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Back and spine injuries are some of the most difficult injuries to endure. Often, the injuries result in catastrophic damage that is life-altering.  There are many aspects to properly handling a spine and back injury. The treatment can be extensive and the number of medical providers equipped to properly treat the issues is limited. These cases often take a large piece of an injury victim's life and finding adequate compensation for what was lost can be difficult. Often, these cases require a thorough analysis of potentially negligent actors to aid in finding applicable insurance coverage to fully compensate the injury victim for their substantial and potentially life-altering damages. Members of Goodnow|McKay are experienced with these claims and are here to help. We are committed to helping our clients to recover fair compensation and are often able to negotiate reasonable settlements with the responsible insurance companies, but we are willing to fight for our clients through trial if it is necessary. Members of Goodnow|McKay are experienced with these claims and here to help. We are committed to helping our clients recover fair compensation. We are often able to negotiate reasonable settlements with the responsible insurance companies, but we are willing to fight for our clients through trial if necessary.

Claim Value and Overview:


Spinal cord injuries are potentially life-altering and are difficult to value. There are tangible costs associated with these claims that the injury victim should be reimbursed for:  past and future medical expenses, equipment costs, lost income, and costs for house or vehicle modification. However, the intangible is one of the hardest to value for many. The injury victim lost a piece of their life and must be reimbursed for their loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship. The impact on the life of an injury victim is substantial and an injury victim with a life-altering injury deserves an advocate who will fight on their behalf.


Issues with Injury Recovery:


The method of recovery varies depending on how the injury occurred. If the injury occurs in a car crash the primary method of compensation is the at-fault driver's auto policy. If the injury occurs in a slip and fall it would be the liability policy of the possessor of the land where the injury occurred. Back and spine cases generally have higher medical bills as the treatment is nuanced, particular, and ongoing. As a result some injury victims may run into issues of finding proper compensation for their injuries. State-minimum automobile policies in Arizona are limited to $15,000 for a single accident victim. This means they may be inadequately insured and unable to compensate a victim for what they broke. Commercial properties may carry a million dollars in coverage for those who slip and are injured on their property—and this still may be inadequate to fully compensate an injury victim. Our office is skilled at assessing liability and finding any and all potentially applicable insurance coverage for victims.



The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center released the following statistics regarding spinal cord injuries for 2016:


  • It is estimated there are approximately 282,000 individuals living in the United States with a spinal cord injury.
  • Car crashes are the primary cause of spinal injuries, followed by slip and fall incidents and, finally, acts of violence (primarily gunshot wounds).
  • 30% of those living with spinal injuries will be re-hospitalized for the injury after initial treatment.
  • Those living with spinal injuries can incur tremendous medical costs: if the injury occurs at 25 years old then lifetime care will range in price from approximately 1.5 million dollars to 4.75 million dollars depending on the severity of the injury.
  • Life expectancy is dramatically lower with those suffering from spinal injuries: If the person is 20 when injured and survives their first year with the injury, their life expectancy is, on average, cut short 15 to 69 percent depending on the severity of the injury.


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Chris Goodnow is licensed in Arizona. Justin McKay is licensed in Arizona. Matters in other areas are handled by licensed attorneys employed, associated, or co-counseled with Goodnow|McKay.