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Our firm has more than 100 years of combined experience helping those who have been harmed by the wrongful acts of others.

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Everything we do, we do with the goal of excellence. Our clients' futures depend upon it. We never cut corners and we never take the easy way out, welcoming the chance to go to trial for clients when necessary.

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Portland Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

At Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC, we have significant experience representing those who have suffered severe injuries to their spinal column or spinal cord.  We understand how serious these cases are and dedicate the time, effort, and resources necessary for each one to be successful.

Spinal cord injuries, both traumatic and nontraumatic, can lead to lasting disability. If you or someone you love is living with paraplegia, quadriplegia, or another spine injury related condition, you may have legal recourse if the injury was sustained through the negligent or wrongful acts of another. A Portland spinal cord injury attorney can help guide you through the legal process and fight to secure compensation on your behalf.

Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC was voted one of the “Best Law Firms” by US News in the practice area of Portland personal injury litigation for plaintiffs. This means we have been recognized for excellence in pursuing justice for the wrongfully injured. Our firm works diligently, understanding that behind every case is a person who deserves their day in court.

Recent results achieved include:

  • $7 million dollar jury verdict for a 16-year-old boy who became a quadriplegic during an unsupervised outing. A no-offer case.
  • $4 million dollar settlement for failing to timely order imaging studies and diagnosing a spinal abscess resulting in complete paraplegia from the waist down.
  • Confidential policy limits settlement for motorcyclist after they were hit by a car turning in front of and paralyzed.

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury to the spinal cord, please, call or contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.   Our team will listen to your story, give you a full explanation of your legal options, and begin working on your case right away if you choose us to represent you.

Portland Spinal Cord Injury Resources

To immediately access the resources at any point on this page, please click the corresponding link below.

Why Choose Our Spinal Cord Injury Attorney?
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
What is Capable of Causing a Spinal Cord Injury?
Medical Costs Associated With Spinal Injuries
Possible Spinal Cord Injury Complications
Why Hire a Portland Spinal Cord Injury Attorney?
Potential Damages in a Spinal Cord Injury Case
How Much is a Typical Spinal Cord Injury Case Worth?
Personal Injury Statute of Limitations
How Much Does an Attorney Cost?
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Portland Spinal Cord Injury Attorney

Why Choose Our Portland Spinal Cord Injury Attorney?

  • At Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC, we have a thorough understanding of Portland personal injury laws and processes, and we’ve recovered major settlements and jury verdicts for clients. 
  • You will always be able to get in contact with your lawyer. We believe in personalized service, and we never leave clients in the dark.
  • If you cannot make it to us due to your injuries, we have no problem coming to you at the hospital, a rehab facility, or at your home. Let us make this as easy as possible for you.

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

There are multiple types of spinal cord injuries that a person can sustain. The most basic separation of spinal cord injury types includes complete versus incomplete injuries. 

  • Complete spinal cord injury. This is defined as an injury that completely severs the spinal cord (complete). This will lead to a person sustaining complete paralysis from below the site of the injury because the brain can no longer send signals to the affected areas. 
  • Incomplete spinal cord injury. This refers to the spinal cord sustaining partial damage. Depending on the severity of the injury, an incomplete spinal cord injury can lead to nearly complete paralysis, but it could also lead to relatively minor symptoms. 

We can look at additional definitions to further define spinal cord injuries and outcomes:

  • Quadriplegia. This is also referred to as tetraplegia and is a type of paralysis that affects the movement and sensation in all four limbs. This can also affect internal organ function.
  • Paraplegia. This is a type of paralysis that results in the loss of movement in both legs and, in some cases, the organs in the lower abdomen. 
  • Monoplegia. This is a type of paralysis that affects one arm.
  • Hemiplegia. This type of paralysis affects one arm and one leg, essentially half of the body. 

What is Capable of Causing a Spinal Cord Injury?

When examining information from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), we can see that there are around 294,000 individuals living with a spinal cord injury in the US. Additionally, there are approximately 18,000 new spinal cord injuries each year. 

Since 2015, the most common causes of spinal cord injuries have been (percentage of cases in parenthesis):

  • Vehicle accidents – 38.6%
  • Falls – 32.2%
  • Acts of violence – 14%
  • Sports injuries – 7.8%
  • Medical or surgical errors – 4.2%

How are Spinal Cord Injuries Diagnosed?

