Spinal cord injuries can be devastating and can take the pleasure of life from anyone. But hiring a spinal cord injury attorney can help you recover from the physical and emotional loss. Learn more about common types of spinal cord lawsuits relating to injuries, and know why you should have a spinal cord injury attorney at your back to file your legal claims and mitigate the chances of future financial liabilities.
How to choose a spinal cord injury attorney?
Victims of any type of spinal cord catastrophic injury are eligible to be compensated, but how much it depends on the severity of the damage and the third-party liability.
An experienced spinal cord injury with extensive knowledge is necessary when all you need is to secure your adequate and proper compensation. Besides, the complexities involved in the spinal cord and the Nervous System are the two main components whose background knowledge and training make a spinal cord injury attorney competitive from a general personal injury lawyer.
Not only do specific spinal cord injury attorneys have the experience in handling cases but they represent the victims more efficiently.
Common causes of spinal cord injuries
A spinal cord injury happens with a sudden traumatic blow. The moment your spinal cord is hit, it may quickly dislocate or fracture your vertebrae. The damage can be severe when the ligaments, bone fragments, or disc material tear into spinal cord tissues.
Once any of the damages happen, it can lead to destroying axons (the cells that keep the spinal cord joints, brain, and the body intact) and damage the entire nervous system. Sometimes it is possible to recover from a spinal cord injury but oftentimes it results in complete paralysis. Some of the leading causes of spinal cord injuries are:
- Workplace accidents and falls contribute to as many as one-third of the spinal cord injury cases
- Vehicle Accidents
- Violence acts
- Sport injuries
- Surgical and medical errors
These events cause dislocations, fractures, compressed vertebrae, damages to the lumbar, thoracic, cervical, coccygeal, or sacral sections in the spinal cord.
Spinal cord injuries types and statistics
According to the National Spinal cord injury statistical center- NSCISC, there are currently above 250,000 citizens in the United States who are living with brain and nervous system injuries related to the spinal cord. On average, almost 20,000 new spinal cord injuries occur every year and a large number of spinal cord injury victims die due to the severity of the injuries.
Most of the time there are healthy and young individuals who are accidentally involved in spinal cord injuries. The majority of the male individuals involved are between the ages of 15 and 35 having the highest injury percentage. And the reason for these injuries is mostly car accidents, surgical errors, or slip and fall. NSCISC stated that the motor vehicle accidents resulting in SCIs are accounted to contribute 35% of all-time injuries which is by far the highest percentage in any category.
Here are some common types of spinal cord injuries that you should know about;
In an incomplete SCI, the spinal cord loses the ability to send and receive signals from the brain. Sufferers from these injuries can still perform some sensory movements apart from the area of injury.
In a complete SCI, the motor and sensory movements of a sufferer will be completely lost. Victims of complete spinal cord injuries undergo a range of medical complications. These complications may include bowel/bladder dysfunction, chronic pain, and become prone to the risks of respiratory and heart problems.
Common spinal cord injury lawsuits
No matter what type of SCI someone has experienced, the injuries can be devastating and entail continuous medical expenses. To recover your emotional and financial losses, you can avail yourself of the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit against at-fault drivers and the liable parties involved in the collision. However, to protect your rights, it is equally important to hire a spinal cord injury attorney. You need to figure out what kind of personal injury lawsuit you should opt for which entirely depends on your injuries. Some of the lawsuit options are listed below;
Medical malpractice lawsuits
Your spinal cord injury attorney will file a medical malpractice lawsuit if a medical practitioner or a healthcare provider’s negligence caused you the injuries. Negligence in these kinds of lawsuits ends up compensation for medical treatments, aftercare, diagnosis, and things involved in the care of a patient.
In order to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, your claim should involve;
- The doctor’s negligence while handling your case
- Violation of the standards of medical care
- Damages done due to Spinal cord injury
You need to claim and prove all three factors in order to get an approvable filing of a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Motor vehicle collisions
Spinal trauma and back injuries are caused mostly by motor vehicle accidents. If you received spinal cord or back injuries in a motor vehicle accident caused due to the negligence of another driver, then filing a motor vehicle lawsuit should be your option to sue the parties involved.
Your spinal injury attorney will likely help you collect the necessary evidence and legal requirements for the suit such as;
- Taking witness statements
- Examining the accident scene
- Locating CCTV footage from the area
- Evaluating and calculating the information from insurance companies
- Hiring car accident experts
A product liability lawsuit can be filed if the spinal cord injury has resulted after a collision with the part of a vehicle or the vehicle itself. In product liability lawsuits, the manufacturer of the vehicle is held accountable instead of the driver for producing such a defective product.
Besides, in these lawsuits, there is no compulsion on your spinal cord injury attorney to prove negligence. He/she just needs to show that the defect caused you the spinal cord injury.
Sometimes product liability lawsuits get intricate as a lawyer needs to find out the manufacturer of the product, why the defect has occurred, and prove how it caused you the SCI.
Spinal cord injury symptoms and warnings
Similar to our brain, the spinal cord cannot reproduce the cells. This is because it is essential to understand that some of the symptoms can affect your body or brain immediately after the injury while some can take time to appear.
Some of the common SCI symptoms include:
- Weakness or pain in the back, head, or neck
- Loss in the coordination of movements
- Loss of sensation in fingers, hands, toes, and feet
- Complete or partial paralysis
What compensation should be expected?
As said, SCIs are often life-changing and a severe spinal cord injury can be catastrophic which requires permanent and long-term medical care. To cope with the injuries, a good insurance backup and the immense cost are required which can put the financial burden not only on the victims but on the families as well.
If a spinal cord injury was caused by the negligence of the other party, the families and the victims have the legal right to hold the responsible parties liable for the damages. The compensation one can be granted include:
- Lost benefits and wages
- Medical costs
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional distress
- Loss in the enjoyment of life
- loss of consortium
But to be compensated after a spinal cord injury, it is always necessary to have a lawyer at your back to recover your damages.
Reasons to hire a spinal cord injury attorney
You can possibly lose the ability to control your body movement after a spinal cord injury. And the lingering medical costs can put you back financially and the injuries can lead you to never-ending suffering and pain. While there would be many reasons to hire a professional spinal injury attorney, some of them are listed below:
Helps in holding involved parties responsible
Considering a spinal cord injury attorney for an SCI lawsuit, the only thing that you should be asked for is compensation from the responsible parties and this can be done with the help of a lawyer.
Asking for your current and future losses does not make you greedy but having a financial backup will help you recover the physical and emotional loss as well. Also, it is your legal right to hold someone liable for causing you life-changing injuries.
Supports you and your family
An SCI attorney will;
- Pay and coordinate with the caregivers and the compensation you receive
- Help you put your and your family’s minds at ease by increasing the chances of getting sufficient compensation for medical care
- Help in recovering the compensation for family services like groceries, childcare, therapies, etc.
Keep in mind that a trusted SCI attorney can protect your legal rights and help you compensate for your injuries. For this, you can ask for recommendations from your friends and family or visit your local district office to find a local SCI attorney who would be familiar with your state laws for SCI lawsuits as well.
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