Spinal cord injuries disrupt the lives of victims and their families in every conceivable way. Depending on the severity of the injury, victims may no longer be able to walk, or move their arms, or even speak. They may be confined to wheelchairs and need ramps in their house and modifications to their car. The emotional burden on them and their families can feel overwhelming. Not to mention the costs of time off work, medical care, rehabilitation, and more. It seems impossible that life will ever return to normal.
If you or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord injury, please contact the Law Offices of George Salinas. We may be able to help! Call us at (512) 851-1004, or visit us online, for your free consultation.
Hiring an Austin Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
At the Law Offices of George Salinas, we have represented clients with spinal cord injuries who needed our help recovering compensation to allow them to recover and adapt to their new normal. We deal with insurance companies and seek to hold responsible parties accountable for their compensation they owe.
Among other expenses, we aim to help our clients receive financial support for medical costs, for the pain and suffering their injury caused through no fault of their own, for special equipment and modifications to their homes and vehicles, and for their lost wages from time off work either because they’re the one’s injured, or they’re caring for a family member.
When you need a spinal cord injury attorney in the Austin, Texas area, the Law Offices of George Salinas have the experience to help.
Working With Us in Spinal Cord Injury Matters
Our record of seeking justice and compensation for clients who have suffered spinal cord injuries speaks for itself. Check out our Testimonials page to read what our former clients have to say about our services and commitment to personalized communication. We make it a priority to listen to our clients’ stories, so that we understand their needs and what outcome will best serve them.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
According to the Mayo Clinic, a spinal cord injury “may result from damage to the vertebrae, ligaments or disks of the spinal column or to the spinal cord itself.” The damage can be caused by a violent blow to the spine, from a penetrating wound (such as a gunshot or stabbing), or from non-traumatic conditions such as arthritis or an infection.
Some relatively common events that result in spinal cord injuries are:
- Slipping and falling, particularly among older men
- Car, motorcycle, bus, and bicycle accidents
- Boating accidents
- Gunshot wounds
- Surgical errors/medical malpractice.
- Construction or worksite accidents, such as falls and crushing injuries
- Diving into shallow water
- Backyard accidents, such as falls from trampolines or swing sets
- Sports injuries, such as helmet-on-helmet football tackles
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Depending on their location and severity, spinal cord injuries injuries typically result in total (complete) or partial (incomplete) loss of feeling (paralysis) in some part of the body.
Three common spinal cord injuries involving paralysis are:
- Tetraplegia: Also called quadriplegia, this injury occurs at the neck level, which causes loss of feeling all the way down the body. Patients may also lose voluntary control over their bladder, bowels, respiration, and other life functions.
- Paraplegia: Typically, this injury occurs at the middle of the spine and causes loss of sensation through the midsection and the legs. The spinal cord trauma could also occur higher up towards the chest. People with this condition may never walk again.
- Triplegia: This form of spinal cord damage may not impact both sides of the body. A patient could lose feeling in one arm but both legs (which is known as an incomplete injury).
Who Bears Responsibility for a Spinal Cord Injury?
The circumstances of a spinal cord injury largely determine who is at fault. At the Law Offices of George Salinas, we have most commonly represented clients who suffered spinal cord injuries because of the wrongful acts or negligence of a third party.
In the case of construction accidents, for example, we may represent a worker whose employer did not follow appropriate safety standards, resulting in an accident. Similarly, we may represent a client who suffered a spinal cord injury in a two-car collision where the driver of the other car ran a red light and caused the accident. We also routinely represent clients in seeking compensation from insurance companies who deny or fail to pay the benefits our clients deserve. For example, if a client suffers a spinal cord injury from falling off of a neighbor’s backyard trampoline, and the neighbor did not take due care to prevent it from happening, the neighbor’s homeowner’s insurance policy may resist covering the incident.
Our years of experience have taught us how to identify third parties who may be responsible for compensating our clients who suffered a spinal cord injury. We have a strong commitment to pursuing those parties on our clients’ behalf.
What Kinds of Damages Can Be Recovered for Spinal Cord Injury?
Some of the direct medical expenses for a spinal cord injury will often—but not always—be covered by the victim’s health insurance. Still, those costs can represent just a drop in the bucket of all of the financial burden a spinal cord injury can create. Victims of a spinal cord and their families may also be entitled to compensation for:
- Lost wages due to time off work to recover from the injury or to care for an injured family member
- Lost future earnings
- Long-term care and rehabilitation services
- The pain and suffering resulting from the accident and the difficulty of living with a spinal cord injury
- Special equipment and home/vehicle modifications
Under Texas law, punitive damages may also be awarded when necessary to punish the party at fault for the injury and to ensure that other do not suffer a similar injury in the future.
Of course, every case is different. The compensation you might be entitled to receive after a spinal cord injury depends on the specific facts of your situation. That is why working with an attorney experienced in representing victims of a spinal cord injury can often be the most effective way to make sure you receive the compensation you’re owed.
How Do Those Liable for Spinal Cord Injury Try to Avoid Paying?
Blaming accident victims is a favorite tactic of insurance companies and responsible parties who do not want to pay their fair share of a victim’s expenses. That strategy can be especially effective in spinal cord cases, which involve highly specialized diagnosis and treatment from medical professionals and an uncertain future for the victims.
After an accident resulting in a spinal cord injury, potentially responsible parties often move quickly to insist it “wasn’t their fault.” For that reason, it can be important to call on the services of an experienced attorney right away, to prevent insurance companies and other responsible parties from taking advantage of victims and their families by convincing them to sign releases or to accept small settlements before they learn about their rights.
What Will a Lawyer Cost?
When expenses associated with a spinal cord injury begin to mount, the last thing a victim or the victim’s family wants to worry about is the cost of a lawyer. At the Law Offices of George Salinas, we offer free initial case consultations, and in appropriate cases, we may agree to represent a client on a contingency fee basis in which we only collect fees out of money we recover on our client’s behalf. In such an arrangement, we may be also cover the court costs associated with pursuing a case, if appropriate. Please do not be afraid to tell us about your situation and ask us if your or your loved one’s spinal cord case may be appropriate for a contingency fee arrangement.
Austin, Texas, Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
If you or someone you love has experienced a spinal cord injury, contact the Law Offices of George Salinas today at (512) 851-1004 or online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.