A spinal cord injury can turn your life upside down in an instant. These injuries often result in lifelong debilitating complications that make it challenging to lead an ordinary life. But if you suffered a spinal cord injury and someone else was to blame for the accident, you deserve financial compensation from the person who hurt you. A personal injury lawyer from the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover can help you demand justice.
With over 30 years of experience, Troy has vigorously fought for the rights of injured Texans like you in San Antonio, Central, and South Texas. No matter how complicated or challenging your case, he is prepared to fight for the best result possible so that you have the time and space you need to focus on your physical recovery. Troy’s dedication and experience are just some of the reasons why he has been Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, which is a distinction granted to just over 1 percent of Texas personal injury lawyers.
Contact the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover today for a case evaluation with an experienced San Antonio spinal cord injury lawyer. Initial consultations are free. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we won’t get paid unless we secure compensation for you.
Long-Term Effects of a Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injury patients are usually at risk for long-term side effects. Some possible complications can include:
Chronic pain, which may result from nerve damage and overuse of certain muscle groups
Changes in sexual health, which may impact fertility
Changes to or loss of bladder and bowel control, which may increase the risk of urinary tract infections or GI complications
Increased risk of blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism
Blood pressure problems, including orthostatic hypotension and potentially fatal hypertension spikes
Increased risk of developing pressure ulcers
Respiratory problems, including difficulty coughing or clearing secretions from the lungs, which may increase the risk of developing infections
Loss of bone density and muscle tone
Increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes if disabilities result in a more sedentary lifestyle
Increased risk of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues
Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Spinal Cord Injury in San Antonio
You might be entitled to file a personal injury claim after a spinal cord injury in San Antonio if that injury was due to somebody else’s negligence. Negligence is a legal concept that describes a failure to act with a necessary level of care to avoid causing harm to others, such as when a driver runs a red light or a store owner fails to mop up a potentially dangerous spill, for example.
To be successful with your personal injury claim, you must also prove that the other party’s negligence led to your injury and that you suffered expenses and losses as a result, such as medical bills, loss of income, and reduced quality of life.
Filing for Disability Benefits After a Spinal Cord Injury
In addition to the financial compensation you could recover through a personal injury claim, you may also be entitled to apply for Social Security disability benefits if you cannot return to work after your injury. The Social Security Administration offers two disability benefit programs:
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) – A program designed for disabled individuals with sufficient work history
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)– A program intended to help disabled individuals with low or no income
Filing for disability benefits requires you to show that you have no “residual functional capacity” after your injury and cannot do any work within your skills, training, and experience.
In addition to Social Security disability benefits, you might also receive benefits from any optional long-term or short-term disability insurance you carry.
Potential Compensation for a Spinal Cord Injury
You may be able to recover compensation from the parties at fault for your injury by filing a personal injury claim. This compensation can help you pay for your medical treatment and rehabilitation and offset any financial and personal losses that you have incurred.
A financial award in a spinal cord injury claim can provide you with money for:
Medical expenses, including ER and hospital bills, surgeries, physical rehab, doctor and specialist appointments, prescriptions, and medical and mobility devices and equipment
Long-term care expenses, including renovations to your home to accommodate disabilities, home healthcare services, and assisted living services
Ongoing and future losses of income during your medical recovery or if you cannot return to work after your spinal injury
Physical pain and emotional distress
Loss of enjoyment and quality of life due to permanent disabilities or disfigurement that adversely impacts your daily life
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
A few examples of accidents that can lead to a spinal cord injury include:
Spinal cord injuries are typically classified based on the location of the injury on the spinal column. The type of spinal cord injury will usually determine which body parts are affected. In an incomplete spinal cord injury, affected body parts retain some feeling and motor function, while in a complete spinal cord injury, all function and feeling are lost.
The cervical spine includes vertebrae near the head and neck. A cervical spine injury may result in some degree of quadriplegia (tetraplegia), with the injury affecting all body parts below the neck and shoulders.
The thoracic spine makes up the upper and middle regions of the back. A thoracic spine injury can affect the legs, pelvis, and lower torso. Depending on the location of the damage on the thoracic spine, an injury can also affect hand and arm movement, digestive function, and breathing.
The lumbar spine makes up the lower portion of the back. A lumbar spinal injury can affect the legs, pelvis, and lower torso and may also impact bodily functions, including bladder and bowel control and sexual function.
Severe pain and pressure in the head, neck, and back
Weakness, coordination issues, and paralysis
Numbness, tingling, and loss of sensation in hands and feet
Loss of bowel and bladder control
Odd positioning and twisting of the neck and back
Someone who experiences these symptoms after an accident should seek immediate medical attention.
A spinal cord injury can cause long-term symptoms such as:
Chronic pain and stinging sensations in the spinal cord
Altered or lost sensation, including the ability to feel pressure, heat, and cold
Impaired bladder and bowel function
Difficulty breathing and coughing
Loss of sexual function, sensitivity, and fertility
Treatment for a Spinal Cord Injury
Damage to spinal cord tissues cannot be reversed or repaired. Therefore, treatment is initially focused on stabilizing the patient’s condition and preventing further injury. It will also include rehabilitation to help the patient live as active a life as possible.
Emergency treatment for a spinal cord includes:
Immobilization of the spine to prevent further injury and allow vertebrae and surrounding tissues to begin healing
Surgery to repair fractured vertebrae and herniated discs, remove bone fragments or foreign objects from the spinal column, install rods or plates, or fuse vertebrae to stabilize the spine and prevent deformity
Medications and other experimental treatments to help reduce damaging inflammation in the hours following the injury
Ongoing care will be focused on preventing secondary complications, including bladder and bowel issues, blood clots, respiratory infections, and pressure ulcers.
Someone who’s suffered a spinal cord injury should also begin rehabilitation once their injury stabilizes. The prescribed program may include physical and occupational therapy, recreational therapy, nutritional counseling, and mental health therapy. Rehabilitation is aimed at maintaining and strengthening motor function and fine motor skills, learning new adaptations, and resuming an active, independent life.
Time Limit for Filing a Spinal Cord Injury Claim in San Antonio
If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury and someone else is to blame, the statute of limitations under Texas law gives you two years from the date that your injury occurred to file suit against the at-fault parties. Filing suit after the limitations period expires would likely mean losing your rights to financial compensation.
How a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Can Help with Your Case
If you have sustained an injury to your spinal cord as the result of an accident in San Antonio, you may be facing the prospect of weeks, months, or even years of treatment and rehabilitation. But you should not put off starting a legal claim to recover the compensation you may be entitled to from liable parties and their insurers.
Let a San Antonio spinal cord injury lawyer from the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover help you by:
Investigating the circumstances of the accident or incident that caused your spinal cord injury
Documenting your losses with the help of medical, vocational, and financial experts
Identifying parties and insurers who can be held responsible for those losses
Handling communications with insurance companies and medical creditors so you can focus on your treatment and rehabilitation
Filing claims for compensation on your behalf to aggressively pursue full financial recovery for you through a settlement
Going to court and to trial if necessary to demand the compensation and justice you deserve
Contact the Law Offices of Troy A. Brookover today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a San Antonio spinal cord injury attorney. We look forward to discussing how our firm can help you pursue justice, accountability, and compensation from those who have hurt you.