Dallas Spinal Injury Lawyer
For spine injury victims, the stakes are high, and the consequences can be life-changing. If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury in Dallas, you are entitled to compensation. In fact, depending on what happened and what caused your injury, you may be able to seek punitive damages, too.
Hundreds of new spinal cord injuries (SCI) impact the lives of Texans in Dallas every year. The worst part about it is this: most SCIs are caused by preventable accidents. So, due to someone else’s negligence, another person suffers a spinal cord injury and, statistically speaking, is at high risk for death within the first year after the accident.
At Crain Brogdon, LLP, our Dallas spinal cord injury attorney will treat you like a family member, and we always want the best for our family members. We use our resources, creative minds, and legal skills to pursue your claim and to maximize the compensation you receive.
Get help today from our experienced spinal cord injury attorney. Call us at 214-522-9404.
Back Injury Lawyers in Dallas Who Get the Kind of Results You Need
There’s no doubt about it, spinal and back injuries are serious. A spinal injury impacts the bundle of nerves in the backbone, and these nerves carry messages to the brain. When those nerves are impaired, the injured person loses partial or full muscle control and sensation. Even the most minor of spinal injuries can be distressing and impact the quality of your life.
Spinal cord injuries are also expensive to treat. Mortality rates are high for those who suffer from one. And most SCI victims do not regain employment. We do not say these things to scare you, but merely to recognize the toll that spinal and back injuries can take. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCSC) provides regular reports on SCI facts; as recently as 2021, it claims that the . . .
- Average yearly expenses (health care costs and living expenses) directly attributed to a spinal cord injury range from $379,698 to $1,163,425, depending on the severity of the injury.
- Average lifetime costs range from $1,724,594 to $5,162,152, depending on the severity of the injury and the age of the injured party.
- Life expectancy dramatically decreases for survivors of spinal cord injuries. For example, a 20-year-old without a spinal injury has another 59.4 years to live, statistically. That expectation drops significantly when a 20-year-old suffers a spinal injury and survives the first 24 hours––depending on the severity of the SCI, the expectancy is 10 to 52.1 years. The expectancy decreases more as the age of the victim increases.
- Occupational status declines dramatically. For example, at the time of injury, 68.3 percent of injured persons were employed, but one year later, only 18.2 percent are employed.
Those are harsh numbers, and that’s why our spinal cord injury lawyer does everything in their power to get the compensation you need. We at Crain Brodgon Rogers, LLP, aim high and work hard to obtain maximum compensation that the law will allow. That takes putting together a strong team, including expert witnesses like:
- Accident reconstruction experts
- Vocational rehabilitation experts
- Life care planners.
Because our spinal cord injury attorneys in Dallas care, we take on the hard cases, even when a successful outcome may not be as easily attainable. We have a combined 125+ years of experience, and we use it to your benefit.
Our focus is on the compensation because we know that’s what our clients need. We never settle unless it is in your best interest and produces maximum results.
What Compensation Can Our Spinal Injury Lawyers Obtain?
In any personal injury or wrongful death claim, you have the right to seek economic and non-economic damages. In rare cases, you may be able to seek punitive damages, but, pursuant to Tex. C.P.R. § 41.008, punitive damages are limited. Keep in mind, too, that regardless of what you seek in terms of compensation and/or punitive damages, the insurance company or any other defendant will do what they can to reduce or avoid a payout.
Understanding Economic and Non-Economic Damages in Spinal Injury Cases
Economic damages are compensatory damages for actual costs. (Tex. C.P.R. § 41.001). Actual costs include but are not limited to:
- Medical bills (present and future)
- Loss of income or wages (present and future)
- Loss of earning capacity (present and future)
- Transportation to/from doctor appointments/therapy/other
- In-home assistance and renovations.
Spinal cord injury claims are costly in many ways. To consider the economic damages, we look at all your expenses and losses to date, but we also consider future expenses and losses. You can easily spend hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your life in medical bills related to the injury. You also have a high risk of not being able to work––and if you can work, chances are you will not be able to do or make what you would have if you had never been injured. We also consider expenses in day-to-day living, like continued assistance at home or the need to install a wheelchair ramp and other modifications in the home.
A spinal injury isn’t a broken arm where it heals and you return to life as usual. With a spinal injury, life may never return to usual.
