Spinal Cord Injury FAQ

| Uncategorized

I was rear-ended while I was sitting at a red stoplight by a car that didn’t stop and now my doctor says that I need a lumbar fusion. What is a lumbar fusion?

What is a spinal cord injury?

How do you treat a spinal cord injury?

What accidents commonly lead to brain and spinal cord injuries?

What are the effects of a brain or spinal cord injury?

Are there steps I can take to reduce my risk of a brain or spinal cord injury?

Why do I need an attorney if I have suffered a brain or spinal cord injury?

Am I entitled to collect money for the time I was unable to work from my injuries? What if I have to switch careers because of my injuries?

Should I talk to the insurance company about my accident and let them take my recorded statement?

What do I do with my medical bills while the case is in progress?

How much do I have to pay to hire you as my attorney?

Can I change my lawyers if I am not happy with them? How much is that going to cost me?

I Was Rear-Ended While I Was Sitting At A Red Stoplight By A Car That Didn’t Stop And Now My Doctor Says That I Need A Lumbar Fusion. What Is A Lumbar Fusion?

A lumbar fusion is necessary when one of the lower 5 spinal disks has been pushed out of place enabling the bones to rub against each other. This will cause discomfort and extreme pain in the lower back; it could also cause your legs to feel weak, numb and tingly.

There are two different types of lumbar fusions that vary depending on the location of the incision.

  1. A posterior lumbar fusion is when the surgeon operates by going through the back.
  2. An anterior lumbar fusion is when the surgeon operates by going through the front.

For the fusion to take place your surgeon will need a bone fragment, that can come from either your hip our can be gotten through a bone bank. This bone fragment will be used to make sure that the vertebrae are separated properly. Once your surgeon has the necessary bone fragment, they will remove the disk that is causing problems and replace it with the fragment. Then the surgeon will screw a metal plate into the vertebra to make sure the fragment stays in place and then fuse the vertebrae bones together.

What Is A Spinal Cord Injury?

If you have injured your spinal cord in an auto accident that means that damage was caused to your spinal cord and nerve roots. Depending on the level of damage your injury can cause severe pain or paralysis and in extreme cases cause you to lose all functionality.

There are two types of spinal cord injury that vary based on the level of severity of the damage.

  1. An incomplete spinal cord injury generally means that the spinal cord was only partially damaged in the accident and that you will likely retain feeling and functionality.
  2. A complete spinal cord injury means that you will likely lose all feeling below the area of your spine that was injured and there is only a very small chance of recovering from this.

If you were in an auto accident and you or a loved one is currently suffering from a spinal cord injury you need to consult with an experienced Washington personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. At Premier Law Group we will tell you if you don’t need an attorney, but with an injury this serious it is likely that an attorney will be able to get you a significantly higher settlement.

How Do You Treat A Spinal Cord Injury?

Spinal cord injuries are very serious and require a lot of attention and care. If you were in an auto accident that was serious enough to cause a spinal cord injury than it is likely that you were taken to the hospital by paramedics. Doctors will need to reduce the swelling and in extreme cases may need to do surgery to remove fragments of bone that broke off during the accident.

What Accidents Commonly Lead To Brain And Spinal Cord Injuries?

Motorcycle accidents or auto accidents in which an individual is ejected from the vehicle will frequently lead to severe brain or spinal cord injuries. These injuries can be devastating enough to lead to paralysis and even death. One way to minimize this risk is to always wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle, and a seat belt in a car.

What Are The Effects Of A Brain Or Spinal Cord Injury?

Brain and spinal cord injuries have wide ranging effects, and have the potential to be very serious.

Brain injuries are often caused when one’s head forcefully hits an object. When this happens, one or multiple areas of the brain can be affected. Concussions are common, and this type of injury can even put someone into a coma. Treatment is essential and can be very effective, but brain injuries have the potential to lead to death.

Spinal cord injuries are broken into two categories: complete and incomplete. When the injury is complete, that means that there is a total loss of feeling below the point of the injury – also known as paralysis. Incomplete spinal cord injuries are not as severe, but need immediate treatment and rehabilitation.

The medical costs for both of these injuries can be very high, and can have long term consequences. Because of this, it is very important for everyone that has suffered one of these injuries to speak with an experienced injury attorney immediately.

Are There Steps I Can Take To Reduce My Risk Of A Brain Or Spinal Cord Injury?

There are some very simple steps to help reduce the risk of a brain or spinal cord injury. In car accidents, these injuries are often caused by hitting one’s head against the dashboard, windshield or side of the car. Seat belts play an integral role in lowering the risk of this happening. Motorcycle and bicycle accidents can also lead to these types of injuries, and simply wearing a helmet can provide significant protection if against them.

