Spinal Cord Injuries from Work Accidents in Houston

construction worker falling off ladder onto back

A spinal cord injury on the job can be devastating, resulting in significant medical bills and considerable time off work. Some people will never be able to work again and will face significant changes in daily life.

If this has happened to you, you could be entitled to compensation for related losses, either through the workers’ compensation system or a third-party lawsuit. The Houston workplace accident lawyers at The Callahan Law Firm are ready to review your case to determine your options and pursue the compensation you deserve.

Contact us today for a free case review.

Common Types of Spinal Cord Injuries in Houston

Spinal cord injuries fall into two primary classifications:

  • Incomplete spinal cord injury, in which an injured victim retains some feeling and function in the areas of the body affected by the injury
  • Complete spinal cord injury, which results in the total loss of sensation and motor function below the location of the damage to the spinal cord

Spinal cord injuries all too often result in some degree of paralysis, which may be further categorized as:

  • Paraplegia, or paralysis that affects the legs and potentially the pelvic area and lower torso
  • Hemiplegia, or paralysis that affects only one side of the body
  • Triplegia, or paralysis of the lower half of the body as well as paralysis of some degree to one arm
  • Quadriplegia (tetraplegia), or paralysis affecting the body below either the shoulders or upper chest

How Spinal Cord Injuries Are Caused at Work

Some of the workplace accidents that most frequently result in spinal cord injuries include:

Workplace Spinal Cord Injury Statistics

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, in one recent year, 150 cases of traumatic injuries in workplace accidents involved the spinal cord or the nerves and bones around the spinal cord. Traumatic injuries to the spinal cord from workplace accidents caused victims to miss an average of 72 days from work. Each of the 30 incidents that year solely involved injuries to the spinal cord caused the victim to miss more than 30 days from work.

Industries in Houston Where Workplace Spinal Injuries Commonly Occur

In Houston, people in the following professions and industries often face a higher risk of being in an accident that causes a spinal cord injury:

How Much Does a Spinal Cord Injury Cost?

A person who sustains a severe spinal cord injury will require extensive, long-term medical care that can cost millions of dollars. Benefits provided through the workers’ compensation system will not be enough. That is why it is essential to have an experienced workplace injury lawyer evaluate whether there is a third-party claim that can provide compensation beyond basic workers’ comp benefits.

Money damages – in the past and future – that can be sought in a third-party claim include the following:

  • Medical care expenses, including hospital bills, surgeries, and other medical procedures, physical therapy, occupational therapy, prescription medications, and mobility equipment such as wheelchairs and lifts
  • Costs of long-term care for paralysis and other disabilities, including home health services, home renovations such as ramps and accessible bathrooms, living areas, accessible kitchen, and a wheelchair-accessible vehicle
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of future earning ability and job benefits
  • Pain and suffering
  • Physical impairment
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium

Factors That May Affect Your Workplace Spinal Cord Injury Claim

There are many factors that can affect the financial recovery you may be entitled to. The most significant factor is the severity of the injury. Some spinal cord injury victims will recover after appropriate medical treatment and the passage of time to the extent they can return to work and many activities of daily living. In cases of severe spinal cord injuries that result in paralysis, the injured person will be faced with a lifetime of medical care, physical limitations, an inability to return to gainful employment, and more.

In addition, facts about the incident that caused the spinal cord injury will affect the amount and types of compensation you can receive. If you are injured on the job and your employer carries worker’s compensation insurance, you should receive financial benefits under the workers’ compensation system including payment of many of your medical care expenses and a portion of your lost wages. Workers’ comp benefits are no-fault, which means you don’t have to prove that anyone else was at-fault for causing your injuries. The problem is that workers’ comp benefits are very limited and will pay for just a small part of the damages and losses that result from a spinal cord injury.

If your spinal cord injury was caused by the negligence of another company or one of its employees, or if your employer did not carry workers’ compensation insurance at the time of the injury, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim based on negligence or product defect. These types of personal injury claims can compensate for losses not covered by workers’ comp, including past and future medical care expenses, loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, physical pain, physical impairment, emotional distress and suffering, and possibly more. To successfully pursue this personal injury claim, it is essential that you have an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer and legal team on your side.

How Our Attorneys Can Help You Seek Compensation After a Spinal Cord Injury at Work

The Callahan Law Firm can help you maximize the financial recovery in your workplace spinal cord injury claim by:

  • Investigating the incident that caused your injury
  • Securing evidence that can be used to prove what happened and why it happened
  • Documenting the extent of your injuries and damages
  • Working with accident reconstruction, medical, vocational, and financial experts to establish a strong case of liability and damages
  • Filing a personal injury lawsuit and preparing the case for trial, or when possible, settlement
  • Taking your case to court and telling our story to a jury when the insurance company does not want to settle for an amount that is acceptable to you.

Reach Out to Our Houston Workplace Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers Now

If you have suffered a spinal cord injury in a work-related accident, you should do everything possible to ensure you and your family receive full compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact The Callahan Law Firm today for a free consultation with one of our Houston workplace spinal cord injury lawyers about how we can help.

Workplace Injury

What Should I Do After a Workplace Accident?

To protect your interest and your legal rights, you should take the following steps after a workplace accident occurs:

  1. Seek medical attention immediately.
  2. Verbally notify your employer about the accident as soon as possible.
  3. As soon as possible and ithin 30 days, report the accident to your employer in writing and keep a copy of the notification for yourself.
  4. Contact an experienced workplace accident attorney to discuss your legal options, which may include bringing a personal injury action, a workers’ compensation claim, or both, depending on your situation.
  5. Keep track of your time off from work, medical bills, and healthcare records.
  6. Follow your physician’s treatment plan.

Types of Workplace Injury Cases Our Law Firm Handles

The trial lawyers at The Callahan Law Firm represent injured workers in a wide array of workplace accidents, including:

Do I Need a Workplace Injury Lawyer?

Pursuing worker’s comp benefits without legal assistance can be complex and challenging, particularly when recovering from a severe injury. Retaining the services of a skilled attorney can provide the help you need to ensure you receive maximum compensation under Texas labor law.

If your employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage, or when a third party is responsible for your accident and injuries, the assistance of an experienced workplace accident lawyer is essential. Your attorney will investigate the facts of the incident to determine what happened and why, work to preserve and gather critical evidence, hire the appropriate experts, and take the necessary legal steps including filing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible parties.

What’s the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Workplace Injury Lawsuit?

The general rule, under Texas statutes, requires you to file a personal injury workplace accident lawsuit that is based on negligence within two years of the date of the incident. You may lose your right to pursue a claim if you miss the deadline. For this reason, it is important to consult with a workplace accident lawyer as soon as possible. You’ll discover the proper statute of limitations for filing your claim and which legal path will optimize your financial recovery.

Can I Claim Workers’ Comp Benefits If I Was in an Accident at Work?

If your employer has workers’ compensation insurance and you were injured on the job, then under Texas law you can make a workers’ compensation claim and are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance (is a non-subscriber) and you were injured on the job, your employer will only be required to pay for your medical care, lost wages and other damages, if you can prove that your employer’s negligence caused your injuries.

If the negligence of a third-party (someone other than your employer) caused your injuries, a claim can be made against that third-party for your damages including medical care expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, physical impairment, mental anguish and other damages.

Depending on the facts of what happened, you may have the right to compensation from multiple sources, including workers’ compensation benefits as well as a lawsuit against the company(ies) that caused or contributed to your injuries and damages.