Tacoma Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

If you injured your spinal cord in an accident someone else caused, contact Park Chenaur and Associates immediately to determine your legal options.

A bundle of nerves and cells make up the spinal cord. They are responsible for sending signals between the brain and other areas of the body. Damage to any part of the spinal cord can have debilitating effects. An injury can lead to mobility, movement, and sensation issues. In severe cases, permanent damage can cause paralysis.

Park Chenaur and Associates knows the challenges of treating a spinal cord injury. It can disrupt your daily routine and create financial burdens. We can help you pursue legal action against the negligent party responsible for the accident. Call us 24/7 for a free consultation with a Tacoma spinal cord injury lawyer to get started.

A spinal cord injury creates various challenges. Holding the at-fault party accountable for their actions and securing the compensation you need to cover your losses can seem like an uphill battle. Accident victims often feel overwhelmed by the responsibility. That’s where Park Chenaur and Associates can step in to relieve your burden.

Why Choose Park Chenaur and Associates?

Tacoma Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

At Park Chenaur and Associates, our legal team has fought for the rights of accident victims since 1999. We have built a stellar reputation in Tacoma as lawyers our clients can trust. We provide personalized service and attention to every person who hires us. We treat our clients with compassion and empathy, so they feel secure and supported.

Our Tacoma office is conveniently located less than two miles from State Route 16, just South of the University of Puget Sound. Our 24/7 availability means a live person will always make time to speak with you. It is important to us that you feel prioritized and cared for while we work on your case.

Park Chenaur and Associates holds an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell and five-star reviews on Google and Facebook. Call us to learn more about us and how we can help.

Spinal Cord Injuries in Tacoma

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, there are around 17,810 new spinal cord injury cases annually. That’s equivalent to approximately 54 cases per one million people nationwide. The leading cause of spinal cord injury is vehicle crashes, followed by falls. An estimated 294,000 people in the United States live with a spinal cord injury.

You can sue the person or company liable for the accident that caused your injury. However, you must follow a strict time frame to pursue compensation in court. In Washington, the statute of limitations allows a three-year timeframe to file a lawsuit. That means you must initiate your lawsuit against the negligent party within three years of the accident date.

Some spinal cord injuries result from a healthcare professional’s error. When that happens, filing a medical malpractice lawsuit might be possible. The statute of limitations for medical malpractice differs slightly from the personal injury statute.

You must file suit within three years of the negligent act or within one year of the date you discover or should reasonably discover that the doctor’s negligence caused your injury, whichever time frame ends later. However, you can only file a lawsuit up to eight years after the negligent act.

You might pause the statute of limitations if you prove that there was:

  • A foreign body not intended to have a diagnostic or therapeutic effect or purpose left behind
  • Intentional concealment
  • Fraud

That means if the healthcare professional’s conduct involves any of these factors, the one-year timeframe for filing a lawsuit doesn’t begin until the date you know about the foreign body, intentional concealment, or fraud.

Common Types and Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

The spinal cord transmits signals between the brain and the rest of the body. Layers of tissue, the meninges, and a vertebral column surround the spinal cord, protecting it from trauma.

A traumatic or sudden blow to the spinal cord can lead to an injury. The damage might cause changes in strength, sensation, and other body functions below the injury site.

Multiple types, levels, and severities identify a spinal cord injury.

The vertebra the injury affects determines the spinal cord injury level:

  • Cervical. The cervical vertebrae, C1 through C7, are in the neck.
  • Thoracic. Twelve thoracic vertebrae make up the upper part of the back from T1 to T12.
  • Lumbar. The L1 through L5 lumbar vertebrae make up the lower part of the back.
  • Sacral. Five vertebrae below all other spinal cord levels form the sacrum.
  • Coccyx. The coccyx is below the sacrum and consists of four vertebrae.

The area of the body affected by the injury determines the type of spinal cord injury:

  • Paraplegia. Paraplegia occurs when an injury prevents movement and feeling in the lower half of the body. The damage can occur anywhere between T2 and S5. The injury can affect the stomach, hips, legs, feet, and chest.
  • Tetraplegia. Tetraplegia is a spinal cord injury between C1 and T1. It affects the body from the neck down, causing the inability to control or move the muscles in the hands, shoulders, neck, arms, legs, and head. It can also affect the pelvic organs.

Spinal cord injuries include:

  • Incomplete injury. An incomplete spinal cord injury causes some loss of sensation and motor function below the injured part of the spinal cord.
  • Complete injury. A complete spinal cord injury causes a total loss of motor function and sensation below the injury site.

Injuries closer to the sacrum compromise sensation and movement in the lower half of the body and some internal organs. The closer the spinal cord injury is to the skull, the more challenging it is for the body to move and feel.

The spinal cord injury symptoms depend on the type of injury and affected part of the spinal cord.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Severe pressure or pain in the neck or back
  • Weakness in the legs or arms
  • Trouble breathing
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Unusual lumps along the spine
  • Decreased sensation in the legs or arms

An external factor typically causes neck or back trauma, injuring the spinal cord. Prompt medical attention is necessary to determine the injury’s type and severity. Regaining muscle control and movement might be possible with adequate treatment. However, permanent damage can cause irreversible paralysis.

