If you’re like most people, you probably take your back and spine for granted…until it hurts. Whether you tweaked your back helping a friend move or suffered a more serious spinal cord injury, it can take a significant amount of time – and a lot of pain – to recover from this type of injury.
If your back or spine injury was caused by a car accident, medical malpractice, a slip and fall, or another type of accident, then you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party. Through an insurance claim, you can recover money for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Our New York spinal cord injury attorneys will work with you to get you maximum compensation for your losses.
The Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan is dedicated to the rights of accident victims. We aggressively advocate for our clients, working hard to get them a fair settlement for their losses. Reach out to schedule a free initial consultation with a back and spine injury lawyer in White Plains, NY.
How Back and Spine Injuries Can Happen
Our backs are made up of bones, muscles, nerves, and other tissues that extend from the neck to the pelvis. The spinal cord sits inside the spinal column, which consists of 33 bones – vertebrae – that are fused together in sections to form what we know as the spine. Given the complexity – and delicacy – of the back and spine, it is little wonder that injuries to this area of the body are common.
Back and spine injuries can happen in any number of ways. This includes sports injuries, falls, traumatic events like car accidents, or simply from working around the house. More serious spinal cord injuries may be caused by falls, motor vehicle accidents, violence or assaults, sports injuries (including diving and trampoline accidents), infections, and birth injuries.
For example, whiplash – a common type of neck injury – is typically caused by a rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. It is frequently diagnosed after a rear-end accident, which can cause injury to the bones in the spine, ligaments, muscles, nerves, disks between the bones, and other tissues in the neck.
Back and spine injuries may include:
- Sprains and strains
- Herniated disks
- Fractured vertebrae
Because we use our backs and spines for almost everything that we do, these types of injuries can be incredibly difficult to overcome. Even relatively minor back or spine injuries may require medication, physical therapy, and other treatment to heal fully. If a back or spine injury was caused by another person, then you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against them to seek compensation for your losses.
Getting Compensation for Back and Spine Injuries
In some cases, back and spine injuries are just unfortunate accidents. Perhaps you tripped over a loose rug in your own house, and hurt your back in the process. Or maybe you simply spent too much time weeding in your garden, and have a sore back for a week or two as a result.
However, there are many situations where a person suffers a back or spinal injury because of something that someone else did or failed to do. As back and spine injury attorneys, we often see clients who have been hurt in slips and falls, car accidents, and medical malpractice. In some cases, nursing home abuse can cause back and spine injuries.
Who’s at Fault for my Back and Spine Injury?
It can be difficult to determine whether another person is legally responsible for your injuries. Generally, personal injury cases are based on a theory of negligence (carelessness). A person is said to be negligent if they fail to use the level of care that a reasonable person would use in a similar situation. For example, if someone runs a red light and crashes into your car, then they would likely be considered negligent.
Some personal injury claims are based on intentional or reckless conduct. For example, if staff at a nursing home physically abuses a patient or resident, then they (and the facility itself) could be held liable for their actions. Similarly, if a person causes a drunk driving accident, then they will be responsible for the injuries that they caused.
During a free initial consultation, a White Plains personal injury attorney will listen to your story, and give you advice on your legal rights and options for pursuing a claim. If you decide to hire a lawyer, they will get to work right away to investigate the facts of the case, determine who may be liable, and build a strong case for compensation.
In a personal injury lawsuit, the accident victim may be entitled to up to three types of compensation, known as damages. Most cases will include both economic and non-economic damages, which are considered compensatory damages because they compensate injury victims for their losses. In cases involving intentional or reckless conduct, you may also recover punitive damages.
Economic damages pay for direct financial losses. They are usually proven with documentation like medical bills, pay stubs, and estimates. Examples of economic damages include property damage, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, medical expenses, and future medical treatment.
Non-economic damages compensate injury victims for indirect losses. These damages can be harder to prove but are no less important. Examples include emotional distress, pain and suffering, scarring, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Finally, punitive damages are available in more unusual cases involving intentional or reckless conduct. They are awarded by a jury as a way to punish a wrongdoer. Your White Plains back and spine injury lawyer can help you determine if you might be eligible for punitive damages.
