Was your spinal injury caused by negligence? Learn about a legal claim
Serious spinal injuries are often life-changing. Some people who experience them never walk again. For others, the ongoing pain of an injury can make it impossible to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Spinal injuries are also incredibly expensive to treat—sometimes reaching into the millions of dollars. If your spinal injury was caused by another party’s careless or intentional actions, you have the right to get compensation. Through a legal claim, you could receive money to pay for doctor bills and rehabilitation expenses. You could also get reimbursement for the pain and suffering and other less tangible losses you’ve experienced because of your injuries.
Our skilled lawyers understand the true costs victims of spinal injuries face
At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, our Houston spinal injuries lawyers understand the losses you’re facing. We have worked with thousands of people who have suffered spinal cord damage and other devastating injuries. We know that spinal cord injuries can mean pain and disability, which leads to an inability to work and sometimes even an inability to function in family and social settings. Sometimes victims of spinal cord injuries need ongoing care for the rest of their lives. That is why when you work with a spinal injury lawyer from our firm, you can trust that your case will be given the serious attention it deserves. If your injury was caused by another party, we will fight toward securing compensation that will cover continuing costs throughout your life.
We provide free consultations in injury cases
We offer free consultations, so it costs you nothing to speak with us. And we won’t pressure you one way or the other. Once we learn the details of your injury incident, we’ll advise you about your options for going forward with a legal claim, and then the decision is yours.
We have a “No Fee Guarantee,” meaning you don’t pay anything unless and until we win compensation for you.
To arrange to speak with a knowledgeable spinal injury lawyer, call (713) 973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000 today, or fill out our online contact form for your free case evaluation.
Let us relieve your stress by handling the legal details so you can concentrate on your recovery.
It’s natural after a spinal injury to have major fears and concerns. The effects on your life and the lives of your family can be enormous. You are worried about whether you can recover enough to be functional and take care of yourself, whether you can be a partner in a marriage and a parent to your children, whether you can ever return to work and be a wage earner again. The answers to these questions may not be known for months, sometimes years, after the injury. Recovery can be a long, slow, and painful process requiring ongoing medical care and physical and psychological therapy and rehabilitation.
It’s also very natural to have fears about your financial situation. Medical, therapy, adaptive equipment, and pharmaceutical bills mount up at a time when you are probably unable to work and unsure whether you will be able to earn a living again. You may have the costs of modifying your home and vehicle to accommodate a wheelchair or other equipment.
What does a serious spinal cord injury cost?
Statistics from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) show that the healthcare costs and living expenses of people with spinal cord injuries range from nearly $400,000 to almost $1.2 million in the first year alone. Over a lifetime, the costs of care for a person who was 25-years-old at the time of injury can be more than $5 million. When an injury wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t have to pay the astronomical financial price.
When we handle your case, we’ll seek to relieve your financial burden by aggressively pursuing compensation. Call us now at (713) 973-8888 so we can address your concerns and get started helping you move forward.
what to expect in spinal injury claims
Most clients we represent have never been involved in a legal claim. They are unsure about the process and exactly what an attorney will do to help them. When you work with our firm, our Houston spinal injury attorney will handle all these steps and more:
Completing and filing all necessary documents and paperwork.
Gathering evidence as to what your financial losses and costs are and what they are projected to be in the future. In legal terms, these losses are referred to as “damages.”
Corresponding with all potentially involved insurance companies, including your own, if applicable, and identifying all possible sources of recovery. This process may take several months.
Investigating the circumstances surrounding your injury to determine who was at fault. During investigation, our spinal cord injury lawyers will look for evidence about your case, such as how your injury happened and who might have been at fault or contributed to it. Sometimes more than one party may be at fault in injury accidents.
Demanding payment. Once your spinal injury attorneys know who should be held responsible and how much you are owed, they will demand payment from the at-fault parties and their insurance companies.
Negotiating with at-fault parties. Our spinal cord injury lawyers will negotiate with attorneys and insurers from the other side to discuss a possible settlement. If both sides agree, you will receive the settlement that was negotiated.
Litigating your case in court. If a fair settlement can’t be agreed on in negotiations, we’ll advise you about going to trial in front of a jury. While we always hope to reach a settlement of spinal injury claims without a trial, our Houston spinal injuries lawyers are fully prepared to take your case in front of a jury should it be necessary. However, the final decision of whether to proceed to trial is up to you.
You can rely on our attorneys to keep you carefully informed through every step of your spinal injury case. We know the legal process can be confusing when you aren’t familiar with it. When you work with us, you should never hesitate to reach out with any questions.
types of damages in spinal cord injury cases
The following are some of the types of damages that may be awarded in spinal injury claims. Every case is unique, and what damages you ask for will depend upon all the circumstances of your unique spinal injury.
These include past, current, and future medical costs related to your spinal injury. Medical expenses include payment for doctor bills, hospital costs, rehabilitation expenses, and prescription and over-the-counter drug costs. It also includes payment for wheelchairs, lifts, hospital beds, and other equipment you may need.
Long-term care costs
Sometimes people with the life-altering impacts of a spinal injury need long-term nursing or other day-to-day care. A claim may ask for the costs of nursing home care or in-home care. Additionally, changes may need to be made to homes to add stair lifts, wheelchair ramps, accessible showers, and other modifications.
Lost income and lost earning capacity
If you can’t work while recuperating from your injuries, you can ask for reimbursement for your lost income. If you can’t work ever again, or your work is limited, your damage claim can include compensation for lost earning capacity, which is estimated based on your current job, your age, your career potential, and other things.
Emotional and physical suffering
A spinal injury claim takes into consideration more than the financial consequences of your injury. Your pain, suffering, stress, and anxiety can also be factored into the amount you’re seeking, as can restitution for the effect on your marriage, family, and social life, and for loss of life’s pleasures.
Punitive damages may be awarded when the at-fault party’s actions were grossly negligent or intentional. For instance, punitive damages for gross negligence might be pursued in drunk driving cases. If violence caused spinal injuries, punitive damages might be awarded. Punitive damages are meant to punish at-fault parties for their actions and to try and ensure the behavior isn’t repeated.
It’s important to know the true cost of your injury, so you can be sure you’re getting the payment you’re entitled to.
Let the experienced Houston spinal cord injury lawyers at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law help you determine the amount you’re owed. We have extensive experience estimating claim values in spinal injury cases. Schedule your free consultation today at (713) 973-8888.
If a family member has died from a traumatic spinal cord injury caused by someone else’s negligent or reckless actions, we can help you pursue a claim for wrongful death. This allows family members to seek compensation for medical expenses leading up to the death, for funeral expenses, and for other losses, such as loss of future earnings and loss of companionship. In Texas, spouses, children and parents of those who have died can file wrongful death claims.
liability in spinal cord injury claims
Who is liable, meaning who you can sue in a claim, depends on all the unique circumstances of your case. Here are some example scenarios of fault due to negligence:
You were walking in a crosswalk and a careless driver ran the stop sign and hit you.
You were driving in your car and were rear-ended by a speeding driver.
You fell on a broken staircase that should have been repaired, but wasn’t, at a business or other property.
You were hurt by a defective exploding car airbag or other defective product.
You fell from a ladder or scaffolding at work because it wasn’t properly set up by a worksite contractor.
You can also bring a civil claim for your spinal injuries if you were hurt in a violent act, such as a stabbing or other crime. Even if the person is being criminally prosecuted, you can still sue them in court.
In any case, it often comes as no surprise that the insurance companies of liable parties aggressively work to convince spinal cord injury victims to accept as low a settlement amount as possible. In negotiations, they may try to claim that the injured victim helped cause their own accident. When a case goes to trial, if shared fault can be proven, the injured victim’s compensation will be reduced by their share of fault. This is called comparative negligence.
It’s the reason why anyone who is injured by someone else’s carelessness must have a seasoned Houston spinal cord injury attorney who forces the insurance company to negotiate in good faith and aggressively represents injury victims, including at trial if needed.
How Texas comparative negligence law can affect your claim payout
Texas uses a modified form of comparative negligence (called “proportionate responsibility”). This means that if you are found to have contributed to the accident and are partially at fault for the injury, your damage award can be reduced in proportion to the amount of blame attributed to you. An example would be if you were drunk at the time you took a fall that caused the spinal cord injury. However, as long as you are not more than 50% to blame for the accident, our attorneys could still get you the proportion of the award that the other party is found to be at fault.
As you can see, the stakes are high for someone dealing with a severe spine injury. You deserve a law firm that knows these types of cases. Our experienced legal team can help.
how much can I get in a claim and how long will my case take?
Two of the most frequently asked questions about spinal cord injury cases are “How much money can I get?” and “How long will my case take?” These are essential questions to ask, but there is no way an attorney can give an opinion on these aspects of a claim without knowing the specifics of someone’s case. Once we learn all the details of your injury case, we can more closely provide answers to these questions. That said, it’s important when choosing a spinal injury lawyer, to be wary of one that gives you a quick answer to these questions without knowing the details of your situation.
In general terms, these claims can be worth thousands of dollars or millions of dollars. It depends on the extent of your injuries and the degree of negligence involved. If insurance companies are willing to negotiate, settlements can be resolved in several weeks. However, insurance companies are out to make a profit and will often offer the lowest settlement possible, so it may be necessary to go to trial, in which case it may take a year or more to resolve. It’s also important to point out here that if your case goes to trial, there is no guarantee that the judge or jury will rule in your favor. If they don’t, you have the right to appeal their decision. If the ruling goes in your favor, the at-fault party also has the right to appeal, which could greatly extend the amount of time a case takes.
Each case is different, so it’s important to speak to a lawyer who is familiar with spinal cord injury cases to get an informed assessment of your situation.
For a free initial case assessment, contact the Houston spinal injury attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law today by calling (713) 973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000 or filling out our online contact form.
causes of traumatic spinal cord injuries
Spinal cord injury may occur from a sudden, traumatic blow to your spine that damages vertebrae through crushing, breaking, dislocating, or fracturing.
Spinal cord injuries are often the result of severe accidents that can occur in many ways. While injuries to the back are often the result of motor vehicle accidents, they can also happen from a:
Spinal cord damage is one of the most devastating, life-altering types of injury you can suffer and can often require a complete transition to a new way of life. If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, the attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law can help you explore your potential legal remedies.
Spinal cord injury statistics
According to the NSCISC fact sheet, approximately 54 spinal cord injury cases per million people occur in the U.S. each year. Of these, nearly 18,000 are new spinal cord injury cases. This figure includes only those who survive the accident. Recent figures show that the number of people in the U.S. living with a spinal cord injury is more than 290,000. The average age at injury is 43 years today, compared to 29 in the 1970s.
Effects of spinal cord injuries
Since the spinal column is responsible for transmitting commands from the brain to the rest of the body, any damage it receives could result in temporary or permanent neurological impairment. In some cases, surgery and physical therapy can help an injured person regain some feeling and motor ability. However, it is not uncommon for additional damage to occur for weeks or months after the original injury due to problems such as bleeding, swelling, or inflammation.
According to the Mayo Clinic, after a spinal cord injury, your ability to control your limbs will depend on where the injury is along your spine (the “neurological level” of the injury) and how severe the injury is (the “completeness” of the injury).
If you’ve been in an accident, be sure to see a doctor right away if you show any signs of spinal injury. The sooner you get medical treatment, the better your chance of possibly reducing the effects of the injuries.
Here are some signs and symptoms of spinal cord injuries:
Weakness in or inability to move parts of your body
Loss of bowel or bladder control
Not being able to feel sensations such as heat or cold
Nerve pain, numbness, or tingling
Changes in sexual ability
Back or neck pain or pressure
A strangely twisted neck or back.
SPINAL CORD INJURY SEVERITY IS CLASSIFIED AS EITHER OF THE FOLLOWING:
Complete – All feeling (sensory) and ability to control movement (motor function) are lost below the spinal cord injury.
Incomplete – When some motor or sensory function below the injured area remains, the spinal cord injury is called incomplete and classified in varying degrees.
PARALYSIS FROM A SPINAL CORD INJURY IS REFERRED TO AS:
Tetraplegia (quadriplegia) – Arms, hands, waist, legs, and pelvic organs are all affected by the injury.
Paraplegia – All or part of the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs are affected.
These afflictions can also happen in the workplace, and those who work in construction or jobs where major falls are an occupational hazard are at a greater risk. In some cases, a spinal cord injury can occur while playing sports with less than adequate protection; in other cases, such an injury may become immediately apparent after back surgery (for example, to treat scoliosis).
If you or a family member has experienced a serious spinal cord injury that was suffered on the job, in a car accident, or through a slip and fall incident, you could be due payment for the costs you’ve suffered.
Call the Houston spinal cord injury lawyers at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law at (713) 973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000, or fill out our online form to get started. We’ll provide you with a free case review in an initial consultation.
additional statistical data on spinal cord injuries
NSCISC data regarding the causes of spine injuries to Americans shows that:
38% are attributed to motor vehicle accidents (including commercial truck, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrians hit by a vehicle).
32% come from falls, which are the leading cause of workplace accidents. Also, the largest percentage of all injuries to senior Americans comes by way of a fall.
14% of spinal cord injuries are the result of criminal violence, with the victim usually sustaining gunshot or deep knife wounds.
8% are attributable to sports. Athletic activities, such as impact sports (e.g., baseball, football, basketball, soccer, and hockey) and diving in dark, shallow water cause about 10% of spinal cord injuries.
4% are from medical/surgical injuries.
3% are from other causes.
The data shows recently determined economic costs of spinal cord injuries. Below are the average yearly costs (health care and living expenses) of spinal cord injury victims by type of injury:
High Quadriplegia (C1-C4): $1,163,425 in Year One and $202,032/year thereafter
Low Quadriplegia (C5-C8): $840,676 in Year One and $123,938/year thereafter
Paraplegia: $567,011 in Year One and $75,112/year thereafter
Incomplete motor function (any level): $379,698 in Year One and $46,119/year thereafter.
Spinal injuries involving paralysis have immediate life-changing consequences. You not only need extensive medical treatment, but you’ll also likely need to learn a whole new series of day-to-day living skills to fit your new life. You may need to modify your motor vehicle, home, and workplace (or acquire new ones, custom-crafted to your unique needs).
Spinal cord injury sufferers experience a number of health problems for the remainder of their lives: complications with bladder and bowels, an inability to regulate blood pressure and body temperature, chronic pain, and decreased resistance to respiratory complications. Overall, spinal cord injury victims generally experience a shorter lifespan and consistently need specialized medical care.
deadlines to file spinal cord injury claims
Be aware that Texas has a statute of limitations, generally a two-year time limit from the date of the injury or death, to file a personal injury or wrongful death claim in court. If you miss this deadline, the courts are likely to refuse to hear your case. (***Always speak directly to a Houston spinal injury attorney for the exact statute of limitations and other deadlines that apply to your claim.***)
experienced spinal injury lawyers
If you or a family member has suffered spinal cord damage, Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law may be able to help you get financial compensation. To schedule a free consultation, contact us today. Our injury lawyers have numerous years of experience helping clients get the payment and care they need to rebuild their lives. Whether you suffered an injury in a car accident, in the workplace or on someone’s property, we can help you explore your legal options.
Terry Bryant is a Board Certified personal injury attorney and a former judge in Texas (Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization; Municipal Judge, 22 years, Spring Valley Village, Texas). He knows the law and what it takes to get clients the compensation they deserve. You’re likely facing many challenges in life, including medical bills, the inability to do your job, and difficulties performing routine tasks. We want to help you overcome these challenges.
We offer a No Fee Guarantee®— You will only pay attorney fees if your claim is successful and there is a recovery. This means we work on a contingency fee basis. Therefore, if we take your case, we believe in our ability to help you win. And if for some reason we are unsuccessful, you don’t owe us anything.
Get a free case evaluation by calling our spinal cord injury lawyers today
We want to hear more about your case through our free case evaluation. Contact the spinal injury attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law today by filling out our online contact form or giving us a call at 713-973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000.
”This law firm has a group of professionals second to none. Attorney Bryan Ramirez was my contact during the whole legal process of my accident case. He was very tenacious in securing a settlement that I was happy with. I highly recommend the services of this law firm.” – Alton Burns (Google Review)
Attorney Terry Bryant
Terry Bryant is Board Certified in personal injury trial law, which means his extensive knowledge of the law has been recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, setting him apart from many other injury attorneys. The 22 years he spent as a Municipal Judge, Spring Valley Village, TX also provides him keen insight into the Texas court system. That experience also helps shape his perspective on personal injury cases and how they might resolve. This unique insight benefits his clients. [ Attorney Bio ]
Through free giveaways, scholarships, donations, and volunteer activities, we support the academic goals of students in our communities, and the charitable initiatives of nonprofits and community organizations.