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.