple that your family can help with, like getting dressed, or in other cases, it may require trained medical personnel to help you bathe, prevent bedsores, and provide other medical assistance.
No matter what type of injury you receive, you will likely face some period of rehabilitation. This often includes physical rehabilitation, like physical therapy, but it may also include counseling for emotional support. Depending on the severity of your spinal cord injury, you may need to be admitted to a rehabilitation facility or you may be able to do your rehab at home or on an outpatient basis.
Damages to Fight For
You deserve to have an aggressive Corpus Christi personal injury attorney fighting diligently to maximize your recovery. Your sole focus should be on your physical recovery. Let us handle the legal complexities and take that stress off of your shoulders.
We can work hard to secure compensation for the following costs:
- Past, present, and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Home rehab costs
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of companionship
Because of the severity of your injuries, you will likely lost work, maybe permanently. But your medical bills will still pile up, and those won’t go away. Maximizing your financial recovery provides you with time to focus completely on your recovery.
Be Cautious of Quick Settlement Offers
You should be wary of quick insurance company settlement offers. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and they don’t make money if they pay the full value of every claim.
Soon after your accident, the insurance company for the negligent party will likely contact you and offer you a quick settlement. They know you are out of work, and they know you have medical bills piling up. They will take advantage of this and offer you a low ball settlement. The initial settlement offer likely won’t cover your future medical expenses, resulting in an even more tragic situation where you end up having to pay out of pocket for injuries that you did not cause.
What’s worse, when you sign the low ball settlement offer, you’ll also waive your right to sue the insurance company in the future. So when you realize the money has run out and you still have many years of medical expenses ahead, you’re simply out of luck. We don’t want to see this happen to you.
That’s why you need to speak with a Texas spinal cord injury lawyer who you trust. You need someone on your side who has the experience and determination to negotiate with the insurance company and get it to settle for a fair amount. To do that, we must have a complete understanding of your accident and your injuries, which is why the journal comes in handy. We will create an accurate estimate of your future medical expenses based on the type of spinal cord injury that you’ve suffered. This will ensure that we’re fighting for the right amount that helps keep you from having to pay out of pocket for an injury you didn’t cause.
While it’s true that most personal injury cases settle out of court, sometimes insurance companies refuse to act reasonably. We will only settle your case if the settlement works for you. Sometimes that means we end up having to go to trial, which we are fully prepared to do. Not every law firm has the ability and resources necessary to handle a complex spinal cord injury case. There are medical records to review, depositions to take, experts to speak with, and negotiations with insurance companies to handle. Litigation is not cheap, and it is very time-consuming. However, at the Patel Firm LLC, we do all of this at no cost to you. We only get paid when you win.
Corpus Christi Spinal Cord FAQ
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, nearly 18,000 people suffer a spinal cord injury every single year in the United States. From serious car crashes to dangerous falls, these injuries range in severity and degree of impairment. Sadly, many spinal cord injury survivors never fully recover. In fact, more than 300,000 Americans still live with some degree of spinal cord injury.
Spinal cord injuries are some of the most severe injuries a person can face. These injuries may result in significant impairment and long-term pain and disability. If you or someone you love is struggling to overcome a spinal cord injury, you may want to understand these injuries and the long road you may face. In some cases, recovery is possible. In other cases, it is not. Working with your healthcare team and medical doctors is the key to making as much improvement as possible. In addition, new therapies and treatments are on the horizon offering spinal cord injury survivors new hope.
If you suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident in Corpus Christi, you may have many questions.
Here are just a few of the most frequently asked questions regarding spinal cord injuries.
What is a spinal cord injury?
A spinal cord injury is any injury or damage to the delicate spinal cord located in the spine. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that runs from your brain down your spine. The vertebrae of your spine protect these nerves from harm. When an injury occurs, the spinal cord can suffer damage resulting in serious impairment and loss of functioning below the injured section.In general, there are two types of spinal cord injuries: complete and incomplete.
