Houston Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
At AK Law Firm, you will always have a spinal cord injury lawyer to represent your best interests in the courtroom and at the negotiating table. Fighting for our clients is our highest priority, and our Houston spinal cord injury attorneys will advocate aggressively for your right to fair compensation.
A spinal cord injury can have a devastating impact on your quality of life. From ongoing treatment to thousands of dollars in medical expenses, lost wages, and more, these life-altering injuries can cause undue hardship and severe physical and emotional pain. If someone elseâ€™s actions are responsible for your spinal cord injury, you deserve justice — and AK Law Firm can help.
Navigate This Page
- Why Choose Us?
- What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?
- How Can a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Help?
- What Are Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?
- Types of Spinal Injuries
- Effects of an Injury to the Spinal Cord
- Treatment for Spinal Cord Injuries
- What Damages Can I Recover for a Spinal Cord Injury in Houston, Texas?
- Contact a Houston Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Today
Why Choose Us?
- Our personal injury attorneys in Houston advocate aggressively on behalf of our clients, securing millions of dollars in compensation over our years of operation.
- You will have a direct line to your attorney during each stage of your case. We return all calls and emails within 24 hours.
- Filing a lawsuit can feel like a significant investment, which is why our firm assumes the risk for your case. You will not have to pay legal fees unless we secure a settlement on your behalf.
What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?
Your spinal cord runs down your back, transmitting messages between your brain and body. This structure is a soft cord protected by 33 stacked vertebrae, which is known as the spinal column. Between the vertebrae, discs of cartilage contain narrow passageways where spinal nerves exit the spinal cord to send messages to the rest of the body.
A spinal cord injury occurs when you suffer any damage to the spinal cord and its surrounding structures; the spinal nerve passageways are especially vulnerable to injury. Any damage to the spinal cord can result in a loss of movement and bodily function, a loss of sensation, difficulty breathing, and a wide range of complications that impact your ability to engage in daily activities.
Medical experts classify spinal cord injuries as complete or incomplete.
- A complete spinal cord injury results in a total loss of function and feeling below the injury site.
- An incomplete spinal cord injury results in a partial loss of function and feeling below the injury site. You may retain some motor and sensory abilities.
How Can a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Help?
Under Texas law, people injured due to the negligence of other people or entities have the right to collect compensation for the losses they suffered. To secure a fair settlement in your case, you will need to prove that the at-fault party breached a duty of care to you and subsequently caused your injuries and damages.
The litigation process can be complex, especially while recovering from a recent injury. Hiring an attorney to represent your spinal cord lawsuit can provide several important benefits for your case, including the following:
- Your spinal cord injury attorney will know what needs to be accomplished at each stage of your case so you can avoid unnecessary errors and delays.
- Your attorney will bring a high level of experience to your case and will understand the elements necessary to prove your claim. He will also handle the process from start to finish so you can focus on recovery.
- Your lawyer will have access to valuable resources to aid in your case investigation and litigation. He will connect with experts who can provide testimony on your behalf and calculate your award value, such as medical professionals, economic experts, and accident reconstruction specialists.
- Your lawyer will have the negotiation skills necessary to advocate for your best interests during each stage of litigation. Your attorney will also have significant courtroom experience, which will allow him to provide compelling arguments on your behalf.
- Your spinal injury attorney will know how to calculate the estimated value of your claim, partnering with medical and economics experts to develop a life care plan for your spinal cord injury. As a result, you can avoid accepting a lower settlement than you deserve.
- In addition to the legal benefits, hiring a spinal cord lawyer will provide a valuable advocate while you are recovering from your recent injury. At AK Law Firm, fighting for our clients is our top priority and we will not rest until you receive the care you need.
What Are Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?
Many incidents can cause spinal cord injuries, including car crashes, falls from high places, heavy machinery accidents, and acts of violence. If someone elseâ€™s negligence is responsible for your spinal cord damage, you may be eligible to file a spinal cord injury lawsuit against him or her in Texas civil court. In these situations, a Houston spinal cord injury lawyer from AK Law Firm can explain your legal options and represent your side of the story.
Types of Spinal Injuries
Medical experts divide the spinal cord into five sections based on where the spinal nerves emerge. This classification helps doctors identify where an injury takes place, and which functions the injury may have impacted.
- Cervical spinal nerves (C1 to C8): These upper nerves control messages between the brain and the back of the head, the diaphragm, the neck and shoulders, and the arms and hands.
- Thoracic spinal nerves (T1 to T12): These nerves transmit signals to certain back muscles and parts of the abdomen, as well as the chest muscles.
- Lumbar spinal nerves (L1 to L5): These nerves are responsible for communicating with the buttocks, lower back and abdomen, legs, and external genital organs.
- Sacral spinal nerves (S1 to S5): These nerves transmit signals to the thighs, feet, lower parts of the legs, external genital organs, and area around the anus.
- The coccygeal nerve: This single nerve is responsible for carrying sensory information from the lower back skin.
There are two main types of spinal cord injury you can experience: quadriplegia and paraplegia. Paraplegia refers to the loss of function and sensation in both of your legs, limiting your ability to walk or move without mobility equipment. Quadriplegia refers to the loss of function in all four limbs and involves damage to the cervical spinal nerves.
Effects of an Injury to the Spinal Cord
A spinal cord injury can cause serious complications in addition to paralysis. The complications you experience will depend on where along the spinal cord you suffered the injury.
- Breathing problems: Injury to the cervical spinal nerves can impair your ability to breathe, as well as difficulty coughing or clearing the lungs. You may need to go on a ventilator to support your breathing.
