The case was set for trial. Stephenson and Rife hired an animation company to prepare a video exhibit to help the jury understand the complexity of the surgery C.M. had to endure. Our attorneys shared the exhibit with State Farm at mediation shortly before trial. State Farm paid $850,000 to settle the case.
Indianapolis Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Whether you’ve suffered a fall, car accident, sports injury, or medical malpractice, a spinal cord injury can be the result, leaving you disabled or even paralyzed. Huge medical bills can pile up, earnings dwindle, and your future can feel uncertain. Because spinal cord injuries are often so severe, treatment can be expensive and long lasting. Our Indianapolis spinal cord injury lawyer can help get the compensation you deserve. You are not alone.
Stephenson Rife has helped hundreds of clients recover damages for the harm done to them. If you’ve suffered a spinal injury due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation for the challenges you’re facing. Traveling from the base of the skull down to the tailbone, the spine is one of the most vital parts of the human body. When it is damaged, the consequences can be life-altering … and sometimes life-ending.
If you have been injured or a loved one has died due to another party’s negligence, Stephenson Rife may be able to help you recover both your monetary losses and the non-economic damages that negatively affect your life, such as pain and suffering. Our Indianapolis spinal cord injury lawyers are meticulous and skilled in building powerful legal cases for clients. We can help you, too.
Call our spinal injury lawyer at Stephenson Rife today at (317) 680-2501 for a free consultation. We’ll discuss the facts in your case and determine the best way to proceed. There are no fees to you unless we win your case.
Why Choose Us
We’re not like other personal injury law firms. We focus primarily on catastrophic injuries. That means we are comfortable with complexity, and we welcome cases against well-funded, well-staffed opponents. Our spinal cord injury lawyers have faced the biggest insurance companies in the business, and we get results.
Mike Stephenson has been recognized by his peers as one of the top attorneys in Indiana. He has been given the highest rating possible by Martindale-Hubbell and named a Super Lawyer in Indiana. Mike has handled litigation in 18 states and served as lead trial counsel in more than 100 civil jury trials. The legal team at Stephenson Rife also includes Attorney Brady Rife, who prepares each case as though it may be tried in court. We have achieved outstanding case results, and we have many satisfied clients.
How We Can Help
We leverage technology to prove your case. Our Indianapolis spinal cord injury lawyers use state-of-the-art software to integrate sound, still photos and moving images, creating powerful presentations that demonstrate the causes and consequences of the serious injuries our clients have suffered. We consult world-renowned experts to help us make our case to the jury.
Our reputation precedes us when we enter negotiations with insurance companies and other attorneys. They know that we are thoroughly prepared and willing to take a case all the way to trial to get our clients maximum compensation. That reputation gives our clients an advantage from the moment they hire us to represent them.
As relentless as we are with the opposition, we are dedicated, sympathetic allies to our clients. Our team prides itself on the exceptional, responsive service we provide. Let our spinal cord injury lawyer tell you more about how we can help you get the compensation you are entitled to.
When you have a severe spinal injury, your life changes drastically and you probably require significant hospitalization and medical treatment. You are likely wondering how those bills will be paid. It is a frightening and emotionally draining experience. This is a time when you need an experienced and skilled spinal injury attorney who is calm, tested and knows how to fight on your behalf. Here are reasons to choose our law firm:
- Our attorneys possess decades of legal experience.
- We are not afraid to fight aggressively on your behalf.
- We have a winning track record in personal injury cases.
- Our attorneys offer top-notch client service and communicate openly and frequently with the clients we serve.
At Stephenson Rife, we understand that your family needs to be protected and cared for. Our Indianapolis spinal cord injury lawyers have decades of experience and can speak authoritatively about their areas of legal specialization, including personal injury law.
Compensation Our Indianapolis Spinal Injury Attorney Can Recover for You
We understand spinal injuries and their devastating effects, and we know how to go about getting fair compensation.
Consider the extreme costs of a spinal cord injury. The direct costs in the first year of these injuries can range from approximately $347,000 to more than $1 million, depending on the severity of the injury, according to the Reeve Foundation.
