Abilene Spinal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered damage to your spine or someone has died from a spinal injury because another party was careless or negligent, you may be entitled to compensation through insurance or a personal injury lawsuit. While no amount of money can make up for such a tragic injury, compensation will relieve your financial burdens and help cover expenses such as your medical and rehabilitative bills, as well as the pain and suffering and other non-tangible costs you must deal with from the incredible fallout of your back injury.
Texas laws regarding personal injury are complicated; making mistakes can be costly; and insurance companies have high-powered lawyers on their side fighting to get you to settle for as little as possible or make it seem like the accident was your fault. Fortunately, there is help available from the Abilene spinal cord injury lawyers at the Hanna Law Firm, P.C.
Our experienced and compassionate lawyers know what you are going through and understand that, after a spinal injury, it is natural for you to have major fears and concerns. We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your individual situation and determine how to best proceed with getting you the settlement you need to heal and move on with your life. Let us take the burden off you by handling the negotiations and legal hurdles so you can concentrate on your recovery. There is no charge for our legal services unless we successfully obtain a recovery for you. For your convenience, we have offices in Abilene, Odessa, Sweetwater, and Midland.
I Have A Spinal Injury. Now What?
How Our Abilene Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers Can Help
Chances are that you had no idea how important your spine is until you found out the hard way through a spinal injury. The bones of the spine support your body and hold it upright. It houses your spinal cord, which together with your brain makes up your central nervous system. When your spinal cord is damaged, it may not be able to do its job of sending messages from your body to your brain.
The fallout of a spinal injury can be physically, emotionally, and mentally devastating. You may be in pain. You may have hospital and household bills piling up because you are unable to work. You may be facing months or years of recovery. You may even be permanently paralyzed. And you may be confused, worried about the future, and unsure about what to do or where to turn for help.
At the Hanna Law Firm, you will find a team of West Texas spinal cord injury lawyers who are knowledgeable, determined, and compassionate. You can count on us to thoroughly research your case, find out who is responsible for your injuries, and make sure they are held accountable.
When you hire us, we get to work right away on your behalf. We will:
- Meet with you to discuss how your accident happened, determine who might have been at fault, whether you have a valid case, and what it may be worth
- File all necessary documents
- Gather evidence from the accident scene, examining photos and videos, medical and police reports, and interviewing witnesses and first responders
- Hire experts to reconstruct what happened, and experts to testify as to what your financial losses and costs are and what they are projected to be in the future
- Handle correspondence with all potentially involved insurance companies, including your own, if applicable, and identify all possible sources of recovery
- Demand payment from the at-fault parties and their insurance companies
- Negotiate with attorneys from the other side to discuss a possible settlement. If both sides agree, you will receive the settlement that was negotiated.
- Take your case to trial. If there is no agreement, we are fully prepared to take your case to trial and argue in front of a jury if necessary. Knowing this puts pressure on the opposition to make a reasonable offer.
Damage Awards In Spinal Injury Claims
Our Spinal Injury Lawyers Fight for Full Compensation
Spinal injuries involving paralysis have immediate life-changing and expensive consequences. You may need extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation 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, if you are able to work again.
You may experience a number of health problems, including bladder and bowel complications, an inability to regulate blood pressure and body temperature, chronic pain, and respiratory problems. Overall, spinal cord injury victims generally experience a shorter lifespan and consistently need specialized medical care.
In a successful lawsuit, your attorney may recover an award, called damages, for the injuries and losses you have suffered. According to Texas statutes (C.P.R. TITLE 2 SUBTITLE C CHAPTER 41), this includes an amount to compensate for both your economic and non-economic losses, and, in some rare circumstances, there may be punitive damages as well. Your damage award should cover the following:
Economic, or Special Damages: for your monetary, calculable, or financial losses that include:
- Medical, pharmaceutical, hospital, and rehabilitation bills
- Lost wages, current and future
- Cost to repair or replace damaged property
- Costs of modifying home, vehicle, or workplace.
Non-economic or General Damages: These are payments that go directly to you as compensation for non-monetary damages that cause negative effects on your life, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Loss of consortiumand negative effects on your marital relationship
- Loss of life’s enjoyment.
Punitive or Exemplary damages
These are damages awarded on rare occasions as a penalty to punish a defendant for gross negligence and reckless actions and as an example to discourage this type of offense from happening again. Punitive damages are capped at the larger of: · $200,000 or · two times the amount of economic damages plus an equal amount of non-economic damages, with a maximum of $750,000.
Amounts of Damages That May be Awarded
While juries tend to be sympathetic to victims of serious spinal cord injuries, there are a wide range of damage awards you may receive, ranging from thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the factors and circumstances involved. Factors that may go into determining damage amounts include:· The extent and permanence of your injuries and whether you need continuing care· Your actual financial costs· Your age, family situation, and work situation· Your earning ability before and after the accident· The availability of insurance and assets· The degree of fault involved· The skill and negotiating power of your attorneys.
Spinal Injuries Lawyers Must Prove Negligence
Not every spinal injury is reason to file a spinal injury lawsuit. If your own carelessness or negligence caused the accident, there is no one for you to sue. Like all personal injury claims, a spinal injury case must have a few elements in place in order to move forward.
- You must have been injured and have suffered actual damages.
- We must prove that someone had a duty to exercise reasonable care.
