If you or a family member suffered a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury in a catastrophic accident, you're not alone. More Americans than ever before are being treated for brain and spinal injuries each year. Both The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) report that motor vehicle accidents and falls—many of which are caused by the negligent actions of a person or business—are the top two causes of these devastating injuries.
While any major injury can cause undue stress for a family, brain and spinal cord injuries are among the most difficult to endure. The victim of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or a spinal cord injury often needs expensive medical treatments and may be unable to work for months or longer—some people can't return to their jobs at all. If this is the situation for you or a loved one, you may be entitled to compensation from the individual or business responsible for causing the accident.
Our team of experienced spine and brain injury lawyers is dedicated to protecting the rights of innocent victims throughout Kansas and Missouri. We're ready to help you and your family obtain the justice and compensation you deserve.
How Brain and Spinal Injuries Occur
There are many types of accidents that can trigger brain or spinal damage. Following are some of the most common causes of these devastating injuries:Car accidents. Critical factors include the force of impact on the spinal column, a jolt to the head, or penetration of the brain by an object in the collision. While brain and spinal injuries are more likely when the at-fault driver is speeding, even a minor rear-end collision can result in permanent impairment.
- Truck accidents. Truck wreck victims are at an increased risk for catastrophic brain and spinal injuries due to the immense size and weight of the vehicle and force of the crash. Distracted driving, violation of federal hours of service rules that govern how long a trucker can work without a break, and intoxication are just a few ways truck operators cause accidents.
- Motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle riders have only their helmets and clothing to protect them. When a motorcycle accident occurs, they can be thrown off their bikes onto the pavement—sometimes into oncoming traffic.
- Drunk driving accidents. Driving under the influence (DUI) in Kansas and driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Missouri are essentially the same thing. But no matter what you call it, both DUI and DWI reduce essential driving skills such as reaction time, vision, and judgment. Drunk driving accidents are often caused by impaired drivers who are speeding, driving against the flow of traffic, tailgating, or engaging in other reckless behaviors.
- Slip and fall accidents. Many individuals suffer brain or spinal injuries in slip and fall accidents. Spilled liquids, worn and frayed carpets and flooring, and ice and water in parking lots and property entrances are some of the hazardous conditions that cause victims to fall if property and business owners fail to remove the dangers.
- Nursing home abuse and neglect. When the nursing home staff fails to provide proper care and supervision, residents are at risk of slip and falls or other types of accidents that results in TBIs or spinal damage. Injured residents may be able to pursue an abuse or neglect case against the nursing home.
- Workplace injuries. Slips and falls, falls from heights, and motor vehicle collisions are typical causes of work-related brain and spinal injuries. In some cases, a victim could have a Kansas or Missouri workers’ compensation claim against his employer and a third-party negligence claim against another individual or business.
- Defective products. If consumer products such as motor vehicles, airbags, brakes, tires, or furniture aren't designed or manufactured properly, they can fail and cause serious harm. Accident victims who are harmed by these products may have a product liability claim against the parts and product manufacturers.
- Medical malpractice. Surgical mistakes and anesthesia errors can deprive patients of oxygen and cause permanent brain injuries. Surgical errors, a doctor’s failure to properly diagnose a condition, and other negligent actions may result in spinal damage. Patients may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital, medical staff, or their doctors to recover compensation for their injuries.
Types of Brain Injuries
The severity of a brain injury varies depending on the circumstances of the accident, but many people suffer devastating effects on their mobility, concentration, judgment, memory, and other abilities that impact the ability to work and take care of daily needs. Common brain injuries include:
- Acquired brain injury caused by events after a birth
- Coup-contrecoup conditions
- Skull fracture
- Traumatic brain injury
Types of Spinal Injuries
The effects of a spinal injury depend upon the location of the damage; each level corresponds to the loss of a variety of bodily functions. When the spine damage causes partial or complete paralysis, accident victims can become permanently disabled and require 24/7 care. In addition, they may develop bowel, urinary, respiratory, and other complications, which are sometimes life-threatening. Common spinal injuries include:
- Incomplete or complete spine damage
- Brown-Sequard syndrome
- Central cord syndrome
- Anterior cord syndrome
Damages for Brain and Spinal Injuries in Kansas and Missouri
After a debilitating brain or spinal injury, you may need expensive, long-term medical care and professional assistance with your daily tasks. Under Missouri and Kansas law, you're entitled to compensation for past and future damages from the negligent party that caused your accident. In general, you may seek these types of damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Property damage and other out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages
- Wrongful death damages if a loved died due to their injuries
- Workers’ compensation benefits for your medical bills and lost wages if you were hurt in a workplace accident
Prepare for What Comes After a Catastrophic Brain or Spinal Injury
After a brain or spinal cord injury, the process of filing a claim for compensation with the negligent party’s insurance company can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to go it alone. Our compassionate and knowledgeable lawyers are here to guide you through the legal process—from filing your claim to negotiating your settlement—so you are fully compensated for your damages. We will also provide you with the critical information you need to know about building a winning case against the negligent parties, such as:
- What to do after a brain injury or spinal injury
- Mistakes that could hurt your injury claim
- How to document your brain injury symptoms
- How to document your spinal cord injury symptoms
- How to file a brain injury or spinal injury claim
- Deadline to file a brain or spinal injury lawsuit
- Types of brain injury treatments you may need
- Types of spinal injury treatments you may need
- What to do if an insurance adjuster contacts you
- Benefits of working with a skilled brain and spinal cord injury attorney
- How to support a loved one with a brain or spinal injury
- How to prove the extent of your brain injury
- Importance of a life care plan
Call Our Personal Injury Attorneys to Learn How We Can Help
At Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys, we’re dedicated to protecting the rights of injured victims and securing both the justice and compensation you deserve. If your life has turned completely upside down due to a TBI or spinal injury, our experienced personal injury lawyers are ready to assist you.
From our offices in Kansas City, Overland Park, Lee’s Summit, Parkville, St. Joseph, and Olathe, we're able to serve clients throughout Kansas and Missouri. Call our office or start a live chat today to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team to learn about your options.