If you were involved in an accident in or around Dallas that resulted in a spinal cord injury, you might be entitled to compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, and overall pain and suffering. The Benton Law Firm can help you get that compensation. Spinal cord injuries are common due to traumatic car accidents, simple falls, work accidents, or even sports injuries. These injuries are extremely devastating and can require a complete transition to a new way of life.
Spinal cord injuries are often the result of severe accidents caused by another party’s negligence or recklessness. If that describes your case in any way, you’ll need the help of our Dallas accident team. Attorney Jeff Benton has won significant settlements for his clients who are suffering from spinal cord injuries.
Table Of Contents
- Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
- Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
- How a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney can Help
- Come to The Benton Law Firm for the Help You Need after a Spinal Cord Injury
- Spinal Cord Injury Claims
- Filing a Lawsuit Following a Spinal Cord Injury
- Spinal Cord Injury Statistics
- Spinal Cord Injury Frequently Asked Questions
- Contact a Dallas Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Accidents that cause injury to the spinal cord can be some of the most emotionally and physically devastating. The spinal cord acts as a messenger between the brain and the body, relaying critical information about movement and using the body’s senses. When an individual is involved in a car wreck, sports injury, surgical error, or any other bodily accident, trauma to the spine is likely to cause a spinal cord injury.
Spinal cord injuries usually result in a loss of sensation and mobility below the place where the trauma occurred. Many people lose control of their limbs or experience a loss of function of large portions of their body. Victims of accidents that caused spinal cord injuries commonly pursue legal action for:
- Loss of muscle control
- Loss of mobility
- Loss of bodily sensation
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Impaired sexual functioning
- Difficulty breathing
Spinal cord injuries are either incomplete, meaning partial losses in functioning or impaired mobility below a certain point of impact to the spine, or complete, meaning a total loss of control of the body. There is no cure for a spinal cord injury.
Though these symptoms seem and are serious, many of the hundreds of thousands of people that sustain these injuries each year in accidents go on to live normal and productive, though altered, lives.
Rehabilitative technology such as braces, surgical intervention for spine stabilization, medicines, therapy, ventilators, and mobility devices allow for comprehensive treatment and full lifestyles for victims of spinal cord accidents. Though these assistive devices and the medical care needed are very expensive, every accident victim deserves every opportunity to have maximum control over their lives, live happily and fully, and partake in daily tasks.
This is why it is so important to get legal representation immediately after you have sustained a spinal cord injury, so we can begin building a substantial case against all negligent parties involved in the accident. With an attorney, victims are more likely to be compensated for costly rehabilitative therapies and assistive devices to afford the care they need.
Spinal cord injuries are unique among other personal injury cases. This is because victims are permitted to pursue compensation for losses beyond typical medical expenses. The severity of the injury makes it possible to seek compensation for the trauma of the incident or pain and suffering and substantial settlement options for the long-term care and treatment required.
As a spinal cord injury victim, you shouldn’t have to pay for the assistive devices, medical treatments, and personal care that may make your life more manageable. In addition to medical care and rehabilitation, your spouse could also receive compensation for the loss of intimacy, joint business endeavors, and the costs of household treatments.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
An injury to the spinal cord can be devastating and debilitating. Many people require intensive physical therapy, surgery, and other treatment to recover. Some end up with a permanent disability or an impairment that prevents them from performing tasks they could handle before the accident. The most common spinal cord injury cases The Benton Law Firm can handle are:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Car crashes are among the most common reasons people suffer injuries to their spinal cords. If another driver’s actions caused the accident, you could hold them liable for hurting you. You deserve compensation to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses resulting from the crash.
The Benton Law Firm can handle the investigation and secure vital evidence to prove what happened, such as:
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Police reports
- Accident scene photos
- Traffic cam footage
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional causes injury to a patient due to omission or negligence. Common examples of malpractice that could lead to a spinal cord injury include:
- Performing an unnecessary procedure
- Failing to diagnose an injury or illness
- Failure to advise you of possible consequences of a procedure or drug
- Prescribing the incorrect medication or dosage
- Inadequate pre- or post-operative care
- An error during surgery
- Poor interpretation of diagnostic testing results
Certain products could injure the user due to a defect that occurred during manufacturing. Manufacturers are supposed to provide the public with safe products. If they knowingly sell a defective product, such as a car part or kitchen appliance, a malfunction could cause physical harm.
