Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are among the severest injuries a person can endure, and they can change people’s lives forever. These injuries require months and even years of medical care and rehabilitation, causing longtime hardships, including those involving finances.
If you or a loved one is recovering from an SCI because of someone else’s negligence, a Texas spinal cord injury lawyer with Domingo Garcia can represent you and seek to hold the liable party accountable for your medical care, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. You can reach out to us today for a free consultation to learn about your legal options.
Important to Know: Texas Has a Time Limit for Filing Spinal Cord Injury Cases
If you wish to seek compensation, we encourage you to act promptly and contact us as soon as you can. Personal injury cases in Texas have a strict filing deadline, so it is important to know this as you consider hiring legal representation. Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, you generally have a two-year time limit to file your injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
The deadline starts on the day the injury occurred; in a wrongful death lawsuit, the deadline starts on the decedent’s death date. If either deadline expires before you file your case, you likely will lose your right to sue the liable party for your losses. If you hire our Texas spinal cord injury lawyer, they will file your lawsuit on time, giving you one less thing to worry about.
We Handle Texas Spinal Cord Injury Cases on Contingency
We understand the hardships that accidents and spinal cord injuries cause, particularly those concerning money. Many people pass up their chance to hire an attorney because they believe they cannot afford one. Domingo Garcia takes this concern seriously, and we do not ask or expect our clients to pay us up front to represent them.
Instead, we work on contingency. This means we agree to work on your case without you paying us upfront attorney’s fees or costs. You receive help until we resolve your case. If we recover compensation for you, our payment will come from a percentage of your settlement or court-ordered award. If we do not win your case, you will owe us nothing.
Before we agree to work together, we will cover the attorney fee arrangement with you. We offer a free initial case consultation so that we can determine how we can help you, and you can get information as you determine your next steps. This is a risk-free conversation, so you have nothing to lose.
We Fight for People Across Texas Who Have Been Hurt in Spinal Cord Injury Accidents
Personal injury attorney Domingo Garcia has worked diligently to protect the rights of injury victims in Texas for more than 35 years. In 1995, he represented a client who received a jury award of $1,100,000 for injuries sustained in a car accident. Since this one million dollar plus award, Domingo Garcia has recovered millions of dollars for clients in all types of cases with the most recent victory being a $9,000,000 recovery for a child that suffered a neurological injury when his parents car was hit by a commercial vehicle.
Over the years, he has built a team of legal professionals and lawyers who work hard to hold liable parties accountable and bring them to justice. Clients who choose our firm get a team of legal advocates on their side who know the law and set out to get the maximum recovery for them.
When it comes to spinal cord injury cases, we pursue all damages for our clients who suffer these injuries in:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Traffic accidents across Texas can result in spinal cord injuries affecting road users, no matter if they are driving a car, truck, or motorcycle or riding a bicycle. Passengers and pedestrians can also suffer these injuries.
In 2021, more than 425,000 crashes occurred on roads throughout the state, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TX DOT). Nearly 12,000 suspected serious injuries resulted from 10,083 crashes, data show. SCIs likely were among the serious injuries that accident victims endured.
Accidental falls occur every day, sending millions of people to the emergency room. Slip, trip, and fall accidents commonly happen at home, in the workplace, and while people are out shopping, vacationing, or running errands.
These falls can be minor, but one out of five falls causes a serious injury, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report. Some people suffer spinal cord and back injuries in these accidents, especially if they land on their backs after falling.
Falls on a construction site due to lack of fall protection, defective scaffolding or lack of guardrails pose some of the highest risk of spinal cord injury due to the height of the average fall. Domingo Garcia has represented hundreds of workers that have suffered not only spinal cord injuries, but other serious and catastrophic injuries as a result of a fall on a construction site.
Violent acts also cause traumatic spinal cord injuries. Per the Mayo Clinic, 12% of SCIs in violent encounters involve gunshot and knife wounds. In some cases, people can suffer paralysis from such an injury and face a lifetime of expenses for medical treatment and rehabilitation.
When violent acts are the result of a failure of a property owner or management company to provide adequate security for its tenants and residents, Texas law allows the injured persons to hold them accountable.