Spinal cord injuries are categorized as complete or incomplete, and the degree of disability varies accordingly. Generally, the closer the injury is to the head, the more dysfunction the person will experience. When trauma occurs to the high cervical nerves (C1-C4), the following impairments are typical:
- Paralysis in arms, hands, trunk, and legs.
- If all four limbs are paralyzed, this is known as quadriplegia.
- Inability to breathe, cough, or control bowels or bladder.
- Speech impairment.
- Requires complete 24-hour care, including assistance in eating, dressing, bathing, and transferring.
- May be able to use powered wheelchairs.
- Will not be able to drive a car.
Obviously, the medical and personal care expenses following a spinal cord injury are enormous, both immediately after the injury and for the rest of the patient’s lifetime.
People with severe spinal injuries require ongoing medical care, assistive medical devices, and accessibility modifications around the home. Unfortunately, the ability to earn adequate income is greatly impaired by a spinal cord injury. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center reports that after one year of a spinal injury, only 18 percent of SCI patients are employed. This makes coping with the high costs of a spinal cord injury even more difficult.
When a spinal cord injury sufferer files a personal injury claim to receive compensation, they need aggressive legal representation from someone who will fight to get them the payment they deserve. Mike Stephenson has a reputation for being a fierce advocate for his clients. If you have experienced a debilitating injury, contact our Indianapolis spinal cord injury lawyer at Stephenson Rife.
Learn more about how we hold negligent parties accountable for the damages our clients have suffered. Call us at (317) 680-2501.
Our Indianapolis Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys Demand Payment for All Your Damages
Spinal cord injuries are some of the most costly, painful and debilitating injuries imaginable. When you file a personal injury claim to get compensation for the costs – or “damages” – you are facing, you should factor in all the financial consequences of your injury, such as medical bills or lost income.
However, the damages you face encompass much more than the financial costs of your spinal cord injury. These injuries can impact your ability to perform even the most routine of tasks. They may affect your relationships and enjoyment of life. As a back or spinal cord injury victim, you might face severe depression, anxiety, PTSD and a diminished quality of living.
Our skilled, experienced spinal cord injury lawyer knows how important it is to demand payment for all of the consequences of an injury. We will not only pursue payment for the financial damages you are owed, but also the non-economic damages, such as mental and physical pain and suffering. These damages may not have a specific dollar value, but they negatively affect your quality of life. After a catastrophic spinal injury, non-economic damages can actually be greater than economic awards, so it is essential to have the best legal representation possible to recover all non-economic damages that apply to your situation.
When we accept a client’s case, we get to know them and their loved ones, so we can determine the toll an injury has had on their lives. These injuries can have tragic impacts on people’s relationships, families and communities. Once we know the full extent of our client’s suffering, we can then determine how much we should demand from the at-fault party and their insurance company.
Expenses that Could Be Covered in a Spinal Cord Injury Case
At Stephenson Rife, our spinal cord injury attorneys vigorously assert our clients’ right to sufficient compensation for both past and future expenses, relying on analysis from medical experts and life planners.
In addition to doctor and hospital charges, adequate financial compensation for a spinal injury victim also includes expenses such as:
- Home health care
- Durable equipment and assistive devices
- Psychological counseling
- Lost income, present and future
- Travel expenses
- Household assistance.
These are just a few examples of the many expenses you might be facing. Our back injury attorneys work closely with our clients to make sure they get compensation that reflects all the challenges they encounter because of a serious spinal cord injury.
Limitation on Damages in Indiana
In Indiana, there are some caps on particular kinds of damages. For example, in a personal injury claim, there’s a $700,000 cap on most claims against the state (Indiana Code Title 34. Civil Law and Procedure § 34-13-3-4). Also, punitive damages are not allowed in almost all cases. And when an unmarried adult aged 23 or older with no dependents is killed in an accident, the most in damages their estate can receive in a wrongful death case is $300,000, which includes attorney’s fees.