Of course, some accidents caused by negligent drivers can be so devastating that these simple steps will not prevent the injury – in which case you should seek the advice of an experienced Seattle injury attorney to help you get the money you need to cover your damages.

Why Do I Need An Attorney If I Have Suffered A Brain Or Spinal Cord Injury?

There are several reasons to hire an attorney when involved in an accident:

1. Pursuing recovery for injuries is a complicated legal process, which requires the expertise and experience of a highly trained injury attorney. Many rules and strategies take years for an attorney to learn and acquire. Therefore, always speak to an attorney before trying to handle your legal case on your own. Your recovery will generally be substantially higher, even after all the costs and fees that you incur in hiring legal representation are subtracted.

2. When you have an attorney, you can seek medical treatment for your injuries through the most competent doctors at no upfront cost in most cases. Knowing an attorney has taken your case will give doctors the security that their bills will be paid once the case settles. This is especially important to those who have no PIP (personal injury protection) or health insurance and cannot afford to pay for the cost of the medical treatment needed.

3. Only an experienced lawyer can assess the value of your case after learning the full nature and extent of your injuries, the value of your claim for pain and suffering, and the cost of future treatment and rehabilitation. Chances are, without an attorney, you will settle your case for much less than it is really worth.

4. Most importantly, you need an attorney because the insurance company will offer you very little money for your injury. Only a competent, aggressive, and experienced lawyer has the means, the knowledge, and the ability to sue the insurance companies and force them to give you the appropriate settlement that you are entitled to. Insurance companies have a duty to protect and defend their own insured (the person who caused the accident). No matter how friendly they appear, the insurance company representatives are not your friends. They have a duty to act in the best interest of their shareholders by saving money. You need someone on your side that has your best interest in mind.

5. Lastly, when you have a lawyer, you don’t deal with any of the hassle, paperwork, headache and worry of dealing with insurance companies. You just sit back with the knowledge that an experienced lawyer who has your best interest in mind is going to handle your case and deal with the headache.

Am I Entitled To Collect Money For The Time I Was Unable To Work From My Injuries? What If I Have To Switch Careers Because Of My Injuries?

Maybe, but it is very fact specific and is different for every single case. It also depends on how old your child is. The best thing to do would be to contact an experienced Seattle child injury lawyer that will listen to the facts of the case and help you decide whether or not you need an attorney to represent you.

Should I Talk To The Insurance Company About My Accident And Let Them Take My Recorded Statement?

No. Absolutely not, especially in the case of a catastrophic injury. It is vital that a law firm that understands how carefully a settlement needs to be structured protect your rights, because no insurance company is on your side – ever – even your own. They are only trying to find an excuse to get away with paying you very little or not paying you at all. Statements made while your brain isn’t functioning at par could be used against you. Sometimes, you have to provide your own insurance company with a recorded statement because your policy requires it. In that scenario, you should consult with your attorney who will prepare you for the statement.

What Do I Do With My Medical Bills While The Case Is In Progress?

While your case is being handled, make sure you continue seeking treatment for your injuries and follow your doctor’s instructions. Do not stop with your treatment without first consulting your attorney as this can hinder the progress of your case. Also make sure to mail copies of all insurance forms received and receipts for medications and tools necessary for your recovery.

How Much Do I Have To Pay To Hire You As My Attorney?

Nothing. You don’t have to pay anything upfront. You hire us on a contingency basis, which means we don’t charge you anything unless we win your case. We even pay for all of the expenses associated with your case out of our own pocket. Also, if for any reason we don’t recover any money (for example if we find out later that the party at fault has no insurance), we still don’t charge you anything. However, when your case settles, we take a percentage of the settlement for our fees and costs. This percentage depends on whether your case resolves before litigation or after trial. Please note, however, that in Washington, the law requires that the client ultimately be responsible for reimbursing an attorney for costs advanced, even if the case is unsuccessful. Please contact us so that we can explain how this would work in your case.

Can I Change My Lawyers If I Am Not Happy With Them? How Much Is That Going To Cost Me?

Fortunately, you can change your lawyer anytime at absolutely no cost to you. All you have to do is call us and let us know. We will immediately send a letter to your former attorney. As soon as they receive our letter, by law they are immediately obligated to forward your file to our office. Also, they are forbidden to contact you. You are not even required to inform them of your decision. Of course, if they have done substantial work in your case, they are entitled to get a portion of our fees for their contribution. This will only affect our fees and will not change your recovery.

Back to Top