People who participate in indoor and outdoor athletic activities are at risk of suffering a spinal cord injury. Per the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), the higher up the injury is on the vertebral column, the more it can affect an injured person’s movement and sense of feeling because it is closer to the brain. These activities include:
- All-terrain vehicle (ATV) and all-terrain cycle riding
- Diving (particularly in shallow water)
- Football, soccer
- Horseback riding
- Skiing and snowboarding
We Can Seek Recovery for All Texas Spinal Cord Injury Damages
Caring for a spinal cord injury is a steep lifetime expense for many SCI patients. How much medical care one needs over the course of their recovery time depends on the injury’s severity. However, various sources show that the costs of these injuries can quickly run into the hundreds of thousands.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), the average yearly medical and living expenses of a person completely paralyzed (high tetraplegia) from a spinal cord injury was $1,149,629 in 2019 for the first year of treatment. The patient was estimated to have nearly $200,000 in average annual costs after that. In our experience, the actual cost of care is hundreds of thousands dollars per year higher.
According to the center, these figures do not reflect the indirect costs that accompany these injuries, such as lost wages and fringe benefits and lost productivity. Indirect costs averaged nearly $78,000 per year in 2019 dollars.
Recoverable Financial and Non-Financial SCI Damages in Texas
If you have a spinal cord injury, we can help you file an insurance claim with the liable party’s insurance company or sue the liable party directly to recover damages. The latter option could result in going to trial if we cannot settle with the insurance company. In an SCI case, you could recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses (past, present, and ongoing), including ambulance fees, emergency room care, surgeries, etc.
- Rehabilitation care expenses (e.g., physical therapy)
- Medical devices and mobility equipment, such as wheelchairs, lifts, crutches, etc.
- Lost income, wages, benefits
- Reduced or lost earning capacity
- Mental health services (therapy, counseling)
- Household services (e.g., transportation, childcare, lawn maintenance, etc.)
- Home and vehicle renovations to accommodate your injury
- Other life care expenses related to your accident and/or SCI injuries like attendant care and home health care
Some lasting effects of spinal cord injuries are not visible, but they are real, and people suffering from them should seek to be fairly compensated. These include:
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
- Anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Reduced quality of life
- Sleep disorders (e.g., insomnia)
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent scarring, disfigurement
- Physical impairment and disability
- Other intangible losses related to the spinal cord injury
If Your Loved One Suffered a Fatal Spinal Cord Injury in Texas, We Can Help You Seek Damages
Not everyone will survive a spinal cord injury. Complications from these injuries can result in death, even if it occurs weeks, months, or years down the line. While this reality is unfortunate, it is not one that should go without consequence.
If you have lost a loved one due to a spinal cord injury, please accept our heartfelt condolences. We can help you hold the at-fault party responsible for your loved one’s passing by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Texas law allows certain family members to seek compensation that helps them cover the costs of losing a family member.
Our Texas spinal cord injury lawyer will seek compensation for:
- Your loved one’s medical bills
- Funeral, burial, and cremation expenses
- Lost income, benefits, and lost earning capacity
- Lost inheritance the decedent would have left had they survived their injury
- Surviving relatives’ mental pain and suffering
- Los of the decedent’s counsel, services, support, and companionship
Our attorney will review all losses and advise you on what compensation could look like in your Texas spinal cord injury case. We leave no stone unturned and will work to get you and your family the recovery you need to help you move forward as you rebuild your life.
How We Approach a Texas Spinal Cord Injury Case Depends on Its Circumstances
We will customize our legal strategy according to the type of accident that caused your or your loved one’s SCI. Not every person’s situation is the same, so as we assess your damages and possible financial award, we will also determine which parties to seek damages from.
For example, if a worker suffers an SCI after a construction site accident in Texas, we will evaluate their condition first. This is so we can determine who to file a claim or lawsuit against. In this example, we could sue the general contractor, subcontractor, or the site’s property owner for negligence. If a power tool malfunctioned and caused the injury, we could file for damages against the tool’s manufacturer.
If a person suffered an SCI injury in a car accident, we could seek financial compensation from their insurance company. Texas law requires all drivers to have liability insurance. Per the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), the minimum coverage is referred to as 30/60/25 and breaks down as follows:
- $30,000 of bodily injury coverage for injuries per person
- $60,000 for total bodily injury if the accident injures two or more people
- $25,000 for property damage liability
Trucking companies carry much higher liability limits, which could mean higher awards for injured parties who suffer an SCI from a commercial truck accident. Most company owned vehicles (“commercial vehicles”) carry high insurance limits as well. No matter how your accident happened, we will develop our strategy according to the specifics of the situation. We can review this during your free consultation.
