Wells Trumbull of Seattle Is Your Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Spinal cord injuries are devastating and coping with the consequences of a spinal cord injury can be difficult. Some people will never regain feeling or mobility, and others may find it challenging to live an everyday life.
A person who suffers an injury to their spinal cord will often find their entire life changed. While unable to do even minor activities in life, such as moving or bathing themselves, victims who suffer from a spinal cord injury (SCI) will be forced to rely on others and/or expensive medical care to survive each day.
The spinal cord is a part of the central nervous system and aids in sensations, movement, and immune function. It carries information between the nerve signals that are sent between the brain and the body. An accident that damages the spinal cord can cause severe damage to a person’s ability to perform daily activities.
If you or someone you love suffers a spinal cord injury in an accident caused by someone else’s carelessness or negligence, there are steps you can take to protect your rights and file a claim.
You deserve compensation for your future medical expenses, physical therapy, and personal damages for your injury! Call our spinal cord injury attorneys today at Wells Trumbull, a law firm in Seattle, WA, to discuss your case! Our attorneys will ensure that you have the best medical care possible to achieve the highest level of recovery.
Let us be here for you during this difficult time. Our team of compassionate Snohomish personal injury lawyers is well-equipped to help you recover financially after suffering from a devastating bodily injury due to negligence. Don’t hesitate – make the smart choice and contact the reliable, experienced Seattle spinal cord lawyers of Wells Trumbull for your free consultation. Contact us at (360)435-1663 today.
How Do Spinal Cord Injuries Occur?
A spinal cord injury can occur suddenly, usually due to being placed in an unexpected or dangerous situation. Some causes of an SCI can be a car accident, medical malpractice, or becoming the victim of a violent crime. The cause of a spinal cord injury is less important than what it takes to treat them properly. The treatment for this type of injury never ends up being quick, painless, or free of charge.
Victims of these types of accidents are often suffering for years after the accident has taken place. These accidents are usually caused by others’ negligence or lack of responsibility.
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center has found that the most common causes of these types of injuries stem from:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents (truck or a car accident): Responsible for 38.2% Spinal Cord Injuries
- Falls: Responsible for 32.3% Spinal Cord Injury Cases
- Violence: Responsible for 14.3% Spinal Cord Injury Cases
- Sports & Recreation: Responsible for 7.8% Spinal Cord Injury Cases
- Medical Malpractice: Responsible for 4.1% Spinal Cord Injury Cases
Many patients with a spinal cord injury claim to experience long-term effects, which may include paralysis. Aside from the injuries themselves, many conditions can also cause or contribute to the development of mental impairment, balance issues, constant pain, and nerve damage.
What Makes a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Different From Other Lawyers?
A spinal cord injury (SCI) is incredibly complex. An SCI involves many different doctors and disciplines. They also involve more than one party who has played some role in your injury.
SCI’s are among the most costly types of injuries that people can experience. The costs can range from thousands of dollars to millions, depending on the type of care required for victims. When our spinal cord injury lawyers take on a case, we need to figure out what your lifetime cost will be so that we can recover financial compensation for your future.
- Expensive medical care, hospital bills, occupational therapy, medication, surgeries, medical devices, and ongoing treatment.
- Battles with an insurance company or worker’s compensation claim.
- Costly technology devices and services, including scooters, stairlifts, home elevators, wheelchair ramps, and software, allowing individuals to work, play, and live more independently.
- Future finances, including lost wages.
- When you are no longer employed and facing a gap in health insurance, you may be faced with the burden of paying for out-of-pocket medical expenses.
- Persistent pain and/or discomfort
- Unable to sustain the same quality of life after the incident
- Anxiety, stress, and depression can increase.
- Physical, psychological, and emotional challenges
Any number of circumstances can cause a spinal cord injury. If you or a loved one has a severely injured spinal cord through no fault of your own, receiving the right legal advice from a Seattle spinal cord injury attorney can prove extremely helpful in navigating a complex legal procedure.
An experienced spinal cord injury lawyer in Seattle is prepared to aggressively fight on your behalf if you suspect that you have an SCI due to negligence, intentional harm, or unintentional harm. We have all the resources needed to handle what might feel like an overly complicated legal.