Once your attorney has investigated the facts of your case, researched New York law, and gathered evidence, they will draft a demand letter to the insurance company. The demand letter will cover three main issues: the facts of the case, why their insured is legally responsible, and a request (demand) for compensation. Insurance companies will typically have already performed an investigation of their own and will respond with a counteroffer.
Will My Case Go to Trial?
The vast majority of personal injury cases are resolved outside of court. While it may be necessary to file a lawsuit to preserve your legal rights, in most cases, your attorney will be able to settle the case through aggressive negotiation with the at-fault party’s insurance company. However, if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, it may be necessary to go to trial to get the compensation you deserve.
How a White Plains Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Back and spine injuries – particularly catastrophic injuries to the spinal cord – can be incredibly serious. In some cases, this type of injury can lead to permanent disability. For this reason, it is critical to have an experienced back and spine injury attorney by your side to advocate for your rights.
Insurance companies want to protect their own bottom line. For personal injury cases, this means that they will attempt to minimize the amount of money that they pay. While this is great for their profits, it can leave an injury victim with overwhelming medical bills and in financial distress.
For example, an insurance company may make an accident victim a lowball settlement offer in the days and weeks after they are hurt. This settlement may seem generous, with money to cover current medical expenses and pay for time off of work. But the reality is that these offers rarely cover things like emotional trauma – and may not even cover the future medical care and other costs that may be necessary.
Spinal cord injuries and back injuries are often complex. Your doctors may not be able to tell you a prognosis for months after an accident. Having a White Plains back and spine injury lawyer on your side ensures that you won’t get tricked into signing away your rights or agreeing to a settlement that doesn’t cover the full scope of your losses.
Instead, your attorney will fight for your right to full compensation. They will work to determine who may be responsible for your injuries, and build a strong claim for compensation. Significantly, they will coordinate with your treating physicians to make sure that they understand your medical needs so that your medical expenses are fully covered.
Studies show that people who are represented by counsel in personal injury cases recover an average of 40% more than people without legal representation. If you want to get top dollar for your back and spine injury, our law firm will fight for you. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team.
Suffered a Back or Spine Injury? Reach Out to Our Law Firm Today.
Back and spine injuries can impact your daily life in both big and small ways. It may be uncomfortable to sit or stand, you might not be able to pick anything up, and you may even lose function as the result of a spinal cord injury. These serious injuries require the skill and dedication of a highly-rated personal injury law firm.
Based in White Plains, the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan represent injury victims throughout New York. We offer free initial consultations and never charge a fee unless we recover your money. To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a New York back and spine injury attorney, give us a call at 914-220-1086 or fill out our online contact form.
My Quality of Life Has Been Affected by My Back and Spine Injury. Can I Recover Money for That?
Yes. Back and spine injuries can often be disabling. Having this type of injury can make it difficult to work, perform basic tasks, and engage in leisure activities. A settlement for a back and spine injury can include money for diminished quality of life, a type of non-economic damage.
Insurance companies rarely want to pay out money for things like reduced quality of life or even emotional distress. Our law firm will work to ensure that you get financial compensation for all of your losses, including non-economic damages. Call the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan today to talk to a New York back and spine injury lawyer.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit for a Back and Spine Injury?
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in New York is 3 years. With some exceptions, this means that you have 3 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. For medical malpractice claims, you have 2 years and 6 months from the date that you knew or should have known about the malpractice.
If you don’t file a claim within the statute of limitations, then you likely won’t be able to do so. If you want to preserve your legal rights – and get maximum compensation for your injuries – we can help. Contact the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan to schedule an appointment with a White Plains back and spine injury attorney.
The Insurance Company Is Offering Me a Settlement. Should I Take It?
No – not without talking to a lawyer first. The insurance company’s goal isn’t to appropriately compensate you but to get rid of the claim for as little money as possible. If you have suffered a back or spine injury, then it is critical that you get every penny that you are entitled to so that you can fully recover.
Our law firm will review any proposed settlement and help you understand your options. Reach out to the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan to talk to a White Plains back and spine injury lawyer about your claim.