We Can Build Your Spinal Cord Injury Case
Spinal cord injuries can take considerable time to address, and we believe all injured parties and their families should have this time to focus on maximum recovery. However, we also know they still have the right to hold negligent parties accountable for the catastrophic injuries they caused. SCI cases are complex, and they, too, require time to take care of. These cases can be daunting as they require a lot of preparation. That’s where we come in to help.
Domingo Garcia’s legal professionals can manage your entire spinal cord injury case from beginning to end. Our Texas team will take care of every aspect of your case, from investigating what happened, determining who is liable for your injuries, and navigating the entire process with the goal of seeking financial awards for you.
With 35-plus years of experience under our belts, we will work tirelessly for you to receive the compensation you are due.
We Can Gather Evidence for Your Texas Spinal Cord Injury Case
We will investigate the accident or incident that caused your spinal cord injury and collect documents and more that prove your case, such as:
- The police report or incident report
- Photos, video footage from the accident scene; images of your injuries
- Witness statements
- Medical records, doctor’s notes
- Field experts whose professional opinions can explain the extent of your injuries and recovery (e.g., life care planners, specialized rehabilitation physicians, economists, vocational experts)
We Can Determine the Liable Parties
The evidence in your case can help us identify the liable parties responsible for your losses. This could be anyone from another road user, such as the driver of a commercial or passenger vehicle, to an employer, a coworker, or a job site supplier. The parties that could be liable will depend on your accident type and how it happened.
We Can Help Establish Negligence in a Catastrophic Injury Case
No matter who the liable party is in your case, it is our job to prove they are responsible for your spinal injury and related losses. All personal injury cases must contain four elements to prove someone else’s negligence and liability. When we review your case, we will look for these elements:
- The liable party owed you a duty of care. This first element establishes the liable party’s responsibility under the law to keep you safe from harm. For example, a motor vehicle driver owes you a duty of care to drive safely; an employer owes you a duty to maintain a safe working environment; a store owes you a safe premise where you can shop without hurting yourself.
- The liable party did not keep their duty of care to you. This element involves proving the defendant breached their duty of care to you. A motor vehicle driver that caused your injury because they were driving under the influence breached their duty of care. If you get hurt at work or a store because of a preventable hazard, the employer or store owner breached their duty by allowing an on-site danger to exist.
- As a direct result of breaching their duty of care, you suffered a spinal cord injury. This element shows how the negligent party’s breach directly caused your injury. If multiple parties caused or contributed to the accident that caused your injury, we will have to prove how each one did so.
- The spinal cord injury caused you to suffer compensatory losses. This final element involves us proving that you suffered physical, mental, emotional, and financial damages because of the breach. We will show why the liable party owes you compensation.
We Can Manage All Case Communications for You
Injury cases require a great deal of communication with multiple parties, along with a lot of paperwork and deadlines. If you hire us to represent you, we will take care of everything. This includes talking with the liable party’s insurance company, their legal representative, and others involved in your case.
With us taking care of your legal matters, you will have time to focus on getting better. You can also rest easier knowing your legal matters are being taken care of by professionals.
We Can Update You on the Status of Your Texas Spinal Cord Claim or Lawsuit
As we work on your spinal cord injury case, we will update you regularly about what is going on. We will explain all applicable laws and regulations that apply. We also will make sure you know about all developments and explain everything in plain terms and answer all your questions.
Our Case Results Show That We Take Our Clients’ Recoveries Seriously
We are proud of our track record in securing favorable outcomes for our injury clients. We do not accept less than they deserve. Here are some of the financial awards we have recovered for our clients:
- $26.5 million verdict for a worker who suffered paralysis after falling
- $5.5 million settlement for a client who suffered paraplegia due to an uncovered roof opening
- $5 million settlement for a client who suffered paraplegia after job-site scaffolding collapsed
- $4.6 million settlement for paraplegia resulting from failure to build scaffolding safely
- $4.35 million settlement for a client who suffered paraplegia after a fall
- $3.75 million settlement for a client who suffered paraplegia due to a guardrail that was not properly maintained
Injury case results vary according to the factors involved, such as your age, how serious your injury is, and how long your recovery time is expected to last. We also look at how an SCI will affect your health and well-being over your lifetime. Based on these and many other factors, our Texas spinal cord injury lawyers will seek all the compensation you are due.
