San Antonio Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Running from the base of the skull to the tailbone, the complex nerves and nerve fibers making up the spinal cord are essential for daily life. Nearly all brain signals—including those controlling breathing, swallowing, feeling, and movement—travel through the spinal cord. Accordingly, spinal cord damage cuts off communication between the brain and muscles. This leaves patients unable to control movement and process stimuli below the area of damage.
Unlike bones, muscles, and soft tissues, these nerves do not regenerate. This leaves claimants suffering from complete spinal cord injuries with permanent disabilities necessitating lifetime medical care.
The dedicated San Antonio spinal cord injury attorneys at the Wyatt Law Firm understand the physical and emotional toll paralysis takes on patients and their families. While we cannot undo the trauma associated with negligently inflicted spinal cord damage, we might help you hold careless parties liable in court. We’ve recovered nearly half a billion dollars for our clients to help cover essential medical expenses and lost wages, as well as compensate them for pain and emotional suffering.
Discuss your spinal cord injury claims with our experienced San Antonio lawyers by calling the Wyatt Law Firm for your free and confidential case analysis.
Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries and Symptoms
Because the spinal cord runs from the brain to the lower back, the location and severity of the damage determine your disability level.
Devastating San Antonio recreational, car, or workplace accidents may result in the following types of spinal cord trauma:
- Nerve Root Injuries – Also called radiculopathy, these common back and neck injuries may occur when slipped discs and broken vertebrae compress or pinch spinal cord nerves. Many car accident victims in San Antonio suffer from disc bulges and associated nerve compression causing numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness. These spinal cord injuries harm, but do not sever or destroy, spinal nerves. Corrective surgery may eliminate nerve pressure and relieve symptoms, but they have lower-than-average success rates.
- Partial/Incomplete Paralysis – These injuries occur when the trauma damages, but does not completely sever, certain areas of the spinal cord. Some brain signals can traverse the damaged area, but one side of the body might become paralyzed. Claimants with partial spinal cord injuries might also experience radiculopathy symptoms, including discomfort, pain, numbness, and tingling.
- Paraplegia – This condition causes a complete loss of movement, control, and feeling in the legs. It occurs when an accident, such as a pedestrian or bicycle collision, severs the spinal cord in the mid to lower back. Claimants with paralysis may suffer from bowel, kidney, and digestive dysfunction.
- Low Tetraplegia (Quadriplegia) – Spinal cord damage in the lower neck/upper back area (C5 through C8) causes low quadriplegia—the complete loss of control over all limbs. Low tetraplegia may allow patients to breathe, swallow, or speak normally, but it does necessitate lifetime care.
- High Tetraplegia – Spinal cord damage to the brain stem or C1-C4 region. This severe paralysis often prevents claimants from breathing, speaking, or swallowing on their own. Some develop a serious condition called locked-in syndrome, which only allows for eye movement.
Claimants with spinal cord injuries need dedicated medical assistance, often 24/7, and expensive wheelchairs with home and vehicle modifications. It is possible to survive and thrive with paralysis, but you need legal assistance to obtain the damages and benefits necessary to live.
San Antonio Accidents Most Frequently Responsible for Causing Paralysis
Because the spin protects the spinal cord, paralysis often results from high-impact accidents. The prevalence of spinal cord trauma increases with age as vertebrae weaken over time.
The following events most commonly cause paraplegia, quadriplegia, and related spinal cord trauma in San Antonio:
- Car & Motorcycle Accidents – Almost half of all spinal cord injuries occur during car, truck, motorcycle, and related traffic accidents. The weight and speed associated with these collisions, including accidents that propel passengers’ necks forward and then quickly backward, often result in broken necks and quadriplegia. Motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents might also cause paraplegia because vehicles frequently strike these travelers in the lower back/hip area.
- Falls – An additional one-third of spinal cord injuries result from elevated falls, especially in high-risk workplaces such as construction sites or oil rigs. Slipping and tripping accidents may also cause paralysis depending on how the claimant landed.
