Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer (2023)

  • Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
  • The Financial Impact of Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Factors Involved in a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit
  • Liable parties
  • Legal Process
  • Legal issues
  • Damages
  • Wrongful Death
  • Contact a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Today

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Suffering a catastrophic injury, like a spinal cord injury (SCI), can devastate victims and their families. SCIs affect the victim’s daily activities and physical, mental, and financial health. More than 12,000 new spinal cord injuries occur every year in the U.S. Putting together a claim for a spinal cord injury requires knowing who caused the injury, its severity, its impact on your life, and its financial implications.

At Nessler & Associates, our legal team is dedicated to seeking justice if you sustained a spinal cord injury that wasn’t your fault. We have decades of experience handling accident claims for spinal injuries. We are prepared to take on the insurance companies, and we are equally prepared to fight for your rights in court to get the compensation you deserve.

Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can occur from several types of accidents. Common causes of these injuries include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents: The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center reports that 38.6% of spinal cord injuries result from vehicle crashes.
  • Falls: Falls from slips and trip accidents are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries. Other causes include falls from buildings, staircases, and ladders.
  • Wounds from gunshots: Gunshot wounds often result in injuries to the ribs. They can also injure the nerves in the cervical spine.
  • Motorcycle accidents: Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to severe injuries than other vehicles due to a lack of protection. A serious spinal injury is more likely to occur when a motorcycle collides with an object than when it crashes onto the ground.
  • Medical complications potentially caused by malpractice: A spinal cord injury can result from medical errors such as nipping a spinal nerve during spine surgery. Medical or surgical procedures have caused about 4.2% of spinal cord injuries since 2015.
  • On-the-job: If your injury occurred at work, your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance covers the damages. However, if a third party or defective equipment caused your injury, you may be able to hold that individual or the manufacturer liable.

Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer (1)

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

SCIs cause symptoms ranging from loss of feeling in part of the limbs to loss of control of every aspect of the body. The symptoms you experience depend on the severity and location of the injury. Temporary damage may be caused by swelling in the spinal canal, but permanent damage usually involves trauma to the spinal cord.

Cervical region

Injuries to the neck’s cervical spine can result in loss of movement and sensation in the arms, legs, and trunk. They can impair control over breathing, which compromises speech ability.

Complete spinal cord damage causes a loss of function of muscles controlling the limbs and trunk, called quadriplegia or tetraplegia. Some people with tetraplegia may need adaptive devices to help them write, type, and use the phone.

People with cervical injuries require a wheelchair with unique controls for mobility. They also have to rely on other people for help with daily chores. People dependent on wheelchairs and other assistive devices experience a more significant decrease in quality of life.

(Video) Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer Explains Spinal Cord Injuries and How Paralysis Can Result From Neglect

Thoracic region

Upper thoracic injuries between your ribs affect everything from the muscles in your chest, mid-back, and abdomen down, possibly affecting your breathing ability. Lower thoracic injuries involve the lower abdominal and back muscles, which you use for balance and stability, and cough and clear your airway.

Complete injuries to the thoracic spinal cord lead to loss of motor function and paralysis in the trunk and legs, called paraplegia. Those who suffer from paraplegia need to undergo physical therapy and occupational therapy to regain basic motor skills and manage pain.

Lumbar and sacral regions

A spinal cord injury in the lumbar region usually affects the person from the hips down. Depending on the exact location and severity, some people may need to walk using special braces, while others will rely on a wheelchair.

Sacral region injuries lead to loss of sensation and function of the pelvic organs, including the bladder, bowel, and genitals. Lumbar injuries affect people’s control over their bladder and bowels, but they might not have to rely on other people for help. These people may permanently need assistive devices and modifications to their homes and vehicles.

Spinal cord injuries are devastating, and the impact of these injuries extends far beyond the physical limitations they cause. Victims of spinal cord injuries may experience mental anguish and emotional distress, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

If another party’s careless or reckless actions caused your injury, you can hold the negligent party responsible with the help of an experienced lawyer. Our personal injury lawyers at Nessler & Associates work tirelessly to build a foolproof case and can help you get fair compensation for your SCI.