The most common defective products that can result in a spinal cord injury are:
- Vehicles and parts
- Household appliances
- Tools and machinery
- Children’s toys and products
- Exercise equipment
- Medical devices
The owner of a residential or commercial property must maintain the area in a way that prevents causing injury to visitors. Unfortunately, a lack of routine maintenance or inadequate repairs can create dangerous conditions.
Spinal cord injuries can result from various situations, such as:
- Faulty elevators or escalators
- Negligent security personnel in dark or unsafe areas
- Damaged staircases
- Missing handrails
- Wet or slippery floors
- Loose rugs or carpeting
- Loose wiring or debris in a walkway
- Cracked or uneven sidewalks
- Potholes in the parking lot
Hazards exist at work that are sometimes unavoidable. Whether your job is in an office or on a construction site, you could damage your spinal cord. Examples of common workplace accidents that can lead to a spinal cord injury are:
- Slip/trip and fall
- Fall from heights
- Faulty machinery or equipment
- A task requiring repetitive motions
- Electric shock
Nursing Home Abuse
Residents in nursing facilities are susceptible to various types of abuse, including physical abuse. Injuries to the spinal cord could occur if a staff member or even another patient kicks, punches, shoves, or physically assaults someone. If your loved one sustained spinal cord injuries from abuse, you could hold the facility or specific employee liable.
How a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney can Help
Perhaps the most serious and traumatic injury a person can sustain is one to the spinal cord. These injuries can be life-threatening, and any significant damage will require a significant adjustment to your lifestyle. It may limit your ability to work, require medication to handle the pain, and take months or years to return to any semblance of your normal life.
It is far too much to expect someone with a spinal cord injury to master the legal complexities of filing a claim. These claims will require an understanding of Texas and federal law and extensive medical knowledge. Additionally, you’ll need the ability to finance expensive investigations into the accident and any resulting injuries.
Instead of putting that burden on you and your family, a spinal cord injury attorney can take care of your legal needs, put your case together, and fight for compensation while you focus on your health and well-being. There’s no need to add to the stress you are already experiencing. There’s no need to search for financing to fund a case upfront. By hiring a lawyer, you can forget the legal side of your accident and take care of yourself.
Come to The Benton Law Firm for the Help You Need after a Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injury cases are complicated for some lawyers because the cause can vary so widely. It may relate to a serious car accident or truck accident. It may be a slip and fall associated with premises liability. Or, it may be related to anything from a children’s injury to an animal attack.
These accidents result in different cases with specific legal requirements and strategies. You need a lawyer and a law firm with the experience and legal flexibility to handle it regardless of what type it might be.
That’s what you’ll find at The Benton Law Firm. Our firm has won million dollar settlements and more in every imaginable area of personal injury law. We are experienced, award-winning, passionate advocates for the needs of our clients.
When you come to The Benton Law Firm, you’ll be working with a lawyer who listens to your story and crafts a personalized strategy based on the details. That personal touch is why our founder Jeff Benton has a perfect 10.0 Avvo rating from his clients. It’s also why he’s a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
When you are looking for a lawyer you can rely on to care about your accident and trust to know how to pursue your case to the best result, you’ll find there’s no one more dependable than the team at The Benton Law Firm
Spinal Cord Injury Claims
One of the reasons it is so important to pursue a claim after a spinal cord injury is the associated expenses. The average annual cost of treatment for an injured spine is between $15,000 and $30,000. The estimated lifetime costs total over $3 million.
This is a tough expense for anyone to handle, and insurance will only cover up to a certain amount of it. Insurance claims will not cover lifetime earnings you would have earned had you not sustained an injury to your spinal cord.
This can be a bleak picture for many facing a challenging future without the financial help they need and deserve. However, there is hope. If another person or entity was responsible for your injury, you might be able to bring a claim against them with the help of an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer in Dallas.