- Complete spinal cord injuries. A complete spinal cord injury occurs when the spinal cord suffers serious damage resulting in a complete loss of motor and sensory function below the injury. When a victim suffers this type of injury, they cannot feel anything below the site of the injury. They also cannot move below the injury site.
- Incomplete spinal cord injuries. If the damage done to the spinal cord is not as severe, a spinal cord injury survivor may experience a partial loss of motor and sensory functioning. Spinal cord injury survivors with this type of injury can partially feel or move their extremities below the injury site. In some cases, incomplete spinal cord injuries can improve and there are varying degrees of impairment.
What are the common causes of spinal cord injuries?
Any traumatic accident may result in an injury to the spinal cord. For example, a horseback riding accident was the cause of Christopher Reeve’s injury. After a highly successful film career, the Superman actor was thrust back into the spotlight in 1995 when he suffered a cervical spinal cord injury during an equestrian competition in Virginia. The actor suffered from quadriplegia and couldn’t move or breathe on his own. He became a strong lobbyist for people with spinal cord injuries until his death.As you can see, any type of traumatic accident can cause a spinal cord injury. However, there are some more common causes.
These include, but are not limited to:
Statistics show that motor vehicle accidents account for roughly half of all spinal cord injuries every year. These types of accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries every year. From catastrophic car crashes to devastating truck accidents, the human body is simply not made to withstand the forces of a motor vehicle collision. During these accidents, the neck and spinal cord can get twisted or broken, resulting in a variety of injuries. Fractures, dislocations, crushing, and compressing can all sever the spinal cord, resulting in permanent or partial paralysis.
Falls account for 31 percent of all spinal cord injuries, with the elderly at most risk. Falls down the stairs, off of construction scaffolding, out of windows, and off of roofs and ladders can all result in serious injuries.
Sadly, alcohol consumption is responsible for many spinal cord injuries. The Mayo Clinic estimates that alcohol use causes one in every four spinal cord injuries. When drunk or intoxicated drivers hit the road, they often cause devastating accidents. In addition, intoxicated individuals are more likely to make poor choices that can result in serious falls or assaults.
What are the signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury?
Spinal cord injuries are often immediately apparent. However, sometimes they can take hours to become fully realized. After your accident, your healthcare team will perform a series of tests to determine if you suffered a spinal cord injury and the severity of the injury you suffered.If you did suffer a spinal cord injury, you may experience some of the following signs and symptoms:
- Loss of movement below the injury, also known as paralysis
- Loss of sensation. This is the ability to feel cold, heat, and touch
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Exaggerated reflexes or spasms
- Pain or stinging in nerves
- Difficulty breathing
- Extreme pain and pressure in neck or back
- Weakness or incoordination in extremities
- Loss of truck control
- Difficulty walking and balancing
- Numbness or tingling in hands, feet or fingers
The severity of your symptoms will depend largely on the location of the injury and the severity of the injury. For example, if you suffered a spinal cord injury in your neck, then you may experience numbness, paralysis, and impaired functioning below your neck.
What is the difference between paraplegia and quadriplegia?
Paraplegia and quadriplegia describe the severity and totality of the paralysis that can occur after a spinal cord injury.
- Paraplegia. An individual with paraplegia will not have movement or sensation in both of their legs and sometimes parts of their lower abdomen. This is most common after an injury to the thoracic and lumbar areas of the spinal cord. Typically, it affects the T1-L5 region of the spinal cord.
- Quadriplegia. An individual suffering from quadriplegia will not have movement or sensation in all four of their extremities and their chest. These injuries most often affect the cervical region of the spinal cord C1-C8. Quadriplegia often results in an inability to breathe independently and most survivors require ventilator assistance.
What are some bodily changes to expect after a spinal cord injury?
A spinal cord injury will affect your entire life. It will change the way your body functions, sometimes permanently.Depending on your injury, you may suffer from some of these changes for the remainder of your life.