That’s why non-economic damages are critical in these types of personal injury cases, simply because quality of life can be severely and detrimentally impacted. Non-economic damages refer to intangible losses that are not easily monetarily quantified. According to Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 41.001, noneconomic damages include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental or emotional pain or anguish
- Loss of consortium, disfigurement
- Physical impairment
- Loss of companionship and society
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Injury to reputation
- All other nonpecuniary losses of any kind other than exemplary damages.
A precise test or calculation to determine the value of non-economic damages does not exist. There are factors that help determine a value, and these factors include but are not limited to:
- Severity or extent of the spinal cord or back injury (e.g., complete versus incomplete spinal cord injury)
- Current and anticipated costs of medical bills
- Emotional impact
- Overall health
- Current and anticipated employment status.
Insurance companies, however, will fight to lower the value of compensatory damages. We at Crain Brogdon, LLP, use our network of experts and our legal experience to fight back and make sure you get maximum compensation.
Fighting Insurance Companies Who Want to Minimize or Avoid Compensation
Insurance companies are well-equipped with experienced, well-paid attorneys who have the company’s profit margins as their priority. They use Texas’ modified comparative negligence law to blame the victim for their injury.
As a modified comparative negligence state, Texas allows victims to demand compensation for injuries even when they are partially at fault. Specifically, in Texas, you can be 50% at fault or less and still recover, but anything over 50% bars you from recovery. Insurance companies work hard to persuade a judge or jury that you were more than 50% at fault.
They also try to find procedural mistakes, like the expiration of statute of limitations, jurisdiction or venue issues, or insufficient pleadings. If any of the latter three issues exist, a court can dismiss your claim.
Because of these and other tactics, you need an experienced spinal injury lawyer in Dallas to guide you through the process and to fight these insurance companies as though their own family member’s health and well-being was at stake. And that’s what we do at Crain Brogdon, LLP. Give us a call at 214-522-9404 today so we can get to work on your spinal injury case.
Dallas Spinal Cord Injury FAQs: What You Want to Know Right Now
Our Dallas spinal cord injury attorney answers commonly asked questions about spinal cord and back injuries as they are related to personal injury and wrongful death cases.
What types of accidents commonly cause spinal cord or back injuries?
Almost any kind of serious accident can cause severe spinal damage, some with more frequency than others. Some of the most common accidents that result in spine injuries include:
- Motor vehicle wrecks
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Defective products
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Hydrofracking accidents
- Work injuries
- Recreational sports activities
- Acts of violence.
Injuries of this nature can be so catastrophic that you may require around-the-clock healthcare for the rest of your life. You might be unable to walk, eat, breathe on your own, use the bathroom without assistance, or otherwise care for yourself. For this reason, it is critical that whoever is culpable for the cause of your injuries should be compelled to repay you for the harm they have caused.
What do I have to prove to win a spinal cord injury case?
What you need to prove to win a spinal cord injury depends on the legal theory used. There are two theories: negligence and strict liability.
Personal injury claims based on negligence must identify fault; to do so, you must prove the following:
- Duty of care. A person or entity owed a duty of care. The standard for the duty of care differs depending on who the person or the entity is (an employer or a motorist or a surgeon, for example).
- Breach. The same person or entity breached that duty of care (e.g., an employer has a duty to hire competent employees but failed to do so).
- Causation. You must show a correlation between the negligent action (or inaction) and the injury, which means that (1) the injury would not have happened but for the breach and (2) the injury was a foreseeable consequence of the breach.
- Damages. The injury is monetarily quantifiable. This means you must have medical bills or lost time at work, among other expenses, due to the injury.
The theory of strict liability is used when a defective product is blamed for the harm. Strict liability means you do not necessarily need to prove fault. On the other hand, you do need to show that the product was defective and because of, or but for, the defect, you were harmed in some way. There are three ways to demonstrate a defect:
- Design defect––the design is flawed, and a better way may have existed
- Manufacturing defect––the product was not made according to its design
- Instruction or marketing defect––instructions or warnings were inadequate or nonexistent.
In rare instances, an SCI may result from an act of violence, which would involve an intentional tort. In these cases, our spinal cord injury attorney must be able to prove the mental state of the wrongdoer: that they intended to cause harm, acted with malice, or were so reckless and dangerous that they should have known an injury could result.
How do you prove a spinal cord injury case?
