Phoenix Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
A serious spinal cord injury can be catastrophic, robbing you or your loved one of the ability to walk, control extremities, and earn income. Spinal cord injuries also result in significant medical expenses from both the initial hospitalization and for long-term physical therapy or in-home care. However, if you have suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident caused by someone or something else you may be entitled to compensation that can help cover these costs and improve your quality of life.
At The Entrekin Law Firm, our Phoenix spinal cord injury attorneys can help you and your family recover the full amount of compensation that you need to move forward. We offer a risk-free, cost-free initial assessment on your case to discuss options, so connect as soon as you can after receiving emergency medical care for your injury to learn more.
Phoenix Spinal Cord Injury Resources
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What Are Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?
Levels of Spinal Cord Injuries
Lifetime Costs of a Spinal Cord Injury
What Influences the Value of an Injury Lawsuit?
Who Can Be Liable for a Spinal Cord Injury?
How Your Attorney Negotiates for a Favorable Outcome
How Much Does a Spinal Injury Lawyer Cost?
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What Are Common Causes of Phoenix Spinal Cord Injuries?
Spinal cord injuries can occur in a wide range of accidents and incidents. While not all sources of injury may result in a valid claim, another person or entity may be legally responsible if they caused the injury.
Common accidents that cause spinal cord injury that may lead to a claim include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Workplace injury
- Pedestrian accidents
- Rideshare accidents
- Construction accidents
An experienced Phoenix personal injury attorney can investigate the incident, identify who may be liable for your injuries, and build a strong claim for compensation. Evidence needed to prove liability can include surveillance or dash camera footage, police reports, eyewitness testimony, cell phone records, photos, maintenance records, previous incidents or complaints, and much more depending upon the nature of the accident.
Levels of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries typically fall into one of four categories/levels: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, or sacral. The level of the injury corresponds to the part of the spine that is affected. In general, the higher the level of the injury, the more severe it is.
Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries
Cervical spinal cord injuries are at the very top of the spine and are classified as either complete or incomplete. A complete injury means that there is a total loss of sensation and motor function below the level of the injury. An incomplete injury means that there is some preservation of sensation and/or motor function below the level of the injury.
Thoracic Spinal Cord Injuries
Thoracic injuries are much less common than cervical or lumbar injuries because the thoracic spine is so well protected by the rib cage. Injuries at this level often result in paraplegia (paralysis of both legs).
Lumbar Spinal Cord Injuries
Lumbar spinal cord injuries are classified as either complete or incomplete. Complete injuries at this level often result in paraplegia (paralysis of both legs). Incomplete lumbar injuries may result in partial leg paralysis or “foot drop.” Foot drop is a condition in which patients are unable to lift up their foot at the ankle due to weakness or paralysis of muscles in the leg.
Sacral Spinal Cord Injuries
A sacral spinal cord injury occurs when the sacral nerve roots, which are located in the lower part of the spine, are damaged or severed. This can lead to a loss of feeling and function in the legs and pelvis, as well as urinary and bowel incontinence. In severe cases, it can also cause paralysis of the legs.
What Are the Lifetime Costs of a Spinal Cord Injury?
The initial costs of a spinal cord injury can be overwhelming. Emergency medical care, surgeries, hospitalization and rehabilitation can easily exceed $1 million in the first year alone. If the injury is severe, the individual may need long-term care in a specialized facility. These costs can quickly add up, putting a financial strain on the individual and their family.
Costs include lifelong doctor visits, specialists, treatments, medications, assistive devices and therapies. There are also the costs of a disability, including home and vehicle modifications. When all of these costs are factored in, the average lifetime cost of a spinal cord injury can reach almost $3 million.
What Factors Influence the Value of a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit?
The value of a spinal cord injury lawsuit will depend on several factors, including
The Age and Health of the Victim
If the injured party is relatively young and healthy, they are likely to suffer more significant consequences as a result of their injuries and therefore their claim will be worth more. On the other hand, if the victim is older or has pre-existing health conditions, their life expectancy may be shorter and their injuries may not have as great an impact on their overall quality of life. As such, their claims will generally be valued at a lower amount.