- Gunshots/Knife Attacks – Violence may result in devastating trauma if knives or bullets sever the spinal cord. In addition to demanding direct damages in civil court, claimants injured in gang attacks or domestic assaults might demand restitution during criminal proceedings and punitive damages during personal injury litigation.
- Recreational Sports Injuries – Diving, horseback riding, and football injuries most frequently result in high tetraplegia. Amusement park injuries, such as those sustained at Six Flags in San Antonio, might also cause paralysis.
The above accidents frequently trigger insurance coverage provided by auto, property, and workers’ compensation providers. They might also qualify claimants for certain disability benefits through SSDI or private employer funds. The experienced injury lawyers at the Wyatt Law Firm have recovered damages from insurers and liable defendants for clients injured in various motor vehicle, workplace, and recreational accidents.
Recovering Financial Compensation From Negligent Parties for Paralyzing Injuries
Individuals suffering from spinal cord injuries following San Antonio traffic accidents or falls might demand settlements from liable auto or property insurers. However, these policies do not always provide sufficient coverage for paralyzed claimants.
According to advocacy organizations, claimants incur between $100,000 and $250,000 in economic losses annually. This includes the cost of expensive medical care, medical equipment, lost wages, and lost employment benefits. However, it does not include the initial medical costs incurred during the first year following spinal cord injuries (between $300,000 and $1,000,000) and the claimant’s recoverable non-economic damages.
In Texas, personal injury claimants may demand pain and suffering damages for their incalculable losses.
This might include compensation for:
- Nerve pain, physical pain, and discomfort
- Mental, emotional, and psychological suffering
- Lost enjoyment of life and hobbies
- Frustration and inconvenience
- Embarrassment and disfigurement
- Loss of consortium
Paralysis cases often command the highest available pain and suffering awards, generally a multiple of the claimant’s lifetime economic losses. Many spinal cord injury claims in San Antonio commend seven or eight-figure settlements. However, the availability of damages generally depends on the liable parties and insurance coverage triggered in each case. Accidents occurring on oil rigs and collisions with commercial vehicles most often result in these higher-value spinal cord injury settlements.
San Antonio Spinal Cord Injury FAQ
Prospective clients suffering from devastating spinal cord trauma frequently ask our dedicated San Antonio injury lawyers the following questions.
Q. How long do I have to file legal claims after paralyzing accidents in Texas?
- Because most spinal cord injuries occur after car accidents and falls, the statute of limitations for Texas personal injury claims applies (Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. §16.003(a)). This gives most claimants two years from the accident to file lawsuits alleging negligence, gross negligence, assault/battery, or products liability. Exceptions apply if the victim was a minor when the paralyzing accident occurred or suffered from a coma or period of unsound mind. Families have two years from the date of death, if occurring after the accident, to bring wrongful death litigation on behalf of loved ones.
Q. What’s the average settlement value of spinal cord injury claims in San Antonio?
- Most paralyzing accidents result in what lawyers call insurance policy payouts. Because these injuries frequently cause millions in lifetime damages without considering pain and suffering awards, many liable insurers tender their policies after the initial claims investigation. This may result in quicker settlements, but it limits your realistic case settlement to the maximum recoverable insurance value.
If this isn’t enough, experienced San Antonio accident lawyers may sue liable corporations directly. Individual defendants, however, seldom have the resources to fairly compensate injured claimants for spinal cord injuries. Our spinal cord injury lawyers can calculate the total insurance available in your case and help eligible claimants maximize their financial recovery.
Q. How long does it take to recover damages after suffering from spinal cord injuries in San Antonio?
- Surprisingly, claimants paralyzed in accidents may recover quick insurance payouts in the months following the accident. This is fast in catastrophic injury cases, but spinal cord trauma often results in high and easily provable damages beyond insurance policy limits. Do not accept proffered policies without speaking with an attorney, however. Signing for these settlements forces you to waive personal injury claims against the insured, which could be an individual or corporation. Lawyers may recommend suing these parties in court for the additional damages often associated with paralyzing injuries.