The Financial Impact of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries can affect your finances for the current and future costs of your medical care. Costs can exceed a hundred thousand dollars and place profound hardship on the patients. For the first year, the medical treatment expenses when a person has high tetraplegia are more than $1 million. The lifetime cost for that same person who gets injured at 25 years old is $4.72 million.

When you receive a spinal injury, your ability to work at your old job might be affected. You may need to work fewer hours or with fewer physical demands. If you cannot work at your old job or can no longer work, you may receive compensation for loss of wages and future earning capacity.

Factors Involved in a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit

Many factors influence the award your lawyer seeks. These include your age and health, the treatment, and the severity of your injury. This step is critical to your personal injury lawsuit and benefits from the experience of a seasoned lawyer with a track record of successful verdicts and settlements.

Severity of injuries

The amount and quality of evidence to support your injury claims can improve the outcome of your claim and maximize your settlement. Evidence like medical bills can prove your injury and its severity. This includes the cost of future medical treatment and rehabilitation. Proving your injury exists and is as severe as you claim also requires statements from medical professionals.

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Age and health

People who are younger and healthier at the time of the injury are more likely to receive higher awards. This is due to the impact on a healthy individual and the length of time you will need medical care due to your injury.

Cause of injury

The reckless behavior of the other party that led to your accident may influence the amount you seek. Your lawyer can use surveillance footage, photos, and witness testimonies to prove the responsible party acted negligently.

Liable parties

There may be multiple parties who may attempt to determine fault after an accident. The insurance company works with an adjuster and may try to argue your injuries were not the result of an accident.

A personal injury attorney can investigate your claim to determine fault and protect your rights to a fair settlement. Your attorney can work on a premises liability claim if your spinal cord injury resulted from a slip-and-fall accident understate law.

Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer (2)

Legal Process

You can trust the personal injury lawyers at Nessler & Associates to advocate on your behalf throughout the legal process. Some steps we take include:

  • In-depth investigation
  • Filing claim forms with support documentation
  • Negotiating with insurance companies
  • Filing paperwork to initiate litigation
  • Representing you at trial

Legal issues

Some states use a modified comparative negligence rule to determine the percentage of liability in an accident. If your actions contributed to less than 50% of the accident, you can receive an award, but the portion of your contribution reduces it. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 but contributed 10% to the accident, you can claim $90,000.

The defense might claim that your injury resulted from something other than their client’s actions. If your injury resulted from negligence during a dangerous activity, the defense might argue that you agreed to take the risk.

Even if you signed a liability waiver before your accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Nessler & Associates for a free case evaluation. Liability waivers don’t give business owners license to be reckless, careless, or negligent.


Many states allow spinal cord injury survivors to seek compensation for financial losses related to their injuries and medical treatment.

(Video) When Should You Pursue a Spinal Cord Injury Case - Spine Injury Attorney in McKinney

Economic damages in a compensation claim may include:

  • Current and future medical costs
  • Expenses for physical therapy and other therapies that assist in everyday activities, assistive and mobility equipment
  • Home and vehicle modifications
  • Loss of wages and loss of future earning capacity.

Non-economic damages are a form of compensation that cannot be quantified by medical bills and lost earning capacity, such as:

  • Mental anguish
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life for your loss of everyday activities and activities you enjoy, including sports, recreation, social activities, and household chores
  • Loss of consortium when an injured spouse can’t provide the same level of companionship, love, comfort, support, services, and physical intimacy they could before the accident
  • Scars
  • Chronic pain
  • Handicaps

Wrongful Death

If your loved one passes away because of an SCI, no amount of money can bring them back. However, a wrongful death lawsuit can provide your family with the financial resources to move forward.

Contact a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Today

Our spinal cord injury attorneys have witnessed life-altering consequences of negligence. When you face a long road to recovery, the spinal cord injury lawyers at the law office of Nessler & Associates are dedicated to fighting for maximum compensation on your behalf.

