McAllen Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

Hire a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer in McAllen

Spinal cord injuries are some of the most traumatic injuries a person can suffer, as they can have catastrophic consequences for a person’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being. 

Not only can these injuries result in permanent disabilities that can drastically alter a person’s lifestyle and future wage-earning opportunities, but they can cause a frustrating loss of independence that can weigh heavily on your mind. 

In some cases, these injuries may be treated or managed through extensive treatment and rehabilitation programs, but the process can be costly.

Personal injury law allows victims, including those with scarring injuries caused by others, to seek compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. McAllen residents can rely on the compassionate and hard-working McAllen spinal cord injury lawyers at Patino Law Firm for help with fighting for the maximum financial compensation they deserve.

Schedule Your Free Consultation With Our Experienced Injury Attorneys

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Based on 314 reviews
Christian Clark
Christian Clark
August 29, 2023
Awesome law firm! Have been extremely helpful with the process of my car accident. Extremely respectful and courteous.
Librado Zuniga
Librado Zuniga
August 17, 2023
Buen servicio siempre atentos y buen personal. Gracias por SUS atenciones y por su trabajo. 100%recomendable!!
Aida Trevino
Aida Trevino
August 17, 2023
I was very satisfied with my settlement and lawyer's who handled my case thank you satisfied customer
Kristian Jimenez
Kristian Jimenez
July 6, 2023
They work hard for your case and make sure you are kept well informed while in the process!
Guadalupe Ambriz
Guadalupe Ambriz
June 28, 2023
Excellent job, excellent service... 💯% Recommended 👍👍👍 thanks for everything 👍👍👍
Lucero Trevino
Lucero Trevino
June 28, 2023
Thank you so much for the help to Patiño law from totally recommended they were to nice and helpful through whole process.
Leo Delgado
Leo Delgado
June 26, 2023
I would highly recommend you to go to Patino Law Firm as they had helped me with a car accident and did an excellent job!!!
Janie Longoria
Janie Longoria
June 9, 2023
My experience with the firm was Excellent, they take everything into consideration .They go over and beyond for a fair outcome I highly recommend Patino Law Firm.
Raul Pena
Raul Pena
June 7, 2023
The Patino Law Firm has a very profession team that is very knowledgeable in their area of practice, Personal Injury Cases. They will answer any and all questions regarding your case and they will keep you well informed of the status of your case. Furthermore, they will provide you with a fast and worthwhile resolution of your case and will ensure that you are 100% satisfied with the outcome.
Amber Gunn
Amber Gunn
May 30, 2023
Patino is literally not the stereotypical “attorney” we all think about. He is caring and real and honest and trustworthy. He fights for his clients like he would fight for himself. It’s what we all expect but very rarely see or get! We have used him twice now, and he’s just stellar. Don’t doubt this man. He’s amazing! And you get what you pay for!

What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?

 

The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that extends from the base of the skull to the waist area, encased within the bony vertebra of the spine. It operates as a message center, delivering impulses from the brain that control the function of the rest of the body. A spinal cord injury is damage to this cord, causing loss of sensation and function beneath the injury site.

Spinal injuries are often referred to as incomplete or complete, depending on the amount of sensation and function remaining. An incomplete spinal cord injury means the sufferer retains some function beneath the injury site. A complete spinal cord injury indicates all sensation and function below the injury site has been lost.

The loss of sensation and function suffered after a spinal cord injury is known as paralysis. Paraplegia is paralysis that affects all or part of the body’s trunk, legs, and pelvic region. Tetraplegia — also known as quadriplegia — affects sensation and function in the shoulders, arms, hands, chest, trunk, pelvis, and legs.

The spine is made up of segments, and each one controls the messaging to different areas of the body. These segments and the portion of the body they control include:

  • Cervical: The cervical region of the spinal cord is located in the neck, and it controls signals to the hands, shoulders, back of the head, and diaphragm.
  • Thoracic: This part of the spinal cord is in the upper back. It sends messages to the muscles in the chest, back, and abdomen.
  • Lumbar: The lumbar region is located in the middle of the back and controls messaging from the brain to the lower abdomen, lower back, hips, and portions of the legs.
  • Sacral: Just below the lumbar region is the sacral region, which controls signals to the thighs, knees, and feet.

The most significant impairments caused by spinal cord injuries happen in the cervical region, paralyzing much of the entire body from the neck down.