- Loss of bladder and bowel function: Many spinal cord injuries impact bladder and bowel function. The base of the spinal cord contains the nerves that control these functions, and you may not be able to vacate your bowels or bladder without assistance.
- Neurogenic pain: This is a specialized type of pain common among spinal cord injury patients. Neurogenic pain occurs due to the dysfunction of the nervous system and feels like shooting or burning.
- Loss of reproductive function: Like the loss of bladder and bowel function, spinal cord injuries also impact your ability to engage in sexual activities. Men are more likely to experience this complication than women; many women with spinal cord injuries can conceive and carry an infant to term.
- Cardiovascular problems: Damage to the cervical spinal nerves can lead to heartbeat irregularities and unstable blood pressure levels. Low blood pressure may occur due to a loss of tone in the blood vessels, which can cause additional complications. People with spinal cord injuries are also at a higher risk for blood clots.
- Autonomic dysreflexia: This condition, which occurs when a stimulus appears below the injury site, is a life-threatening complication of spinal cord injuries. When the stimulus appears, the affected region of the spinal cord attempts to send a message to the brain. The message is then blocked, and a reflex occurs without proper regulation. Complications of autonomic dysreflexia include seizures, strokes, rapid heartbeat, and death.
In addition to the above complications, spinal cord injury patients may experience pressure sores due to prolonged lack of movement, severe spasms, and muscular pain due to the overuse of certain muscles. Psychological trauma is also common among people who experience spinal cord injuries; adults with spinal cord injuries are at a higher risk of developing a mental health condition. You may find difficulty adjusting to the paralysis or experience traumatic memories of the accident, which can lead to conditions such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety.
Treatment for Spinal Cord Injuries
The complications from spinal cord injuries can last a very long time and often result in permanent damage and loss of function. To recover from your injury, your doctor will provide a treatment regimen based on the level of damage you experienced and your expected recovery outcome.
When you immediately enter the emergency room for your injury, the doctor will perform diagnostic tests to assess the damage. You may undergo an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI. You may need emergency care to minimize the effects of the injury and prevent further complications, such as the following.
- Rigid neck collars or carrying boards to prevent further injury
- Emergency surgery to stabilize the spine or remove bone fragments, foreign objects, and damaged discs or vertebrae that could be compressing it
- Experimental treatments, if available
After stabilizing your initial condition, the medical team can assess the damage and ascertain the nature of your injuries. During your hospitalization, you will receive treatment for secondary conditions and to prevent further complications. Once you make enough progress, the medical team will likely transfer you to a rehabilitation facility.
During rehabilitation, you will undergo therapies and treatments based on the level of damage you experienced. You will likely focus on strengthening existing muscle function, learning adaptive coping skills, and redeveloping fine motor skills. You may also receive medication to treat lasting complications, such as muscle spasms and bladder control.
You may need to continue to receive treatment and attend physical therapy appointments, even after you leave the rehabilitation center. Your medical team will inform you of your prognosis and the steps you will need to take to improve your quality of life. You will also need to invest in mobility equipment and accommodations, which may include the following.
- Wheelchairs and wheelchair ramps or lifts
- Adaptive electronics, such as voice-controlled light switches
- Live-in caregivers
- Respiratory equipment
- Wheelchair-accessible vehicles
What Damages Can I Recover for a Spinal Cord Injury in Houston, Texas?
It is very clear that spinal cord injuries affect your life in several ways, from financial hardship to physical pain and limited mobility to psychological trauma. Treatment for spinal cord injuries in particular can be very expensive; you will likely need adaptive equipment to function, and long-term medical costs can increase over time. If someone else is responsible for this injury, you deserve justice for these losses. In a spinal cord injury lawsuit, you are eligible to claim compensation for the economic and non-economic damages you experienced due to the at-fault partyâ€™s negligent actions.
Economic damages refer to the financial, tangible losses you experienced due to the accident and your subsequent injuries. This may include the medical treatment you had already received, as well as the cost of future care. You can also claim economic damages for the cost of mobility equipment, disability accommodations, and property damage sustained in the accident. You can also collect compensation for lost wages during your recovery period, as well as a loss of future earnings if your injury prevents you from returning to work.
Non-economic damages, on the hand, involve the intangible pain and suffering you experience due to the spinal cord injury. This pain and suffering can be physical as well as emotional. Common non-economic damages in spinal cord lawsuits include the following.
- Chronic pain
- Permanent disability
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Depression and anxiety
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of care, companionship, or consortium
In some cases, you may be eligible for punitive damages. While the purpose of economic and non-economic damages is to compensate for the losses you experienced due the accident, punitive damages intend to punish the at-fault party. By assigning additional damages on top of the hardship you experienced, the court hopes to dissuade the at-fault party from committing the same actions again.
Proving punitive damages in Texas can be challenging, however. You will need to provide clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault party acted fraud, malice, or gross negligence at the time of the accident, leading to your injuries. Your attorney from AK Law can help you determine if you may qualify for punitive damages and can craft a case to convince the court that you deserve this compensation.
Contact a Houston Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Today
If you are a spinal cord injury victim, you are not alone. Thousands of Americans develop a spinal cord injury each year, and if someone else is responsible for your damage, you deserve justice. In these situations, AK Law Firm can represent your case and fight for your right to fair compensation.
We offer free consultations to Houston residents suffering from spinal cord injuries. Contact our firm today to discuss your legal options with one of our injury attorneys.