Spine Injury Attorney
Back and spinal injuries are among the most difficult and life-changing health conditions an individual can suffer from. Many of these types of injuries can become severe, and victims often incur tens of thousands of dollars in medical expenses, as well as many days missed from work for treatment and rehabilitation. In the most severe cases, injury victims have been known to suffer partial or total disability, meaning they can only do limited amount of work or are unable to work at all.
Perhaps the most severe type of back injury is one that damages the spinal cord. The spinal cord is about a foot and a half long and extends from the base of the brain down the middle of the back to around the waist. The nerves within the spinal cord carry messages from the brain to other parts of the body. For this reason, spinal cord injuries can result in partial or total loss of function (i.e., mobility or feeling) within the affected areas. In extreme cases, an individual may wind up with no function at all below the level of the injury, resulting in paralysis.
Back injuries such as pinched nerves and ruptured discs may not always be as severe as spinal cord injuries, but they can still result in life-altering circumstances. For example, a construction worker with a pinched nerve in the lower back may no longer be able to perform the functions required on the job until he/she recovers from the injury, which could be several weeks, months, or even years in the most severe cases.
Back and spine injury claims can become quite complicated because there are often multiple parties involved and many factors that may have contributed to the injury. In addition, the party responsible and/or their representative will do whatever they can to minimize the value of the case. If you or a loved one has suffered a back or spinal injury in Texas, it is important to have strong legal counsel in your corner fighting hard to protect your rights and interests.
How Does a Back or Spinal Injury Claim Work?
If you suffered a back or spinal injury, there are some important steps you should take as soon as possible:
Seek Medical Attention: Have your back or spinal injuries treated right away by a medical professional.
Take Pictures: Before/after pictures can make or break a case. You need physical evidence documenting your injury in detail. Take pictures from every angle and continue taking pictures in case the condition worsens.
Cease Communication: Do not communicate with insurance personnel or other representatives from the other side. They can use twist even smallest detail into an argument against the merits of your case.
Determine Expenses: In how many ways have you suffered? Is this a minor physical injury or did it cause a great deal of financial loss, physical pain, and emotional distress?
Seek Skilled Legal Help: Speak with a seasoned Texas back injury attorney to determine the best legal path forward.
Once the case is fully investigated and all the important evidence is gathered, your attorney will prepare to file a legal claim against the at-fault party. Typically, there will be a negotiation with the other side before going to court. Hopefully, an acceptable settlement can be reached. However, you should be ready to take the case to trial in the event that the other side is not willing to be reasonable.
One word of caution: Do NOT accept an early settlement offer from the other side’s insurer. Insurance companies are notorious for contacting back and spinal injury victims with a lowball offer in exchange for settling quickly. They are hoping you will take a lower settlement now, before you have spoken with an attorney and fully reviewed all your rights and options. Remember, insurance companies are looking out for the interests of their clients, and if they give you a quick offer, you can safely assume that it is for far lower than the case is actually worth.
Do I Need a Texas Back Injury Attorney?
If you were to represent yourself in a back or spinal injury case, you would face a serious uphill battle. First of all, you would need to thoroughly evaluate the case and gather all the necessary evidence and documentation to prove that the other party is directly responsible for your injuries. Next, you would need to prepare all the legal documentation to file your claim. Unless you already know your way around a courtroom, this can be a very intimidating process.
Most back and spinal injury victims who choose not to retain legal counsel do so in hopes of working out a settlement with the other party’s insurance company. They have no intention of going to court, they just want to get a fair settlement and save the legal costs in the process. While going this route may seem like it could save you money, in most cases, that is not what ends up happening.
As mentioned previously, the insurer for the other side knows you do not have an attorney, and they seek to capitalize on that situation. They will make their own calculations and tell you what they think the case is worth, then give you an offer. And since there is no threat that the case will go to trial, they have no incentive to pay you what you deserve for your injuries.
An experienced Texas spine injury lawyer can thoroughly evaluate your case and tell you what it is really worth. Then they will proceed to negotiate with the insurance company from a position of strength. After your attorney presents all the facts to the other side, the representative for the responsible party will know that they had better offer a reasonable settlement or risk a more-costly litigation scenario.
Types of Back and Spinal Injuries that Occur in Texas
There are many ways individuals can suffer back and spinal injuries in Texas, including but not limited to:
Motor Vehicle Accidents: Vehicle crashes account for a large percentage of spinal and back injuries in Texas. Many vehicle accident victims do not realize the extent of their injuries right away, and this is one of the reasons it is so important to seek prompt medical attention after a vehicle accident.
Slip and Fall Spinal Injuries: Slip accidents are commonplace in Texas and they can cause serious damage to the spine. There are numerous safety hazards on the premises of third parties that cause individuals to slip and fall. When this occurs, it is important to speak to an attorney (after you have received medical care) about your rights and options.
