Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys in Dallas, TX
The spinal cord attorneys at McGilberry & Shirer in Dallas are dedicated to holding negligent individuals accountable for their actions and can help lessen the burdens if you received a spinal cord injury (SCI).
Sustaining a severe spinal cord injury (SCI) is a terribly frightening experience and can subject victims to temporary or permanent damages, which have a lasting influence on the rest of their lives. Recent statistics indicate that the number of individuals currently living with the after-effects of spinal cord injuries ranges from 240,000-337,000 people in the U.S. If you or a loved one is suffering from an SCI due to an accident, you may have the right to recover compensation for your losses with the help of a Dallas spinal cord injury lawyer. It is important for you to understand your rights under these circumstances in order to receive the justice you deserve.
Spinal Cord Injury FAQ’s
- What are the causes of spinal cord injuries (SCI)?
- What are the effects and impairments of SCIs?
- What to expect from a spinal cord injury lawsuit in Texas?
- What is your SCI claim worth?
- What kind of compensation can you get for your SCI injuries?
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)
Causes of spinal cord injuries can vary depending on the circumstance of the accident and the individual involved. A few of the most common causes include:
- Motorcycle accidents
- Athletic or recreational impairments
- Physical attacks
- Industrial mishaps
- Illnesses and/or conditions involving the brain
- Automobile accidents
- Slip and Falls
SCI Related Effects and Impairments
There are various effects of a SCI, ranging from physical disturbances to costly medical expenses. When it comes to categorizing SCI, there are a few subtypes to keep in mind:
- Complete: When a person suffers from a complete injury, they lose all capacity to sense and intentionally move below the zone of the injury.
- Incomplete: The person sustains some level of functioning below the zone of the injury under the circumstances of an incomplete injury.
Paralysis resulting from a SCI is typically known as:
- Tetraplegia. Also referred to as quadriplegia, this condition means the hands, arms, legs, pelvic structure, hands, core, are all affected by the SCI.
- Paraplegia. This condition means all or a portion of the core, legs and pelvic structure are affected by the SCI.
Regardless of the type or severity, spinal cord injuries can cause one or more of the following impairments:
- Inability to control bowels
- Inability to sense heat, cold, and touch
- Inability to regulate and maintain control over muscle movements
- Intensified reflexes and spasms
- Inability to move limbs
- Severe and painful tingling and stinging sensations caused by harm to the nerve fibers in the spinal cord
- Circulatory and respiratory problems, including difficulties breathing, coughing clearing the throat
- Changes in reproductive abilities, including infertility
The potential value of your case can change greatly depending on several factors. The extent of your injuries, your age and occupation, your lifelong prognosis, and the skill of your attorney can all sway the amount you receive at the end of your case. Pain and suffering damages are often some of the highest-value awards in spinal cord injury cases. It is the jury that decides the amount of pain and suffering damages, largely based on the lawyer’s depiction of how the injury will impact the plaintiff for the rest of his or her life. Trust us with your case to work with lawyers you can count on for real results.
What to Expect During a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit in Dallas
The legal basis of most spine injury lawsuits is negligence. Negligence is the failure to fulfill the accepted duties of care for a certain situation, relationship, or industry. Examples of negligence that could cause a spine injury include distracted driving, a surgical error, or a collapsed scaffold at a construction site. As a plaintiff, it’s your burden to prove the defendant’s negligence. Here’s what you might expect during the ensuing legal process:
- You file an insurance claim. First, you will file an injury claim with the insurance company of the party that caused your accident. This could be a driver, a doctor, a criminal, or an employer. Report your accident and injuries in as much detail as possible, but do not admit fault.
- The insurance company negotiates with you. If the insurance company accepts your claim, you’ll enter into settlement negotiations. Keep in mind that the insurer doesn’t have your best interests in mind here. The insurer wants you to say yes to the lowest offer possible. Retain a lawyer to get the most for your settlement.
- You file a personal injury claim. Most personal injury cases can settle without having to go to court. If the insurance company denies or lowballs your claim, however, you might have no choice but to bring a lawsuit. You have two years from the date of your spinal cord injury to file a claim in most cases. File with the civil court in the county either where you live or where the accident happened.
- The defendant responds to your claim. The defendant will have another opportunity to offer a better settlement offer, or else take you and your lawyer on in court. Most defendants want to avoid court, as they will have to pay the legal fees if they lose. A trial can also result in greater compensation for spine injury victims than settlements.
- You fight for fair compensation. You and your lawyer will need to prove your case in front of a judge or jury, using evidence gathered from the scene, medical records, expert testimony, eyewitness accounts, police reports, and/or other forms of proof. Our trial-tested lawyers excel in Dallas courtrooms.
Each spinal cord injury case is unique. The only way to accurately learn what to expect during the claims process is during a conversation with one of our lawyers. We’ll listen to your story and discuss your case for free at our Dallas office, over the phone, or at a home/hospital visit, if necessary.
What Is Your Claim Worth?
Spinal cord injuries are what the Texas courts call “catastrophic.” This means the injury caused permanent damage to the survivor in the form of a lifelong disability, lost quality of life, lost capacity to earn, chronic pain, scarring, or disfigurement. If your spine injury resulted in partial or complete paralysis, you have a catastrophic injury. These most serious injury types deserve the most compensation in a civil court of law.
SCI Medical Expenses
The medical costs associated with a SCI can become a life-long burden on victims and their families. The average medical expenses for the first year after the incident and each subsequent year after a SCI injury is estimated as follows depending on severity:
- High tetraplegia. First year: $1,079,412. Subsequent years: $187,443
- Low tetraplegia. First year: $779,969. Subsequent years: $114,998
- Paraplegia. First year: $526,006. Subsequent years: $69,688
- Motor function at any level. First year: $352,279. Subsequent years: $42,789
Types of Compensation For a Spinal Cord Injury
If your SCI was the result of the careless actions of another party, you may be able to recover reimbursement for the following costs and damages:
- Past and future medical expenses, including coverage for bodily impairments, physical injuries, and deformities
- In-home services and care
- Loss of income
- Emotional pain and suffering