The Benton Law Firm can help you pursue a personal injury claim to force the responsible party to pay for your:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Loss of future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of household services
- Mental anguish
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Loss of consortium
Furthermore, if your loved one lost their life after a spinal cord injury, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the responsible party to pay for final expenses, such as:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of companionship, love, society, and comfort
- Lost inheritance, including what the deceased could have saved had they survived the accident
- Lost maintenance, care, support, services, and advice provided by the deceased
- Exemplary damages
The losses you’re entitled to following a spinal cord injury will depend on the circumstances of your case. The Dallas spinal cord injury attorneys of The Benton Law Firm can review all the available evidence to determine the total and fair compensation you deserve. You shouldn’t be forced to pay for these costs yourself when someone else was at fault for your injuries or for your loved one’s passing.
Filing a Lawsuit Following a Spinal Cord Injury
You could file a lawsuit against the at-fault party to obtain compensation for your losses. There’s a timeframe known as a statute of limitations you must follow if you want to hold them liable for their actions. Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. That means you have two years from the injury date to sue, or you could lose your right to do so.
Two major exceptions exist that could extend the deadline:
- You were of unsound mind at the time of the incident. The two-year timeframe wouldn’t begin until you gain mental competency.
- You were under 18 years old when the injury occurred. The clock would start once you turn 18.
You might be entitled to exemplary damages when you file a lawsuit. Instead of compensating you for your losses, an award of these damages punishes the defendant for their misconduct. A jury will only provide this type of financial award if you can show clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault party acted with gross negligence, malice, or fraud.
If you share any amount of blame for your spinal cord injury, you could end up with much less compensation than you deserve. Proportionate responsibility diminishes an accident victim’s losses by the percentage of fault they are assigned by the jury.
For example, let’s say you suffered $100,000 in losses, but a jury finds that your actions were 20% to blame for the accident. You would be entitled to no more than $80,000 in compensation. Additionally, if you were more than 50% at fault, you would be prohibited from pursuing a financial award.
Spinal Cord Injury Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), injuries to the spine occur following damage to the spinal column. The spinal cord is responsible for transmitting signals between the brain and the rest of the body. Any damage to the spinal column could result in temporary or permanent neurological impairment. Currently, between 249,000 and 363,000 people in the United States live with spinal cord impairment, and about 17,730 new cases are estimated to occur each year.
Unfortunately, alcohol is found to play a significant role in 25% of all instances where a person’s spinal cord is damaged. The CDC breaks down causes of spine injuries into the following:
- 46% attributable to motor vehicle accidents (although studies have indicated that the use of a seatbelt and an airbag can reduce the odds of spinal cord injury by up to 80%)
- 22% attributable to falls
- 16% attributable to violence
- 12% attributable to sports
The majority of injuries to the spinal column are due to motor vehicle accidents, especially trucking accidents, which are all too common throughout the Dallas area. Dallas sits at a major thoroughfare for large trucks to pass through, and this influx of traffic leads to a higher rate of accidents and serious injuries.
Spinal Cord Injury Frequently Asked Questions
In the immediate aftermath of a spinal cord injury, you might not know the steps you should take next or how you’re going to recover. Some people worry about the financial burden they incur while seeking medical treatment and don’t know how to afford their bills. It can be a confusing and stressful experience for anyone. The Benton Law Firm has answered some of the most common questions our clients ask so you can prepare for the road ahead.
A medical provider will perform a thorough physical exam and assess your sensory and motor functions. They might refer you for an imaging test, such as an MRI or CT scan, to check for broken bones, nerve damage, and other problems.
If another person was at fault for your injury, you should take immediate steps to protect your rights to compensation. That means hiring an experienced lawyer and seeking medical treatment. Evidence is crucial in cases like this. There needs to be documentation showing that the injury happened in the accident. Your medical records will also provide a timeline of the medical care required as a result of the accident. Medical records and invoices can also demonstrate the various expenses you incurred during your treatment.
Yes. Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for both personal injury and wrongful death. That means you must file suit within two years of your loved one’s death if you want to recover compensation from the at-fault party.
Contact a Dallas Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury, do not hesitate to contact our experienced injury team at The Benton Law Firm. Attorney Benton understands the devastation a spinal cord injury can cause and will work tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
A spinal cord injury is a life-shattering injury that has vast repercussions on your life, family, and career. Do not allow a person who caused your injuries to get away with this type of damage. Contact our offices at (214) 777-7777 today for your free initial consultation.