If you have suffered a serious neck, back or spine injury, a Kentucky spinal injury lawyer at the Johnson Law Firm can help. Since 1998 we have handled thousands of difficult injury cases throughout Kentucky from our office in Pikeville.
We are dedicated and skilled attorneys who know how to fight against parties whose negligence leads to injury or death. We are experienced, tough and unflinching when pursuing financial compensation for our clients.
Spinal Injuries that Can Lead to Legal Claims
Technically, the neck is the upper part of the spine, referred to as the cervical spine. The middle part of the back is known as the thoracic spine, while the lower part is called the lumbar spine. The spinal cord is the main neurological pathway for information connecting the brain and peripheral nervous system and is also responsible for controlling many of the body’s reflexes. The cord is protected by a column of bones called vertebrae.
There are 31 vertebrae in the spine, and the discs between them that act as shock absorbers are made up of a gel-type material surrounded by an outer shell. When this shell is damaged, the resulting inflammation can cause the disc to put pressure on nearby nerve roots or on the spinal cord itself. Pressure can cause pain, weakness, tingling, numbness, spasms, exaggerated reflexes, difficult breathing and loss of sensation.
There are many different terms used to describe spinal disc injuries and associated pain, such as:
- Bulging disc
- Collapsed disc
- Compression fracture
- Degenerative disc disease
- Disc degeneration
- Disc protrusion
- Herniated disc
- Pinched nerve
- Ruptured disc
- Slipped disc.
If you have suffered any of these injuries because of a car crash, slip-and-fall at a business or retail location, or an on-the-job accident, the spine injury attorneys at Johnson Law Firm can offer you more details about legal claims you may have. Contact our team at (606) 437-4488 for a free initial conversation about your case.
Categories of Potential Spinal Injury Claims
Generally, Kentucky spinal cord injury attorneys will tell you that spinal injury claims fall into one of two categories:
This is the most common form of a personal injury claim. “Negligence” means that one or more parties failed in their duty to act in a reasonable and responsible way, and their failure to do so caused injury, harm or death to another person.
This type of claim in a spinal injury case is born out of the malfunction of a commercial product used by the injured party. Products liability is a major component of consumer law and applies when there’s a design or manufacturing flaw in a product that leads to some kind of harm.
What Types of Damages Are Covered in a Spinal Cord Injury Claim?
Past and Future Medical Bills
Everything from ambulance and emergency room bills, doctor bills, hospital bills, pharmacy and medication costs and special assistive equipment qualify under damages that are covered in most spinal injury claims. These past medical bills, already incurred by you, are covered.
In addition, damages cover your future medical bills that are anticipated because of your spinal injury. These can include ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapy, prosthetics, speech therapy, and any other medical support necessary to return you to your greatest level of function. In some cases, these can be fairly large dollar amounts.
Lost Wages/Past and Future
Spending days, weeks and sometimes months in doctors’ offices or in a hospital bed means lots of time off work. After exhausting company sick time and vacation time, if you have any, you are left with no money coming in and lots of money going out for medical bills and other expenses. In a case such as this, your Kentucky spinal cord injury lawyer can ask for past and future lost wages as damages in a lawsuit. Financial compensation can be awarded not only for the wages you’ve missed out on up to this point, but also for future loss of earnings due to disability, reduced motor functioning, inability to perform tasks and various other limitations. For greater explanation of “lost wages,” contact Kentucky spinal injury attorney Billy Johnson at (606) 437-4488.
In-Home Healthcare and Domestic Assistance
Courts recognize that because of your spine injury you may need to hire a visiting nurse, physical therapist or other healthcare aide for in-home care, both now and in the future. These services are costly. In-home healthcare costs can be claimed as damages in a Kentucky spine injury lawsuit. This is especially true when it is evident that a spinal injury victim will need lifelong assistance and care.
Pain and Suffering (this includes mental distress)
Few injuries are as devastating and life-changing as spinal cord injuries, and that’s why the legal system often awards “pain and suffering” damages in settlements and verdicts. While no amount of money can bring back the freedom and good health that you once enjoyed, financial compensation can help deal with the anxiety, depression and humiliation that can accompany spinal cord injuries. Emotional distress can be debilitating, especially when it is compounded by physical damage to your body. Mental anguish can also result as future dreams fade, relationships are strained and life as you knew it is gone forever.
Loss of Companionship
Called “loss of consortium,” the lost intimacy, love, support and companionship suffered by your spouse at the time of the injury can also be grounds to receive financial compensation. Relationships and marriages frequently suffer strain when one party experiences a catastrophic injury. Loss of consortium damages are intended to compensate your spouse for the way they’ve been affected by your injury and the additional caregiving work that may be required of them going forward.