In the terrible event that your loved one died after a spinal cord injury accident, a family can file a wrongful death claim to recover damages. Wrongful death is the legal term for a death that was caused by the negligence of another party. Examples include a death due to a drunk driver, a doctor who injured a patient on the operating table, or a restaurant owner who left spilled liquid on the floor and your loved one slipped and fell. Wrongful death claims ask for damages to compensate eligible family members for what they’ve lost because of the death. But not all family members are eligible to file or collect in a wrongful death claim. The statute of limitations on a wrongful death claim in Indiana is two years.
Wrongful death suits are commonly sought after a death caused by:
- Defective drugs or medical devices
- Auto accidents
- Unsafe work environments or machinery
- Medical malpractice
- Unsafe property conditions
- Defective products
- Dangerous road or construction conditions.
Any time a loved one dies unexpectedly, there’s a chance their death was the avoidable result of another’s negligence. Compensation can make a big difference to your finances as you navigate medical bills, funeral costs, lost income, and other unanticipated expenses after a loved one’s death. No amount of money can fix the pain caused by the sudden loss of a loved one. But wrongful death compensation can provide immense relief and support as your family grieves and adjusts to life after an unexpected loss.
Indiana Negligence Laws and Statute of Limitations
Indiana applies the legal theory of modified comparative negligence when determining fault in a spinal cord injury case. This means you can be partially at fault for your injury and still collect compensation. Also known as the “51% fault” rule, you must be less than 51% at fault for a spinal injury to file a claim. If you are awarded damages for your injuries, the court will reduce your recovery by the percentage of fault that is yours. For example, let’s say it is determined that you are 10% at fault for a car accident that caused your spinal injury and the other party is 90% at fault. If the total award is $400,000, then you will receive $360,000 (the total less 10%). The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Indiana is two years (Indiana Code Title 34. Civil Law and Procedure § 34-11-2-4). The clock starts ticking on the date of your spinal cord injury.
Once you hire Stephenson Rife to handle your case, you can hand off all aspects of your claim to our team. We will file paperwork, build your case, correspond with insurance companies and other attorneys, interview witnesses and consult world-class experts.
To win your case, our Indianapolis spinal cord injury attorneys must prove that it was caused by the negligence, recklessness, or fault of another party (the defendant). Legally, this means showing the following four elements:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care to prevent harm.
- The defendant breached this duty by acting or failing to act.
- This breach caused your injury.
- You suffered actual damages as a result.
Proving negligence involves investigating how your spinal injury occurred and locating all responsible parties. We would gather evidence by…
- Interviewing witnesses and first responders
- Acquiring photos and videos from surveillance or traffic cameras
- Examining medical, ambulance, and police records
- Hiring medical experts to testify how the injuries have negatively impacted your life and the costs of care you will need in the future
- Hiring vocational experts to show what you would have expected to have earned over your lifetime if you had not been injured.
In some cases, there may be multiple parties responsible for your spinal injury. Since every potentially liable party may have insurance and personal assets, our attorneys will look to name all of them as defendants.
We will demand payment that reflects all of the hardships you are facing. Typically, we begin negotiating with the other side if they are willing to cooperate and meet our demands. If we reach an agreement with the other side, then the case will result in a settlement. If no settlement is possible or if an offer fails to meet your needs, then we will take the case to trial.
At Stephenson Rife, we prepare every case to go to trial. Doing so lets the other side know we are willing to take a case all the way, if necessary. This allows our spinal cord injury attorney to come to the negotiating table from a position of strength. Though most personal injury cases are resolved through settlement, we know how important it is to be thoroughly prepared. We also know how important it is to answer any questions you have on the settlement process. We’ve created a settlement FAQ page to help start answering those questions.
Once we obtain a settlement or a verdict, you will start receiving payment for your injury. When these payments begin and how they are structured depends on the circumstances of your case and the terms agreed to by both sides.
Every case is different. If you want to know more about how your case might unfold, we encourage you to contact our Indianapolis spinal cord injury attorneys at Stephenson Rife to schedule a free consultation with our team.
We know how to get results. Call Stephenson Rife by calling (317) 680-2501 or filling out our contact form to get started.