- We must prove that the person with a duty to exercise reasonable care failed in that duty.
- We must prove that the failure to exercise reasonable care was the cause of your accident.
The spinal injuries lawyers at the Hanna Law Firm will figure out who is responsible. Examples of negligence include:
- A drunk or distracted driver caused you to suffer a spinal injury in a car accident.
- You were injured at work in a fall due to broken scaffolding that your employer had failed to fix.
- You were hurt in an explosion on an oil field.
Every case is different, and your spinal injury lawyer will make sure the negligent parties are held accountable, as they all may have insurance or assets that can go toward a settlement.
Call the West Texas Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers at the Hanna Law Firm
If you or your loved one has suffered a spinal injury in West Texas and you believe that someone else is to blame, it is important to call an attorney to discuss your situation as soon as possible, while evidence is fresh and witnesses can be found.
At the Hanna Law Firm, our lawyers are experienced professionals and compassionate people who are dedicated to every client. We are thorough in our research and committed to fighting for every penny you deserve. We negotiate hard and will help you take the responsible parties to court, if that’s what it takes to get justice.
Call (432) 220-2649 for a free, no-obligation initial consultation at the office most convenient to you. We are located in Abilene, Odessa, Sweetwater, and Midland. We don’t get paid unless you do, so you have nothing to lose.
Call Hanna Law today at (432) 220-2649to get started.
What kind of damage does a spinal cord injury cause?
The spinal cord is made of neurons and long nerve fibers, which, combined with the brain, form the central nervous system. The cord is surrounded by the vertebrae, bones that protect the cord. When there is trauma to the vertebrae, it can lead to nerve damage and loss of functions if the spinal cord can no longer transmit messages below the injury. Spinal cord injuries may be categorized as complete and incomplete: Complete Injury is when there is a total and complete loss of function below the injured area of the spinal cord. With a complete injury, chances are that there will be no recovery of function to the paralyzed parts of the body Incomplete Injury is when the spinal cord was not fully severed and there are still nerves that are functioning to a certain degree. With an incomplete injury, there is a greater probability of recovering some functions that were initially lost by the injury. According to the Mayo Clinic, after a spinal cord injury, ability to control your limbs will depend on the completeness of the injury and where the injury is along the spine. Damages include: Paraplegia – when damage is to the thoracic or lumbar area in the upper, middle, or lower back. This results in paralysis of the lower extremities, and all or part of the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs are affected. Tetraplegia, or quadriplegia – when damage is to the cervical (neck) portion. The result is paralysis of most of the body, and arms, hands, waist, legs, and pelvic organs are all affected by the injury. Some signs that you may have a spinal cord injury: 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 Breathing problems Back or neck pain or pressure.
What if I did something to contribute to the accident?
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 percent to blame for the accident, our attorneys could still get you the proportion of the award that the defendant 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 long will my case take to settle?
If insurance companies are willing to negotiate, settlements can be resolved in several weeks or months. If insurance companies refuse to make a fair offer and it becomes necessary to go to trial, your case may take a year or more to resolve. Each case is different, so speak to our spinal injury lawyer to get an informed assessment of your case.
What if my loved one died from a spinal injury?
Spinal injuries can be among the most serious of all injuries. Sadly, they sometimes lead to death. When someone dies suddenly, they leave their family emotionally devastated, of course. But their loved ones may also find themselves without the deceased’s income and other contributions. At the Hanna Law Firm, we can help survivors file a wrongful death lawsuit against the parties responsible for their family member’s death. In order to file a wrongful death lawsuit, you must be a close relative. Generally, spouses, children, and parents of the victim may file. Damages in a wrongful death case include economic and non-economic losses. For example: Medical bills connected to the accident that caused death Funeral expenses Loss of income Loss of an inheritance Loss of services provided by the victim Loss of companionship and consortium Mental anguish.
Is there a deadline for filing a lawsuit?
Yes, there is a deadline. According to Texas law (C. P. R. TITLE 2, SUBTITLE B. CHAPTER 16, SUBCHAPTER A, Section 16.003), there is a statute of limitations, 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.
Why do I need a spinal injury lawyer?
Maybe you don’t think hiring a lawyer is necessary. Maybe you don’t want to share any money you might get in settlement. Maybe you are just the type of person who likes to handle things on your own. But when it comes to bringing a spinal injury suit against another person or company, going it alone could end up with your leaving a lot of money on the table. An experienced lawyer will look out for your interests every step of the way and make sure you are not shortchanged. A representative of the at-fault company or an insurance company may try to pressure you into accepting a settlement early on. This can be tempting, especially since you may have a lot of bills to pay and no income coming in. But these offers are “lowballs,” meant to save the company money. You should never speak or negotiate with these people without first consulting with a lawyer. It is hard for a lay person to know exactly how much their injury will cost them. Not only do you have to take into account current bills, but you have to think about the long-term financial impact, as well as pain and suffering. An experienced attorney understands how to calculate the full scope of your losses. It is not always easy to figure out liability. Sometimes multiple parties share fault. A good lawyer will conduct thorough research and make sure every responsible party is identified. As you or your loved one heals, the last thing you need on your plate is all the work required for pursuing a lawsuit. A lawyer will do all of the legwork for you. He or she will conduct research, gather evidence, handle all communication, negotiate, and advise you along the way. All you have to do is focus on getting better.