Tacoma Spinal Injury Lawyers
Spinal Cord Injuries Are Serious
Spinal cord injuries are more than painful; they can be life-altering and often result in an uncertain future. In order to recover, you may face months and even years of rehabilitation, all with the goal of being able to live and work as you did prior to the accident.
Unfortunately, some people who suffer spinal injuries never fully recover.
They spend the remainder of their lives reliant upon others for help with their daily personal care needs.
If you have suffered a spinal injury as a result of an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. However, obtaining it can be tricky. The assistance from trusted Tacoma spinal injury lawyers is critical. They will defend your right to receive compensation for both your medical expenses (which can be significant and long-lasting) as well as for your pain, suffering, and reduction in quality of life.
The spinal injury attorneys at Strong Law can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact them today at 206-741-1051 and learn to learn more about the services they provide.
All About Spinal Cord Injuries
Common Accidents Where Negligence Can Cause Spinal Cord Injuries
Unfortunately, spinal cord injuries are not a rarity. In fact, we see them quite often. They can be caused by a host of issues. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, about 18,000 Americans suffer spinal cord injuries annually, often as the result of a car accident. While you may have been driving safely and taking all necessary precautions, the car accident can be caused by the negligence of another person. Actions like driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, texting and driving, and even speeding can result in another vehicle’s hitting your car and leaving you with a debilitating spinal cord injury.
While car accidents cause a significant number of spinal injuries each year, there are other sources of spinal injuries that could involve negligence as well. These include:
- Truck accidents
- Work accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
A personal injury attorney specializing in spinal cord injuries can assist you in recovering damages in all of these cases.
Injuries to the Vertebrae of the Spine
Back injuries don’t have to affect the spinal cord to be extremely painful and debilitating. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, an injury to the spine in an accident can lead to a herniated disc. This creates extreme pain in the back, leaving the victim unable to perform daily functions or to work as he or she did prior to the accident. A back injury also can result in damage to the tendons and muscles that connect to the spine, creating weakness and significant pain.
Through rest, physical therapy, pain medication, and other types of medical care, you may be able to overcome the back injury and return to something close to your normal life. However, you may be unable to work for weeks or months while you recover, and you deserve compensation for these lost wages.
With our Tacoma back injury lawyers representing you, we can work together to seek the settlement amount you deserve. Our spinal injury lawyer will interview your doctors, study your medical records, and collect facts that show exactly what kind of health future you could be facing. This information helps us determine a fair amount to seek from negligent parties and their insurance companies.
You Deserve Compensation for Your Spinal Injuries
We appreciate that spinal injuries are costly, both in terms of medical bills, quality of life, and emotional well-being. As you worry about how you are going to face these challenges, you may be tempted to work directly with the insurance company and settle quickly. Quite often this is not a good idea.
While insurance company representatives make it seem like they are working on your behalf, in reality, their allegiance lies with the companies they represent, not you. Their goal is to convince you to settle for as little as possible, as quickly as possible.
Don’t let the insurance company convince you to accept a smaller settlement than you deserve in order to wrap up your case as quickly as possible.
It is critical to realize that it can take several months or even longer to receive a true and accurate diagnosis of your injuries. Only with this information can you even begin to determine the extent of your financial and health damages and understand what the future may hold for you.
Until you have that diagnosis in hand, which would include feedback from specialists recommended by your primary care doctor, you should not even consider settling. The experienced spinal injury lawyer team at Strong Law understands how insurance companies operate. Let us handle all negotiations on your behalf and you can focus on your recovery. We will work tirelessly to help determine an appropriate award and pursue it. For a free consultation, call our Tacoma spinal injury attorneys at 206-741-1051 today.
Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuits
How We Help Win a Fair Spinal Injury Settlement for You
The advice and counsel of a skilled personal injury lawyer who has experience in spinal cord cases is critical. Our attorneys not only recognize the causes of these injuries, but they also have an in-depth understanding of their effects. We know these injuries are serious and painful. They can impact your ability to do just about anything, and the effects can last for weeks, months, years, or even a lifetime.
Our proven approach to these cases centers on helping our clients. We know you are struggling, and even discussing the event and your current condition can be emotionally draining. Our sympathetic attorneys who handle spinal injury cases take their time when learning about your case. We appreciate how difficult everything can be. Once we have a complete understanding of your situation, we take over and manage every step of the process from beginning to end. While we will keep you apprised of developments in your case, and are always available to answer your questions, you do not need to do anything except concentrate on your recovery. Getting better likely requires your full attention.
We focus on gathering all important information regarding your case, including information on the negligence which caused it, documentation of medical costs, and estimates for future care. We want to know everything, including all of your needs, so that when we begin to negotiate on your behalf we are well-prepared.
In the majority of cases, the responsible party will have liability insurance coverage; thus, your Tacoma spinal injury lawyer will be dealing with an insurance company when attempting to get you the compensation you deserve. Our initial goal is always to settle with the involved insurance companies. We aggressively negotiate from a position of power, keeping in mind that you are the victim of another’s negligence and as such are entitled to an appropriate settlement.
You were not the at-fault party, thus the insurer for the individual or organization that caused your injuries should be willing to pay for your medical care, as well as fairly compensate you for your pain and suffering and the reduction in your quality of life going forward. This generally doesn’t happen with the first offer.
Our Spinal Injury Lawyers Understand How Insurers Treat Back Injury Victims
Insurers are for-profit companies. One of the ways they maintain a high-profit margin is by paying the smallest possible settlements they can.
An insurance company will have multiple adjusters and lawyers on its side, especially in a serious case involving a spinal injury, attempting to convince you to accept a smaller settlement than you may deserve.
