Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys
One type of catastrophic injury that will devastate your quality of life is a spinal cord injury. The spinal cord, an essential part of the nervous system, allows the brain to communicate with the body. Injuries to the spinal cord frequently cause paralysis and/or severe chronic pain.
A strong financial position is often necessary to restore a patient’s quality of life after a spinal cord injury. Unfortunately, large corporate defendants and their insurers are almost never willing to offer fair compensation at the outset of a catastrophic injury case. Even in cases where fault is clear, insurers typically offer the bare minimum – hoping injured victims will not access an attorney. Accepting the bare minimum without first speaking with an attorney, will make it difficult for patients to continually access the medical care needed for a full recovery. Instead, when the bare minimum is accepted, what once seemed like a large amount of money can quickly run out.
Here is what all patients dealing with spinal cord injuries should know and how we at the Stoddard Firm can help.
How Spinal Cord Injuries Occur
Spinal cord injuries can have a tremendous range of severity, from whiplash to complete paralysis, and they can occur in a number of different situations including car accidents, workplace accidents, falling accidents, and other accidents caused by the negligence of others. Even a slip and fall can result in a slipped or herniated spinal disk that impedes a patient’s quality of life leading to a fusion surgery. Back and spinal cord injuries can cause chronic pain and hamper the ability of the patient to complete the basic tasks of daily life, such as lifting or standing for extended periods of time. In other situations, back and spinal cord injuries can cause paralysis requiring the use of wheelchairs and home healthcare nurses.
Injuries of this nature can place an enormous amount of stress on both patients and their families. Typically, patients encounter steep financial costs, lost wages, changes in the family dynamic, and emotional angst. Patients experiencing catastrophic spinal cord injuries should understand their legal options and work with a legal team that has experience in this field.
Impact of Georgia Spinal Injuries on Patients and Their Loved Ones
The impact of a spinal cord injury on patients and their loved ones can be tremendous.
- Patients must first face their physical recovery. This often physically painful experience is coupled with mounting medical bills, extended hospital stays, intensive treatment, the installation of medical devices in the home, occupational therapy to increase the activities of daily living, and physical therapy and strength training.
- Patients may also face a challenging emotional and mental recovery. Catastrophic injuries can be devastating mentally because a patient’s future life plan has suddenly shifted, and the family dynamic is often drastically different. Many patients may find themselves struggling with depression or anxiety following their injury, particularly if the injury severely changed their daily life. Patients may also face conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following extremely traumatic incidents.
- It will also be important, when possible, for patients to eventually rejoin the workforce – although often in a different job role. It is common for patients who endure spinal cord injuries to change their career path, and these patients may need to go through training or other education to start a new job. Of course, some patients will be unable to work at all, and may need to pursue disability benefits, and/or rely on other family members to earn an income.
What Patients Should do After a Catastrophic Injury
When a patient has a catastrophic injury, their primary priority should be recovery to maximum medical improvement. While seeking medical care should be the first step, such care is costly, benefits sometimes run out, and achieving maximum medical improvement is not a complete fix. As a result, patients should quickly seek legal advice to learn more about whether or not they have a case and what forms of compensation may be available.
If the injury occurred because of the action or inaction of another, seeking justice can also help patients cope with a spinal cord injury. By working with legal counsel, patients and their loved ones will know the appropriate steps to take to ensure maximum compensation.
If you have endured a spinal cord injury, we invite you to reach out to us at the Stoddard Firm. Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help you.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I have a case?
If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you could have a personal injury case. Every situation is different, so there’s no way to know if you have a case without consulting with a qualified personal injury attorney. If you are badly injured or a loved one has died, we are happy to speak with you and investigate the matter at no charge.
How do I pick the right attorney?
You’ll want to look for several qualities when choosing who will represent you. Your attorney should meet with you instead of sending an investigator, and he/she should be available throughout the process instead of having you consistently talk to a legal assistant. Your attorney should have a low number of cases so he/she can devote significant time to you and your case. Your attorney should have experience handling cases with facts similar to yours, and your attorney should have a proven track record with similar claims. Your attorney should also be able to devote significant money to your case so that he/she can hire experts, travel the country finding witnesses, and depose whomever is necessary to achieve justice. It’s also important to make sure your attorney is the right fit on a personal level, which is why you should take advantage of a free consultation.
What do I need to bring with me to the consultation?
For your free consultation, bring all relevant documents that you’ve collected regarding your case. If there are police reports, bills or correspondence from insurance companies, you’ll want to bring those items to the consultation so an attorney can learn as much about your case as possible.
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
There is a time limit on how long a person has after an injury to begin a lawsuit. This window is called a statute of limitations. For most personal injury cases in Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years from the time the injury was suffered. However, there are exceptions and subtleties that might change the amount of time you are afforded. Sometimes the period can be as short as 6 months, and other times it can be much longer than two years. Determining the statute of limitations requires a detailed analysis of the facts of your case.
What do your services cost?
A consultation with the Stoddard Law Firm is free. In most circumstances, we earn no fee unless we win your case. If your claim is successful, we take a percentage of the recovered amount.
What has to be proven in a premises liability case?
A successful premises liability claim must show that a hazardous condition exposed you to an unreasonable risk of harm and that the property owner failed to exercise reasonable care to maintain a safe premises. Common examples include slippery floors, unstable structures, broken handrails, stairs not built to code, scalding apartment shower water, natural gas explosions, electrical shocks, and improperly fenced swimming pools. There are several factors that can make or break a case, which is why it’s important to work with an experienced lawyer who can thoroughly investigate the situation.
How is negligent security different from premises liability?
Negligent security is a type of premises liability. These claims arise when a person is assaulted on someone else’s property by a third-party. Owners of apartment complexes, hotels, gas stations, and other retail establishments can sometimes be held liable if their inadequate security practices contributed to the attack. Such practices include failure to warn of prior crimes, inadequate lighting, broken access gates, broken locks, and failure to provide security guards.
How can an attorney help me?
Whether your injury was mild or severe, proving fault for premises liability can be a complex process. The standard of care owed by the property owner is made up of many factors and, in some cases, the hazardous conditions may no longer exist. A skilled premises liability attorney knows how to gather and preserve the necessary evidence – and how to defend you against accusations that you should have known about the dangerous condition.
How do I choose an attorney?
There are a lot of lawyers out there, so it’s important to select one that you feel comfortable with and who inspires confidence. Choose one who has experience with the type of claim you have, is qualified, has a good reputation in the legal community, and seems dedicated to helping you win your case.
How do I pay an attorney?
The Stoddard Firm handles litigation on a contingency basis. This means we accept a percentage of the amount we recover for you. If your claim does not have a successful resolution, we do not collect any fee. We are also pleased to offer free consultations.