A spinal cord injury is a life-altering event – one that causes extreme pain, uncertainty, and financial stress. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury in Florence, Alabama, due to someone else’s negligence, you have the right to demand they compensate you for the harm they’ve caused.
Pursuing compensation can be challenging, though, especially at a time when you should be focused on resting and recovering. That’s to say nothing of insurance companies that will do whatever they can to limit their liability and save themselves money.
Fortunately, it’s not a battle you have to fight alone. The Florence spinal cord injury attorneys at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., are ready to stand up for you and demand the money you’re owed. For nearly 60 years, we have proudly represented injured people in Alabama and helped them recover the compensation they need to rebuild their lives. We have secured more than $125 million in verdicts and settlements, and we’ve done it without charging our clients any upfront fees for our services.
Call us today or complete our contact form for a free consultation with a spinal cord injury lawyer in Florence, AL.
Importance of Legal Representation in Spinal Cord Injury Cases
The details of Alabama law and insurance coverage can be overwhelming to navigate alone – particularly when you’ve never done it before. Combine that with the hardball tactics insurance companies employ, and you could be vulnerable without an experienced attorney.
Without a Florence personal injury attorney, you might be pressured by the insurance company to accept settlements that fall short of covering your long-term needs and expenses. Moreover, these personal injury cases often involve intricate details and require a thorough investigation to gather evidence, identify potentially liable parties, and prove negligence on their part. Without a lawyer’s knowledge and experience, you might overlook or improperly handle crucial evidence, misfile paperwork, or miss a deadline.
You can avoid all of these pitfalls by working with the spinal cord injury attorneys at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C. We are ready to analyze your Florence personal injury case and lay out a comprehensive plan for seeking the money you need for severe injuries and related losses – all at no upfront cost to you. The claim review is not only free, but it is also completely confidential and comes without further obligations on your part. We don’t charge for our legal services unless and until we successfully recover compensation for you.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries in Florence, AL
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) at the University of Alabama-Birmingham studies the most common causes of spinal cord injuries across the United States. According to recent research, the five most common causes of spinal injuries are:
- Car accidents (37.6 percent) – The sudden, forceful impact from an auto accident can fracture, dislocate, crush, or compress vertebrae in the spine, leading to damage to the spinal cord itself. If someone else was at fault for the car accident, injured victims could be entitled to recover compensation in a personal injury case against the responsible party and their insurance company.
- Falls (31.5 percent) – The impact of a fall can damage the spinal cord, especially if the fall results in a hard blow to the back, neck, or head. If the injury occurred on someone else’s property, accident victims could be entitled to pursue compensation in a premises liability claim.
- Acts of violence (15.4 percent) – Physical violence can cause direct harm to the spine through penetrating injuries like bullet and knife wounds or blunt-force trauma.
- Sports injuries (8.3 percent) – Athletic activities, particularly contact sports like football or extreme sports such as skateboarding, can lead to spinal cord injuries. Minor children often experience these serious injuries due to a lack of proper adult supervision.
- Medical and surgical errors (3.6 percent) – Errors during surgeries involving the spine or neck, or medical care negligence in handling patients with existing spinal conditions can further damage the spinal cord. Medical malpractice claims can arise from these situations.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
One way doctors often classify spinal injury cases is by where the damage occurs.Using this method, the four types of spinal cord injuries are:
- Cervical spinal cord injuries – These catastrophic injuries occur at the neck level and affect the cervical vertebrae. Because of its location at the very top of the spinal column, severe fractures and damage to the spinal cord in this region often result in loss of function in the arms and legs as well as basic bodily functions such as breathing, bowel, and bladder control.
- Thoracic spinal cord injuries – These injuries affect the upper and mid-back. While the thoracic spine is more stable than the cervical spine, injuries here can still cause mobility and control issues in the trunk and legs.
- Lumbar spinal cord injuries – Located in the lower back, the lumbar vertebrae are a common site of spinal cord injuries. Injuries to the lumbar region can result in some loss of function in the hips and legs and may also affect bowel and bladder control.
- Sacral spinal cord injuries – These injuries occur at the bottom of the spine. Injuries in this region typically do not cause paralysis but can result in loss of function in the hips and legs, sexual dysfunction, and problems with bowel and bladder control.
Doctors also categorize spinal cord injuries by the type of paralysis they cause:
- Paraplegia – Paraplegia refers to the loss of bodily functions and motor control from the waist down, meaning the patient cannot move their legs.
- Quadriplegia or tetraplegia – Quadriplegia or tetraplegia refers to a spinal cord injury that causes a loss of bodily functions and motor control from the neck down, meaning the patient cannot move any limbs.
How an SCI Affects the Injured Person’s Life
Spinal cord injuries can impact virtually every facet of a patient’s life. Here are just some of the consequences of a serious SCI:
- Physical effects – Depending on its severity and location, a spinal cord injury may result in partial or complete paralysis. This can lead to a dependence on mobility aids like wheelchairs or walkers, if the person can move at all. Additionally, SCIs often bring secondary health issues like chronic pain, bladder and bowel dysfunction, and an increased chance of respiratory infections.
- Mental and emotional effects – Coping with the loss of physical abilities after a spinal cord injury can lead to grief, anger, anxiety, and depression. The drastic change in lifestyle and self-image can be overwhelming, affecting personal relationships and social interactions.
- Financial effects – The initial medical bills for emergency care, surgery, and hospitalization after an SCI can be substantial. Long-term costs include ongoing medical treatment, physical therapy, occupational therapy, specialized equipment, home modifications, and potentially long-term care services. Additionally, an SCI can affect an individual’s ability to work, leading to lost wages and diminished earning capacity.
Compensation for Spinal Cord Injuries in Florence, AL
Our experienced personal injury attorneys can help you seek compensation for the many ways the spinal injury has affected your life, including money for your:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and other economic damages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life and other non-economic damages
- Property damage
- Punitive damages in exceptional cases
How Our Florence, AL, Spinal Injury Attorneys Can Help
The Florence personal injury attorneys at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., know the stress you’re feeling, and we want to help you seek a fair settlement. We can handle all the complicated legal work in your case and negotiate with the insurance companies while you rest and heal. We’ll gather all the evidence to support your personal injury claim and protect your legal rights, take care of the paperwork in a timely manner, and prepare your personal injury lawsuit for trial if the responsible parties won’t agree to a reasonable settlement.
The sooner you speak with one of our Florence personal injury lawyers, the sooner our legal team can get to work on your serious injury claim. Contact our Florence spinal cord injury lawyers now for a free consultation about a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for your losses.