spine injury

Texas Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys Advocating for You

Helping victims of paralysis and catastrophic injury across Austin, Dallas, and Fort Worth

The law requires individuals and businesses to do everything they can to act in a responsible manner and avoid putting the general public at risk. When wrongful conduct leads to an accident, particularly one with life-long consequences, the process of choosing which lawyers have the best knowledge of the law, the negotiation skills, and the passion with which to pursue your claim is absolutely critical.

We understand that, after a spinal cord injury, you may feel helpless facing your physical recovery and any potential legal actions. As you handle a seemingly endless cycle of medical care, you need a legal team to help you take back your life. The catastrophic injury attorneys at Slack Davis Sanger will identify all responsible parties for your injuries and work to secure a fair settlement. Our goal is to give you the peace of mind to navigate the rest of your journey.

“…Through this law case, your efficient and thoughtful communications have been very kind and helpful. You have performed your job perfectly.” – Sandra T., Client

What are the different types of spinal cord injuries?

A spinal cord injury, or SCI, is an injury to the spinal cord that causes loss of function or mobility. You typically hear the terms “paraplegia” or “tetraplegia” when talking about SCIs. Paraplegia refers to the loss of lower limb function, while tetraplegia is the loss of ability to use both upper and lower limbs.

The spinal cord does not need to be severed to cause severe injury, and in most SCI cases, the spinal cord suffers damage but remains intact. SCIs can be complete or incomplete. A complete SCI causes permanent damage to the affected area, usually resulting in paraplegia or tetraplegia. An incomplete SCI refers to partial damage, where the patient may have some ability to move or feel the affected part.

Further, there are four main types of SCIs: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral. The severity of the injury depends where on the spinal cord the injury occurs. Cervical injuries affect the head and neck area, making them the most severe. They can result in tetraplegia.

Thoracic injuries affect the upper chest, abdominal, and mid-back areas, often resulting in paraplegia but with movement of arms and hands. Lumbar area injuries generally impact the hips and legs, necessitating a wheelchair or braces. Sacral injuries can affect the thighs, hips, and pelvic area. Patients are typically able to walk with this type of injury.

Spine Injury C

Does a spinal cord injury mean permanent paralysis?

No. Depending on the type of injury a person experiences, and where it occurs on the spinal cord, they may not lose full mobility. No two SCIs are the same and, as the recovery process moves along, some patients retain (or regain) the ability to walk or feel sensation. However, this is fully dependent on whether the SCI is complete or incomplete, and the patient’s individual prognosis.

What’s the difference between spinal injury and spinal cord injury?

A person can also suffer injury to their spine without damaging the actual spinal cord. An injury to the spinal cord, an SCI, interrupts signals from the brain that sends signals up and down the spinal cord, resulting in loss of mobility.

Spinal injuries, however, do not necessarily affect the spinal cord. These types of injuries can include ruptured discs, fractured or dislocated vertebrae, misaligned vertebrae (subluxation), separated vertebrae, spinal stenosis, and herniated discs. All of these conditions can also cause a patient severe pain.

What are the most common causes of SCI?

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons reports that the leading cause of spinal cord injuries is motor vehicle accidents. Other common causes include falls, sports injuries, and assaults/violence. Spinal cord injuries may also be caused by worksite accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, or recreational accidents like diving or trampolines.

The attorneys at Slack Davis Sanger work to determine the cause of your spinal cord injury and hold the responsible party (or parties) accountable. We understand that, with these types of injuries, you may experience complications and symptoms for years after the initial accident.

What are complications from spinal cord injury?

An SCI can cause loss of motor and sensory function, but a host of complications may arise after the initial injury – months or years later. Spinal cord injury patients are at a greater risk of complications affecting systems like the circulatory, respiratory, and musculoskeletal. Conditions to watch out for include pneumonia, pressure ulcers, blood clots, sepsis, broken bones, and bladder and kidney stones.

What are the lifetime costs of a spinal cord injury?

The costs of living with a spinal cord injury can be massive. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) states that the average 25-year-old who experiences a severe SCI can expect to spend about $5 million in health care and living expenses over the course of their life. The cost for a 50-year-old patient is nearly $2 million.

Further, although medical advancements have significantly improved over the years, life expectancy for SCI patients remain “significantly below life expectancies of persons without SCI. Mortality rates are significantly higher during the first year after injury than during subsequent years, particularly for persons with the most severe neurological impairments.”

The costs the NSCISC does not take into account are the pain and suffering, and the intangible losses from a spinal cord injury. An SCI is a life-changing injury that can alter the course of your entire life, not only affecting your ability to earn a living, but also your ability to interact with and care for your loved ones, participate in your favorite activities, and all the other things that you enjoyed in life before your accident.

Why do I need a Texas spinal cord injury attorney?

The attorneys at Slack Davis Sanger have decades of experience representing clients with catastrophic injuries. We understand the depth and complexity of a spinal cord injury, and how it can affect every aspect of your life and well-being. When we take your case, we call our network of experts and resources, including our own legal nurse consultant, to paint a full picture of what your accident and injuries have truly cost. We seek full and fair compensation on your behalf:

Medical expenses, current and ongoing. These can include hospitalizations, surgeries, physical and occupational therapy, medical devices, and any necessary nursing assistance.

Disability-related expenses, like modifications to your home or vehicle.

Lost earnings, including time lost from work due to your accident, and future earning capacity from loss of ability to earn the same living you were before your injuries.

Emotional distress, which means those intangible losses like mental anguish, loss of companionship, and pain and suffering.

Tenacious spinal cord injury attorneys serving Texas

Spinal cord injuries are among the most devastating a person can experience. Don’t try to take on the insurance companies alone – there is too much at stake. The experienced and strategic injury attorneys at Slack Davis Sanger can help. Let us fight for compensation on your behalf while you take the time you need to heal. To schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Austin, Dallas, or Fort Worth, please call 800-455-8686 or fill out our contact form.