Fairfax Spinal Cord Injury Attorney

Spinal cord injuries are debilitating and can change your life in an instant. They often lead to loss of movement and feeling in parts of the body. This means long-term medical care, which can cost a lot of money.

If your injury came from an accident that was someone else’s fault, you could file a legal claim to get money for your care.

Fairfax spinal cord injury attorney from Right Path Law Group can help you.

Why Choose Right Path Law Group for Your Spinal Cord Injury Case?

Right Path Law Group , Fairfax personal injury lawyers

If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a life-altering accident, choosing the right Fairfax spinal cord injury attorney is your first step to getting the compensation and justice you deserve.

At Right Path Law Group, we believe your choice is clear, thanks to our:

  • Local Ties and Commitment: Our attorneys have strong connections to Northern Virginia. We’re your neighbors, deeply invested in Fairfax and Prince William Counties, and we know the local courts inside and out. This local knowledge will help us pursue your claim more effectively.
  • Proven Track Record: With over 15 years of experience, Right Path Law Group has established a reputation for excellence in personal injury law. We’ve successfully represented many clients with spinal cord injuries and understand the specific challenges and nuances of these cases.
  • Client-Focused Approach: We prioritize your needs and well-being. With our understanding of the physical, emotional, and financial toll of a spinal cord injury, we dedicate ourselves to securing the compensation you deserve. Our approach is compassionate and personalized. We see you as an individual, not just a case number.
  • Comprehensive Legal Support: From your initial consultation to the resolution of your case, we provide thorough and attentive legal support. We handle all the complexities of the legal process, allowing you to focus on your recovery and well-being.
  • Integrity and Compassion: Our Fairfax spinal cord injury lawyer operates with the highest levels of integrity and compassion. We’re not just fighting for a settlement. We’re advocating for your rights, your recovery, and your future.
  • No Upfront Costs: We understand the financial strain a spinal cord injury can place on individuals and families. That’s why we offer our services on a contingency fee basis. You pay no upfront costs, and we only collect fees if and when we win your case.

Compensation for Spinal Cord Injury Claims

Google Rating

If you suffer a spinal cord injury that someone else caused, you can claim compensation from them for the medical expenses and other losses you incur as a result.

For instance, you could include the following types of compensable losses in your spinal cord injury claim:

  • Medical bills that relate to your spinal cord injury
  • Healthcare costs you will likely incur in the future due to your injury
  • Incidental expenses, such as travel costs for medical appointments
  • Lost income from any work you miss due to your injury
  • Projected losses in your lifetime earning capacity
  • Pain, suffering, and diminished quality or enjoyment of life

How Common Are Spinal Cord Injuries?

Rightpath Banner

Spinal cord injuries are distressingly common in the United States.

Let’s review some eye-opening statistics from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center to illustrate how often these injuries occur:

  • Approximately 294,000 people live with SCI in the United States, with an estimated range from 250,000 to 368,000.
  • The annual incidence of SCI in the United States is approximately 54 cases per one million people, or about 17,810 new SCI cases each year.
  • The average age at injury has increased from 29 years during the 1970s to 43 years since 2015.
  • Approximately 78 percent of new SCI cases are male.
  • Vehicle crashes and falls are the top causes of SCI, followed by acts of violence (primarily gunshot wounds) and sports or recreational activities.
  • Using a seatbelt while driving in a car decreases the risk of sustaining an SCI by 60 percent. Having a seatbelt and a functioning airbag decreases the risk of an SCI by 80 percent.
  • The employment rate among persons with SCI is 18 percent at one year post-injury, increasing over time to 32 percent at 40 years post-injury.
  • Since 2015, about 30 percent of persons with SCI required re-hospitalization one or more times during any given year following injury. The average hospital stay is about 18 days.
  • The average yearly expenses and estimated lifetime costs attributable to SCI vary greatly based on severity. Costs range from $375,196 to $1,149,629 in the first year and from $45,572 to $199,637 in each subsequent year.
  • The life expectancy for persons with SCI has not improved since the 1980s and remains significantly below that of persons without SCI. Mortality rates are higher during the first year after injury, especially for those with severe neurological impairments.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) can vary greatly in severity. Medical professionals categorize them in a number of ways based on the site and extent of the damage.

Pierre Prialé, Fairfax personal injury attorney

First, there are two main categories of spinal cord injuries: complete and incomplete. A complete SCI totally eliminates the spinal cord’s ability to send signals to or from the brain below the site of injury. This often results in a total loss of movement and sensation in those areas.

On the other hand, an incomplete SCI still allows some signals to travel below the injury site. People with incomplete SCIs often retain some movement or sensation below the point of injury.

Now, let’s look at the different levels of spinal cord injuries, which refer to where along the spine the injury occurs:

  • Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries: These injuries occur in the neck and can affect both arms and legs, potentially leading to paralysis or weakness in all four limbs. This level of injury can also affect the body’s ability to breathe independently and perform other vital functions.
  • Thoracic Spinal Cord Injuries: These injuries happen in the upper and middle back. They mainly affect the chest and legs, and those with thoracic SCIs often experience paralysis or weakness in their legs.
  • Lumbar Spinal Cord Injuries: These injuries, which affect the lower back, can cause paralysis or weakness in the legs. People with lumbar SCIs often require braces or wheelchairs for mobility.
  • Sacral Spinal Cord Injuries: These injuries occur at the base of the spine. They can affect the hips, back of the thighs, pelvic organs, and buttocks. People with sacral SCIs often retain a fair degree of mobility but sometimes experience problems with bladder and bowel control.

Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries have a variety of symptoms, which vary depending on where along the spine the injury occurs. Each level corresponds to different parts of the body, and thus, the symptoms can differ significantly. Here’s a breakdown of common symptoms that accompany each level of spinal cord injury.

Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries

  • Complete or partial loss of function in arms and legs (quadriplegia)
  • Difficulty breathing, often requiring ventilators or breathing aids
  • Loss of ability to control body temperature
  • Reduced or no control over bladder and bowel functions
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Reduced control of body temperature and sweating
  • Difficulty with balance and coordination

Thoracic Spinal Cord Injuries

  • Paralysis or weakness in the legs (paraplegia)
  • Numbness or altered sensation below the level of injury
  • Difficulty with balance and posture, particularly in an upright position
  • Reduced control or function of the abdominal and back muscles
  • Bladder and bowel dysfunction, often requiring catheters or other aids
  • Possible pain or discomfort around the level of injury
  • Decreased or altered sensation in the trunk

Lumbar Spinal Cord Injuries

  • Paralysis or weakness in the legs
  • Altered sensation or numbness in the hips and legs
  • Possible loss of sexual function
  • Bladder and bowel control issues
  • Difficulty moving or controlling legs
  • Potential for muscle spasms or exaggerated reflexes in the legs
  • Chronic pain in the lower back or legs

Sacral Spinal Cord Injuries

  • Weakness or paralysis affecting the hips and legs, though often less severe than lumbar injuries
  • Altered sensation or numbness in the groin, buttocks, and thighs
  • Sexual dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction in men
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control (often less severe than higher-level injuries)
  • Potential for foot deformities or altered walking patterns
  • Lower back pain or discomfort
  • Reduced control over certain reflexes or muscle movements in the lower body

Long-Term Implications of Spinal Cord Injuries

The long-term consequences of spinal cord injuries (SCIs) extend far beyond the initial trauma, often affecting every aspect of a patient’s life.

Financially, the costs are staggering. In the first year after injury, expenses can range from $347,484 for incomplete motor function to over a million dollars for high tetraplegia.

Each subsequent year brings costs ranging from $42,206 to $184,891, depending on the severity of the injury. These figures reflect only direct costs like healthcare and living expenses, not the lost income, fringe benefits, or decreased productivity, which can add an average of $71,961 per year.

Physically, individuals with SCIs often face a lifetime of challenges, including partial or full paralysis, loss of sensation, and potential complications like infections or chronic pain. These conditions require ongoing medical treatment and personal care, which are both costly and time-consuming.

Personal Injury Attorneys

The psychological effects of SCIs are also profound. Individuals often experience a range of emotions, from grief and anger to depression and anxiety. Socially, SCIs can contribute to feelings of isolation.

Accessibility issues often prevent patients from participating in community activities or returning to work. Relationships can experience strain as family roles shift and social interactions change.

Adapting to these changes often requires significant adjustments, support from a community of care, and considerable resources to navigate the complex path of rehabilitation.

The recovery journey following an SCI is not just about overcoming physical limitations. It’s about addressing a spectrum of challenges and rebuilding a fulfilling life with as much independence as possible.

Filing an Insurance Claim After a Spinal Cord Injury

Avvo Reviews

Filing an insurance claim after a spinal cord injury is often a tough process. Right from the start, you’re dealing with a lot of paperwork and legal terms that might not make much sense. 

Unfortunately, insurance companies often make the process harder than it should be. They have many rules about what they will pay for and are always looking for ways to minimize payouts. This can feel overwhelming when you’re trying to get better or adapt to big changes in your life.

A spinal cord injury lawyer can make a big difference in the outcome of your claim and your quality of life as you pursue it. They understand the law and how insurance companies work. They can fill out all the forms for you, talk to the insurance people, and demand they treat your claim fairly.

If the insurance company doesn’t offer enough money to cover all your medical bills and other costs, your lawyer can fight for more.

An SCI lawyer also knows how to show the insurance company or a court just how much the injury has changed your life.

They can add up all the costs to include in your claim – not just medical bills but the money you couldn’t earn because you can’t work like you used to. Their goal is to secure you enough money to cover all your expenses now and in the future.

Steps to Take if You Suffer a Spinal Cord Injury

Pierre Prialé, Fairfax Personal Injury Attorney
Pierre Prialé, Fairfax Spinal Cord Injury Attorney

If you or someone close to you suffers a spinal cord injury, to protect your rights and manage this situation effectively:

  • Follow your doctor’s orders and attend follow-up appointments as necessary.
  • Provide medical personnel with all your known medical history.
  • Inform your insurance company about the injury.
  • Keep detailed notes of all medical consultations and treatments.
  • Arrange for help at home with daily tasks if necessary.
  • Talk to your doctor about modifying your home or vehicle for mobility.
  • Secure copies of all medical records and reports.
  • Keep all receipts and bills related to the injury.
  • Start a journal documenting the injury’s effect on your daily life.
  • Contact a spinal cord injury lawyer for help pursuing compensation as soon as possible.

Contact Our Fairfax Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers Now

Still have questions about your options after a spinal cord injury? Contact the Fairfax spinal cord injury lawyers at Right Path Law Group  today at (703) 637-9999. We can review your case and answer your questions at no charge during your free initial consultation session.