Philadelphia Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

Did you suffer a life-altering injury to your spine? Laffey Bucci D'Andrea Reich & Ryan will help you understand your legal rights.

Philadelphia Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

An estimated 294,000 or more individuals who have spinal cord injuries (SCIs) reside in the U.S., and at least 17,000 patients receive similar diagnoses each year in our country, all according to a 2022 Spine Journal study published by the National Library of Medicine.

Given how Philadelphia is centrally located within the Tri-State area, it’s likely that many SCI patients end up being treated in our local trauma centers. If you have the misfortune of being one of them, we urge you to reach out to a Philadelphia spinal cord injury lawyer in our office.

During an initial consultation with us at Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan, we’ll discuss the incident that led to the onset of your injuries, the next steps you should take to recover compensation to pay for your medical costs and other expenses you’ve already incurred and may do so in the future. Meeting with a compassionate SCI attorney in Philadelphia to better understand your rights is free. Contact us now.

Accidents That Cause SCIs

As someone who has suffered spinal cord damage yourself, you’ve probably already begun conversing with your doctors, nurses, and other SCI patients about the onset of injuries like these. You’ve probably come to find that, while you got hurt in one way, there are a multitude of injury incidents that may cause someone to damage their spinal cord, such as:

  • Auto accidents: This category includes car wrecks, motorcycle crashes, tractor-trailer collisions, and train accidents, as well as situations where pedestrians are struck by one of these vehicles.
  • Premises liability situations: Slips and falls and physical assaults or shootings due to negligent security are examples of common incidents that may result in a person unexpectedly suffering spinal cord damage.
  • Medical malpractice: A simple slip of a scalpel can cause a spinal cord to become severed. However, more notably avoidable medical negligence includes a doctor being intoxicated or drowsy at the time they perform a delicate operation on a patient, a failure to verify a patient’s identity or the nature of surgery before performing the procedure, informed consent issues, and failures to act expeditiously when surgical complications arise, can all leave a patient with an SCI.
  • Use of dangerous or defective products: While instances like these don’t perhaps happen as often as some of the others listed above, it’s plausible that a poorly designed or incorrectly manufactured product, such as ladders, heavy equipment, or furniture, can lead to a person unexpectedly getting hurt when they use that item.

SCIs are also, unfortunately, a common risk associated with playing contact sports like football, as well.

Whether your spinal cord injury occurred under one of the circumstances described above or a different one, let’s talk. Over our more than 40 decades in operation, we’ve helped clients who suffered their spinal injuries in Philadelphia in many different ways. It’s likely that we can help you do this. So, call or email us. We want to help you.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

SCIs are often spoken about singularly as if there’s only one type of damage to a person’s spinal cord that can occur. That’s not the case. There are actually two primary types of injuries, each of which impacts a patient’s long-term prognosis differently, as follows:

  • Complete spinal cord injuries: Data compiled by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons suggests that at least half of all SCIs are these. Injuries like these can cause complete motor skills and sensory loss below the site of impact. Further classifications of complete SCIs include paraplegia, tetraplegia, and quadriplegia.
  • Incomplete spinal cord injuries: These cause partial damage to a person’s spinal cord, which is why many individuals who suffer this type of injury are still able to maintain motor control over certain body parts. The functionality affected generally depends on where a person sustained impact along their spinal column.

Short and Long-Term Impairments Associated With Spine Injuries

As someone who suffered an SCI recently, you’re likely starting to gain a better understanding of what your future health may look like.

Your medical team has likely informed you that they won’t fully know how lasting your current limitations are until the swelling of your spinal cord subsides. Even then, they may have explained to you that our bodies have amazing healing properties. Your own body may continue to self-heal over the next few weeks and months, which may mean that your outlook significantly improves from where it’s at right now.

That all being said, as hinted at above, the severity of an incident largely dictates how severe injuries are, and thus, how catastrophic impairments they cause may be and how much it may cost to receive medical treatment moving forward.

Costs SCI Patients Have

There are certain expenses anyone who just suffered a spinal cord injury will likely have, which include ones for:

  • Ambulance and life-flight helicopter transportation
  • Emergency room costs, most likely from a Level I Trauma Center, such as Penn Presbyterian Medical Center or Temple University Hospital
  • Imaging, including X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs
  • Surgical costs
  • An intensive care unit (ICU) stay, especially if doctors place you on a ventilator
  • Medications
  • Inpatient rehabilitation costs, which may include both occupational and physical therapy
  • A wheelchair

Your costs, unfortunately, aren’t over once you leave the hospital after suffering an injury as serious as this. Unless you make a complete recovery, you can expect to have other costs, such as ones associated with acquiring a handicap-accessible vehicle or renovating your home to add on a ramp, widen doorways, etc.

There are other costs that you may incur repeatedly across your lifetime, including expenses associated with:

  • Follow-up medical care
  • Medical supplies
  • Assistive devices
  • Transportation
  • Prescription drugs
  • Caregiving

Damages We Help Clients With Functional Deficits or Paralysis Recover

According to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, the severity of an SCI and the onset of when it occurs can greatly impact the lifetime costs a patient incurs.