House or Condo Renovations
If you have to use a cane or wheelchair due to your spinal injury or need other physical modifications to your dwelling, you can claim these costs as damages in a lawsuit. Removing steps, widening doorways, adding ramps, lowering cabinets, changing window and door fixtures, securing specialized furniture – all of these are part of a damage claim due to your spinal injury. For a complete list of renovations that might fall into this category, contact Kentucky spinal cord injury attorney Billy Johnson at (606) 437-4488.
This type of damages is intended to send a message and punish a defendant for negligent actions or faulty products that caused your spinal injury and could cause injury or harm to others. Punitive damages can be large and create an incentive for defendants to change their behavior or increase the safety of their products.
What’s the Difference Between a Spinal Injury Settlement and a Verdict?
A spinal injury “settlement” is financial compensation offered by the defendant and accepted by the plaintiff before a case goes to trial. In some cases, defendants will offer to settle a case for a sum of money rather than going to trial because litigation is expensive and time-consuming.
A spinal injury “verdict” is financial compensation awarded by a court decision in your favor after a case has gone to trial. For more information about the differences between settlements and verdicts, contact the Johnson Law Firm at (606) 437-4488.
Why Do I Need a Kentucky Spinal Injury Lawyer?
The Kentucky spinal injury attorneys at the Johnson Law Firm know that injuries to the back may range from simple strains to catastrophic spinal cord damage and paralysis. If you’ve been hurt in a car wreck or other personal injury accident, our firm has the legal knowledge and financial resources to explore your case, offer you legal guidance and file a lawsuit on your behalf. After an accident, you’ll have decisions to make, beginning with the law firm that you’ll trust to represent you. Call our team at (606) 437-4488 for a free initial consultation about your situation.
How Long Does a Case Handled by a Kentucky Spinal Injury Attorney Take?
The length of time a legal case takes depends on several factors, including how the accident happened, the severity of injuries, the number of parties that can be held liable, the extent of medical treatments and a variety of other things. Rest assured that the Johnson Law Firm will extensively interview witnesses, collect evidence, review police or emergency responder reports, and secure expert witnesses, if needed, to build a strong legal claim on your behalf. To get a better estimate of the length of your unique legal process, contact a Johnson Law Firm attorney at (606) 437-4488.
What Does a Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Cost?
Experienced spinal cord injury lawyers work on contingency, which means they don’t get paid until you get paid. Their fees are paid out of your successful financial settlement or verdict. These costs can include attorneys’ fees, expert witness fees and legal filing costs. If we don’t win, we don’t get paid.
Neck, Back and Spine Injuries
Whether you’ve been involved in a minor car crash or a devastating workplace accident, chances are high that you’ve sustained a painful neck or back injury that limits your mobility and interferes with everyday tasks. Or worse.
Such injuries are common, no matter what type of accident occurs. While in some ways our neck, back and spinal column are strong, they are also quite delicate, with hundreds of thousands of nerves running through them. Because they are connected, an injury to one often causes problems with another.
What Are the Consequences of a Spine Injury?
A spinal cord accident that results in permanent disability or loss of movement (paralysis) is a life-changing event that can result in costly medical bills, lost income, a reduced quality of life, and severe depression. People who suffer from spinal cord injury often need long-term medical care, rehabilitation and physical or occupational therapy.
Courts recognize that when the breadwinner in a family is injured or debilitated, there are far-reaching consequences not only for that person but also for their children and extended family members. Lost hours at work, multiple doctor appointments, reduced use of fingers and limbs, and an inability to sit or stand for anything but short periods of time cause great upheaval in the day-to-day life of someone who has been injured by another person’s carelessness or negligence. If an innocent person’s quality of life is diminished or destroyed because of a spinal injury, the legal system provides a remedy.
Why Is Whiplash So Dangerous?
One of the most common neck injuries is whiplash, which affects about 2 million people in the U.S. each year. Whiplash occurs when the ligaments and muscles in the neck and back are strained and hyperextended because of a violent jerk or fall.
Caused by an abnormal motion or force that moves the neck beyond its normal range of motion, whiplash happens when someone’s body continues forward while their neck extends backward until it, too, is abruptly jerked forward. Typically associated with rear-end vehicle collisions, whiplash can happen for many other reasons, including sporting or recreational activities, falls and assaults. Although the muscle strain may mend on its own, pain can persist for months or even years after the injury itself has healed.
A Skilled Kentucky Spinal Injury Lawyer with a Reputation for Caring
Our spinal cord injury lawyers in Kentucky have built a solid reputation for their caring approach and effective legal skills. Serious spine injuries demand experienced attorneys to build the best possible case to help you recover damages. A financial award can pay for your medical care, replace lost wages and provide for your future needs. At the Johnson Law Firm, we will aggressively pursue your rights under the law to seek financial compensation so you can focus on your recovery. We’re ready to help with a free initial consultation. Contact us by calling 606-437-4488 or filling out our online form.