Spinal Injury Attorney in Houston
The violent impact of a car collision may cause a serious back injury involving a ruptured disc, a fractured vertebra or spinal cord damage. Even a minor accident can cause the discs between the vertebrae to herniate and press against nerves. Some severe back injuries are life-changing injuries. The injury may leave a victim with chronic pain or paralysis and require significant alterations in his or her life.
Individuals with serious back injuries often require extensive medical treatment, including:
- Emergency care
- Surgery (and possibly multiple surgeries)
- Long-term hospitalization
- Assistive devices (wheelchairs and walkers)
- Assisted living or home health care
- Mental health counseling.
The Houston personal injury lawyers of Tate Law Offices, P.C., understand the tremendous challenges that confront those who sustain back injuries and spinal cord damage due to the negligence of others. We strive to recover compensation for the medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other damages that victims face as the result of a back injury. Our legal team features attorneys Tim Tate and Chris Rehmet, who are both members of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and included among the “Top Trial Lawyers in America®.” We know how to handle serious injury cases involving spinal cord damage and how to maximize the value of our clients’ cases.
Disc Injuries in Houston Accidents
A car collision can contort an accident victim’s body and exert great force on the spinal column. It can cause a spinal disc to slip out of place or rupture. Spinal discs are tough, rubbery pads located between the vertebrae. They cushion the back bones and allow some flexibility in the spinal column. A ruptured disc may cause ongoing problems. It may put pressure on the spinal cord or the nerves surrounding the spinal cord, causing intense pain that can radiate into the arms or legs. If you experience any back pain after an accident, you should see a doctor and inform them that you have been in a car accident.
If you have sustained a herniated or slipped disc in a collision or other type of accident, you may be out of work for months. You may experience weakness or numbness in your arms or legs and be unable stay on your feet for any length of time. You may need physical therapy as well as pain medication to manage the ongoing pain. Some people with ruptured discs have to undergo back surgery to remove the protruding portion of the disc or fuse together the vertebrae in the affected area.
Disc injuries can cause chronic pain and prevent a person from performing work and enjoying life as he or she did before. If your injury was caused by another’s negligence, you should not have to worry about the medical bills.
Vertebrae Injuries from Accidents in Houston
Individual vertebrae bones form the spinal column and protect the spinal cord, which runs through the center of the column. The vertebrae are identified by the region of the back where the vertebrae are located. The three main areas of the back are:
- Cervical spine (neck) – The seven cervical vertebrae are numbered C1-C7
- Thoracic spine (mid-back) —The 12 thoracic vertebrae are numbered T1-T12
- Lumbar spine (lower back) —The five vertebrae are numbered L1-L5
Trauma resulting from a high-speed car accident or a motorcycle crash often causes fractures of the thoracic or lumbar vertebrae.
Doctors classify vertebrae fractures by the pattern of the damage to the backbone. The spinal fractures that are most common among people injured in traffic accidents are:
- Extension Fractures — The vertebra is pulled apart as a result of overwhelming forces upon it. These breaks are also known as flexion-distraction fractures. For example, the impact of a head-on collision may cause a car accident victim’s body to be flung forward while the lower body is held in place by a lap belt, leading to a flexion-distraction fracture.
- Rotation Fractures — A rotation fracture results from extreme bending sideways. A side impact collision could cause vertebra rotation fracture. A rotation fracture may cause a vertebra to shift out of position, destabilizing the spine.
- Flexion Fractures — A compression fracture is one type of flexion fracture. It occurs when the front part of the vertebra breaks, causing the bone to compress.
- Axial burst fracture — Axial burst fractures are more complex flexion fractures involving vertebra fractures in multiple places. The front and back of the vertebrae is damaged and loses height. Falling from a height and landing on the feet may cause this type of fracture. The treatment may involve surgery to remove any bone fragments pressing on the spinal cord.
Spinal Cord Injuries and Houston Accidents
The spinal cord passes through the center of the spinal column and transmits nerve signals from the brain to the muscles. Bone fragments from fractured or crushed vertebrae can damage the spinal cord, causing paralysis below the level of the injury. As the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) points out, motor vehicle accidents account for roughly four out of every 10 spinal cord injury cases in our country.
Spinal cord damage may be a life changing injury and involve partial or complete paralysis.
- Tetraplegia – When the spinal cord is damaged, a victim may suffer total or partial loss of use and sensation below the point of the injury. If the injury is at a high point on the spinal column, the victim can lose sensory and motor function in the arms, legs and trunk.
- Paraplegia – When the spinal cord damage is at a lower point, a victim may lose use and feeling in the legs and hip area.
A spinal cord injury may lead to a series of complications, including:
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Pressure sores
- Inability to breathe
- High blood pressure
- Blood clots
- Anxiety and depression.
Victims are not the only ones to suffer. Family members may be burdened with providing around-the-clock care for a loved one with spinal cord damage or may need to take on extra work to make up for lost income.
If you or a loved one has suffered spinal cord injury due to the negligence of another, we are committed to helping you to overcome the obstacles you are facing and seek the compensation you deserve.
How Can Our Spinal Cord Injury Attorney in Houston Help You?
The Houston personal injury attorneys at Tate Law Offices, P.C., will conduct a thorough investigation of your spinal cord injury case. The investigation will determine the extent of your physical, mental and financial harm and identify who should be held responsible. We can then get to work on pursuing the funds you deserve by turning to all available sources of compensation.
We will review your medical records and consult with life care planners and other experts to determine your estimated lifetime costs resulting from your injury. Our goal is to recover all medical expenses that you have incurred and will have in the future due to your injury.
To maximize the value of your claim, we seek, when appropriate, compensation for:
- Lost income (including salary, benefits and self-generated income)
- Loss of ability to earn income in the future
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium and loss of services
- Emotional distress.
While your case is pending, of course, we can work with health care providers and insurers to make sure that you get the medical care you need for your back injury or spinal cord injury.
Our Houston attorneys will deal directly with the at-fault party’s insurance company. We can often recover compensation for clients who have suffered spinal cord injury and other catastrophic injuries through a settlement – without the need to go to court. If the insurance company refuses to negotiate a fair settlement, we are ready to pursue justice in court for our client. We prepare each case thoroughly as if it is going to trial, which gives us an advantage in settlement negotiations.
Contact Our Spinal Injury Lawyer Today
At Tate Law Offices, P.C., we know what is at stake for back injury victims and their families. We represent victims of back injuries in Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth and other areas of Texas. We are driven to seek the maximum compensation for our clients and to help them to overcome the challenges created by the wrongful acts of others.
To discuss how we can assist in your spinal cord damage case, call or reach us online today. We can provide a free, immediate consultation at one of our nearby offices or at any location that is most convenient for you and your loved ones.
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