Among the absolute worst types of injuries Texas car accident victims can suffer is the spinal injury. (Or victims of other incidents, for that matter.) These types of injuries con be the most expensive to treat, too. It's not just the emergency room and ambulance costs that add-up—it's also the months, weeks, or even years-long treatments that can be required. But what is also true with significant spinal cord injury victims is that they can generally recover financial compensation from a third party when that third party is the cause of their injuries. What you need is the help of an effective spinal injury attorney, and David Glenn of Glenn Law Firm is among the most experienced Fort Worth personal injury lawyers in town.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
The crucial structure of the central nervous system includes the brain and the spinal cord. A tremendous amount of the body's functionality, coordination, and strength stems from this connection. A spinal cord injury occurs when an injury to this system takes place, and this includes damages to the associated nerves. Among the most common causes of injuries of this type are:
- Motor vehicle accidents;
- Motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents;
- Acts of violence; and
- Sports accidents.
Beyond this, risky or improperly performed surgical procedures can result in damage to the spinal cord. In instances where the surgeon or involved healthcare-personnel failed in the duty of care they owed you as their patient, these can create causes of action in medical malpractice cases.
How Much Is a Spinal Cord Injury Settlement Worth?
Spinal cord injuries are often complicated cases to prove. A large part of their complexity stems from the fact that these types of injuries can have far-reaching implications for you life, your work, and your family. The following three factors are critical to a personal injury attorney's calculation of the value of your case.
As a general matter, all spinal cord injuries are serious. Of course, the severity of some injuries is greater than others. And as you likely assumed, the more severe the spinal cord injury, the greater the value of the personal injury case. Some sufferers of spinal injuries are fortunate enough to heal rapidly and make full recoveries. However, others may never fully recover and be required to receive lifetime care and assistance. In the latter case, a victim may very well be looking at millions of dollars of expenses.
In some instances, the defendant who caused the injury may want to settle the case as quickly and quietly as possible—so as to not draw any unwanted attention to their actions. For example, if a doctor caused an injury of this nature, they may even ask a court to seal the record so that their record will not be tarnished. In such cases, the defendant is incentivized to accept a maximum settlement. Other times, of course, this same factor may result in fierce litigation. This is a scenario where a Texas injury lawyer can be a tremendous help.
Health and Age
The age of the plaintiff also important in calculating the value of an injury settlement. Younger plaintiffs have more years of life left, so they're likely to garner more than older plaintiffs. Older plaintiffs have less years left to live—as a matter of statistical averages—and are generally viewed by the courts as having less valuable claims. However, you should not make assumptions (good or bad) without talking to a personal injury attorney first.
Available Types of Damages In A Spinal Cord Injury Claim
The damages available in a personal injury lawsuit typically fall into two categories: (1) economic damages; and (2) non-economic damages. Sometimes punitive damages are also available, but more often than not damages are limited to the previous two categories.
This category includes damages that are amounts you've already spent or amounts you've already lost as a result of the injury to your spine.
- Loss of Income: Poor health can adversely effect your income source and your wages, and it can also effect your ability and capacity to work in the future. While these can be somewhat more difficult to establish, a Fort Worth injury attorney is experienced in dealing with these types of figures and can help you lay the foundation for recovering in this area.
- Medical Expenses and Bills: When you suffer a serious injury of this sort, the medical bills can add up—and they can add up But it's not just the emergency room and hospital bills; there is usually a significant road to complete healing and rehabilitation that also accrues medical bills. Where another party is at fault, you can recover for these bills and expenses (as that other party caused you to incur them).
- Modifications to Home: When the road to recovery is long and complex, it may be the case that home life requires some serious adjustments. If you have a lingering disability, this is especially true. Where these are attributable to the collision, malpractice, assault, or other cause of the injury—you may be entitled to recover the associated costs as well.
It is not only the expenses, bills, and costs that spinal injury victims suffer—it's also the emotional and mental suffering. For spine injuries, the most significant source of non-economic damages is pain and suffering. Pain and suffering damages involve proving the chronic pains and the persistent discomforts that you have suffered and will continue to suffer as a result of your injury. These injuries can include the depression, distress, and humiliation. Another type of non-economic damage is loss of consortium. This type of damages refers to the ability to enjoy family and married life, and your potentially-diminished capacity to be the spouse you once were. Consulting with a Texas personal injury lawyer with experience in spinal injury lawsuits can help clear up this area of the law.
Texas courts only grant punitive damages when the defendant's conduct was so egregious that it deserves punishment. In such cases, courts will allow lawyers to ask a jury to award damages that are meant to send a message.
Texas Spinal Cord Injury Claims – Statute of Limitations?
It is important to keep in mind that most claims are subject to a statute of limitations. These are time periods (or deadlines) by which you have to file a claim—or else you lose the right to do so. The typical personal personal injury claim in Texas is subject to a two year statute of limitation period. So, a spinal cord injury lawsuit generally must be filed within two years of the date of the incident that caused the injury. There are some exceptions to this, but two years is a solid a rule of thumb. A Fort Worth personal injury lawyer can absolutely help you understand exactly what your deadlines are.
Texas Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys Can Get You the Maximum Compensation
An experienced injury attorney can help you navigate what is undoubtedly one of the most trying times in a person's life. While you are still treating and healing, a personal injury lawyer can get to work on your case and help lighten the overwhelming load. At Glenn Law Firm, we would be happy to talk with you about your case and provide a free case analysis. Feel free to call us at (817) 424-5999 or fill out our submission form on this website. We look forward to hearing from you.