Doming Garcia Receives Awards and Honors for Our Legal Work
Our peers and outside organizations recognize our law firm’s work and commitment to our clients. Our top honors for some of our leading lawyers and partnersinclude:
- The National Trial Lawyers Association Top 100 Trial Lawyers
- Best of the Best Attorneys Top 10
- The Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
- Top 50 Texas
- American Board of Trial Advocates
What to Do If You Have Suffered a Spinal Cord Injury in Texas?
If you have suffered an injury to your spinal cord, you should get medical care right away. Prompt treatment is needed as these injuries typically do not heal on their own. Spinal cord injuries do not affect only the spine. Other parts of the body can suffer complications because of this injury, so you must get checked out to confirm what is happening with your overall health and well-being.
Document Your Spinal Cord Injury-Related Losses
You can use any of the following to prove your injury:
- Imaging tests
- Photos and videos of your injury
- Medical records
- All documentation of your initial treatment and follow-up treatment (receipts, invoices, doctor’s notes)
- Hospital bills
- Prescription medications
- Communications between you and other parties in your case
Direct the Insurance Company to Speak to Your Attorney About Your SCI
At Domingo Garcia, we protect our clients’ rights, and one way we do that is to handle all communications with the insurance adjuster in injury cases. This protects you, the client, from accidentally saying something to the adjuster that jeopardizes your case. It also means you have a legal advocate always looking out for your best interests.
Insurance companies could offer you a settlement early after your injury occurs. This award likely will be too low and fall short of meeting your needs. This is why we discourage our clients from accepting any settlement offers until we review them. Once you accept an offer from an insurance company, you cannot take further legal action against it. This decision could take money out of your pocket and leave you on the hook for covering your losses.
Frequently Asked Questions About Texas Spinal Cord Injuries
Here are some of our clients’ commonly asked questions about SCIs. For more in-depth medical information, we advise you to consult a doctor or another health care professional.
What Are Spinal Cord Injuries?
A spinal cord injury (SCI) occurs when the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal suffer damage, as Mayo Clinic explains. People who suffer these wounds can experience a loss of strength and sensation in the body. In many cases, this is a permanent condition.
Such changes can affect someone’s mental and emotional health in addition to their physical health. Their social status can also change because spinal cord injuries affect mobility and other body functions.
According to the NSCISC, anywhere from 250,000 to 368,000 people in the U.S. are living with SCIs.
How Are SCIs Diagnosed, and What Are the Different Types?
A medical professional can diagnose an SCI with an X-ray, a CT scan, or an MRI, among other tests. Once they determine a person’s level of impairment, they will categorize the injury in one of these categories:
- Complete: A spinal cord injury is complete when a patient cannot feel or move anywhere below the spinal cord injury.
- Incomplete: There is some motor and sensor function in the body below the spinal cord injury, but how much depends on the person’s condition.
- Tetraplegia (quadriplegia): When the spinal cord injury causes paralysis, affecting the patient’s arms, hands, trunk, legs, and pelvic organs.
- Paraplegia: When the patient’s paralysis partially or totally affects their legs and pelvic organs and all or some of the trunk.
What Are the Symptoms of an SCI?
A person with an SCI can experience any of the following symptoms:
- Unable to move their arms or legs because of paralysis
- Lost sensation or feeling a pins and needle sensation
- Unable to feel heat or cold
- Unable to control their bladder or bowel movements
- Muscle weakness or muscle spasms
- Neck and/or back pain
- Having a hard time with walking, breathing, or coughing
- Sexual function changes
You can also experience other symptoms not listed here. Tell your physician about any symptoms you have, including any noticeable changes in your condition.
Call Us Today for a Free Case Review About a Texas Spinal Cord Injury
A spinal cord injury brings significant life changes with it, ones that are hard to prepare for. In addition to living with the devastating effects of this injury, victims also face high medical bills, extensive recovery time, lost income, and much more. Some people are no longer able to live on their own and require round-the-clock care after an SCI occurs.
A Texas spinal cord injury attorney at Domingo Garcia is ready to review your case and determine how our firm can help you can recover compensation for an SCI accident. We believe you should not pay for the pain and suffering that another party caused. We can help you hold them accountable and seek the monetary award you need to move forward. Call us today for a free consultation to learn more.