Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer East TennesseeSpinal Cord Injury Lawyer East Tennessee

Learning to cope with a spinal cord injury (“SCI”) may be one of the largest challenges you and your family may ever face.  Not only does a spinal cord injury have debilitating physical effects; it also has devastating emotional and financial ramifications that may result in feelings of helplessness and despair.

If you have sustained a SCI because of someone else’s negligent actions, it may bring comfort to know that you are not alone during this difficult time.  For over three decades, East Tennessee spinal cord injury attorney Mark Hurt has helped injured clients collect millions of dollars to help lessen the financial burden resulting from spinal cord and other injuries.

We are here to help you in seeking full compensation from all those liable, including pain and suffering, lost wages, medical costs, care expenses, and all other damages recoverable under Tennessee law.

Common Types of Spinal Cord Injury

The spinal cord communicates with the brain to coordinate movement and sensation in the body.  A SCI occurs when any part of the spinal cord, vertebrae, ligaments, disks or nerves are damaged, resulting in permanent changes in strength, sensation, and other bodily functions below the site of the injury.  Often, additional ancillary damage can also occur because of inflammation, bleeding, swelling and fluid accumulation around the spinal cord.

It’s estimated that approximately 247,000 to 358,000 people in the United States currently suffer from a spinal cord injury.[1] The average age at injury has increased from 29 years of age in the 1970/s to approximately 43 years today,[2] perhaps as a result of increased safety in sports that formerly was a larger cause of spinal cord injuries.

Men are much more likely to suffer a spinal cord injury, than women, with men representing approximately 78% of new cases.

The degree of spinal cord impairment and types of injuries vary; however, the following are some of the most common types of spinal cord injury:

  • Nerve damage affecting the spinal canal
  • Fractured or damaged vertebrae
  • Contusions and lacerations
  • Central cord syndrome affecting the spinal region of the neck
  • Hemiplegia (also referred to as partial paralysis)
  • Complete and incomplete Paraplegia
  • Complete and incomplete Tetraplegia (also referred to as Quadriplegia)

Spinal Cord Injury Costs 

Individuals suffering from spinal cord injuries face significant direct and indirect costs.  Given the seriousness of these types of injuries, care may be needed for years or, in cases where recovery is not possible, a lifetime.  Consequently, SCI victims often incur medical and care expenses amounting to millions of dollars.  In fact, the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistic Center estimates that the lifetime cost for someone suffering a High Tetraplegia (C1-C4) injury at the age of twenty-five is $4,891,398 dollars.[3] The average cost for this type of injury during the first year alone is more than$1,000,000.[4]

According to a study conducted by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, many people living with a paralyzing spinal cord injury are often unable to afford health insurance that adequately covers the complications that are commonly associated with their condition.  As a result, they are frequently forced to rely on family members or friends to serve as their primary caregiver.  Astoundingly, statistics show that more than 50 million people each year provide this care, the value of which is estimated to be $306 billion dollars annually.[5]

In addition to direct costs like medical or home care, spinal cord injury victims can also face high indirect costs such as lost wages from missing work or loss of productivity.  On average, individuals with a SCI will incur an average of $72,000 in indirect costs per year, but this cost can be significantly higher if the person injured otherwise would be been in a high-earning occupation (such as a physician).[6]

Given the substantial direct and indirect costs associated with a SCI, seeking compensation may be critical to ensuring that you and your family can afford the lifetime care that you may need. 

The Importance of Retaining Experts and An Experienced Tennessee Personal Injury Attorney

To recover compensation for direct and indirect costs, it is important to gather evidence regarding an injury and to hire an experienced attorney and experts who can effectively make a case to a jury.  Often, in the case of severe injuries, the defendant(s) and their attorney(s) will hire their own experts to help challenge damages and a victim’s pain and suffering.  If we represent you, we can retain medical experts, care experts, lost wage experts, and potentially other experts that may be needed to help prove your case. 

In many spinal injury cases, there are multiple individuals and/or entities that may be responsible.  It is our job to learn about all facts and circumstances involving a spinal injury so that we can seek justice to hold all those who we believe are legally liable responsible.  As a knowledgeable and skilled East Tennessee personal injury lawyer serving Johnson City and the surrounding communities, Mark will tenaciously fight to hold all negligent parties  accountable so that you may be awarded the full compensation you deserve.

Types of Cases We Accept

Mark graduated with honors from Duke Law School, and has litigated in both Tennessee state courts, as well as federal courts, including The United States Supreme Court.  As an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer, Mark is known as a meticulous attorney who fights zealously to get clients every dollar they deserve.

