Spinal Cord Injury Accident Lawyer in Louisiana
Spinal cord injuries are some of the most devastating injuries that exist—affecting victims and their families in different ways. Along with this debilitating injury comes skyrocketing medical costs, lifetime treatments, and an unknown future of what is to come.
At Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys, our Louisiana personal injury lawyers know that spinal cord injury victims face a traumatic uphill battle, filled with many worries, stress, and significant financial struggles. We also understand that these victims need someone they can trust to help them through this challenging ordeal. That is why the Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys are here for you, ready to fight and go after justice and compensation.
Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys: Who We Are
Our firm beliefs and convictions at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys determine how we represent their clients.
We devote our practice to helping clients fairly resolve their personal injury claims, ensuring that we fight for their rights in the process. We are not afraid to go to trial if that’s what our clients need to get the compensation they deserve.
With over 150 employees and 46 attorneys, we can offer you the resources only a large law firm can provide—including a mock trial room where we rehearse our cases.
Despite our size, you will find your friends and neighbors work in our local Louisiana office. Our mission is to provide a high-quality combination of compassion, support, and legal services to our clients and their families. This commitment is evidenced through our relentless pursuit of justice and truth while maximizing our client’s recovery. Today, with hundreds of verdicts and settlements of $1 million and above, Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys has exceeded over $1.5 billion in recoveries for our clients.
If you are looking for an attorney to zealously fight on your behalf, the team at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys has the background, determination, resources, and experience to go after justice and compensation on your behalf.
What Costs Will Louisiana Spinal Cord Injury Patients Incur?
Damage to a spinal cord can happen due to numerous factors, but the most common reason is external trauma. A spinal cord injury involves damage to the spinal cord that results in a loss of mobility, feeling, or function. Typically, these spinal cord injuries stem from accidents involving motor vehicle crashes, falls, and gunshot wounds.
Depending on the severity of the spinal cord injury, the effects can significantly affect a person’s life. Often, these victims do not even understand the difficult road ahead.
In general, spinal cord injury patients need the following expensive services and equipment following a spinal cord injury:
- Rehabilitation therapy, including occupational and physical therapy
- Diaphragm pacing
- Mobility experts
- Medical devices
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are often divided into two types: (1) incomplete and (2) complete spinal cord injuries.
- Incomplete spinal cord injury: This injury refers to partial damage to the spinal cord. Your ability to feel and move depends on the injured area of the spinal cord and the severity of that injury.
- Complete spinal cord injury: This injury results in permanent damage to the affected area of the spinal cord. Usually, tetraplegia and paraplegia transpire from these complete spinal cord injuries.
The Different Levels of a Spinal Cord Injury
The spinal cord consists of four sections: thoracic, cervical, lumbar, and sacral.
Each of these sections protects unique groups of nerves that control the body, which is why the effects of a spinal cord injury depend on the area of the spine where the injury occurred.
- Cervical spinal cord injuries tend to affect the head and neck region above the shoulders. This is the most severe level of spinal cord injury.
- Thoracic spinal cord injuries damage the function of the abdominal muscles, mid-back, and upper chest. Usually, hand and arm function remain normal with this spinal cord injury.
- Lumbar spinal cord injuries affect the legs and the hips. Those injured may need braces or a wheelchair following this type of spinal cord injury.
- Sacral spinal cord injuries affect the pelvic organs, buttocks, back of thighs, and hips. Victims with this type of spinal cord injury can often walk.
Common Causes of Louisiana Spinal Cord Injuries
Unfortunately, spinal cord injuries can result from several different accidents.
In Louisiana, these injuries typically occur from the following incidents:
- Auto accidents
- Slip and falls
- Trucking accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Acts of violence
- Dangerous conditions
- Medical malpractice
- Product defects
Depending on the extent and what part of the spinal cord is damaged, these injuries can result in paralysis, which may prove permanent or at least persist for a prolonged period. If you suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident, you need to Contact a Louisiana spinal cord injury attorney as quickly as possible. These lawyers can promptly investigate the evidence and figure out what happened and who was at fault.
Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury
Following a traumatic accident, an individual can have varying degrees of symptoms associated with the location and the severity of the spinal cord injury. After an accident, the victim may experience spinal shock, which causes a loss in muscle movement, reflexes, and feeling. As the swelling subsides, other symptoms may start appearing.
In most cases, the higher up the spinal cord injury, the more devastating the symptoms. For instance, damage to the neck or the mid-cervical vertebrae usually affects the ability to breathe and respiratory muscles. In comparison, lower spinal cord injuries affect muscle and nerve control in the bowel, legs, and bladder.
However, even though symptoms vary depending on the patient, the following are some of the most common symptoms of a spinal cord injury:
- Muscle weakness
- Breathing issues
- Loss of bowel and bladder functions
- Loss of feeling in the arms, chest, or legs
- Loss or an altered sensation including the ability to feel cold, heat, and touch
- Exaggerated reflexes or spasms
- The intense stinging sensation caused by damage to the nerve fibers
- Difficulty coughing or clearing secretions from the lungs
- Changes in sexual sensitivity, function, and fertility
If you start experiencing any of the following emergency symptoms after an accident, you need to seek emergency medical help immediately:
- Extreme pressure or pain in the back, neck, or head
- Incoordination, weakness, or paralysis in any part of the body
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Impaired breathing
- Oddly positioned back or neck
- Difficulty walking
- Problems with balance
Louisiana Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuits: The Basics
There are many complex issues involved with a spinal cord injury lawsuit. However, the primary concern that a victim faces is establishing whether the liable party was negligent for the accident and the resulting injuries. To prove negligence, a spinal cord injury attorney needs to demonstrate that the defendant owed the victim a legal duty to exercise reasonable care, that the defendant breached this duty, and the victim suffered injuries and damages as a result of this breach. This negligent behavior usually results from an act or a failure to act.
Some common scenarios that may constitute negligence include
- A motor vehicle colliding with another car because the motorist was texting and driving
- A doctor making a mistake during a surgical procedure that harms the patient’s spinal cord
- Not taking care of a defect on a property or not warning an individual of this hazardous condition
Following any of these accidents, it is imperative to work with an experienced Louisiana spinal cord injury lawyer. These attorneys can go over the details of your case, determine if you have a viable claim, and start investigating the accident to find the crucial elements needed to establish negligence.
Damages Available After a Louisiana Spinal Cord Injury Accident
If you suffered a spinal cord injury, you might qualify to pursue certain damages.
In Louisiana, these damages include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are easily quantified and include
- Medical expenses, including past, current, and future medical bills. These costs usually result from emergency medical services, ambulance rides, hospital stays, surgeries, doctor visits, and prescription medications.
- Lost wages, including past, current, and future lost wages. These lost wages result from an inability to work due to an injury.
- Lost earning capacity
- Personal property damages
- Rehabilitation costs
- At-home nursing care
- Household services, such as childcare services or cleaning services
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Non-economic damages are not easily quantified. They include
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life and activities
- Loss of reputation
- Loss of a limb
Punitive damages are only awarded in limited situations. These damages, unlike economic and non-economic damages, are not meant to compensate the victim. Instead, they punish the defendant and serve as a deterrent. Courts in Louisiana rarely award punitive damages because the courts believe that these damages are a financial windfall that typically counters the primary purpose of compensating victims for the harms that they have suffered. Regardless, if the conduct of the defendant is so egregious or completely reprehensible, the court may award punitive damages.
Speaking with the legal team at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys can help you figure out which damages you should pursue in your claim.
Steps to Take Following a Louisiana Spinal Cord Injury Accident
If you were in a Louisiana spinal cord injury accident, the most important thing you can do is to get emergency medical treatment. In certain circumstances, your spinal cord injury may not be readily apparent. Even if your injuries do not seem significant following an accident, you need to get checked over by a doctor as soon as possible. Physicians can verify whether you suffered a spinal cord injury and provide you with the medical treatments you need. Additionally, these doctors can write up their findings in a medical report, which may prove critical if you decide to pursue a legal claim.
Once you receive the medical help you need, it is also crucial to take specific actions following your accident.
These steps may not only protect your legal rights but also help establish your claim.
