What We Look For In Spine Injury Cases
Spine injury causes can come from any type of accident. Anytime your spinal cord is tweaked or pulled or pushed or jerked, it can cause a spinal injury. In a car accident, we very rarely see a spinal injury in the lower back. That is generally because the back seat of the car is protecting that part of the occupant’s body.
If we do see some type of spinal injuries, they are usually in the neck area. That is common especially in car accidents, and it can happen from the head hitting the windshield or from a very rapid severe acceleration deceleration type of whiplash, where your head is suddenly thrust back over the back of the head rest and then violently forward. An actual disk injury or a spinal injury can occur in all types of other accidents such as slip-and-fall accidents, bicycle or motorcycle accidents. If any accident is going to cause a spinal injury, the majority of them generally come from motorcycle accidents. This is because there is very little to protect the poor motorcyclist from that type of injury. In a car, you have a seat belt, air bags and side door bags on some of the cars now. However, there is nothing like that in the motorcycle. Unfortunately, if you are struck and you go flying off your motorcycle, generally bad things happen. People can become paralyzed from those types of injuries. Those are just terrible, terrible-type injuries that usually come from hitting the ground in an awkward position. I had one case where the person hit the roadway and was absolutely fine other than some road rash, but then got run over by another vehicle. That caused the spinal injury. I have a 19-year-old daughter, and she wanted to get a motorcycle. I said absolutely not. No way. I have seen too many accident cases. It is the last thing I want for my daughter. For the motorcycle riders out there, please be careful because there is really nothing to protect you if you are dislodged from your bike, especially at a high speed.
To discuss a spinal injury case with a lawyer at a free consultation, call The Sexton Law Firm at 619-678-1833 or contact us online. Your first consultation is always free. We have offices available in Chula Vista and Oceanside, California.
There are only three things that we look for in any type of case. They are broken down into liability or fault, then causation and then damages. As far as liability, you know sometimes we have accidents and the person is hurt whether it is a spinal injury or any type of injury, but the accident may have been his fault or her fault or mostly his fault. It might be 90 percent his fault or 70 percent his fault. So, that is certainly the first thing we look at. Can we prove some type of fault in the accident? Usually at least 75 percent at fault. Then we look at the causation, and see whether this person had some type of spinal issue, herniation or something going on with the spine that pre-existed this incident that would cause not all of his damages or symptoms to be due to the accident.
If someone had really, really bad arthritis or had a prior back surgery and now they are in an accident and the back was bothering again, obviously, not all their symptoms or all their injuries were due to the present accident. Some of it would have to be what they call apportioned or due to these earlier events. It can be from bad arthritis or it can be from prior accident. So, if someone had a lot of issues with the back before, and then was in an accident, that might not be a case they would want to pursue either because of the outcome. Yes, they were injured and they might have an aggravation to that body part, but what they can expect to get out of it monetarily might not be worth pursuing because of all these unrelated pre-existing factors.
Next we look at the damage aspect in a case as far as evaluating whether it is a spinal injury or any other type of case. Obviously, the damages in a spinal injury case would be much more than a run-of-the-mill back strain. We take that into consideration also. Once again, it comes down to documentation. A lot of people do not know they have what they have until they see a doctor to make that diagnosis.
They might be having the symptoms, but they do not know exactly why they are having them, where they are coming from, whether they are going to go away on their own, if they need treatment for them, or basically what to do about them. This is where we can help them. We can help answer all those questions for our clients and get them going in the right direction.
We just enjoy helping people. That is probably the biggest thing. Something I enjoy. I wish I had a magic wand to get everybody all better. However, I cannot do that and sometimes the best I can do is get them money for their injuries. Injured persons have questions: “I do not know where to go. Should I go to my family doctor? Do I go to a chiropractor? Do I go to an acupuncturist? Do I go to an orthopedic doctor? Where do I go? What do I do? What kind of treatment should I get?” Those sort of things. “How do I go about getting reimbursed for lost wages? How do I document my pain and suffering?” You cannot just tell an adjuster, “Oh I was in pain for three months. Give me some money.” They would just laugh. So, that is why they should hire our law firm because we can answer those types of questions, and go to bat for them against these insurance companies and these adjusters.
From my own personal experience, I worked for the insurance companies for 10 years as their attorney. Every dollar I would save the insurance company would mean a dollar less for an injured person. Quite honestly, I just could not do that after 10 years. I felt like I was hurting people, and I wanted to help people. So, for the last 13 years I have had my own business, and what I have been doing is helping people get what they deserve.
I go to bat for them against the insurance companies. Sometimes it is a matter of just getting things documented in the type of way that the insurance company adjuster wants to see, so he would not get in trouble with his supervisor for paying the money that the people should get and they deserve. We get that from having experience and having done that probably a couple hundred, if not a couple of thousand times. We work through that process over and over, knowing what to look for, knowing what the insurance company people like, what they do not like. We then work up each case tailoring it to that person’s injuries.
We know where the clients need to go, what kind of treatment they need to get, and we have the experience to know what type of a settlement they should receive. If you do not know what you deserve and you are ignorant, it is not that you are stupid. You do not know how much your case is worth. “$8,800 sounds pretty good to me. That is $8,800 tax-free, all my money.”
This is why people should come to my law firm. We are generally responsive. I am a hands-on type of attorney. I do all the negotiations myself. Paralegals do not do it; although, they sure do type up the letters and demands. I am a terrible typist, but I am the one who deals with the adjusters.
I am the one who talks to the clients. I am the one who gathers this information and my staff is very competent. They provide the support to get those things. They obtain the records. They obtain the documentation. They are the ones who do the hard work to make it work; and, when we put it all together, we get very good results. Contact us at 619-678-1833 to schedule your free consultation.