West Virginia Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys
A spinal cord injury is one of life’s cruelest blows. After suffering an injury like this, an accident victim is very often paralyzed and lives out a life of limitations. With therapy and other aggressive treatments, some spinal cord injury victims regain functions. As nerves regenerate and an injured person does exercises under the guidance of therapists, they may improve quite a bit. However, for a great many of these victims, a lifetime in a wheelchair or otherwise restricted mobility awaits them.
If you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you deserve to be fully compensated. But unfortunately, insurance companies do not want to pay you fair compensation. Their goal is to pay you as little as possible, because this enhances their bottom line.
Toward this end, they will look for ways to diminish the value of your claim or deny it altogether. In a situation like this with so much at stake, it makes sense to have experienced attorneys in your corner fighting hard to get you the compensation that you are entitled to.
For five decades, Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. has been standing up for those who have suffered serious injuries in West Virginia. We work exclusively with plaintiffs who have been injured by another party’s negligent or reckless actions, and we have an in-depth understanding of the complexities and nuances involved with these types of cases. Our firm has a successful track record with even the most complicated cases, and we have secured hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury is typically the result of damage to the ligaments, vertebrae, or discs within the spinal column, or damage to the spinal cord itself. This damage affects the nerve fibers that pass through the affected area, which may cause impairment to part or all of the corresponding nerves and muscles below the site of the injury.
There are a number of different ways that a spinal cord injury can occur, some of the most common include:
- Traffic-Related Accidents: According to the Mayo Clinic, motor vehicle accidents and other traffic-related events are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the US, accounting for nearly half of all such injuries. A spinal cord injury is more likely with certain types of accidents, such as crashes involving pedestrians and/or large commercial trucks.
- Falls: Falls are the second leading cause of spinal cord injuries, accounting for a little over 30% of these types of injuries. Individuals over the age of 65 are at the highest risk of a spinal cord injury after a fall.
- Workplace Accidents: A large number of spinal cord injuries happen on the job. In certain occupations, workers are more susceptible to these types of injuries; these include construction, logging, mining, and fracking.
- Acts of Violence: Close to 15% of spinal cord injuries are caused by violent encounters. Young children who are physically abused are especially vulnerable to spinal injuries, and they also happen because of gunshot and knife wounds.
- Sports Accidents: Spinal cord injuries happen sometimes because of sports accidents. These injuries are most common with certain sports activities, such as impact sports (e.g., football, hockey, and boxing), cliff diving, and diving in shallow water.
- Product Defects: A spinal cord injury can occur because of a defective or dangerous product that malfunctions and causes an accident. This has been known to happen with various types of machinery in the workplace, and faulty vehicle products could also be the cause of an auto accident with injuries.
Spinal cord injuries can be either “complete” or “incomplete”, depending on the specific injury. A complete injury means that the injured person has no sensation or movement in the affected area(s). An incomplete injury means that there is some sensation and the possibility of some movement in the area, although it might be limited.
After a Life-Changing Spinal Cord Injury
Paraplegia or quadriplegia changes a lifestyle in countless ways. Spouses or parents become caregivers. Typical work activities may be out-of-bounds as a result of new disabilities. There are typically many new and ongoing expenses.
Emergency medical treatment, follow-up medical care, rehabilitation and physical therapy in the first few days, weeks and months are only the beginning of the many expenses to come. If you’ve been paralyzed as a result of a spinal cord injury, besides a wheelchair, you may need equipment such as a lift to move from bed to chair to wheelchair.
Additionally, you may need a modified van (as well as replacement vans every 10 years or so) and help from personal care attendants for several hours a day. For all these reasons, it is critical to pursue maximum available compensation from all sources — ideally beginning as soon after the accident as possible.
Pursuing a Spinal Cord Injury Claim in West Virginia
Spinal cord injuries are often permanent and debilitating, and victims can recover a wide range of damages through a personal injury lawsuit. These include:
- Hospitalization costs
- Costs for surgeries and other types of treatments
- Physical therapy and other types of rehabilitation
- The cost for ongoing medical care
- Living modifications
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Physical pain-and-suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Permanent injury
If your spinal cord injury occurred at work, things can get more complicated. Employees who suffer work-related injuries are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, but this program only provides coverage for direct monetary losses such as medical bills and lost earnings. Unfortunately, workers’ comp does not provide benefits for noneconomic losses such as pain-and-suffering.
Our attorneys look beyond workers’ comp for other legal avenues through which you may be able to recover the full and fair compensation you deserve. For example, if your spinal cord injury happened at work but it was caused by an outside party (such as a third-party subcontractor or a faulty product maker), then you may be able to file a personal injury claim directly against the responsible party.
In general, an injured worker is not able to sue their employer if the employer already provides workers’ compensation coverage. But in some rare cases, a worker could sue a West Virginia employer if their injury was caused by the employer’s deliberate actions. Deliberate intent claims are very difficult to win, however, so if you decide to go this route, be sure you are represented by attorneys who have the proven ability to recover full damages in these types of cases.
Contact Bailey Javins & Carter for a Free Consultation
If you or a family member has suffered catastrophic injury, a skilled personal injury attorney may become your most important ally. Whether you were injured in a logging accident, a construction accident or a coal mining accident in West Virginia, our law firm is a valuable resource for you.
At Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C., we are dedicated to helping our injured clients put their lives back together after they have suffered serious injuries. Discuss your car accident or workplace accident case with one of our attorneys and let us explain how we can coordinate efforts to assist with your recovery. When trauma leads to a spinal cord injury and that injury results in a disability, our law firm is here to help.
To get started, call our office today at (800) 497-0234 or (800) 296-6979 or send us an online message to schedule a free consultation and case assessment. We are ready to go to work for you!
We work on a contingency basis. We don’t get paid unless you do.