Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

Abilene Spinal Cord Injury Attorney

Comprehensive Legal Services for Spinal Cord Injury Cases

Spinal cord injuries are serious, life-altering events leading to physical, emotional, and financial challenges. These injuries occur when an external force damages the spinal cord, disrupting the communication between the brain and the rest of the body. The implications of such injuries extend beyond the medical realm and have significant legal implications.

Victims harmed by someone’s negligence or recklessness can seek compensation by filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit. While a financial award cannot erase the harm suffered, it can help cover the costs associated with the accident and the subsequent injury. These costs include medical bills, rehabilitation, loss of income, and other related expenses.

The process for pursuing compensation can be complex and demanding. It involves building a robust case, evaluating damages, and negotiating with insurance companies. If negotiations fail, taking the case to court may be necessary.

At Hanna Allen, PLLC, we are committed to advocating for victims of spinal cord injuries in Abilene. We understand the profound impact such injuries can have on a person's life and the lives of their loved ones. As compassionate lawyers, we listen attentively to our clients' stories, understanding the impacts of the accident on their lives while developing effective legal strategies to fight for just compensation.

We handle all aspects of the legal process, including negotiations and presenting cases in court, relieving our clients of some of the burdens associated with their cases.

We offer a free initial consultation. To discuss your case and explore options, call us at (325) 440-9996 or contact us online today.

What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?

The spinal cord transmits neural signals from the brain to the rest of the body, controlling everything from motor functions to our sense of touch. It's protected by the vertebrae, which are separated by disks of cartilage designed to cushion the bones and prevent injury.

A spinal cord injury is a severe trauma that affects the nerves within the spinal cord and can lead to changes in strength, sensation, and other body functions below the injury site.

An SCI is generally categorized by the severity of the injury and the resulting loss of function:

  • Incomplete: This occurs when the spinal cord is partially damaged but not entirely severed. While the ability to convey signals to or from the brain may be impaired, it's not completely lost. The effects can vary widely, with some individuals retaining significant function while others may experience severe paralysis.
  • Complete: A complete injury refers to instances where the spinal cord has been entirely cut through or severely damaged. This results in total loss of sensory and motor function below the injury level, often leading to paralysis.

What Causes a Spinal Cord Injury?

Spinal cord injuries can result from a multitude of incidents, with the circumstances often determining the nature and severity of the injury. According to the World Health Organization, car accidents are indeed the leading cause of spinal cord injuries globally.

However, other common causes include:

  • Falls: In premises liability cases, falls typically result from hazardous conditions that the property owner or occupier should have addressed. These conditions may include wet floors, uneven surfaces, poorly lit areas, or debris left in walkways.
  • Violent crimes: Violence, particularly assaults involving guns and knives, can also lead to spinal cord injuries. Gunshot wounds, for instance, can penetrate the spine and damage the spinal cord, often resulting in severe and permanent injuries.
  • Motorcycle accidents: Motorcycles, due to their relative lack of protection compared to cars, pose a high risk for spinal cord injuries. Even with protective gear, riders can suffer devastating injuries if they're thrown from their bikes or collide with other vehicles.
  • Workplace accidents: Certain occupations carry a higher risk of spinal cord injuries, especially those involving physical labor or the use of heavy machinery. Construction workers, for example, are at risk due to falls from heights, while machinery malfunctions may injure factory workers.

The spinal cord injury cause can significantly influence the case's development and determine who is held responsible for the accident.

What Damages Can Be Recovered?

In a spinal cord injury claim, the victim can seek compensation for various damages that encompass economic and non-economic losses. These damages aim to compensate for the costs associated with the injury and its long-term effects.

Economic damages—These are quantifiable financial losses that result from the injury:

  • Medical expenses: This includes emergency care, hospital stays, surgeries, medication, and any medical devices needed. Given the severity of spinal cord injuries, these costs can be significant.
  • Rehabilitation: Post-injury, victims often require physical or occupational therapy to regain strength and functionality. The cost of such rehabilitative care can be included in the claim.
  • Long-term care: Some victims may need lifelong care, including home health aides or residential care facilities.
  • Lost wages: If the injury prevents the victim from working temporarily or permanently, they can seek compensation for lost income.
  • Property damage: The cost to repair or replace damaged property can be claimed if the spinal cord injury resulted from an incident that caused property damage (such as a car accident).

Non-economic damages—These are more subjective and compensate for non-tangible losses:

  • Pain and suffering: This includes the physical pain and discomfort from the injury.
  • Mental and emotional anguish: Spinal cord injuries can have significant psychological impacts, causing conditions like depression or anxiety.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: This compensates for the decrease in a victim's quality of life or inability to participate in activities they once enjoyed.

Victims may also be awarded punitive damages when gross negligence or recklessness is involved. These are designed not to compensate the victim but to punish the at-fault party and deter similar behavior in the future.

The total compensation awarded in a spinal cord injury claim can vary widely. It depends on factors such as the severity and permanency of injuries, the need for ongoing care, and the victim's situation.

Our Approach to Spinal Cord Injury Cases

At Hanna Allen, PLLC, we bring a wealth of experience handling spinal cord injury cases. We understand the devastating impact such injuries can have on an individual's life and the lives of their loved ones.

We're committed to providing comprehensive legal services for those affected by spinal cord injuries in Abilene. Our approach involves meticulously gathering evidence to establish negligence or recklessness on the part of the party responsible for the accident. We aim to demonstrate that this party had a duty of care towards our client and breached it, leading to the injury.

Our approach is characterized by a deep commitment to our clients. We recognize that every spinal cord injury case is unique, with its own set of circumstances and challenges. Therefore, we tailor our services to meet each client's specific needs, providing personalized attention every step of the way.

To schedule a consultation, please call (325) 440-9996 or submit an online contact form.

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  • 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 Allen, PLLC, 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.

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