For more information on your rights and the legal action you can pursue, call our law firm today at (800) 727-8010 for a free, no-obligation initial consultation.

Once we learn more about your situation, our team of skilled personal injury attorneys can develop a strategy to help you maximize your compensation and get the justice you deserve for your spinal cord injury claim.

We never charge legal fees unless we win a settlement or judgment for your case.

(Video) Levels of Spinal Cord Injury Explained by Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Eric Ratinoff

Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Near You

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(Video) Michigan Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers - Michigan Spinal Cord Accident Lawyers


How much can you get for a spinal cord injury? ›

For general damage awards, the overall compensation awarded will depend on the intensity or severity of the SCI. Severe SCIs may be awarded somewhere between $240,000 and $320,000. For mildly severe SCIs damage awards may be given for amounts between $160,000 and $240,000.

Is spinal cord injury considered a disability? ›

Spinal cord injuries are listed in the blue book under section 1.04—Disorders of the Spine. To qualify for disability benefits under this listing, you will have to provide medical evidence of damage to the spinal cord.

Do spinal cord injuries ever heal? ›

Unfortunately, there's no way to reverse damage to the spinal cord. But researchers are continually working on new treatments, including prostheses and medications, that might promote nerve cell regeneration or improve the function of the nerves that remain after a spinal cord injury.

Can you work after a spinal cord injury? ›

In fact, people with spinal cord injuries can and do return to work. You may be able to keep the job you had before. Or you may need to consider other options. This includes changing fields, getting more education or job training, or learning new skills.

What is considered a severe spinal cord injury? ›

Cervical spinal cord injuries affect the head and neck region above the shoulders. It is the most severe level of spinal cord injury.

How painful is a spinal cord injury? ›

In spinal cord injury (SCI) patients, chronic pain is common. It impacts about 70% of patients with one-third of these experiencing severely intense pain impacting on mood, functioning, and quality of life. The pain can be nociceptive, neuropathic, or visceral.

At what point is back pain a disability? ›

What Back Problems Qualify for Disability? To qualify for Social Security disability benefits with a back problem you must be able to to show that your back problem is so severe that you will be out of work for at least one year because of it.

What spinal conditions qualify for disability? ›

What Spine Disorders Qualify for Disability Benefits?
  • Degenerative Disc Disease.
  • Facet Arthritis.
  • Herniated Nucleus Pulposus.
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Spinal Arachnoiditis.
  • Spinal Stenosis.
  • Vertebra Fractures.

What disabilities can a spinal cord injury cause? ›

An injury higher on the spinal cord can cause paralysis in most of your body and affect all limbs (tetraplegia or quadriplegia). A lower injury to the spinal cord may cause paralysis affecting your legs and lower body (paraplegia).

Can a spinal cord injury get worse? ›

Even if you experience only mild symptoms after an accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Spinal cord injuries can worsen when they are not diagnosed and treated in time.

What is the new drug to repair spinal cord? ›

The drug, known as AZD1390, has shown promise in the lab, regenerating nerves and restoring sensory and motor functions in animal models with spinal trauma. Teams also found that a different but similar drug, AZD1236, can block inflammation in the spine following spinal injury.

What is the best hospital for spinal cord injury? ›

Top 2022-23 Rehabilitation Hospitals
1Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Chicago, IL100
2TIRR Memorial Hermann, Houston, TX89.7
3Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Charlestown, MA84.1
4Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, West Orange, NJ80.8
11 more rows

How long is rehab after spinal cord injury? ›

Rehabilitation remains one of the most important aspects of life in the first year after a spinal cord injury. For many people, they will undergo approximately 3 to 4 months of inpatient rehabilitation followed by 2 to 6 more months of outpatient rehabilitation, and this is covered by insurance.

Can you drive after spinal cord injury? ›

Driving after a spinal cord injury can be a realistic recovery goal, depending on the severity and level of your injury. With the help of car adaptations, many individuals with spinal cord injuries can get on the road again and maximize their independence.

What should you not do with a spinal injury? ›

Avoid moving the head or neck.