Four Major Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
The spine has four main regions: The cervical (the neck), the thoracic (the back), the lumbar (the middle bottom part of the spine), and the sacral (the base of the spine just above the tailbone). The four main regions of the spine are known to help determine the location of an injury. The region that suffers injury will determine what kind of pain or symptoms one may have.
Neck injuries are very dangerous, especially ones to the cervical region of the spine. Neck problems may cause quadriplegia – when both your arms and legs are paralyzed. Additionally, you might have weakness in some regions of the body. Symptoms may include numbness in one or more hands or feet, bowel or bladder dysfunction, or sexual dysfunction.
A spinal cord injury in the chest area is less common because the rib cage protects the spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries in the chest area are usually not fatal, but they can have severe and long-lasting effects. Many people who get hurt in the chest area lose muscle function, making a recovery and getting back to everyday life difficult.
Injury to the lumbar nerves in the lower back affects the hip and legs. Wheelchairs may be required in some cases, while others can walk with braces, and some victims experience loss of bowel and bladder control. Injuries might result in paraplegia (paralysis of the legs and lower body). Depending on one’s strength in the legs, a person with a lumbar injury may need a wheelchair.
A sacral injury can cause a person to lose bowel and bladder control and limited or no sexual functions. These injuries can lead to weakness or paralysis of the hips and legs.
Spinal cord injuries can have devastating and life-changing effects. At Wells Trumbull, we will aggressively pursue those responsible for your injury. We understand the severe consequences that such an injury involves and will work diligently to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries and future losses. As your spinal cord injury lawyer, all we do is help people with severe injuries.
Incomplete Injury vs. Complete Injury of the Spinal Column
There are two types of spinal cord injuries a person can have – complete and incomplete spinal injuries. While both types of spinal cord damage are dangerous, complete spinal cord injury results in an inability to move or feel. Incomplete paralysis is categorized as anything from loss of bladder or bowel control to partial limb movement or partial sensation.
Depending on where the injury occurs, you should recognize how complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries can impact you and the long-term results.
Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury
Incomplete injury refers to instances where nerve damage affects some parts of the body more than others. Someone with this type of injury may move one arm or leg more than another with an incomplete SCI.
For example, a mild incomplete SCI may result in barely noticeable effects. However, a severe incomplete spinal cord injury may present itself as having the same symptoms as a complete spinal cord injury.
Complete Spinal Cord Injury
When you suffer a complete SCI, it means that your nervous system has been heavily affected, and you may require extensive rehabilitation to regain function in the limbs connected to the upper brainstem.
The word “complete” means that due to the damage your spine sustained during your accident, you’ve now lost all ability to use any muscles or limbs connected directly with the spinal cord. For example, if you suffer a complete cervical spinal cord injury, you may now have quadriplegia. It’s important to note that this term does not imply paralysis. When someone has quadriplegia, it does not mean they are without feeling or sensitivity.
How to Tell the Difference
People with spinal cord injuries require medical care immediately. Once in the emergency room, doctors will examine them to see if they have any activity or communication below the affected area of the spine. The doctor may utilize an X-ray, CT scan, and MRI scan to diagnose a spinal cord injury.
It may be hard to tell the difference between a complete and incomplete SCI in the early days after an accident. Once the swelling goes down after about 7 – 10 days, the doctor can then distinguish between the two types of injuries (complete or incomplete injuries).
Once the swelling is down, a qualified doctor will conduct a thorough neurological exam of your body. Here are some things they look for:
- Ask the person questions about what symptoms they are experiencing, what other health conditions they have, etc.
- Examine the spinal canal for any visible signs of spinal injury.
- Carry out a physical examination of the patient and where the injury occurred.
- A doctor may perform several tests to determine a patient’s condition regarding muscle, spinal nerves, physical injury, and nerve control.
Both complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries occur due to damage to a person’s spinal cord. A spinal cord injury caused by a motor vehicle accident often has different recovery strategies than an injury caused at a construction site.
In summary, complete spinal cord injuries mean that the affected person will lose some or most of their sensations and movement after being injured. While an incomplete cord injury, by contrast, there will still be some sensation and movement present after the injury has occurred.
What Do Spinal Cord Injury Victims Experience?