Knowing what to prove (i.e., causation and damages) is different from knowing how to prove it. That’s why our Dallas spinal injury lawyers partner and work with some of the best experts in the area to establish proof that, at a minimum, meets the preponderance of the evidence standard. Under this standard of proof, the evidence must indicate that, more likely than not, the defendant’s action or inaction caused the spinal injury. We, however, always aim for clear and convincing evidence, which is a higher standard of proof and shows that it is far more likely to be true than not.
To prove a spinal or back injury claim, we cover all our bases. We investigate the incident or accident. We ask the right questions. We collect the evidence, which includes but is not limited to:
- Medical bills
- Medical records
- Pay stubs
- Employment letter
- Lay witness testimony
- Expert testimony
- Police reports
- Safety inspection reports
- Accident reconstruction reports.
We also consider all paths to recovery by working with experts. We want to make sure the compensation we seek aligns with the full extent of the damages you suffer. Essentially, our spinal cord injury attorneys connect the dots until a full picture of what happened materializes.
What is the process for a spinal cord injury lawsuit in Dallas?
Bearing in mind that the process for each spinal cord injury lawsuit varies, given the facts and circumstances, five main phases exist.
- Retain a spinal cord injury lawyer in Dallas. If you want to maximize recovery, you cannot fight a spinal cord injury case on your own. These cases can become quite technical. Further, you need resources like time, money, and specific knowledge. Experts cost money. Collecting evidence requires lots of time. Putting it altogether to build a strong case requires knowledge and experience. We at Crain Brogdon, LLP, have those resources and more. Plus, we provide our legal services on a contingency fee basis. That means you do not pay a thing unless and until we win your case; then our fees and costs will be paid through the settlement or award.
- Investigate and research. A solid spinal injury claim must be supported by facts and data as well as legal arguments. Discovering the evidence and researching the law is a critical part of the process.
- Initiate communication with insurance companies. Typically, insurance companies are the ones who cover the costs of personal injury claims. It could be insurance for homeowners, renters, businesses, professional organizations, healthcare facilities, employers, and/or motorists. Letters of representation or demand letters may start the process, and then the parties will communicate and exchange documents and other relevant materials. If there are other solvent defendants (e.g., an employer), we will initiate communication with them as well.
- Determine whether to settle or go to trial. At this point, once all the evidence is revealed and put together, we will decide to settle with the insurance company if they agree to maximum compensation or go to trial and fight for full and fair compensation.
- Disburse the settlement or award monies. Once a settlement is reached or a trial is won, the check is provided to us and deposited into the escrow account. First, we will pay off any outstanding liens, costs, and fees. Then, we will issue a check for the remaining balance to you so that you can continue with your recovery and your life.
How long do I have to file a spinal injury lawsuit in Dallas?
The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time you have to file your claim within the Texas court system. For accidents that cause spinal damage, you will have two years from the date that the accident happened to file your claim. The time can go quickly, though, despite the fact that two years seems like plenty of time to file.
Also, keep in mind that insurance companies strategically use the statute of limitations to avoid a payout. They prolong settlement negotiations, and by stalling in this manner, they allow the statute of limitations to run its course. When that happens, you lose any leverage you had to maximize recovery.
It is of utmost importance that you file your claim before the statute of limitations expires. If time runs out, but you still file a claim, Texas courts will almost always dismiss your case. This is why it’s so important to contact our Dallas spinal injury lawyer as quickly as possible so we can get started on your case immediately.
What do I do after a spinal cord injury?
The first thing to do after a spinal cord or back injury is seek medical attention. The longer you wait, the more damage that could be done.
Second, you need to determine what possibly caused the injury. Was someone negligent? Did the accident occur while working? Were you using a defective product? Were you the victim of assault?
Third, you should speak to our spinal injury lawyer in Dallas. Even if you do not believe anyone was at fault, our attorney can confirm the same or ask the right questions that may uncover additional information leading to fault.
Fourth, you need to focus on recovery while we, as your spinal cord attorney in Dallas, focus on your case and the recovery of maximum compensation.
If you need more detailed answers that address your unique situation, contact us using our online form or by calling us directly at 214-522-9404.
Contact Our Resourceful Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Today
A spinal injury is one of the most difficult injuries you can be diagnosed with, and it’s quite possible that your life will be permanently altered by someone else’s reckless and irresponsible decisions. When you’re ready to bring the liable party to justice for their negligent actions, you need a qualified Dallas spinal injury lawyer by your side.
If you’re interested in claiming your complimentary case review today, you can do so by filling out the contact form below or by calling our office directly at 214-522-9404.