The most common causes of spinal cord injuries include:

Spinal Cord Injury Compensation

The type of accident that causes your spinal cord injury will determine which party or parties you can hold liable for your medical bills and other expenses.

For example, a driver whose vehicle strikes you at a crosswalk is likely at fault for your resulting injury. You can file a claim with their auto insurance company to seek a settlement. A property owner can be liable for not maintaining the premises if you fall on a wet floor or defective staircase.

Whether you file a claim or lawsuit against the negligent party, the money you receive might compensate you for your:

  • Mental anguish
  • Lost earnings
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Ambulance services, hospital stays, rehab, and other medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability or disfigurement
  • Property damage

It can be challenging to determine the value of a spinal cord injury case. It requires a thorough examination of all financial losses and the potential long-term effects of the injury. Your attorney has experience in placing a monetary value on non-economic losses like mental anguish and in calculating the total value of your case.

Multiple factors can contribute to calculating the value of your case:

  • Total expenses related to the accident
  • Whether the injury leads to permanent impairment or disability
  • Amount of coverage available from the at-fault party’s insurance carrier
  • Type and severity of the injury
  • Emotional or psychological effects of the incident
  • Amount of relevant evidence proving who is liable for the injury
  • Duration of the recovery period
  • The estimated cost of treatment required in the future
  • Disruptions to your daily routine, such as an inability to complete basic tasks, return to work, or care for family

Although pursuing action for a spinal cord injury seems overwhelming, you don’t have to go through it alone. A Tacoma spinal cord injury lawyer from Park Chenaur and Associates can help.

We will simplify the process by taking over your entire case. You won’t have to worry about gathering evidence, talking to the insurance company, or negotiating a settlement. Our legal team will handle everything so you can focus on treating your injury.

Fighting the Insurance Company

A spinal cord injury creates various challenges. Holding the at-fault party accountable for their actions and securing the compensation you need to cover your losses can seem like an uphill battle. Accident victims often feel overwhelmed by the responsibility. That’s where Park Chenaur and Associates can step in to relieve your burden.

You might not realize the insurance company’s hidden agenda, but its goal is to avoid paying your claim. They want to save money by reducing the value of your case and making a lowball offer. You should not face the insurance company alone. We know how to maximize the value of a claim and aggressively negotiate for a full and fair settlement.

If the insurance adjuster contacts you to discuss the accident and your injury, inform them that you hired a lawyer and give them our number. You don’t have to speak with them about any aspect of the claim. We can handle the discussions so you don’t risk saying something the adjuster can use against you.

Steps To Take After a Spinal Cord Injury

You’re off to an excellent start if you already went to the hospital after the accident. If you haven’t sought treatment for your spinal cord injury, go to your doctor now. Contact Park Chenaur and Associates immediately so we can start working on your case. We will investigate to determine liability and begin obtaining evidence to build a case against the negligent party.

Your initial doctor might recommend follow-up care, such as imaging tests, physical therapy, and other treatments. You must follow their recommendations and attend every necessary doctor’s appointment. Deviating from the treatment plan, missing scheduled appointments, or stopping your treatment too soon can ruin your chance of recovery and negatively affect your case.

Evidence is crucial to prove the injury you sustained in the accident. You must keep copies of your medical records, bills, and other documentation while your case is pending. Forward everything to us so we can determine whether we can use it as evidence. Keeping a pain journal to document your symptoms and their effects on your daily life is also helpful.

Don’t worry if you cannot maintain records. You might be in too much pain or confined to a hospital bed. Park Chenaur and Associates has the resources to acquire the available evidence. We can speak to witnesses, secure security camera footage, and request copies of your medical records from your doctors.

You should think twice before posting to your social media accounts during your ongoing case. Sharing a photo or updating your family and friends on your recovery progress might seem harmless. However, it can affect the amount of compensation you receive.

Defense attorneys and insurance companies often review public social media platforms for evidence that benefits them. They want to find proof that your injury isn’t as serious as you claim or that the accident is your fault. They might misinterpret a photo as evidence that you’re not prioritizing your recovery or that you lied about the long-term effects of your injury.

Avoiding social media is the safest option. That includes electronic communication. If the defense attorney questions their liability or whether your injury is due to a preexisting condition, your emails and other digital conversations might help prove their case.

Contact an Experienced Tacoma Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

attorneys rick and angel
Rick Park & Angel Chenaur, Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers

A spinal cord injury can have long-lasting consequences. You might feel constant pain, you cannot function, and have expensive medical bills you can’t afford. Although pursuing legal action seems like a complicated undertaking, it can hold the negligent party accountable for the harm they caused and provide you with the funds you need to regain your independence.

Park Chenaur and Associates can protect your rights and fight for the justice you deserve. Call (253) 345-2555 or contact us online for a free consultation if you sustained a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s negligence. Reach out to a Tacoma personal injury lawyer.

Tacoma Office Location:

3517 6th Ave, Tacoma,

WA 98406,

Phone: (253) 345-2555