Accurate diagnosis is the first crucial step in addressing spinal cord injuries effectively. Portland residents who suspect such an injury should understand the diagnostic process, which typically involves:

  • Physical Exam: When a person arrives at a medical facility with suspected spinal cord trauma, the first step is a comprehensive physical examination. A skilled healthcare provider will assess the individual’s neurological status, looking for signs of sensory or motor deficits. They will check for weakness, loss of sensation, and reflex abnormalities, all of which can indicate a potential spinal cord injury.
  • Neurological Scan: Specialized neurological scans, such as a CT (Computed Tomography) scan or MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), are often performed to evaluate the condition of the spinal cord in detail. These scans can reveal the precise location and extent of damage, helping medical professionals determine the most suitable treatment approach.
  • Imaging Scans: X-rays may be used to visualize the spine’s structure and identify any fractures or dislocations. This imaging technique can provide essential information about the injury’s severity and whether surgical intervention is necessary.
  • Diagnostic Tests: Depending on the circumstances, additional diagnostic tests may be required to confirm the presence and extent of the spinal cord injury. These tests can include electromyography (EMG), which assesses muscle activity, and somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs), which measure the electrical activity along the spinal cord.

It is important to emphasize that the diagnostic process must be swift and thorough to provide the best possible outcome for the injured individual. Accurate and timely diagnosis guides the subsequent steps in treatment and recovery.

Medical Costs Associated with Spine Injuries

In addition to the physical toll caused by spinal cord injuries, there is also a substantial financial toll. Some of the major medical costs associated with spine injuries include –

  • Diagnostic Test Expenses
    To accurately diagnose a spine injury, doctors often use CT scans, X-rays, and MRI technology, all of which can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
  • Hospitalization
    If you are hospitalized for any length of time to treat a spine injury, this can lead to costly medical bills.
  • Surgery
    This is often a necessary treatment for spine injury patients. Surgery can remove foreign objects in the spine, repair fractures, or reinforce the spinal column.
  • Rehabilitation
    An increasing number of patients are receiving experimental treatments and rehabilitation. These types of treatments can promote nerve healing, but they can be costly.
  • Ongoing Treatment & Assistance
    After initial diagnosis and treatment, spine injury patients typically receive ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitation, medication, and incur the cost of wheelchairs and related devices.

Individuals who are wrongfully injured may be able to seek financial compensation to cover the cost of these and other medical expenses.

Possible Spinal Cord Injury Complications

Most people think about paralysis when a spinal cord injury occurs. That is certainly the most devastating aspect of these types of injuries, but certainly not the only issue. One of the worst parts of these injuries, particularly severe ones, is other complications caused by paralysis and internal trauma. 

The NSCISC states that around 30% of individuals with spinal cord injuries over a recent five-year period were re-hospitalized. The leading cause of re-hospitalization includes genitourinary system complications. Additional complications include skin, respiratory, digestive, circulatory, and musculoskeletal diseases. 

Additionally, those who sustain spinal cord injuries typically have shorter life expectancies due to the health complications associated with the injury. Life expectancy lowers considerably with more severe spinal cord injuries. For example, a 20-year-old who sustains a minor spinal cord injury can expect to live another 52 years post-injury, while a 20-year-old who is ventilator-dependent due to the injury can expect to live around 9.8 years longer. 

Why Hire a Portland Spinal Cord Injury Attorney?

It is crucial to work with a spinal cord injury lawyer in Portland as soon as possible after the injury occurs. This helps ensure that the lawyer can get involved and begin the evidence-gathering process immediately before anything can get discarded or destroyed. 

In addition to handling with will inevitably be a complex investigation, your attorney will also be the one to communicate with every other party involved. This includes alleged at-fault parties, insurance companies, and other legal teams. Your focus must be on your spinal cord injury treatment. Your attorney handles the claim. They will also handle negotiations as well as any jury trial that becomes necessary to recover compensation on your behalf. 

Even if you are on the fence about working with an attorney, you should reach out for a free consultation so we can help you focus on the next steps moving forward.

Potential Damages in a Portland Spinal Cord Injury Case

The team at Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC works diligently to recover maximum compensation for spinal cord injury victims. We understand the challenges victims and families face in these situations, so we strive to secure both “special” and “general” damages. 

