If someone close to you sustained a spinal cord injury in a McAllen car accident, slip and fall, or another event caused by someone’s reckless actions, the spinal cord injury survivor will face the challenge of adapting to a new life. The medical expenses in the first year alone may exceed $1 million. You may be entitled to seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of income and other monetary losses.
The McAllen spinal cord injury attorneys of Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. have nearly two decades of experience representing accident victims throughout McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley. Our law firm has the resources to help you too, if you have been seriously injured by someone else’s carelessness. Call us at (361) 882-4357 or contact us online today to schedule your free initial consultation and learn more about your legal options.
Why You Need a McAllen Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center estimates that approximately 294,000 Americans currently live with spinal cord injuries. There are at least 17,810 new spinal injury cases every year. Spinal cord injuries can result from a variety of different negligent actions.
Spinal cord injuries are among the most serious cases handled by our McAllen personal injury lawyers at Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. Many SCI victims suffer significant financial losses in addition to severe physical trauma.
Even a minor spinal injury can leave victims with physical limitations and chronic pain for the rest of their lives. Treatment is expensive. You will need to explore all possible sources of financial support.
When you hire Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C., our McAllen spinal cord injury lawyers will prepare your case thoroughly to offer the best chance at a successful claim by:
- Explaining your legal rights
- Conducting a thorough investigation into the incident that caused your spinal injury
- Collecting evidence to support your claim
- Filing insurance paperwork and communicating with creditors on your behalf
- Negotiating for a full and fair settlement to compensate you for your losses
- Representing you in court, if no reasonable settlement can be reached
Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is a delicate column of nerves that stretches from the base of the brain stem through the length of the spine. Together with the brain, it comprises the central nervous system (CNS). It transmits nerve impulses between your brain and the rest of your body. The spinal cord is protected by the vertebrae in the spinal column.
When the spinal cord, vertebrae, or any other structures that protect it are damaged, the resulting trauma is referred to as a spinal cord injury. Because the spinal cord is such a vital part of the central nervous system, nearly all injuries to the spinal column are quite serious. Minor spinal cord injuries may result in temporary or permanent decreases in a patient’s range of mobility or feeling. The most severe spinal cord injuries can cause a total loss of sensation and paralysis.
The location of a spinal cord injury has a significant impact on the side effects patients may suffer. Generally speaking, the higher the location of the injury on the spinal column, the greater the severity. Spinal cord injuries in the mid or lower back may result in decreased range of motion throughout the legs and trunk. Spinal cord injuries in the upper back or neck may cause total paralysis from the neck down.
Spinal cord injury patients often face a difficult road to recovery, even with medical attention. Unfortunately, some patients never fully recover from the effects of spinal cord trauma. Many must adapt to a new lifestyle that involves modifications to their house.
Common Causes of McAllen Spinal Cord Injuries
Every McAllen spinal cord injury is different, but many are the result of common causes. According to a 2020 study conducted by the NSCISC, the most prevalent causes of spinal cord injuries in recent years have been:
- Traffic accidents, including truck accidents, car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and collisions between motor vehicles and bicycles or pedestrians. In recent years, motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, accounting for 38.6 percent of all injuries.
- Fall accidents, which account for a third of all spinal cord injuries. Slip and falls are particularly among the elderly. A fall injury can occur in an unsafe premises accident, a sporting incident, or an accident at a construction site or other workplace.
- Acts of violence, which are the cause of approximately 14 percent of spinal cord injuries. Gunshot wounds are a particularly dangerous form of spinal cord injuries since bullets can tear through muscle, bone, and even the spinal cord itself.
- Sports and recreation accidents, especially those from high-impact activities such as football, diving, water skiing, boating, and cheerleading. Sporting accidents account for 7.8 percent of spinal cord injuries in the U.S.
- Medical and surgical errors, which account for 4.2 percent of all spinal cord injuries. If surgeons or other healthcare providers are negligent during medical procedures involving the back, neck, or spine, accidental trauma can lead to spinal cord injury.
Who Is Most Likely to Suffer a Spinal Cord Injury in McAllen?
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center released data in 2020 regarding the prevalence of spinal cord injuries among various population groups. The report revealed several insights regarding the people who are statistically more likely to suffer spinal cord injuries, such as:
- Since 2015, the average age of spinal cord injury patients has been approximately 43 years old. This represents a significant increase from the average age of SCI incidence in the 1970s, which was 29 years old.
- Men are significantly more likely to sustain spinal cord injuries than women. More than three-quarters of all new injury cases reported since 2015 involve males.
- Black Americans are at especially high risk for spinal cord injury. African Americans accounted for nearly 24 percent of all reported spinal cord injuries since 2015.
Complications Associated with McAllen Spinal Cord Injuries
Many people know that spinal cord injuries often result in total or partial paralysis or loss of physical sensation, but there are many other potential complications associated with these injuries. According to the United Spinal Association, some of the most common spinal cord injury health complications include:
- Chronic pain – Although sensory problems are common after spinal cord injuries, patients often report pain related to nerve or musculoskeletal damage following an initial spinal cord injury. Patients may feel pain in parts of the body that otherwise have limited or no sensation.
- Pressure sores – When spinal cord injury patients experience a loss of sensation, it increases the risk of developing bed sores, which occur when parts of the skin or other soft tissues are damaged from a lack of blood flow. Patients with limited feeling may remain in one position too long, cutting off circulation to a particular area and increasing the likelihood of a pressure injury.
- Spasticity – When motor signals are disrupted as they travel through damaged spinal columns, some patients suffer from uncontrollable twitches, jerks, or stiffened muscles. This condition, known as spasticity, affects between 65 and 78 percent of spinal cord injury survivors.
- Changes in bowel and bladder control – An injury to the spinal cord can impair a patient’s ability to control the function of their bowel or bladder. Uncontrollable contraction or retention may lead to secondary issues such as incontinence and urinary tract infections.
- Respiratory issues – When patients sustain injuries near the top of the spinal cord, the diaphragm may be weakened as a result, leading to breathing problems. A patient may require tracheostomy surgery or a ventilator to restore normal respiratory function.
- Changes in mental health – Depression is common among spinal cord injury patients, affecting as much as 37 percent of the population. Loss of independence, quality of life, and sexual function can change patients’ lives completely, as can the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder from traumatic accidents.
Contact a Skilled McAllen Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
If a loved one has sustained a spinal cord injury, the personal injury lawyers of Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. can help you understand your legal options and whether your loved one is entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit and seek compensation. In addition to our location in McAllen, Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. has offices in Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and Brownsville. Our Accident Investigative Team is ready to assist wherever a spinal cord injury accident occurs in south Texas.
Our bilingual staff members are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for free, confidential consultations in English and Spanish. We are happy to represent McAllen spinal cord injury clients at no upfront cost, so there is no risk to you to reach out to our team right now. Call us at (361) 882-4357 or fill out our online contact form to start taking action in your spinal cord injury case today.