Our experienced St. Louis spinal cord injury lawyers can help you bring the liable party to justice and recover your losses in full. Contact our team for a 100% free consultation today and learn more about how the spinal cord injury claims process works, what your personal injury claim is worth, and what your next steps should be.
Why are spinal cord injuries so serious?
Spinal cord injuries are one of the most severe injuries you can cope with after being involved in an accident of any kind. This is because spinal cord injuries can often result in partial or complete paralysis, making it difficult or impossible for you to complete daily living tasks, earn a living, or otherwise live your life normally.
When your spinal cord injuries have taken their toll on your life, our St. Louis spinal cord injury lawyers are here to help you demand justice from the individuals or entities responsible for causing your injuries. Our firm will be ready to carefully evaluate the cause of your accident and identify those responsible so you can maximize your financial compensation.
Steps to take after experiencing a spinal cord injury
The initial steps you take after the accident could have a substantial impact on your ability to pursue your case and get the most out of your claim.
1. Call 911
Immediately after the accident, you need to call 911. Depending on the type of accident you were involved in, those responsible for causing your injuries may attempt to convince you calling the police is unnecessary. However, filing a police and accident report is essential.
Law enforcement officials at the accident scene can make a note of how the accident occurred, include valuable expert testimony, and in some cases, name the liable party in your accident report. These pieces of evidence will be critical as you move forward with your personal injury or insurance claim.
2. Document the scene
While you wait for emergency responders to arrive, do what you can to document the season and start collecting evidence to support your case. This is an excellent time to write down or compile a note on your smartphone that details exactly how the accident occurred, the events leading up to the accident, and other details that may be forgotten over time.
You can also take photos of your injuries if possible, collect video footage of the damage at the accident scene, and get the names and contact information of the other involved parties and any witnesses to the accident.
3. Obtain follow-up care
Even if you initially believe your spinal cord injuries are a simple neck, shoulder, or back injury, getting a medical evaluation is essential. Your injuries could be substantially worse than you initially believe due to the adrenaline and shock of the accident.
4. Speak with a St. Louis spinal cord injury lawyer
If you have the opportunity to call your spinal cord injury lawyer at the accident scene, you should do so. Otherwise, you can also get in touch with a reputable personal injury lawyer at the hospital once you are stabilized by healthcare providers.
Make sure you file a claim before the deadline
Your spinal cord injury lawsuit is under a strict deadline. According to Missouri Code Section 516.120, the statute of limitations for spinal cord injury and other types of personal injury lawsuits is five years. This is one of the longest statutes of limitations for personal injury lawsuits across the country. Unfortunately, those who do not file their lawsuits before time runs out will forfeit their rights to compensation through a civil lawsuit.
Possible damages you can claim
After being involved in an accident that causes a debilitating spinal cord injury, it is crucial to recover maximum compensation for your damages. Thankfully, you are entitled to a total reimbursement of every loss.
Economic damages include every monetary or financially based expense. If you paid out-of-pocket for co-pays, auto repairs, replacing personal property that was damaged, or other expenses, you can be reimbursed for the costs of filing your claim. Other examples of economic damages you can recover include:
- Wheelchair expenses
- Prosthetic limb
- Ongoing medical treatment
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Surgical treatments
- Loss of income
- Loss of health insurance coverage provided by your employer
- Loss of other employee benefits
- Future medical care related to your spinal cord injuries
Non-economic damages describe every way your life has been influenced by your spinal cord injuries that do not involve money. Examples of non-economic damages that may be available in your case include:
- Embarrassment and inconvenience
- Shock and fear
- Mental anguish
- Loss of an intimate spousal relationship
- Loss of parental guidance, support, and advice
- Loss of household services
- Loss of companionship
Common causes of spinal cord injuries
Here are some of the most common ways in which spinal cord injuries occur and the parties that may be held accountable for your damages:
Car and truck crashes
Motor vehicle and commercial truck accidents are one of the top ways spinal cord injuries occur. These collisions are frequently caused by
- Drunk driving
- Drugged driving
- Aggressive driving
- Driving over the speed limit
- Reckless driving
- Distracted driving
- Driving while fatigued
- Failure to yield to the right of way
- Failure to staff
- Other types of negligent driving behaviors
Collisions can also be caused by dangerous roads and defective motor vehicle parts. The following parties could be held accountable for your devastating spinal cord injuries:
- Negligent drivers
- Irresponsible truck drivers
- Reckless trucking companies
- The owner of the tractor-trailer that hit you
- Vehicle parts designers and manufacturers
- Cargo loaders
- Safety inspectors
- Vehicle maintenance workers
- The city of St. Louis
- The Missouri Department of Transportation
Slip and fall accidents are a type of premises liability claim. Here, the property owner or construction site owner where your accident occurred could be held accountable. This most often occurs due to a failure to make necessary safety repairs.
Acts of violence
If your spinal cord injuries were caused by an act of violence such as attempted murder or assault, the assailant may be held accountable not only through a criminal trial but through a civil lawsuit with help from your spinal cord injury attorney.
Symptoms of spinal cord injury
Spinal cord injury symptoms include:
- Muscle weakness
- Stiff muscles
- Problems with coordination
- Shortness of breath
- Overactive reflexes
- Muscle spasms
- Feeling faint
- Pins and needles feelings
- Reduced sensation of touch
- Abnormal and painful sensation
- Urine leaking or urinary retention
- Leaking stool
How our St. Louis spinal cord injury lawyers prove liability
Our spinal cord injury attorneys will prove liability based on a preponderance of the evidence so your personal injury claim can be successful. To do this, we will demonstrate that the elements of negligence have been met as follows:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
Why it’s important to visit the doctor as soon as possible
It is essential to get medical care and treatment as soon as possible after your accident. If you wait to get the medical treatment you need, your condition could worsen and lead to permanent paralysis. It also gives the liable party a chance to argue that your injuries were caused in another way that allows them to escape liability for your damages.
Treatment options for spinal cord injury
Some of the most effective treatment options for spinal cord injuries, depending on the type of spinal cord injury you endured and the severity of your condition, include:
- Neck immobilization
- Prescription medications
- Surgical intervention to remove foreign objects or bone fragments
- Surgical intervention to prevent deformity and stabilize the spine
- Experimental treatments to reduce inflammation and promote regeneration of the nerves
- Use of a wheelchair
- Use of electrical stimulation devices
Cost of hiring a spinal cord injury lawyer in St. Louis
Do not worry about the cost of hiring a spinal cord injury attorney in St. Louis at this time. If you choose to work with Langdon & Emison, you get a powerful legal advocate to work for you on contingency. There is no money down, and you will not be expected to cover any out-of-pocket expenses. If your spinal cord injury claim is successful, your attorney’s fees will come out of your award. If we lose, you do not pay anything.
Our St. Louis spinal cord injury lawyers are ready to help
The impact your spinal cord injuries will have on your life can often be overwhelming. Having a reputable St. Louis personal injury lawyer from Langdon & Emison by your side could make all the difference in your ability to recover your damages in full.
When you are ready to take back control of your life, but do not know where to begin, reach out to our personal injury law firm for a no-cost, risk-free consultation. You can reach us through our convenient contact form or by phone to start working on your spinal cord injury lawsuit and insurance claims as soon as today.