The spinal cord is a long, narrow bundle of nerves that runs from the brain to the rest of the body. When there is a spinal cord injury, your spinal cord can stop working. This means that the parts of the body that the spinal cord controls will no longer work the way they used to. According to the Mayo Clinic, the following bodily functions will be affected:
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Changes in sexual functions
- Respiratory Problems
- Circulation Problems
- Difficulty with balance and walking
- Nerve pain, numbness, or tingling
- Weakness or paralysis in any part of your body
- Difficult feeling hot or cold
- A strangely twisted neck or back.
Take legal action if you have suffered in an accident caused by another person or entity that resulted in personal injury or damage to your spinal cord. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, speak to a physician first. Then it may be helpful to talk with a Wells Trumbull spinal cord injury attorney in Seattle who has handled these types of cases in the past with success.
What You Need to Know About a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit
In spinal cord injury settlements, the amount of money you’re going to be awarded will depend on several factors. There are a few guidelines that factor into the calculation of spinal cord injury lawsuits:
Plaintiff’s Health & Age
Younger plaintiffs are typically awarded higher settlements since they have many more years of life ahead and, therefore, likely have more medical bills. This gives rise to the fact that the injury will come at a much more significant loss. An injury taking ten years of potential activity away from an older adult versus 40 years of possible activity for a younger person will be viewed much differently when it comes to damages.
Nature of the Injuries
The severity of your injuries impacts the type of settlement you can expect to receive. This is why people who suffer serious, life-threatening injuries will get larger payments than people who get by without too much harm done. If you sustain a severe injury in a car accident, don’t be surprised when pain and suffering-related damages rise in value.
When you sue for an SCI, you’re not just suing for suffering or your future medical bills. You can also sue for future earnings, loss of your ability to provide for your family, your permanent disability, or any other factors that may affect how much you get compensated following an accident.
Sometimes you can be in a situation where it’s challenging to know the best course of action—settling your case or going to trial? In some cases, if you think you have a good case and your evidence is strong, the other party may try to settle. They know it doesn’t make sense to go to trial with a strong case already in place.
Say you’re suing a hospital for medical malpractice for a million dollars. That hospital is unlikely to pay out that claim if you can’t even prove that the doctor’s actions were the exact cause of your injuries. Conversely, if you have undisputed evidence, the hospital might be afraid to face a jury, thereby giving them a solid incentive to settle the medical malpractice lawsuit.
The primary purpose of a lawsuit is to recover your out-of-pocket and future medical expenses. Your Wells Trumbull spinal cord injury lawyer in Seattle will be negotiating with the insurance company to ensure that you get reimbursed in the settlement. This money will be essential when it comes time for you to pay future medical costs!
When it comes to SCI cases, medical bills constitute the bulk of a settlement or jury award, so high medical bills that come with severe injuries will significantly increase your case’s value.
Cause of the SCI
While every spinal cord injury case is unique, the one thing each person who has sustained such an injury needs to know is whether or not they have a valid claim. Typically, a claim for spinal cord injury damages belongs to one of two categories:
Negligence can occur when a person or business doesn’t follow reasonable rules of conduct, resulting from a lack of action. To win such a case, you must prove that there was an obligation to act in a certain way, and negligence resulted in your injuries on the defendant’s part.
Product liability is a vital part of consumer law, and it holds manufacturers responsible when injuries occur due to a design or manufacturing flaw in a product. The defect can be linked to inadequate warnings and instructions that render the product’s use far more dangerous than anticipated.
In a product liability lawsuit, an individual who can establish a valid claim against the manufacturer or seller of the defective product must be able to prove that there was an undisputed connection between the defect(s) and the resulting injury(s).
For example, a spinal cord injury lawyer in Seattle will review a company’s manufacturing process to determine if the product liability lawsuit has the potential to move forward and recover compensation. When a spinal cord injury attorney can prove negligence, you may be entitled to a settlement. A settlement can be a large sum of money that can help you with medical expenses, lost wages, and overall pain and suffering that may have occurred
What Damages Can Your Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Pursue?
At Wells Trumbull, we are passionate about helping you pursue fair compensation for your severe personal injury. Our Seattle-based spinal cord injury lawyers can review your neck or back injury case and tell you what it might be worth. The defendant may owe you compensation because of their negligence.