The Victim’s Average Income Before The Injury
Another factor is the victim’s average income before they were injured. This number will provide evidence of how much money they stand to lose by being unable to work after their accident.
Strength Of Evidence Against The Defendant
If there is strong evidence that points to negligence on behalf of the defendant, such as eyewitness testimony or video footage from security cameras, the claim is likely to be worth more than if there is only circumstantial evidence. This is because it will be easier for the victim’s attorney to prove negligence in court and therefore receive compensation for the injuries.
The Defendant’s Actions Or Misconduct (For Punitive Damages)
In some cases, victims may also be eligible for punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish defendants who have engaged in particularly egregious behavior leading up to an accident.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Spinal Cord Injury in Phoenix?
If you or a loved one has suffered an SCI, you may be wondering who can be held liable for the damages. The answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the injury. It’s helpful to take a look at some of the most common scenarios to see how liability is determined:
Liability in Car Accidents
If you were injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against that driver to recover damages. To win your case, you will need to prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident. A Phoenix car accident attorney can accomplish this by showing that the driver was speeding, driving under the influence, or engaged in some other type of illegal or negligent behavior.
Liability in Workplace Accidents
If you were injured while on the job, you may be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer intentionally caused your accident, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against them rather than filing for workers’ compensation benefits.
Liability in Defective Product Injuries
If you were injured by a defective product, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer or retailer of that product. To succeed in this type of case, you will need to show that the product was defective and that this defect caused your injuries.
Liability in Medical Malpractice Claims
One of the most common defendants in spinal cord injury cases is the doctor who treated the injured individual. If it can be proven that the doctor breached the standard of care— they did not provide treatment that was up to the accepted standard—then they may be liable. Additionally, if the doctor failed to warn their patient of known risks associated with a procedure, they may also be legally responsible.
In some cases, it may also be possible to bring a claim against the hospital where the injured individual was treated. This is most likely to happen if it can be shown that the hospital was negligent in its hiring or supervision of staff. For example, if a surgeon with a history of misconduct was allowed to perform surgery at the hospital without proper supervision and this resulted in a spinal cord injury, the hospital could be held liable.
Your Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Negotiates the Best Settlement For You
If another party is liable for the accident, they will be responsible for your damages. You may be eligible for compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, and much more. Especially in serious spinal cord injury cases, a full and accurate assessment of your damages is vital. If your attorney fails to properly calculate what you will need in the future, you can’t go back and ask for more. For this reason, working with an attorney with experience handling these types of cases and an understanding of the medicine involved is essential.
The compensation for your injuries generally comes through an insurance policy held by the person or entity that caused the accident. However, insurance companies do not work for injured persons, they work for profit. Payments to injured persons are costs to the insurance company, and they will deny or reduce whichever claims they can to reduce costs and increase profits. Working with a Phoenix spinal cord injury lawyer helps to even the playing field with the insurance company.
How Much Does a Spinal Injury Lawyer Cost?
Contingency fees are the most common way that personal injury lawyers charge for their services. A contingency fee is a percentage of the money that you recover through a settlement or verdict in your case. For example, if you hire a lawyer on a contingency basis and you recover $100,000 through a settlement, your lawyer would receive $35,000 (assuming a 35% contingency fee).
There are several advantages to contingency fees for both lawyers and clients. It allows people who couldn’t otherwise afford an attorney to get the legal help they need. It also gives lawyers an incentive to only take cases that they believe have merit; if they don’t win or settle your case, they don’t get paid. Finally, it aligns the interests of the lawyer and the client; both want to see as high a recovery as possible.
Discuss Options with a Phoenix Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one have suffered a serious spinal cord injury in the Phoenix area, please contact The Entrekin Law Firm as soon as you are able. Our attorneys can help ensure that you receive the financial compensation that you will need and handle all interactions with insurance companies. You don’t have to face this trying time alone.
Schedule an appointment today to explore your legal options.