According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, approximately 12,000 spinal cord injuries occur in the United States each year and more than 250, 000 people are living with spinal cord injuries. Nearly $3 billion dollars are spent annually to treat survivors of these injuries. Most spinal cord injuries are the result of car accidents, falls, acts of violence and sporting accidents. While some result in premature death, many people survive but have to endure substantial medical challenges.
While some spinal cord injuries are caused by catastrophic accidents and the damage is immediately apparent, some injuries may be difficult to identify and may become more serious days, weeks, months or even years after a traumatic incident. As soon as an accident occurs, medical attention and accurate diagnosis are crucial even if the injury is not immediately apparent. A spinal cord injury is a medical emergency and the sooner it is diagnosed and treated, the greater the chances of successful recovery. But, even when the highest standard of care is provided, paralysis, chronic pain, loss of sensation, cognitive disability and other serious consequences may arise. Spinal cord injuries, along with traumatic brain injuries, can be among the most medically complex and may require that the victim and their families alter their lifestyle considerably.
If you have suffered an injury and suspect that your spinal cord has been damaged, you must seek immediate medical attention. If you suspect that your injury was caused by the negligence or irresponsible behavior of someone else, you must seek an attorney with experience in spinal cord injury lawsuits. These cases can be more medically and legally complex than some other types of injury cases because victims may need significant financial compensation. Due to the severity of these kinds of injuries and the impact spinal cord damage can have on career aspirations, quality of life and other aspects of an entire family’s future, maximizing compensation is vital.
To determine if your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence, you need to explain the details of your case to an experienced personal injury attorney who also has a focus on high-complexity injury cases. In order to show that the spinal cord injury was caused by another party’s actions, extensive evidence, including past medical records and accident-scene details, may have to be gathered and sifted through. Perhaps the accident triggered or made worse a pre-existing condition. Perhaps the case involves the principal of an “eggshell plaintiff.” The injuries may have also been caused or made worse as the result of a defective product, a corporation’s failure to ensure the safety of its customers, or a governmental agency’s lack of oversight for mass transit vehicles, road conditions or other public spaces. In spinal cord injury litigation, identifying all sources of liability and seeking maximum compensation are necessary because the costs of medical treatment and lifestyle adjustments may be substantial.
Furthermore, because the amount of compensation necessary for surgeries, physical therapy, occupational therapy, lost wages, pain management, vehicle and home modifications and other necessities may be considerable, a defendant’s insurance company may be extremely combative. They may refuse to pay even when their policyholder is at-fault or they may offer a low-ball settlement. When the stakes are high, as they are in spinal cord injury cases, a law firm with extensive resources and a record of success with insurance company negotiations is absolutely crucial. If a trial becomes necessary, a law firm with such resources is even more essential. This may be particularly true if the injured victim is accused of being partially at-fault.
Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuits
In some spinal cord injury cases, a plaintiff may be accused of being partially at-fault. But, as in all personal injury cases, liability can be divided. Even if a plaintiff was riding a bicycle the wrong way on a one-way street and car struck them, for instance, the car driver may be more significantly at-fault depending on the scenario. Even in situations where the injury victim slips and falls at a restaurant or bar, the building manager or property owner may be at-fault despite the presence of a potential contributory fault of the injured person.
In spinal cord injury lawsuits, lawyers who handle these case regularly can make a difference. The goal of any compensation will be to help the injured victim return, as closely as possible, to their pre-injury condition. Punitive damages may also be available if the party who caused the injury was engaged in illegal intentional misconduct at the time of the incident. No two spinal cord injury cases are the same but an experienced lawyer who handles such cases knows how they typically develop and can counter the defendant’s arguments. For more advice on how to proceed after a spinal cord injury, call Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers