Houston Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys
The spinal cord is critical to your well-being because it is essentially how your brain transmits nerve signals to the rest of your body. By interfering with your reflexes, any kind of injury to the spinal cord can substantially affect the way you are able to function. Serious injuries can leave some people immobile. While recovery is possible for some spinal cord injuries, many others involve potentially lifelong consequences. Some injury victims can become permanently wheelchair-bound.
Have you or a loved one suffered from a spinal cord injury caused by another party’s negligence? If so, contact Attorney Tom. Our Houston spinal cord injury lawyers will aggressively fight to recover all of the financial compensation you need and deserve. We can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (713) 244-6363 or contact us online to set up an appointment for a free consultation.
Do I Need A Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer?
After a spinal cord injury, a victim may get a phone call or another communication from a from the negligent party or parties’ insurance company. While glib adjusters may go out of their way to express concern about your situation, limit what you say to them. Instead, let a spinal cord injury attorney do the talking and handle the negotiations.
Some insurance company adjusters may insist that you don’t need a lawyer because the insurer is going to take care of everything, This is a fundamentally dubious premise. In reality, the insurance company is looking for all possible ways to avoid paying you anything at all or cutting the smallest check possible.
One ploy for an insurance company’s claim denial is to get a spinal cord injury victim to admit some kind of negligence on their part contributed to or even caused their accident. Again, this is another reason to avoid providing a formal statement to any claims adjuster and why you need legal advice instead. In some cases, the insurance company could offer you a lump sum settlement to resolve your case that may initially sound generous. In truth, the settlement will probably only be enough to cover some current bills without enough to cover any future expenses, which victims may have to pay out of pocket.
Attorney Tom can make sure that you receive a fair and full settlement that accounts for all of your past, present, and future needs, which could be considerable given the ramifications of a spinal cord injury.
Types of Spinal Cord Injury Cases We Handle
The spinal column has 33 vertebrae. In general, many spinal cord injuries typically involve one of the three following regions:
- Cervical vertebrae (C1-C7) — High-cervical nerve (C1-C4) injuries may cause paralysis in the arms, hands, or legs and an impaired ability to speak as well as difficulty breathing or controlling bowel or bladder movements. C5-C7 injuries can also affect bowel or bladder movements as well as a person’s ability to control their arms and hands.
- Thoracic vertebrae (T1-T12) — Injuries to the thoracic vertebrae usually affect a person’s legs and trunk. While wheelchairs may be required for injuries to the vertebrae in the upper back (T1-T5), people often retain use of hands and arms and can walk again with braces when they suffer injuries to the vertebrae the middle of the back (T6-T12).
- Lumbar vertebrae (L1-L5) — Lumbar nerve injuries may cause loss of bowel and bladder control. These injuries commonly affect a person’s hip and legs, and some people will need wheelchairs, although some victims can walk again with braces.
Injuries to two other regions of the spinal cord generally do not pose the same consequences as the vertebrae higher up in the back. Sacral vertebrae (S1-S5) injuries may cause loss of bowel and bladder control, and coccyx or tailbone injuries generally involve pain but no additional consequences.
The causes of spinal cord injuries can vary, but some of the most common include the following:
- Car accidents — A motor vehicle crash can frequently take an enormous toll on the bodies of everyone involved. Certain collisions can either cause spinal cord injuries because of the force of the immediate impact or possibly because of the way the victims’ bodies become twisted in the wreckage.
- Truck accidents — When a commercial tractor-trailer or other truck is involved in a wreck, the sheer size of these vehicles greatly increases the likelihood of severe injuries such as spinal cord injuries to the operators and occupants of other vehicles.
- Motorcycle accidents — Motorcyclists often have little to no protection when they are involved in collisions. A person operating a motorcycle could be thrown from their bike or even struck directly by another vehicle, resulting in the spinal cord’s exposure to significant harm.
- Bicycle accidents — Just as is the case with motorcycles, bicyclists struck by automobiles also have minimal protection on the road.
- Slip and falls — Certain falls can very easily involve spinal cord damage when victims land on their backs. Accidents caused by a property owner’s failure to correct or warn a person about a hazardous condition could make that property owner liable for the injuries.
- Workplace accidents — Many employees are injured in accidents on the job, and certain kinds of accidents could damage a person’s spinal cord.
- Medical malpractice — Errors by medical professionals could result in spinal cord injuries.
No matter what kind of accident you have found yourself in, contact an attorney right away so they can quickly conduct an independent investigation. The lawyer will be able to determine the cause of the accident as well as collect important evidence while identifying all of the potentially liable parties.
Frequently Asked Questions
We get a lot of questions from clients regarding their spinal cord injuries. Below are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. If you have any questions about your particular case, don’t hesitate to reach out to our knowledgable and experienced spinal cord injury attorneys by calling (713) 244-6363.
An incomplete spinal cord injury is a partial severance of the spinal cord in which the victim retains function below the affected area. With a complete spinal cord injury, there is a total severance of the spinal cord; the victim loses all feeling and ability to control movement below the affected area. Examples of incomplete spinal cord injuries include Brown-Sequard syndrome, anterior cord syndrome, and central cord syndrome. Complete spinal cord injuries include tetraplegia or quadriplegia (paralysis of all limbs), hemiplegia (paralysis of one arm and one leg on the same side of the body), monoplegia (paralysis of one arm or one leg), triplegia (paralysis of one arm and both legs), and paraplegia (paralysis of the legs and the lower half of the body).
Spinal shock describes a reduction or loss of motor and sensory function or reflexes below the affected area of a spinal cord injury. It is possible, however, for a victim to not even know they are experiencing spinal shock. It usually occurs in four phases. Areflexia or hyporeflexia involving a loss or weakening of reflexes below the injury occurs in the first phase followed by the return of some reflexes in the second phase. The third and fourth phases involve possible hyperreflexia, or strong reflexes with only minimal stimulation.
Most victims require regular ongoing care to manage spinal cord injuries. Urological assessments are performed annually to prevent urinary tract infections and guarantee a victim’s kidneys and bladder remain healthy. Pneumonia and upper respiratory infections are major concerns for spinal cord victims. Ongoing pain or spasms can require additional care. Some victims also benefit from outpatient programs incorporating rehabilitation techniques
Spinal Cord Injury Statistics
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), the annual incidence of spinal cord injury in the U.S. is approximately 54 cases per one million people. This is about 17,700 new spinal cord injury cases each year. New case statistics exclude those who die at the accident location that caused the spinal cord injury.
Approximately 288,000 to 358,000 persons are estimated to be living with spinal cord injury. The NSCISC indicates that the average age at injury is 43 after being 29 throughout the 1970s. Men account for roughly 78% of new spinal cord injury cases.
The NSCISC reports that 60.6% of spinal cord injury victims are non-Hispanic white, 21.9% are non-Hispanic black, 12.8% are of Hispanic origin, 2.7% are Asian, 0.7% are Native American, with 1.3% in the other category. Motor vehicle accidents (38.3%), falls (31.6%), violence (13.8%), sports (8.2%), medical or surgical (4.6%), are the leading causes of spinal cord injuries.
Contact a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Today
If you or a family member sustained a spinal cord injury in an accident caused by another party’s negligence, handling your injury claim and all the complicated technicalities on your own is seldom the best way to go. Attorney Tom can fight to make sure that you get every last dollar of compensation to which you are entitled. Our motto is “serious injury, serious attorneys,” and we mean it.
Our firm handles these cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will pay absolutely nothing unless you get a monetary award. Call (713) 244-6363 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. In all cases, we seek to go above and beyond in our efforts to help clients maximize their recovery.