Provide as much first aid as possible without moving the person's head or neck. If the person shows no signs of circulation (breathing, coughing or movement), begin CPR, but do not tilt the head back to open the airway. Use your fingers to gently grasp the jaw and lift it forward.

What are the 4 types of spinal cord injuries? ›

There are four types of spinal cord injury: cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral.

Does spinal cord injury affect the brain? ›

Spinal cord injury causes inflammation which can affect the whole nervous system – this includes the brain, and the brain can be very sensitive to inflammation and pressure.

What is the most common pain after a spinal cord injury? ›

Neuropathic pain (or nerve pain) is the most common type of pain after SCI. It may be described as a burning, squeezing, aching, or tight pain. It may occur as a band around the level of the SCI, or it may affect the entire body below the level of the SCI.

Which spinal cord injury is most common? ›

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), the two most common types of spinal cord injuries are incomplete tetraplegia and paraplegia, with incomplete spinal cord injuries accounting for more than 65% of all SCIs.

What is the most approved disability? ›

What Is the Most Approved Disability? Arthritis and other musculoskeletal system disabilities make up the most commonly approved conditions for social security disability benefits. This is because arthritis is so common. In the United States, over 58 million people suffer from arthritis.

How hard is it to prove back pain? ›

While back pain is exceedingly common, it is equally challenging to diagnose, since there is no established guideline or protocol to evaluate this problem. Besides, the typical setting of a 15-minute doctor's visit is usually not enough to explain, understand, and evaluate everything that's going on in your achy back.

Is back pain a permanent disability? ›

If your chronic back pain is preventing you from performing the essential duties of your job, you may qualify for long-term disability (LTD). Chronic back pain is a common symptom. Spine injuries and other medical conditions can cause severe back pain.

What are the top 10 conditions that qualify for disability? ›

10 of the most common conditions that qualify for Social Security disability are Arthritis, Heart Disease, Degenerative Disc Disease, Respiratory Illness, Mental Illness, Cancer, Stroke, Nervous System Disorders, Diabetes, Immune System Disorders.

How much does disability pay for spinal stenosis? ›

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program was created to assist those who have become disabled due to a condition such as lumbar spinal stenosis. You may be eligible to receive $3,345 each month. Fill out a Free Disability Evaluation today!

Can you get disability for nerve damage in your back? ›

Depending on the extent of damage to the nerve, it can heal on its own or become permanent, even with treatment. If you suffer from a condition that causes nerve damage that is so severe that it impacts your ability to work for at least a year, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits.

How would a spinal cord injury affect your life? ›

Symptoms may include partial or complete loss of sensory function or motor control of arms, legs and/or body. The most severe spinal cord injury affects the systems that regulate bowel or bladder control, breathing, heart rate and blood pressure. Most people with spinal cord injury experience chronic pain.

What do your legs feel like after a spinal cord injury? ›

Nerve Damage

This kind of leg pain can range from tingling to sharp, shooting or burning sensations. Another result of nerve damage that can cause leg pain after spinal cord injury is spasticity (involuntary muscle contractions).

What is the most severe complication of a spinal cord injury? ›

A spinal cord injury can cause circulatory problems ranging from low blood pressure when you rise (orthostatic hypotension) to swelling of your extremities. These circulation changes can also increase your risk of developing blood clots, such as deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolus.

What organs are affected by spinal cord injury? ›

Short- and long-term complications following SCI can occur in the nervous system (such as neurogenic pain and depression), lungs (such as pulmonary edema and respiratory failure), cardiovascular system (such as orthostatic hypotension and autonomic dysreflexia), spleen (such as splenic atrophy and leukopenia), urinary ...

Why is it so hard to fix a spinal cord? ›

The spinal cord, part of our central nervous system, is an amazingly complex matrix of nerve cells and support cells. Following injury to the spinal cord, the damaged cells face anatomical, physiological, chemical, and immune system changes that hinder their attempts at regeneration.