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Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries in McAllen

Our experienced McAllen spinal cord injury attorneys have compiled a list of the most common accidents that lead to spinal cord injuries:

After spinal cord damages or other injuries from any of the above accidents, consider speaking to an experienced spinal cord injury attorney to discuss your potential legal options.

Around 90 percent of spinal cord injuries are caused either by preventable accidents or acts of violence.

Some of the ways these injuries occur include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents: The most common cause of spinal cord injuries, accounting for more than 38 percent.
  • Falls: Either from elevated height or the same level, falls account for slightly more than 30 percent of all new spinal cord injuries.
  • Violence: This is the cause of 13.5 percent of spinal cord injuries in the U.S., making it another major contributor to new spinal cord injuries.
  • Sports-related accidents: Experienced in high-impact sports or recreational activities, sports accidents account for 8.9 percent of spinal cord injuries, with diving accidents causing two-thirds of the accidents caused by sports or recreation.
  • Others: The remaining injuries are caused by medical or surgical incidents, cancer, infection, or congenital issues.

Alcohol use is considered a factor in about one-quarter of all new spinal cord injuries.

Who Is Most Likely to Suffer a Spinal Cord Injury in McAllen?

Between 255 thousand and 383 thousand people in the U.S. currently live with spinal cord injuries. While this type of injury can happen to any person of any age, spinal cord injuries are most often seen in men, with males making up around 80 percent of all new spinal cord injuries each year. The average age of injury onset in the U.S. is currently 42. This is a significant leap from the average age of 29 in 1970 and could be associated with the increasingly active lifestyles of those in middle age.

White, non-Hispanic Americans make up roughly 63 percent of all new spinal cord injury cases in the U.S. Black Americans are disproportionately affected by the injury. The country’s non-Hispanic Black population accounts for around 12 percent of the total population of the U.S. but accounts for 22 percent of new spinal cord injury cases.

Complications Associated with McAllen Spinal Cord Injuries

In addition to paralysis, spinal cord injuries often present serious complications throughout the sufferer’s life that require medical treatment.

Some of those complications include:

  • Respiratory issues. These are due to the inability to expel excretions from the lungs through coughing. Many individuals with an injury in the spine’s cervical (neck) region suffer from problems with respiratory control. This is why pneumonia is the leading cause of premature death in individuals with spinal cord injuries.
  • Changes in bladder control. The brain may have difficulty controlling the bladder, increasing the risk of bladder or kidney infections and bladder or kidney stones.
  • Bowel control. This is also often impacted by a spinal cord injury, as the brain cannot send messages to the bowel when the body needs to defecate.
  • Loss of skin sensation. This can mean the body cannot tell if it’s being subjected to hot or cold temperatures — increasing the risk of burns or cold-damaged skin. The risk of pressure ulcers also increases due to the loss of skin sensation. These are also known as bedsores and are caused by the inability to move or sense when a position exerts too much pressure on one part of the body.
  • Changes in circulatory control. These can result in low blood pressure and swelling of the extremities. These circulatory problems also increase the risk of several life-threatening conditions, including deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot in the deep veins of the legs that can break free and travel to the lungs. A blood clot in the lung is known as a pulmonary embolism and is fatal without prompt and aggressive treatment.
  • Changes to muscle tone. This can either appear as spasticity (an involuntary tightening of the muscles) or flaccidity (loss of muscle tone).
  • Changes in sexual health. Spinal cord injuries impact sexual function in men and women, with men often experiencing erection and ejaculation issues and women having problems with lubrication. Additionally, spinal cord injury may cause fertility issues in both men and women.
  • Changes in mental health. Depression is a common complication of spinal cord injuries as the injured person watches every facet of their life change entirely. They may no longer walk or live independently, work in the same career, enjoy the same activities, or do their usual daily tasks without assistance.

The Costs of Living with a Spinal Cord Injury in McAllen

Because of their complexity, spinal cord injuries can be extremely expensive. The average length of a hospital stay immediately after a spinal cord injury is 11 days, followed by a stay at a rehabilitation facility for an average of 35 days.

A person who has suffered an injury to the cervical area of the spine and subsequent high tetraplegia may have to pay more than $1 million for the first year of their treatment and more than $184,000 a year on treatment and living expenses for each following year. On the other end of the scale, those who have suffered an incomplete loss of motor function at any level may face first-year treatment and living expenses of almost $350,000, with the cost ranging around $42,000 for each subsequent year.

