A spinal cord injury is one of the most serious diagnoses an individual can receive. Spinal cord damage can lead to a loss of mobility and/or feeling. These injuries often result from trauma such as a fall or car accident. Sometimes, people get injured in freak accidents. Sometimes, their injuries are their fault.
Other times, however, someone else’s negligence leads to the injury such as in the case of medical malpractice. When that happens, the at-fault party can be held responsible. Victims usually want to know how much money they can get after suffering a spinal cord injury. This helps them to decide whether they want to proceed with an insurance claim or lawsuit.
However, attorneys can’t predict how much a case is worth right at the outset. They need to look at all the details surrounding your case and then get evidence of your losses. That being said, the same types of damages are usually available in personal injury cases so we’ll discuss those in this blog post. If you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury because of someone else’s actions, you should contact an Atlanta personal injury lawyer.
Facts about Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury can affect any part of the spine or the nerves surrounding it. According to The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, there are about 17,810 new spinal cord injury cases each year. This makes these injuries relatively common as far as personal injuries are concerned. Spinal cord injuries are usually permanent, and they cause full or partial paralysis and disability. People with these injuries have a much shorter life expectancy than those without. In the first year after injury, mortality rates are significantly higher than in subsequent years.
A loss of function can occur even if the spinal cord isn’t severed. In most people who have a spinal cord injury, the cord is actually intact but the damage causes a loss in function. It is important to note that spinal cord injuries are very different from back injuries that occur as a result of accidents. These include pinched nerves, ruptured discs, and spinal stenosis.
How Much Are Spinal Cord Injury Cases Worth?
Spinal cord injuries can affect almost every aspect of a victim’s life. The spinal cord is a complex part of the body and it controls several functions. Injury can, therefore, impact an individual physically, mentally, and financially. Because of the catastrophic nature of a spinal cord injury, the courts tend to award significant amounts of compensation. You may, therefore, be able to recover damages for:
- Past and projected medical expenses. These include doctor’s fees, surgical costs, medical equipment and home or vehicle modifications to accommodate the new disability.
- Lost income and lost earning capacity. You may not have been able to work since you got injured and you may not be able work again. If you can only do a job that pays significantly less, you may also be able to claim compensation for that.
- Lost enjoyment and quality of life. If you suffer permanent paralysis as a result of your injuries, your quality of life will be severely affected. It is difficult to put a dollar figure on this loss, but insurance companies and courts use certain formulae to arrive at a figure.
- Emotional distress. This is another loss that falls into the category of non-economic damages. Most people who suffer spinal cord injuries as suffer emotionally. They have to adjust to many permanent physical and lifestyle changes as a result of the accident. Even though emotions are intangible, victims can still collect damages.
If you lost a loved one as a result of a spinal cord injury, you may also be entitled to compensation. Some people don’t leave the hospital after they sustain a spinal cord injury. Others do but they still face a heightened risk of early death. Mortality rates are highest in the first year following the injury especially when the victim has neurological impairments. Causes of death linked to spinal cord injuries include accidents, septicemia, pneumonia and digestive or urinary diseases. If you think you may have grounds to file a wrongful death claim.
Contact Calvin Smith Law for Sound Legal Advice and Representation
You have two years to file a personal injury claim in Atlanta. However, you should contact an Atlanta personal attorney at the earliest opportunity or have someone do it for you. This gives us time to gather the evidence and help you get proper treatment while also securing your right to claim compensation. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.