Here are some of the damages you can seek for a spinal cord injury lawsuit:
Pain and Suffering
Injuries to the neck and back are not fun. While any personal injury can be inconvenient, neck and back injuries are the most painful, causing stiffness, immobility, chronic pain, or emotional distress. A personal injury lawsuit has strict time frames to file a claim, so we urge you to give us a call as soon as you’ve been injured! These are all compensable damages in Washington.
Suppose a person suffers a severe spinal cord injury and cannot work. In that case, they may seek financial compensation to help offset the cost of lifelong medical expenses, live-in care, home or vehicle modifications, and loss of consortium.
You have the possibility of recovering 100% of all your expenses from a successful case. You may receive treatment, medication, medicines, hospital stay, x-rays, and ambulance fees – among many other costs due to your spinal cord injury.
Lost Wages and Future Earnings
After you have sustained injuries in an accident, chances are you won’t be able to get back to your job right away, if at all. In the most severe of cases, one might not even be able to work again. If your injury caused you to change careers, miss income, receive a lower-paying job, etc., make sure you list these losses. This will help you negotiate and collect compensation for your injuries & medical bills.
If you seek help obtaining long-term disability benefits for a personal injury, our experienced attorneys can provide highly personalized service to ensure your long-term security. It’s in your best interest to find a team that understands how to maximize the value of your case. That’s why we encourage you to contact the law firm of Wells Trumbull for a free spinal injury case evaluation today. We know how to get you the compensation you need and deserve.
The 5 Steps Involved in a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit You Need to Know
A serious spinal cord injury requires continuous medical attention. You may also need to speak with a lawyer about filing a claim. However, before you can file for damages and recover compensation, it’s essential to understand the basic steps involved with any spinal cord injury claim.
Don’t assume that your accident will always follow a standard pattern. There are several factors that will determine whether or not your personal injury claim is successful. The severity of your injuries, who’s responsible for the accident, and the many different ways to settle a personal injury case will play an essential factor in how your case is handled and concluded.
Whether your injury was caused by a car accident, a severe fall, a workplace injury, a truck accident, or any other type of accident, here are the five basics steps involved in your spinal injury case:
1) FIRST MEETING
When first meeting with the Wells Trumbull team, we will discuss the grounds for your possible case (determining whether negligence was involved). This will involve detailed conversation and questions about you or your loved one, the injury, the circumstances, and how the condition has impacted life.
2) DRAFT REPRESENTATION CONTRACTS
Attorneys will meet and go over the details of the contract and clarify representation for this case. It’s common for SCI attorneys to use a contingency fee agreement, meaning that the attorney does not get paid unless there is recovery through either a trial or a settlement.
Once you have agreed on a contract with your personal injury lawyer, the investigation period of your injury case begins. During this investigation, they will try to gather as much evidence as possible concerning your case. They will identify all potential avenues of recovery, including individuals, corporations, and insurance policies that are available.
4) COMMUNICATION WITH THE INSURANCE COMPANIES
Your personal injury lawyer will likely send out letters of representation to the insurance companies involved in the claim during this time. This generally consists of corresponding back and forth with each involved party, including potential defendants or witnesses who may have information about your spinal cord injury case. This part of the lawsuit usually runs on a 30-90 day calendar which may require your experienced lawyer to make multiple attempts at contacting all parties based on this timeline.
5) POTENTIAL SETTLEMENT
Wells Trumbull will be a valuable resource for you if you ever find yourself involved in a legal dispute. They know what your options are, and they know how the system works.
Some clients will instead take a settlement if they have a long-term injury, while others prefer trial. Though these decisions ultimately depend on the injury victim, Wells Trumbull will be there to support you either way!
Wells Trumbull Free Case Evaluation for Your Spinal Cord Injury Case
A spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury can be very hard on people and their families. It can be hard to know what to do and who to turn to for help. Our law firm has experience in spinal cord injury claims and can help you. We have helped many people with spinal cord injuries get the money they need to pay for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Spinal cord injury victims will have a limited amount of time to file a spinal cord injury lawsuit. Washington has a 3-year statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit related to a personal injury case, including car accidents, traumatic brain injury, and medical malpractice.