Can the spinal cord regenerate and heal itself? ›

People who survive severe spinal cord injuries often experience life-long disability. Adult nerve cells in the spinal cord don't regrow after damage. Why they don't, and how they might be encouraged to do so, have been areas of extensive research. Axons require a great deal of energy to regrow.

How much is a spinal cord implant? ›

Costs vary from hospital to hospital, healthcare system to healthcare system, and region to region. An analysis at New Choice Health suggested that the costs of implanting a spinal cord stimulator in several major US cities range from $13,000 to over $50,000.

How long are you in the hospital for a spinal cord injury? ›

Critical Care, Surgery, and Hospitalization

The average hospital stay immediately following a spinal cord injury is 11 days. Many injury survivors then transition to rehabilitative facilities, at which the average stay is 36 days.

How long does it take for maximum recovery for most spinal cord injuries? ›

Although most recovery occurs within the first 3-6 months following a spinal cord injury, recovery can continue well past that period. Consistently practicing affected movements/activities will help promote neuroplasticity.

Can you regain mobility after a spinal cord injury? ›

After a spinal cord injury, many patients do physical therapy to help them attempt to regain mobility. Recently, a series of studies have shown that implanting a stimulator to deliver electric current to a damaged spinal cord could help paralyzed patients walk again.

Can you fully recover from C6 spinal cord injury? ›

Individuals with milder C6 SCIs typically have different recovery outlooks because they have more spared neural pathways. However, many other factors such as motivation, intensity of rehabilitation, and pre-existing health conditions can also influence recovery after C6 spinal cord injury.

How much do you get for neck and back injury? ›

The national average settlement amount for a neck and back injury is $925,169, while the median amount is $316,000, according to a recent study conducted by The Miley Legal Group.

What percentage do you get for back pain? ›

VA disability ratings for back pain can range from 10% to 100%, depending on the severity of the pain, the range of motion the veteran is left with, and the frequency of the pain.

What is the average settlement for a spinal fusion? ›

The average settlement compensation payout for a back injury lawsuit involving spinal fusion surgery is between $150,000 and $200,000. One factor that limits the settlement value in spinal fusion auto tort cases is the limits of applicable insurance coverage.

What is permanent neck injury worth? ›

Some neck and back injuries are minor and often settle for around $10,000. If the back or neck injuries were severe, debilitating, or paralyzing, the average settlement can be for hundreds of thousands or over a million dollars.

Do epidurals increase settlement? ›

Yes, steroid epidural injections will likely increase the settlement payout of a disc injury claim. But getting surgery can have a real multiplier effect on settlement value.

How do you prove a neck injury? ›

Imaging, electromyogram, and nerve conduction tests

You may not need X-rays or other imaging tests. But if your pain started after an injury, or if it doesn't improve after a few weeks, your doctor may want to do more tests. Imaging tests can show the neck muscles and tissues.

How can I prove my back pain? ›

One or more of these tests might help pinpoint the cause of the back pain:
  1. X-ray. These images show arthritis or broken bones. ...
  2. MRI or CT scans. These scans generate images that can reveal herniated disks or problems with bones, muscles, tissue, tendons, nerves, ligaments and blood vessels.
  3. Blood tests. ...
  4. Nerve studies.

How much is a lumbar fusion worth? ›

As far as the amount you can receive with a spinal fusion surgery settlement, it can vary widely. You can expect from $150,000 to more than $200,000 with spinal fusion cases.

Can you get disability after a back fusion? ›

Yes, spinal fusion is a disability according to the SSA. If you are unable to work for at least 12 months due to the severity of your spinal fusion and can meet a Blue Book listing, the SSA may consider you disabled. You will also need enough work credits to qualify for disability benefits.

Can you live a normal life after spinal fusion? ›

Recovery time for spinal fusion surgery varies significantly from patient to patient, but the average spans between three and six months before the patient is back to their daily routine; working, traveling, and even exercising with more freedom and less pain than they could before the surgery.


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2. What is Your Experience Handling Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuits? | Longview Accident Attorney
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4. Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Explains What to Do After a Car Accident.
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