For example, while a 25-year-old who suffers an incomplete spinal cord injury may have just over $1.5 million in expenses, a similarly aged individual with high tetraplegia (a C1-C4 injury) may have $4.7 in lifetime costs. A 50-year-old who suffers an incomplete SCI may require just over $1.1 million in care for the rest of their life, whereas a tetraplegic person may incur just over $2.5 million in condition-related medical bills during the remainder of their life.

In our experience, aside from coping with sudden onset functional deficits, another difficulty spinal cord injury patients struggle with is the cost of care. While we, unfortunately, cannot reverse fate and make your injury go away, we can help you recover compensation for your existing and future losses.

Call or email us to schedule a free case consultation with a Philadelphia spinal cord injury lawyer. During that meeting, an experienced attorney will help you determine if you have a viable claim and, if so, aid you in calculating how much you’re likely to need to pay for expenses you’ve already incurred and what you will in the future, so we can demand that amount from the responsible party.

Proving Liability in Spinal Cord Damage Cases in Philadelphia

Pennsylvania is a no-fault insurance state when it comes to auto accidents. Generally, this would mean that you’d have to first exhaust all your policy limits before filing a claim with another driver’s insurer to recover compensation. Clearly, costs associated with treating spinal cord injuries are high, and thus, it’s generally a given that your coverage won’t be enough to pay for your immediate or future medical bills.

Ultimately, whether you file an insurance claim after a truck accident, dangerous premises incident, or some other event that caused your SCI or you find yourself needing to file a civil lawsuit against a responsible party, it will be necessary to prove the following four elements of negligence to secure a monetary settlement:

  • The defendant owed you a duty of care (i.e., had a responsibility to act in a way that would keep you safe)
  • That individual or entity breached the duty they were supposed to uphold
  • You suffered harm (a spinal cord injury) because the defendant violated the duty or standard of care they owed you
  • There are losses you incurred (i.e., current and forecasted medical bills, lost wages and earnings, etc.) because you suffered that SCI

As you likely noticed above, we mentioned that you can file claims or lawsuits against both individuals and entities. It’s not uncommon for a prospective plaintiff like yourself to file a lawsuit against perhaps a trucker and the fleet company that employs them or a doctor and nurse along with the facility that hired them in catastrophic injury cases like these.

In reading over the elements of negligence and who you can hold accountable for incidents resulting in spinal cord injuries, you can likely tell that liability is a particularly complex area of the law to make sense of. This is where it can be helpful to meet with someone in our law office, Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan, to go over your rights with you.

Why You Need an Attorney To Assist You if You Have an SCI in Philly

You can file an insurance claim or lawsuit on your own without the assistance of an attorney, but we discourage it. Why?

Aside from the complexities associated with establishing the elements of negligence to prove liability as outlined above, there are other reasons you should have legal counsel assist you with your case, including because an attorney:

  • Will have a comprehensive understanding of Pennsylvania law applicable in your case, including the 2-year statute of limitations that generally applies
  • Knows what evidence to source and how to appropriately use it to prove your case
  • Can communicate with insurers on your behalf so you can focus on your recovery
  • Will understand how to accurately tabulate existing damages and calculate future losses
  • Will have the necessary skills to negotiate an out-of-court settlement with insurers
  • Will be willing to take a case to trial, if necessary, to secure maximum compensation in your case

In short, when you entrust your case to us at Laffey Bucci D’Andrea Reich & Ryan, we take care of all aspects of your case, from start to finish. This can be of relief to you when you’re coping with the onset of a life-altering spinal cord injury.

So, if you’re ready to discuss the incident that left you injured, one of our attorneys is ready to speak with you about your rights and legal options for pursuing compensation. Fill out our easy online contact form to connect with a Philadelphia spinal cord injury lawyer now for a complimentary, no-risk, no-obligation consultation.

  • $9 million

    A car crash resulting in a passenger suffering permanent quadriplegic injuries

  • $2.5 million

    An on the job injury where an union carpenter fell on a construction site and was injured because of defective fall protection equipment

  • $2.5 million

    A workplace accident on the job resulting in below-the-knee amputation of the plaintiff’s right leg

  • $1.1 million

    Against a fraternity for negligently serving alcohol which resulted in a stabbing assault of two frat party attendees

  • $101 million

    The collapse of a parking garage at the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City that injured over 30 construction workers on the job and killed 4 men working on the project (largest construction accident settlement in U.S. history).

  • $15 million
  • Seven Figure Recovery

    Man who was killed when his car fell off of a 3 floor parking garage due to defective vehicle barrier protection system

  • Seven Figure Recovery

    Wrongful death by electrocution of a union electrician on the job, when electrical switchgear malfunctioned

  • Seven Figure Recovery
  • Seven Figure Recovery

    The on the job injury to a union carpenter who fell through an interior mobile scaffold while at work, suffering bilateral calcaneal fractures

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