  • Special damages. These are considered economic damages. Spinal cord cases typically have significant economic damages and are calculated by obtaining bills, receipts, invoices, and other proof of loss. The most common spinal cord injury special damages include:
    • Hospital bills
    • Ongoing doctor costs
    • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
    • Medical devices
    • Home or vehicle improvement to help with mobility
    • Prescription medications
    • Lost income of a victim is unable to work
    • Property damage expenses
  • General damages. These are considered non-economic damages. The reality is that these types of losses are harder to calculate because they revolve around less visible harm. The most common non-economic damages related to a spinal cord claim include:
    • Physical pain and suffering
    • Emotional and psychological pain and suffering
    • Loss of quality of life due to a disability
    • Loss of consortium damages for a spouse

How Much is a Typical Spinal Cord Injury Case Worth?

There is no set amount of money that a spinal cord injury victim will receive if their claim is successful. The total amount will depend on several factors, including injury severity and how much a person is able to recover. With spinal cord injury claims, it is very important to factor in how this injury and any subsequent disability will affect the victim for the remainder of their life. This can affect how much medical treatment, in-home care, and lost wages to consider. 

The NSCISC shows that the first year of medical treatment can range anywhere from around $375,000 for a minor injury to more than $1.1 million for a severe injury. These figures only include medical expenses and only cover the first year. These claims could end up resulting in multi-million-dollar settlements. Your Portland spinal cord injury lawyer will work with trusted economic and medical experts to help calculate total losses. 

Is There a Statute of Limitations for This Type of Injury Case?

Yes, there are time limits in place for spinal cord injury lawsuits in Portland, Oregon. These cases must be filed within two years from the date the injury occurred. If a spinal cord injury victim fails to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party within this two-year timeframe, they will likely not be able to recover any compensation. Additionally, if there are any insurance carriers involved in the case, they will also have reporting deadlines you need to be aware of. 

Portland Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

What to Do if You Suspect a Spinal Cord Injury

Discovering a suspected spinal cord injury can be distressing, but taking immediate and informed action is crucial. Here are the detailed steps to follow if you suspect a spinal cord injury in Portland, Oregon:

  • Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Time is of the essence when dealing with spinal cord injuries. Quickly call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room if you suspect such an injury. Medical professionals are equipped to provide the necessary assessment and treatment. Do not attempt to transport an injured person yourself unless their immediate safety is at risk.
  • Avoid Unnecessary Movement: Until medical help arrives, it is essential to minimize movement of the injured person. Immobilization can prevent further damage to the spinal cord. Support the head and neck to keep them in alignment with the rest of the body. Encourage the injured individual to remain as still as possible.
  • Preserve Evidence: If the spinal cord injury resulted from an accident, negligence, or someone else’s actions, gathering and preserving evidence is vital. This includes:
    • Taking photographs of the scene: Document the location, conditions, and any hazards that may have contributed to the injury.
    • Gathering Witness Statements: If there were witnesses to the incident, obtain their contact information and statements. Their accounts can be valuable in determining liability.
    • Keeping Records: Maintain records of all medical treatments, examinations, and expenses related to the injury. These records will be essential if you decide to pursue a legal claim.
  • Contact an Experienced Portland Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer: Legal representation can make a substantial difference in the outcome of spinal cord injury cases. At Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC, we are skilled in advocating for those who have suffered injury due to negligence. Our experienced legal team can provide guidance and support throughout the legal process, helping you seek compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain, and suffering.

It is essential to remember that the immediate response to a suspected spinal cord injury can significantly impact the individual’s prognosis and long-term outcomes. By following these steps, the injured person and their family can help both ensure that they receive the best possible care and support during this challenging time and help protect their rights to the compensation needed to address the injury and its related consequences.

How Much Will it Cost to Hire an Experienced Attorney?

The team at Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC is proud to handle spinal cord injury claims in Portland on a contingency fee basis. For victims harmed by the negligence of others, this means a few things. First, we handle all of the out-of-pocket costs related to the case. You will not pay anything while the case is ongoing. 

Clients are only responsible for paying legal fees after the successful conclusion of the case, and they have compensation in hand. If we do not win the case, clients pay no legal fees. The total legal fees will equal an agreed-upon percentage of the final settlement or verdict. Whether you were injured in a crash or require the assistance of a workplace injury attorney in Portland, we can help.

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How Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC Can Help You

If you or someone you love sustained a life-altering spine injury through some type of negligence/wrongdoing, we invite you to contact Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC. Our law firm advocates for accident victims throughout Oregon. Call us today or fill out our online form to tell us about your case and to discuss your legal options.

If you or a loved one were seriously hurt as a result of negligence, contact us to discuss your legal options.