No matter the size of the case, Bristol personal injury lawyer Mark Hurt can vigorously litigate to help hold parties responsible for their negligence.  We represent clients in all types of spinal cord injury cases, including:

  • Car, truck and vehicle crashes and accidents, including those involving Uber, Lyft, taxis, or other ride-sharing companies
  • Pedestrian injuries from being hit by vehicles
  • Motorcycle and bicycle crashes, truck, taxi, motorcycle, bicycling, and pedestrian accidents and crashes
  • Medical malpractice by physicians, nurses, and other medical personnel
  • Sports injuries, including skiing, soccer, football, and trampoline accidents
  • Recreational boating accidents
  • Criminal Violence (including gunshot wounds, stabbings, and assault and battery)
  • Accidents at work
  • Slip and fall injuries, including those involving falls from heights, as well as falls arising from ice, snow, or slick floors

How Much Can I Recover in a Spinal Injury Case?

If someone else’s reckless, negligent, or intentional conduct caused your spinal cord injury, you may be able to take legal action to recover compensation for your injuries.  These damages may include compensation for direct and indirect costs including:

  • Medical expenses for past and future medical treatment
  • Pain and suffering for past and future surgeries and ongoing matters, such as rehabilitation
  • Lost Income, which can include expected promotions and other increases in pay
  • Anxiety, depression and emotional distress
  • Inability to engage in formerly enjoyable activities, such as sports activities or even playing in the yard with children
  • Expenses for caregivers and in-home care
  • Ancillary expenses related to quadriplegia and paraplegia, such as durable medical equipment and vehicular modifications.
  • Shortened life-expectancy resulting from severe injuries
  • Deprivation of the benefit of a familial relationship
  • Property damage or loss

Under Tennessee law, spinal cord injury victims can be awarded up to $1,000,000 dollars for noneconomic damages if the SCI resulted in paraplegia or quadriplegia.[7]

As an experienced Kingsport personal injury lawyer, Mark Hurt has worked with spinal cord injury victims for over three decades and understands what it takes to help maximize the amount that can be recovered; he can fight tenaciously to get you and your family every dollar that you are entitled to.

How Much Does It Cost for a Tennessee Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer?

At the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we understand the devastating financial impact that a SCI can have on a victim and their family.  With this in mind, we extend our services on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that you will only pay a fee if we obtain compensation for you from a settlement or trial award.

If you have been injured, we believe that you and your family should not need to worry about how to come up with the costs to advance your litigation, such as filing fee, court costs, expert fees, and other expenses.  When we accept a case, we will also pay for these cost and fees as there are injured.  Your focus can then be on healing – not on having to borrow money to advance your case.

The litigation costs that we advance are then typically deducted from a settlement or a jury award; our fee agreement will address all fee and cost matters, as we will also go over these matters at the outset of our representation.

Timing is Critical – Don’t Wait to File a Claim

Regardless of where you are from, every state specifies a different amount of time that you will have to file a claim in court.  This period, referred to as the statute of limitations, is typically only one year from the date of the accident.[8] This date is critical, because if a timely filing is not made within the statute of limitations, a claim will likely be barred, such that you will lose your right to bring a legal claim.  As a result, you may be stuck covering all expenses relating to your injury if a claim is not timely made.

It is always best to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible, not only to ensure that the legal filing deadlines are met, but also to begin preserving evidence and seeking discovery to make a case.

Find Out How We Can Help – Call for a Free Consultation

At the Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we achieve judgements or settlements that allow clients to take care of themselves and family, so that they can prepare for a stable future.  With more than thirty years of experience helping spinal cord injury victims, Mark Hurt knows what it takes to win personal injury cases in Tennessee, and he will fight to help you obtain the fair compensation you deserve.  We invite you to call our offices to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we may be able to help you.


[1] https://www.nscisc.uab.edu/Public/Facts%20and%20Figures%20-%202018.pdf

[2] https://www.nscisc.uab.edu/Public/Facts%20and%20Figures%20-%202018.pdf

[3] Spinal Cord Injury Facts and Figures at a Glance, National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (2018), https://www.nscisc.uab.edu/Public/Facts%20and%20Figures%20-%202018.pdf.

[4] https://www.nscisc.uab.edu/Public/Facts%20and%20Figures%20-%202018.pdf

[5] Prevalence of paralysis in the United States, Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, https://www.christopherreeve.org/living-with-paralysis/stats-about-paralysis.

[6] Spinal Cord Injury Facts and Figures at a Glance, National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (2018), https://www.nscisc.uab.edu/Public/Facts%20and%20Figures%20-%202018.pdf.

[7] Tenn. Code Ann. § 29-39-102.

[8] Under certain limited circumstances, the statute of limitations may not begin until the day upon which a physician discovers spinal damage, if there were no known or suspected injuries on the date of the actual accident.