Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers

Spinal cord injuries can have devastating life-changing effects. Usually considered to be a catastrophic personal injury, these incidents are often the result of truck wrecks, auto accidents, workplace mishaps, or other types of major physical trauma.

Spinal cord injuries typically occur when a severe blow to the back, head, or neck dislocates or fractures vertebrae. The trauma may tear or bruise the spinal cord, leading to partial or total paralysis.

If you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident due to another party’s negligence, the spinal cord injury attorneys at Nix Patterson may help you receive compensation in a personal injury lawsuit.

Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are almost always sudden. Common causes of spinal cord injuries include:

  • Car and tractor-trailer accidents
  • Fall injuries
  • Sports
  • Diving into shallow water
  • Horse riding
  • Birth injuries

Possible Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms

After an accident, you should seek medical attention immediately if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • Loss of sensation (touch, cold, or heat) in any part of the body
  • Loss of movement
  • Exaggerated reflexes or spasms
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Reduction in sexual function
  • Difficulty breathing, coughing, or clearing your lungs
  • Intense pain and stinging caused by damaged spinal cord nerve fibers

How Paralysis Is Diagnosed

Your doctor will examine you if there are any of the above symptoms after the accident. The medical provider may perform the following tests to check for a spinal cord injury:

  • X-rays showing that fractured vertebrae damaged the spinal cord
  • An MRI or CT scan to check for a brain injury, stroke, or spinal cord injury
  • Electromyogram to check the electrical activity of muscles and nerves
  • Myelogram to check for nerve and spinal cord injuries

How Is a Spinal Cord Injury Treated?

Currently, there is no way to reverse the effects of most spinal cord injuries. However, scientists continue researching ways to improve care, including new medications and prostheses to help nerve cells regrow.

Some spinal cord injury victims may experience some improvement with medications that reduce nerve damage and reduce inflammation at the injury site. In addition, medical staff may use traction to stabilize the spine and keep it aligned to minimize further injury. Finally, a surgeon may operate to remove bone fragments, damaged vertebrae, and herniated discs.

After initial stabilization and treatment, your physicians will focus on physical therapy and rehabilitation. Your doctor may provide medicines to reduce pain, enhance bladder and bowel control, and even sexual performance.

What Is a Spinal Cord Injury Worth?

As with any case, your claim is worth whatever a jury is willing to award based on the evidence. However, many spinal cord injuries are grave and require a lifetime of rehabilitation, treatment, and care. Therefore, spinal cord injury settlements can be substantial. A large portion of a settlement usually goes toward paying your current and future medical costs.

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation notes that the cost of living with a spinal cord injury depends on the injury’s severity and location.

The average yearly costs for various kinds of spinal cord injuries are as follows. Note that the estimates include expenses for the first and subsequent years:

  • C1-C4 High Tetraplegia: $1.63 million in the first year; $202,000 in subsequent years
  • C5-C8 Low Tetraplegia: $840,000; $123,900
  • Paraplegia: $567,000; $75,100
  • Motor function at any level AIS D: $379,600; $46,100

Estimated lifetime costs are as follows. These figures are provided for someone who is 25 and 50 at the time of the injury:

  • C1-C4 High Tetraplegia: $5.1 million at 25; $2.5 million at 50
  • C5-C8 Low Tetraplegia: $3.7 million; $2.3 million
  • Paraplegia: $2.5 million; $1.6 million
  • Motor functional at any level AISD: $1.7 million; $1.2 million

Numbers like those above can used to support your case. Also critical to any settlement is the injured party’s level of education, income, and work history before the injury.

It is critical to hire a highly skilled and experienced spinal cord injury attorney after such a severe injury. As the above data shows, your ongoing medical care costs could be millions over the rest of your life. Unfortunately, few people have the financial resources for such expenses except through a successful settlement or lawsuit against the liable party.

How Pain and Suffering Damages Are Calculated After a Spinal Cord Injury

A large amount of spinal cord injury settlements comes from pain, suffering, and mental anguish compensation. Unfortunately, there is no precise rule to determine how much pain and suffering compensation you might receive.

However, if you can no longer move your arms or legs, there is significant suffering for which you should be compensated. When your spinal cord injury attorney calculates your pain and suffering, they will account for emotional anguish, chronic pain, and reduced quality of life.

Usually, the more severe the spinal cord injury, the more pain and suffering damages you can seek to recover.

Types of Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuits

Generally, you can file two kinds of lawsuits in a spinal cord injury case — personal injury and wrongful death. Compensation in a spinal cord personal injury lawsuit may include the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost past and future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of daily life
  • Loss of consortium

The surviving family can file a wrongful death lawsuit if someone dies from a spinal cord injury. A wrongful death lawsuit is similar to personal injury litigation that the injured person would have filed if they had lived.

Compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit may include medical bills, hospitalization, funeral costs, future lost earnings, the decedent’s pain and suffering, and your mental and emotional anguish over losing a loved one.

Contact a Nix Patterson Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Now

Whether your spinal cord injury is due to a fall, auto accident, or workplace injury, the experienced attorneys at Nix Patterson are dedicated to safeguarding your legal rights. Our spinal cord injury lawyers know how to handle this complex litigation and will help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.


Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below. 

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