Violence-Related Injuries: Although not as common as car and slip & fall accidents, violence-related injuries happen more often than many believe. Some examples include gunshot and knife-related injuries.
Bike Accident Injuries: There are fewer motorcycle and bicycle accidents than car accidents, but it is still a fairly common occurrence. And because cyclists are less protected than car drivers, they are much more susceptible to serious back and spinal injuries.
Public Transport Accident Injuries: This includes airplanes, buses, and trains. If you are injured using public transportation, you may be entitled to compensation. These are complex cases, however, because they often involve legal action against a government entity. For this reason, be sure to work with an attorney who has a strong track record of success in this area of the law.
Work-Related Injuries: Certain workplaces are injury-prone. Some examples include construction sites, oil fields, and factories. Back and spinal injuries at work may fall under Texas workers’ compensation law, or if your employer is a non-subscriber (to workers’ comp) or a third party is responsible, you may be able to file a personal injury claim.
Some of the most common back and spinal injuries that occur in Texas include:
- Lower back injuries
- Upper back injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Spinal sprains
- Back strains
- Torn ligaments
- Damaged muscles
- Broken vertebrae
How Will a Texas Spine Injury Lawyer Help Me?
The main advantage is that you’re hiring a Texas back injury attorney who is able to leverage their extensive experience in this area of the law. For example, a seasoned attorney will be able to thoroughly evaluate your case and identify important factors others might miss that could be critical in not only proving your case, but securing the level of compensation you deserve. With this information in hand, they will be able to present a rock-solid case to the other side during negotiations, and if negotiations break down, they will be ready to take your case to trial. Either way, you are in an optimal position to obtain a favorable outcome.
At Reyna Law Firm, we have in-depth knowledge of back and spinal injury cases, and what it takes to prevail against even the most well-funded adversaries. We go up against Texas insurance companies regularly and we fight for our clients to get them the help they need. We work closely with you and guide you through the process, so you always know what to expect. In addition, we are always available to answer any questions or concerns you may have along the way.
Texas Back and Spinal Injury Statistics
The most damaging form of back injury is an injury to the spinal cord. The most common causes of spinal cord injuries are:
- Motor vehicle accidents: 38%
- Slip and fall accidents: 30%
- Violence-related incidents: 14%
- Sports injuries: 9%
- Medical: 5%
- Other: 4%
Spinal cord injuries are also very costly to recover from:
- Average hospitalization costs: $140,000
- Average first-year expenses: $198,000
- Average lifetime expenses for paraplegics: $428,000
- Average lifetime costs for quadriplegics: $1.35 million
Texas Insurance Laws Regarding Back and Spine Injuries
If you suffer a back or spinal injury that is the fault of another party, you may be able to seek compensation under the liability portion of their insurance policy. If the injury occurred in an auto accident, you would go after the insurance company for responsible party. If that party did not have insurance (or lacked a sufficient amount of insurance to pay your claim), you may be able to seek compensation under the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage within your own policy. The statute of limitations/deadline for filing a personal injury claim in Texas is two years from the date the injury occurred.
Texas follows the modified comparative negligence doctrine, which means that if the injured party is partially responsible for the incident, damages are reduced in proportion to their percentage of fault. And if the injured party is more than 50% responsible, no damages are awarded at all. This is one of the major reasons it is generally not a good idea to speak with the insurance company for the other side. If they are able to get you to admit that the injury is even partially your fault, they can significantly reduce that amount of compensation you will receive.
Why Choose Our Firm?
Reyna Law Firm has helped numerous back and spine injury victims obtain the compensation they are entitled to for their injuries. We have experienced first-hand the enormous physical, emotional, and financial stress injuries like these have on victims and their families, and we work hard to make the legal process smooth and stress-free for others who are going through these difficult times.
There are several other advantages to working with us, including:
- Free, no obligation consultations
- No attorney fees unless we win your case
- Extensive experience with back/spinal injuries
- Responsive and helpful guidance throughout the process
- Highly acclaimed with 10.0 (superb) Avvo rating
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT SPINE INJURIES
Spinal cord injuries are typically established in lawsuits from medical expert testimony from orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, or neurosurgeons. These experts provide opinions about how the spinal cord injury was likely sustained and how a spinal cord injury victim will have to move forward.
A herniated disk is one type of spinal cord injury that occurs when trauma affects a disk in the back. If the disk is herniated or injured from trauma, it may come into contact with the nerve roots or the spinal cord, leading to significant pain. This may come in the form of disk bulges, disk herniation, frank herniation and disk protrusion.
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*Picture Credits to: Special Assistant, Diane Garza
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