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Changes in skin sensation
- Pain in nerves
- Impaired circulation
- Respiratory system dysfunction
- Loss of muscle tone
- Impaired sexual health
- Mental health problems
These changes are devastating and can prevent you from living a full life and even performing your own daily care. Survivors often require skilled nursing services to help them manage their injuries and their new lifestyle after a spinal cord injury. They may also need specialized medical equipment and modifications to their home to accommodate this equipment.
Who is to blame after a spinal cord injury?
Sadly, many spinal cord injury survivors suffered harm because of another person’s negligence. When this happens, it is important to know your legal rights. Your injuries may require a lifetime of care. As such, you may need a lawyer to investigate your accident closely to determine liability for your accident and your injuries. In many cases, multiple parties may share the blame for the accident.Establishing blame after a spinal cord injury is not easy. That is why you need an experienced and skilled injury attorney on your side to help you. Your attorney will need to investigate the accident closely to build your case. While some accidents may seem cut and dry, further investigation could reveal a different story.
For example, suppose a truck accident caused your spinal cord injury. The police report indicated that the truck driver was speeding at the time of the collision. All accounts imply that the truck driver caused the crash. However, upon further investigation, your attorney may uncover that the trucking company failed to maintain the vehicle properly, resulting in defective braking. In this situation, they may share the blame for the accident and, subsequently, your injuries.
Some of the parties that might share the blame for your accident include:
How much will my spinal cord injury cost?
According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, the financial implications of a spinal cord injury are staggering. Depending on the age you suffered the injury, you could require a significant amount of money to adequately provide the care you need.For someone with high quadriplegia, they would require at least $1.1 million in the first year alone. Estimated lifetime costs for a 25-year-old who suffers quadriplegia are as high as $5 million. This estimate does not include any indirect costs, such as lost wages or benefits. Studies estimate indirect costs at around $72,000 a year.
Individuals who suffer paraplegia may require less money to obtain the care they need. Paraplegia costs can soar up to $518,000 in the first year alone. Estimated lifetime costs for a 25-year-old with paraplegia is at least $2.3 million.
What kinds of compensation can I receive after a spinal cord injury?
As you can imagine, life after a spinal cord injury may never be the same. With so much future uncertainty, it is wise to pursue maximum compensation after an accident. Your spinal cord injury attorney can help you build a case to collect the compensation you deserve and need to pay for treatments and specialized care as you move through life. As technology advances, treatment options may improve, offering you hope for a better life. Any compensation you obtain should consider future possibilities, as well as current expenses.As a spinal cord injury survivor, you can collect compensation to cover damages, including:
- Emergency services
- Medical care—both now and in the future
- Medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, respiratory equipment, etc.
- Retrofitting home costs to accommodate medical devices
- Medication costs
- Pain management therapy
- Mental health counseling
- Long-term care
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Loss of earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Is there a time limit for filing a spinal cord injury lawsuit?
Yes! All states have time limits for filing personal injury lawsuits. In Texas, for example, you only have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Another term for this deadline is the “statute of limitations.” If you miss this statute of limitations, you may not file a future claim to collect the compensation you need. In some cases, you may have even less time to file a lawsuit.In addition to missing the deadline for filing your lawsuit, valuable evidence can disappear if you do not act fast. Memories of the event and witness accounts might also fade as time passes. As such move quickly after a serious accident. Your attorney will need time to build your case and collect the evidence needed to support your claim.
Speak With Our Trusted Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys
Choosing the right lawyer for your spinal cord injury case should not be difficult. You want someone who is compassionate and understands what you’re going through, but who is also aggressively protecting your rights and working hard to maximize your settlement. At the Patel Firm PLLC, we have the experience and resources that you need to help you get on the path to recovery.
We make it our goal to help clients just like you, who are suffering the effects of a spinal cord injury. Throughout the Corpus Christi area, we can help you maximize your recovery and hold the negligent party accountable for the suffering they have caused you.Contact us online or by calling (361) 400-2036 today. We are standing by ready to help.
“Mr. Patel and his staff helped me the whole way through everything. They are awesome! They work hard to get you what you deserve. I highly recommend them.”
Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Read more reviews on Google!