We’ve Built Our Reputation on The Results We’ve Achieved For Clients
Reputation matters in the legal field. Though there are countless attorneys and several courts, the parties involved in these lawsuits frequently encounter the same names and faces. One of the major benefits of working with Stephenson Rife is our reputation. Insurance companies and other attorneys know that the attorneys at Stephenson Rife will be prepared, aggressive and relentless in protecting our client’s interests.
Let us fight for you, so we can get you the compensation you deserve. Get started today by filling out our contact form or calling (317) 680-2501.
How Much Does A Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Cost?
Attorneys can choose how they want to be paid, so we work on a contingency fee basis. That means that we get paid only if we win your case. If your claim is unsuccessful, our services cost nothing. If we win you compensation, we will take our fee out of the verdict or settlement.
We are confident in our team’s ability to earn you compensation. We also want to ensure that you don’t pay the price for an unsuccessful claim. By working on a contingency fee, we put the burden on us to win your case. We also eliminate the possibility of our clients being burdened financially.
Other Spine Injuries
Accidents can also cause injuries that are less severe than spinal cord injury but are still very painful and disabling. One of the most common injuries sustained in highway collisions is whiplash, caused by quick and jarring movement of the neck.
The bones of the spinal column may be fractured by a forceful impact. Spinal fractures may be treated non-surgically with a brace or may require surgical procedures and the insertion of metal screws, rods and cages. In addition to the risk of spinal fluid leaks, these surgeries are subject to the same complications as other surgical procedures, including blood clots and infection.
Sudden traumatic force may also cause injury to the material between vertebrae, or herniated disks. The pain associated with a herniated disk ranges from slight to debilitating, is usually intensified by movement, and typically occurs along the sciatic nerve, down the back of the leg. A herniated disk may also cause numbness, muscle weakness and paralysis.
Why Spinal Cord Injury Cases Are Unique
Not every personal injury case is the same. The damages in a spinal cord injury case are often more significant than injuries involving soft-tissue damage or minor fractures. The lifetime costs of a serious spinal injury can range up to several million dollars. These injuries are often permanent, and a sufferer will be forced to change their life in fundamental ways. They may no longer be able to work or perform basic, routine tasks.
There is a lot at stake in a case involving a spinal injury, so it’s important to find an attorney with experience handling these cases and a track record of success. If an inexperienced attorney handles your case, you might end up accepting far less than you need and deserve. The insurance company and at-fault party will gladly offer settlements when they know that an injury is worth far more. Don’t make the mistake of hiring an Indianapolis spinal cord injury attorney who doesn’t have experience with these cases.
A skilled attorney from our team knows that a successful case requires a great deal of time, effort and dedication. When a client has an injury as catastrophic as a spinal injury, they deserve compensation that will help them cope with the lifetime costs, including ongoing medical care, loss of income, and pain and suffering.
Ask Our Indianapolis Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Whether You Have A Case
If your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, then you should consider your legal options. In some cases, determining the fault of another party is an easy task. For example, if you were struck by a drunk driver, the at-fault or negligent party is the intoxicated driver. If an employer failed to ensure the safety of the equipment you were using on the job and you suffered a spinal cord injury as a result, then your employer can be held accountable for your damages. Determining fault can be complex in certain situations, and our Indianapolis spinal cord injury attorney can help you figure out who is responsible.
”Working with Brady was very rewarding. This was my first experience as a plaintiff. I was guided through the process the entire way, until a settlement was obtained. He is very straight-forward, does not over promise and sets proper expectations. Hear what he has to say.” – David Seiwert (Google Review)
We take the hard cases – and win them! At Stephenson Rife, we offer free consultations. Call our spine injury lawyer at (317) 680-2501 so we can learn more about your case and help you find your path forward.
Table Of Contents
- What Sets Our Spinal Injury Lawyers at Stephenson Rife Apart from the Rest
- Compensation Our Indianapolis Spinal Injury Attorney Can Recover for You
- Our Indianapolis Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys Demand Payment for All Your Damages
- What to Expect in Your Spinal Cord Injury Case
- We’ve Built Our Reputation on the Results We’ve Achieved for Clients
- How Much Does a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Cost?
- Why Spinal Cord Injury Cases Are Unique
- Ask Our Indianapolis Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Whether You Have a Case