Accidents have the potential to result in a multitude of injuries depending on the type of accident, as well as your general health status. While injuries like bruises, broken bones, and minor lacerations will generally heal with medical treatment and time, other injuries can affect the rest of a person’s life. A spine injury is one of those. If you’ve suffered a severe back injury and believe someone else is to blame, a Columbia, MO spinal cord injury lawyer can help.
At Thomas Law Offices, our attorneys represent accident victims in all types of situations. No matter how your spinal cord injury occurred, we can evaluate your situation and build a claim on your behalf that proves the allegedly negligent party caused you harm and should be held responsible for your injuries and losses.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
While any accident can result in a back or spine injury, some are more common than others. Some of the most common accidents we see resulting in spinal cord injuries include:
- Car Accidents. The point of impact, type of crash, and collision speed all affect the injuries a car accident victim will sustain. Spine injuries are more common in rear-end and head-on collision because of how the body is likely to move in those situations.
- Slip and Falls. Property owners are responsible for ensuring their homes and businesses are well-maintained. If you slip and fall because of a hazard that should have been taken care of and you hurt your back, our attorneys can help.
- Workplace Accidents. While a workplace accident can happen just about anywhere, some professions are more dangerous than others. For example, construction workers are more at risk for sustaining a spinal cord injury because of the machinery they work with and the heights they work at.
Those are not the only accidents that can result in a spinal cord injury. If you were hurt in a different situation, it’s still important to reach out to an attorney to see what your options are for managing your losses and expenses.
Types of Spine Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are labeled complete or incomplete. A complete spinal cord injury causes permanent damage to the affected area and is likely to result in paralysis. An incomplete injury only partially damages the spinal cord. The degree of paralysis depends on the severity of the injury and the patient’s health and medical history.
Complete and incomplete injuries can happen anywhere along the spine. Medically, injuries are dividing into four categories:
- Cervical spinal cord injuries – affects the head and neck region above the shoulders
- Thoracic spinal cord injuries – affects the upper chest, mid-back, and abdominal muscle
- Lumbar spinal cord injuries – affects the hips and legs
- Sacral spinal cord injuries – affects the hips, back of thighs, buttocks, and pelvic organs
The type of injury you have and its severity will impact treatment and your maximum medical improvement.
Legal Actions for Spinal Cord Injury Victims
Whether you’ve been involved in one of the accidents discussed above or a different incident, when someone else’s actions result in harm to you, civil law lets you pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault party. Doing so can be complicated, which is why it’s best to have a spinal cord injury attorney by your side.
When you reach out to an attorney from Thomas Law Offices, they will evaluate what you’ve been through and determine if you have a valid claim and what the chances are of you pursuing one successfully. In the event you choose to proceed, your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation to determine what happened and why, as well as what you’ve suffered and lost.
Once your attorney has a solid case built on your behalf, they will file the necessary paperwork. If the opposing side is willing to talk, your lawyer will attempt to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. If settling is not possible, you have the option to pursue a claim in court. If you file a lawsuit, a judge or jury will ultimately decide the verdict.
Determining Compensation Eligibility After a Back Injury
Treating and living with a spinal cord injury is expensive. According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, the first year after injury is likely to cost $347,484 to $1,064,716, depending on the severity of the injury. Subsequent years will likely result in tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses. That can result in millions throughout someone’s life.
While the medical bills are likely to be the most expenses losses a spinal cord injury victim has to deal with, that is not where the damages stop. If you’ve been injured and are looking to recover compensation from the negligent party, it’s important to know what you’re eligible for. Your lawyer will be able to value your claim to ensure you receive a full and fair award.
The first losses your lawyer will start to add up are those that can be calculated with documents, receipts, and bills. This will include hospital and physician bills, lost wage statements, property damage costs, and more. Depending on the severity of your injury, you could be entitled to compensation for future medical expenses and lost earning capacity.
Noneconomic damages are harder to calculate because they are based on more subjective forms of losses—like pain and suffering. In general, the more severe your injury, the higher award you could receive via noneconomic damages. Depending on the situation, there’s also a chance you could be entitled to punitive damages if the at-fault party was grossly negligent.
Contact Thomas Law Offices
A back or spine injury can lay you up for an extended period of time. Depending on the severity of the injury, you could be looking at months of recovery or longer. If you believe someone else should be held responsible for your damages and losses, a Columbia, MO spinal cord injury lawyer can help.
At Thomas Law Offices, we believe accident victims deserve the best chance at recovery. We know how hard it can be to get back on your feet after you’ve been injured, which is why we’re here to support you every step of the way.
If you’re ready to take legal action or you’d like to learn more about your options, set up a free consultation with our law firm today. We’ll evaluate what you’ve been through and help you decide how best to proceed to protect your future.