Those who suffer a spinal cord injury that results in high tetraplegia at the age of 25 may face a lifetime of costs upwards of $4.7 million. People with the same injury at 50 years old could have to deal with costs that exceed $2.5 million during their lifetime. Patients who retain some motor function after experiencing a spinal cord injury at 25 may still have to pay more than $1.5 million to treat their injury throughout their life.

These figures represent the costs of injury-related medical treatment and living expenses alone. They don’t account for either the indirect costs of the injury (such as lost income) or the extraordinary impacts that this type of injury creates in all facets of the injured person’s life.

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Life Expectancy after a Spinal Cord Injury in McAllen

People living with a spinal cord injury are two to five times more likely to experience premature death as a result. The risk of mortality is at its highest in the first year after the injury occurred. The leading cause of death in individuals who have suffered a spinal cord injury is pneumonia, followed by septicemia.

As with most things related to this type of injury, the impact on life expectancy depends on the location and severity of the injury. Those who retain motor function have a life expectancy that’s only six or seven years lower than those without a spinal cord injury. However, people who suffer from paraplegia or tetraplegia due to their injury have a life expectancy between 15 and 40 years lower than those who do not.

Consequences of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can have a devastating impact on a person’s life. These injuries may result in the following concerns, some of which can be permanent problems:

  • Numbness or tingling in extremities
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Severe pain while standing, sitting, or lying in certain positions
  • Respiratory problems
  • Paraplegia
  • Quadriplegia
  • Brain injuries.

Covering the costs of spinal cord injuries may put an unfair burden on an injured individual. However, if another person or party is at fault for the injury, the victim may be entitled to seek compensation to make up for his or her losses.

Let Patino Law Firm Help with a Spinal Cord Injury Claim in McAllen

If you or your loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury in McAllen or elsewhere in the Rio Grande Valley that was caused by someone else’s careless actions, you may be entitled to compensation.

A McAllen spinal cord injury lawyer will seek to prove two things: liability and expenses. Liability is established by demonstrating the following:

  • The at-fault party owed you a duty of care. This depends on the activity you were doing when the injury occurred and the at-fault party’s role in that activity. For example, if your spinal cord injury was the result of a car accident that another driver caused, the duty of care that the other driver owed to you would have been to drive their motor vehicle safely and lawfully.
  • There was a breach in the duty of care. This refers to the actions the at-fault party took that were contrary to the duty of care. Using the car accident scenario, say the other driver was driving drunk. The breach in this circumstance would be alcohol impairment because that is contrary to the duty to drive safely and lawfully.
  • The breach resulted in the accident that caused your spinal cord injury and subsequent expenses and impacts.

Some of the damages you may seek in a McAllen spinal cord lawsuit include:

  • Medical expenses related to the injury and its complications
  • Lost wages due to being too injured to work
  • Loss of future earning capacity if the injury makes you unable to work
  • Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of the enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.

To learn more about the legal process of obtaining compensation after suffering a spinal cord injury and for a free case evaluation, contact the McAllen spinal cord injury attorneys at Patino Law Firm online or by calling 855-LAW-NINJA.

Discuss Your Case with a Spinal Cord Injuries Attorney in McAllen

If you or someone you love has sustained a spinal cord injury because of someone else’s negligent or reckless behavior, you may be entitled to recover substantial compensation in a personal injury claim. 

For more information about how to prepare a claim after an injury, contact McAllen accident attorney Dr. Louis Patino today.

You can reach us 24/7.

Spinal Cord Injury Claim FAQs

Simple personal injury cases can be settled within a few weeks, but spinal cord injury cases are rarely simple and may take months or even years.

How long it will take to resolve your claim depends on multiple factors, including whether you are potentially willing to accept a lower offer in exchange for a quick resolution, your injury prognosis, and whether or not you file a lawsuit.

Insurance companies will usually make an initial offer to tempt you into settling your claim and not pursuing further action. However, this may not be enough to cover your expenses and fairly compensate you for your injuries, so you should always speak to a personal injury attorney before accepting an offer.

Spinal cord injuries are complex and it can take time to fully understand the impact of your injury. For example, you may need to await the outcome of spinal cord surgery, rehabilitation, or a course of medication to determine if there are any additional complications. While you can settle your claim before this, you will not be able to claim additional compensation if your injury later gets worse or is unlikely to improve, such as if your rehabilitation assessment indicates that you will never recover full spinal function.