- Gather evidence: If possible, have a family member or friend return to the accident scene and take photos or videos. Make sure that your photographers take pictures of any dangerous conditions involved, any debris left following an accident, and any other evidence that can help document what happened.
- Keep a journal: After the accident, make sure you keep a detailed journal of the accident. Indicate what happened, the injuries you suffered, what you no longer can do following the accident, and what type of help and treatments you now need. This journal may become vital evidence for your lawyer to demonstrate your pain and suffering, and you should jot down something in it every day. If you cannot do this by yourself, have a friend or a family member assist you.
- Watch what you say: Take care of what you say following your accident. Avoid statements such as “it was my fault” or any apology for the accident, as these statements may end up hurting your claim. In addition, if the insurance company is calling, make sure you only provide it with basic information and refer all further communications to your attorney.
- Contact an experienced Louisiana spinal cord injury attorney: Following your spinal cord injury accident, you need to contact a skilled and experienced Louisiana spinal cord injury attorney as soon as possible. The lawyer you choose can get to work investigating what happened, determining who was at fault, and going after all those liable for your spinal cord injury.
Louisiana Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
Following a Louisiana spinal cord injury accident, you have enough to worry about; you should not have to handle these complicated legal proceedings on your own. Instead, contact Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys today, and let us provide you the legal help you need.
At Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys, we understand what spinal cord injury victims are going through, and we help them and their families pursue justice and compensation. Our legal team has experience handling cases that involve spinal cord injuries, both minor and severe, and we are ready to use our experience and resources to help you pursue maximum compensation for your spinal cord injury.
Reach out to Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys today to determine if you have a viable claim. You can call us at 888.501.7888 or write to us using our online contact page.
Spinal Cord Injury Frequently Asked Questions
One of the worst parts about a spinal cord injury is all of the uncertainty that comes with it, including the numerous questions and concerns spinal cord injury victims have. However, you do not have to be left in the dark following a spinal cord injury accident. When you work with an experienced Louisiana spinal cord injury attorney, you will have someone on your side, providing you the legal help you need during this devastating time.
Our team at Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys understands the complexities that come with spinal cord injuries and what lies ahead in terms of legal action. To help you better recognize what is involved in a spinal cord injury accident, we have created the following FAQ. We hope that with these answers, we can give you the solutions you need and show you how our experienced spinal cord injury attorneys can help you.
Why is a spinal cord injury so devastating?
Who can sue for a spinal cord injury in Louisiana?
Who is liable for my Louisiana spinal cord injury?
Why do you need to investigate a Louisiana spinal cord injury accident quickly?
Will I need experts to prove liability and damages in my Louisiana spinal cord injury lawsuit?
How much time do I have to bring a Louisiana spinal cord injury case?
Will a Louisiana spinal cord injury lawsuit take a long time to resolve?
What are some factors that may influence the value of my Louisiana spinal cord injury claim?
If the insurance company calls to discuss my Louisiana spinal cord injury accident, what should I say?
If the insurance company offers me a settlement after my Louisiana spinal cord injury, should I accept it?
Is there a cure for a spinal cord injury?
Why should I retain Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys to handle my Louisiana spinal cord injury claim?
Los abogados que manejaron nuestro caso fueron muy accesibles y nos mantuvieron informados de cada detalle través del proceso completo. Recomiendo al equipo de abogados de Gordon Mckernan Injury Attorney. 5 estrellas definitivamente!
El personal de trabajo es muy amable y muy profesional. La oficina esta en una locación muy conveniente y estan equipados con todo lo que necesitan para operar al nivel mas alto en el rugro legal. Puedo recomendar Gordon McKernan Law Office a mis amigos y familia teniendo la seguridad que los trataran como familia tambien.
Jamie was very helpful, returned my calls in a timely manner, answered all of my questions without hesitation, overall just great! Thank you Jamie
This is for Bobby Triche
Bobby’s name is not on your list. Bobby is the best addition you could have made to your company. He is extremely intelligent and meticulous in whatever he attempts to accomplish.
Good job if I need another lawyer he will be the one. Great job very knowledgeable and professional.