Q. Can the family and friends of paralyzed individuals receive payment to care for them?
- Generally, yes. Most claimants with quadriplegia require 24/7 nursing and companionship care, but spouses and immediate family members may eventually take over certain caretaker responsibilities. They must also frequently undertake additional household duties, such as cooking, cleaning, and caring for children, in addition to working. In Texas, paralyzed claimants might recover damages for the cost of household help like cooking and cleaning, medical transportation, and home nursing/companionship care. Certain state and federal insurance programs might even cover these expenses moving forward. Speak with our spinal cord injury attorneys about obtaining this specialized compensation on behalf of personal caretakers.
Q. Who is liable for causing my spinal cord injury in San Antonio?
- This depends on the facts of each case. As such, there is no simple answer.
Because two-thirds of paralyzing injuries occur following motor vehicle accidents or falls, the most common liable parties include:
- Vehicle owners, including rental car companies
- Employers of working drivers (trucking companies or restaurants)
- Rideshare companies (Uber or Lyft)
- Negligent pedestrians/cyclists
- Property owners/managers, such as drill site owners or amusement parks
- Public entities for defective sidewalks and dangerous construction conditions
Additionally, assailants bear liability for direct attacks, and product manufactures might be responsible if defective and/or dangerous items caused your spinal cord injury.
Q. Can I recover damages for experimental spinal cord treatments and travel?
- Most paralysis settlements in San Antonio are awarded on a lump sum basis. The attorney calculates your damages and then makes an appropriate insurance demand, and the insurer cuts a single check. Claimants may use awarded settlements as they see fit, including covering the cost of new paralysis treatments. However, they should discuss the advisability of this with both medical and economic experts.
Many organizations take advantage of paralyzed individuals by offering false hope for profit. An attorney can help you investigate these national and international medical claims. If evidence indicates that a claimant—generally someone with partial or incomplete paralysis—would substantially benefit from newer treatment, lawyers may include the cost of these procedures/therapies in their economic damage calculations. At our law firm, we do not abandon our clients after cases settle. We’re continuously available for paralyzed clients and families with questions about their benefits, disability rights, and experimental treatments.
Q. How much does it cost to retain a lawyer after a paralyzing accident?
- Reputable spinal cord injury firms in San Antonio do not charge eligible clients hourly fees. Instead, they accept viable cases on a contingency fee basis. This means they do not get paid unless and until you recover damages for your injury. Following your financial recovery, the attorney typically takes a percentage of the overall settlement/award as her fee and reimburses the law firm for any prepaid expenses.
Our law firm even fronts the litigation, claims, administrative, and investigative costs necessary to maximize your damages and fight big-money insurance corporations. Even after accounting for attorneys fees, represented claimants generally recover three to 10 times more damages than victims without dedicated legal counsel.
Connect With A Compassionate San Antonio Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Today
Families and claimants should obtain immediate representation after devastating spinal cord injuries. The attorneys at the Wyatt Law Firm might protect you from insurance harassment and manipulation during the initial recovery process and help you understand your legal rights. Call (210) 340-5550 or contact us online to schedule your free and confidential San Antonio spinal cord injury case review.
Excellent knowledge from all staff aspects. Paula knows how to work in her clients corner and she brings so much experience and energy to make sure her clients are treated fair. She helped fight with Tricare on my husbands behalf and she will not stop fighting until the client is happy. My husband won his case with her and her staff. I highly recommend if you need someone to listen and go fight for you let this Lady do the work. Gabby is a great asset and kept my husband very informed during the whole process. They deserve more than 5 stars.
Wyatt Law Firm, PLLC
21 Lynn Batts Lane, Suite 10
San Antonio, Texas 78218