Spinal Injury Attorney in Irving
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 Irving 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 Irving 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 Irving
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 vertebral 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. Spinal cord injury treatment for axial burst fractures may involve surgery to remove any bone fragments pressing on the spinal cord.
Spinal Cord Injuries and Irving 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, which is defined as:
- 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 Are Spinal Cord Injuries Treated?
Damage to the spinal cord cannot be repaired, but certain treatments can help improve motor function, reduce pain, and decrease the risk of complications. Depending on the site and severity of the injury, spinal cord injury treatment may include:
- Emergency treatment – Spinal cord injuries often involve serious trauma that requires urgent medical care. Emergency treatment for spinal cord injuries is typically aimed at minimizing additional trauma. Emergency medical professionals usually focus on immobilizing victims’ necks, helping patients maintain regular breathing, and preventing shock.
- Bed rest – Adequate rest is critical to recovery from severe trauma such as a spinal cord injury. Doctors frequently recommend periods of bed rest to promote healing, reduce swelling and inflammation, and prevent additional injuries to the spinal cord or surrounding structures.
- Immobilization – Immobilizing devices such as foam collars may be used to keep the neck or back in place after a spinal cord injury. Immobilization helps prevent the spine from moving around and sustaining further damage while the spine is still injured and unstable.
- Medication – Prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief medications may be used after a spinal cord injury to reduce inflammation and alleviate discomfort. Other symptoms of spinal cord injuries may be treated with drugs like antibiotics, antidepressants, or stool softeners.
- Surgery – In severe cases, surgical intervention may be the only way to treat a spinal cord injury. Doctors may perform surgery to remove fragments of fractured bone, treat herniated discs, stabilize the spinal column, or relieve pressure on the soft tissue of the spinal cord.
- Physical therapy – Long term physical therapy and spinal cord injury rehabilitation treatments can help patients maintain and develop muscle strength, redevelop motor function, and learn adaptive ways to complete daily tasks. Some physical therapists use modern technologies such as electrical stimulation devices or robotic gait trainers to help patients improve.
Who Is Liable When You Suffer a Spinal Cord Injury at Work?
If you suffered a spinal cord injury at work and your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation covers things like the costs of reasonable and necessary medical care and a portion of your lost wages.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, so you can potentially recover compensation without having to show that your employer was liable. It’s important to keep in mind that when you agree to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you forfeit your right to sue your employer for your injuries, even if they were partially or totally at fault.
However, if your employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance or another individual or entity bears liability for your spinal cord accident injuries, you may be entitled to claim compensation in a third-party personal injury lawsuit. An attorney can help you evaluate your case and determine the best way to maximize your compensation.
What Damages Can Be Compensated in a Spinal Cord Accident Claim?
Depending on the type of claim and severity of your injury, you could be compensated for losses such as:
- Medical bills – Spinal cord injuries typically require extensive medical care. In a spinal cord accident claim, you can pursue compensation for past and current medical costs related to your injury. An attorney can also help you seek money for the estimated costs of the medical care you will likely need in the future.
- Lost wages – With a workers’ compensation claim, your benefits will be limited to a portion of your usual wages. In a personal injury claim, you could recover compensation for the full value of your lost wages as well as projected losses in your future earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering – A spinal cord injury can result in long-term physical pain and psychological suffering. You could be entitled to monetary compensation for your physical and mental pain and suffering.
- Wrongful death – If someone you love died because of a spinal cord injury caused by someone else’s negligence, you could have grounds to file a wrongful death claim. Wrongful death damages may include funeral and burial expenses, lost support, loss of consortium, and lost companionship.
Common Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuits
The most common types of lawsuits filed in spinal cord injury cases include:
- Medical malpractice spinal cord injury lawsuits – Some spinal cord injuries are caused by surgical errors, improper diagnoses, or other types of medical malpractice. When a patient sustains a spinal cord injury due to the malpractice of a healthcare professional, they may be entitled to compensation for their injuries.
- Motor vehicle accident spinal cord injury lawsuits – If a negligent driver caused your spinal injury, you could file a car accident lawsuit to demand compensation. A spinal injury lawyer can help you demonstrate that the other driver was at fault and their negligence caused your spinal cord injury.
- Product liability spinal cord injury lawsuits – In some cases, spinal cord injuries may result from defective products or automobiles. If the negligence of a designer, manufacturer, or wholesaler of a product leads to a dangerous malfunction and subsequent injury, victims can claim compensation by filing product liability lawsuits.
How Can Our Spinal Cord Injury Attorney in Irving Help You?
The Irving 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 back injury lawyers 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. However, 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 Tate Law Offices for Help with Your Spinal Injury Lawsuit in Irving, TX
The knowledgeable spinal cord injury lawyers and back injury attorneys of Tate Law Offices, P.C. understand the far-reaching effects a spinal cord injury can have on victims and their loved ones. We have handled thousands of injury cases throughout Irving and the surrounding areas in Texas. We have won over 3,000 cases and boast a 99 percent success rate. Our team is dedicated to seeking maximum compensation and overcoming challenges for our clients.
Our personalized assistance goes beyond stellar legal representation. We will gladly provide you with doctor or specialist referrals and help you locate vehicle rental or repair services at no additional cost. Our initial consultations are free, so don’t hesitate to contact us now to learn more.
Sources / More Information
- Spinal Cord Injury Facts and Figures at a Glance, National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center
- American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
- Spinal Cord Injury, American Association of Neurological Surgeons
- Spinal Cord Injury Complications, Mayo Clinic
- Learn About Spinal Cord Injuries, The Shepherd Center