Before starting our firm at Strong Law, our attorneys had experience on the inside, getting to know the way insurance companies work and the way they treat victims. We know how to counteract the techniques of insurers, giving us the ability to help you receive the true settlement amount that you deserve.
Contact our back injury lawyer team at 206-741-1051 as soon as possible for a free review of your case. We serve clients in three states, with offices in Tacoma, Salt Lake City, and Portland.
Compensation for Your Spine Injury
In Washington, personal injury compensation is classified in one of two ways, economic or non-economic.
Economic Damages in a Spinal Injury Case
Economic damages are those which are quantifiable. In general, they include all medical expenses (including emergency care, follow-up visits, medication, therapy, and rehabilitation), loss of earning capacity, and lost future wages. You can also sue for damages to your vehicle if a car accident caused your injury. Additionally, you can recover costs for necessary travel expenses. There are a number of ways we can “prove” the existence of these damages including submitting your medical bills, mechanic’s bills and paychecks. We can have experts submit estimates regarding future care costs.
Non-economic Damages in a Spinal Injury Case
Non-economic damages are more difficult to “put a number on.” These include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and compensation for any disability you may have as a result of the incident. Proof for these damages comes in the form of psychologist testimony, documentation of your accident (including pictures, if they exist) and, perhaps most importantly, your own description of how your life has changed. Often your words are the most powerful.
When you sue for personal injury one of the most important steps in your personal injury case is accurately calculating all of your expenses. While medical bills are ideal for quantifying past costs, it is important that we also look toward the future and take into account any medical or personal care you will need as you move forward.
Our spine injury attorneys can help determine the figure for which you should ask. They will categorize each specific area and, when necessary, provide information from expert witnesses to support each claim.
The costs associated with spinal injuries can be considerable. Thankfully, in the state of Washington, based on an injury case that went to the state Supreme Court, there is no limit on the damages that can be awarded.
When LItigation Is Necessary in a Spinal Injury Case
Ideally, your spine injury attorney will reach a settlement with the insurance company that compensates you appropriately for all that you have lost. Unfortunately, reaching a settlement that truly takes care of you is not always possible.
When negotiations come to a standstill, it may be time to take your case to court.
Because the statute of limitations in Washington is three years from the date of your injury, timing matters. If your spinal injury is a result of medical malpractice, it is usually three years, but in some circumstances, eight (R.C.W §4.16.50). You don’t want to wait when contacting a spinal injury lawyer; you want them to have time to negotiate and file your suit in court if necessary. If you file after the three year window, your case will not be heard.
Finally, it is important to understand that Washington has comparative fault laws in place. This means that fault for an accident can be proportional. Thus, you may be found to be 5% at fault for the accident which caused your spinal injury. In this case you would be entitled to 95% of the damages.
Handling Your Medical Bills After Your Spinal Injury Settlement
Once your case is settled, you will know how much money you will receive. This settlement includes compensation that must be used to pay your medical bills. If your insurance company has already paid bills, they will want to be reimbursed. In Washington, this process is governed by the common fund and “made whole” rules.
The common fund rule focuses on attorney’s fees. If you hired an attorney to handle your spine injury case, the monies paid back to your insurance company may be reduced. You keep that portion because you hired the attorney. If you did not hire an attorney, the total paid by the insurance company would be reimbursed.
The Washington State Made Whole Doctrine protects you. Basically, your insurance company can only be paid if you are fully compensated for your damages. If insurance limits were too low, you do not have to reimburse them for the full amount.
Finally, when you do need to reimburse your insurance company, they only get reimbursed for the contractual amount they paid, not the full amount you were charged. When you look at your explanation of benefits you will see a charge for a procedure – for example, an X-ray with a charge of $1,000. You will also see your copay and the amount the insurance company paid (often significantly less, in this case perhaps $250). This is their contractual rate. You can sue for the full $1,000, but only have to pay the insurance company their contracted cost.
Your Strong Law spinal injury lawyers will be able to fully explain these and other aspects of your settlement.
Common Back Injury Questions for Our Tacoma Spinal Injury Lawyer
Naturally, those injured and their families have a lot of questions regarding the legal process. Here are some of the most common questions victims of spinal injuries raise when preparing to file a personal injury claim.
How easy is it to win a spinal injury lawsuit?
How long will my case take?
How quickly do I have to file a claim for my back injury?
How much compensation is possible after a spinal cord injury?
Can I afford a Tacoma spinal injury attorney?
How do I know if I have a case that requires spinal injury lawyers?
Long-Term Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries
Understanding Your Future
A spinal injury can affect the nerves that make up the spinal cord, the bones that comprise the spine, or the soft tissues that connect to the spine. In the most serious type of spinal injury, according to Mayo Clinic, the accident victim could have damage to the spinal cord, which can cause partial or complete paralysis to areas of the body below the injury location.
If this happens in your case, you could be facing a lifetime of paralysis in your limbs and lower body, leaving you with the need of a wheelchair to move. You may need professional help to perform personal care and to complete tasks you could have easily done on your own before the accident.
Some people who suffer paralysis can have a shorter lifespan than they would have had before the accident. They may never be able to work and earn a living again.
Our Tacoma Spinal Injury Lawyers Know How Frustrating This Injury Can Be
Your Life Can Change in an Instant After a Serious Back Injury
When you suffer a spinal injury because of the negligence of another party, you almost certainly will have significant feelings of frustration. You did not do anything wrong, yet your life has changed in a split second because of the mistakes of another individual or organization.
You may not be able to enjoy life as you did before the crash. And, you may even have to face the possibility that you will be relying on other people for nearly all aspects of your personal life. You may be unable to work in the same job or as much as you did before the crash. You deserve to receive compensation from the insurance company that takes all of these changes to your life into consideration.