It will also take longer for you to receive compensation if you opt to file a lawsuit. This involves going to court and can be a lengthy process, comprising motions, judgments, taking depositions, collecting other evidence, and negotiating with the defendant’s attorney — and that’s before you even get a court date! The court docket backlog has only worsened since the pandemic, so you might face a lengthy wait before your day in court.

Some legal experts say the average personal injury lawsuit in Texas takes about two years to resolve. Simple personal injury cases can be settled within a few weeks, but spinal cord injury cases are rarely simple and may take months or even years. 

Speak to an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer today to get your case moving.

The compensation you can claim depends on your total economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Your economic damages are calculated by assessing medical expenses, loss of income and benefits, property damage, and other out-of-pocket expenses.

These economic damages can be significant in the case of a spinal cord injury. According to the Christopher Reeve Foundation, the healthcare costs and living expenses for someone with High Tetraplegia are $1,163,425 in the first year and $202,032 each subsequent year. This does not include loss of income.

There are no caps on recovering economic damages. But in Texas, there are caps on non-economic damages (pain and suffering, emotional pain, the loss of companionship, and loss of consortium) in medical malpractice claims. In these claims, the maximum amount of non-economic damages you can receive is $750,000.

Punitive or exemplary damages, which may be awarded if a defendant’s conduct is particularly egregious, are capped at $200,000 or two times the amount of the economic damages, whichever is larger.

If you suffered a spinal cord injury at work, it’s best to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer to see if you may be eligible for compensation. A McAllen personal injury lawyer will support you throughout your case and help you recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to. 

At Patino Law Firm, we work on a “no fee until you win” basis, so you’ve got nothing to lose by picking up the phone and giving us a call. For legal support after a spinal cord injury in McAllen, call 956-631-3535.

It depends. If your employer has workers’ compensation coverage, Texas law limits their liability for workplace accidents (although you may be able to file a personal injury claim against a third party if their negligence caused your injury). 

However, if your employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage, they are considered a non-subscriber. An employer may be liable for damages from an employee’s injury, even if the injured employee is partly at fault.

The time it takes to recover from a fractured vertebra depends on several factors, including: 

  • The severity of the fracture. 
  • The location within the spine
  • Your overall health.

Generally, the recovery time for a fractured vertebra can be anywhere from a few weeks to several months and even years. During this period, it’s vital that you seek expert medical advice for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. 

If someone else’s negligence caused the fracture, you should also seek the help of McAllen personal injury lawyers. A lawyer will be able to help you claim the compensation you deserve. At Patino Law Firm, we offer a complete free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers and operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t pay until we win.

Spinal cord injuries can affect the body in a range of ways. These kinds of injuries can affect both motor and sensory functions, and the severity of the injury dictates the extent of the effects. In some cases, people may experience loss of movement, sensation, and — in severe cases — complete paralysis. 

Alongside this, these physical limitations can also lead to other complications such as respiratory issues, bladder and bowel control problems, and changes in sexual health. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, it’s vital that you seek out expert medical assistance as soon as possible. You should also consult with a personal injury lawyer if the accident you had wasn’t your fault.

As well as affecting the body, a spinal injury can also affect the brain. While the spinal cord and brain are distinct entities, they’re connected as part of the central nervous system. This means that a spinal cord injury can have a significant effect on the brain. A spinal cord injury can disrupt the flow of signals between the brain and other parts of the body, causing difficulties with concentration and memory. 

In some cases, a spinal injury can lead to emotional and psychological changes, including depression and anxiety. If you are suffering from any of the effects of a spinal cord injury, it’s crucial to consult with healthcare professionals as soon as possible. They will provide you with a comprehensive treatment plan and get you on the road to recovery.

You may be able to sue your employer if their negligence caused your injury. In Texas, businesses that have workers’ compensation coverage are protected from regular negligence claims. However, an employer can be sued for gross negligence, even if they have workers’ compensation coverage. Gross negligence is when an employer knowingly puts employees at extreme risk.

While it is possible for a complete recovery from a spinal cord injury, the chances are relatively low and depend on the severity of your injury. However, advancement in spinal surgery, medical treatments, and rehabilitation programs has significantly improved the quality of life of many people with spinal cord injuries. 

If you, or someone you know, has suffered a spinal cord injury, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Getting an accurate prognosis and tailored treatment plan from a medical professional can increase your chances of a full recovery and improve your quality of life. It’s also important to speak to a spinal cord injury lawyer. Your lawyer will offer expert guidance and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve if the accident wasn’t your fault. This means that you can focus on your recovery and not worry about medical bills.

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