Damage to the spine or nerves is known as a spinal cord injury. Like brain injury or damage, spinal cord injuries have severe effects on an individual’s quality of life. The spine is a messenger of body control function that may lead to permanent disability when injured. If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury, it is recommended you contact a Palm Springs spinal cord injury lawyer at the Crockett Law Group
A spinal cord injury can occur anywhere, from a place of work or home. If an individual becomes a CSI victim due to another party’s negligence, they deserve compensation. Due to the permanent nature of spinal cord injuries’ effects on a victim’s life, courts tend to offer them hefty sums for payment.
Therefore, it is important to consult a trusted spinal cord injury lawyer for the process of compensation as soon as possible. A Palm Springs personal injury attorney at the Crockett Law Group has the experience winning personal injury cases involving spinal cord injuries.
How much are spinal injuries worth?
Spinal cord injuries result in large payouts for settlement in court mainly because of how permanent and fatal spine injuries are. The range of amounts to expect in such a case, however, varies depending on several factors.
- Ease of proving there was a fault in the accident- establishing that the accident would not have occurred if specific measures were in place
- Establishing whether or not the injured party was partially responsible for the accident- involves finding out if the victim’s negligence was the cause for the injury
- Medical expenses accrued, including surgeries, treatment, and therapy costs- All these costs are considered in arriving at a compensation fee
- Capacity to create income or earn for the injured party. The spinal cord injury’s economic effect on the victims’ life matters while calculating the worth
- Pain and suffering caused by spinal cord injury. The spinal cord injury victim’s psychological and emotional turmoil also weighs into the total worth of compensation
- The diminished quality of life of an SCI victim is also a factor considered during compensation. The victim is no longer independent, and the quality of life they provided themselves is affected by the injury
The non-economical damages such as pain and suffering are hard to quantify, but they usually are based on the victim’s life’s economic effects.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries occur in different forms and are classified into three. The common types of SCIs include;
Tetraplegia is also known as quadriplegia. It is a type of spinal cord injury resulting from damage to the spinal cord, the brain, or both. This type of paralysis affects both the upper and lower body. Quadriplegia affects both the arms, legs, back, abdomen, and parts of your chest.
Possible causes of quadriplegia are;
- Injuries from motor vehicle accidents
- Falls from a significant height
- Autoimmune conditions
- Neurological causes
- Spinal cord infections, for example, due to polio
This paralysis is currently not curable and may lead to a complete shift in life. It may cause severe mobility impairment, impacting heavily on the ability to perform daily tasks. Quadriplegia denies independence as one needs assistance with activities such as bathing, dressing, and feeding. Complications such as eventual loss of speech and sores may develop due to immobility.
A victim of quadriplegia requires regular medical check-ups, therapy, and equipment such as a wheelchair for survival.
Paraplegia is a spinal cord injury that affects and paralyzes the lower limbs (legs). It comes about due to severe damage to the nervous system and spinal cord resulting in total immobility.
Paraplegia can be complete or incomplete. Complete paraplegia brings a complete shutdown of sensation and movement from the point of injury downwards, while incomplete paraplegia leaves the victim with a level of function downwards.
Causes include of paraplegia include;
- Spinal cord injuries from motor vehicle accidents
- Prolonged illness
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Blood clots and cancerous cell growth on the spinal cord
There is no permanent treatment for paraplegia, and it may take up to six months for those with incomplete paraplegia to resume movement.
If not well-managed, paraplegia could result in secondary problems such as bowel problems, pressure ulcers, bladder issues, respiratory infections, and blood clots.
Triplegia is a medical condition that involves paralysis of three limbs. It could be both legs and one arm or both arms and one foot.
For an SCI victim’s life, triplegia can have severe and long-term effects. The victim’s life shifts entirely to dependence as this is a long-term disability. A triplegia patient requires life-long medical attention and therapy that can be both economically and mentally strenuous.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can be a result of several things, including;
- A motor vehicle accident. Trauma to the head, neck region, back, or chest area during an accident may result in a spinal cord injury. It is the leading cause of spinal cord injuries accounting for almost half the cases in a year
- A fall- falling from a significant height may cause back injuries
- Violent acts- spinal cord injuries may also result from acts of violence such as gunshots or stabbing
- Sports- athletic activities such as diving into shallow water while swimming may also cause an injury to the spine
- Diseases- some diseases such as arthritis, cancer, and spinal cord inflammation may also result in a spine injury. A medical procedure like surgery or injections may also culminate in a spinal injury
- Electric accidents are also a resulting factor in SCIs
- Extreme twisting of the mid-torso could also lead to severe spine injuries
- Effects of excessive alcohol use are also another contributing factor to spinal cord injuries
Why Should you See a Doctor Right Away After a Spinal Cord Injury?
Pain is an indication that the body is going through inflammation. Please do not ignore the pain as it is a message the body is sending, and a doctor should immediately establish the cause. In some cases, spinal cord injury is not apparent, and a victim may consider a trip or two to their physician as enough.
Back pain should not be ignored, especially since the underlying causes may worsen if not treated in time. Book a doctor’s appointment immediately if you have the following symptoms;
- Losing control of bladder or bowel functions
- No sensation on your legs and arms
- Difficulty in breathing
- Difficulty moving the legs or walking
- Severe neck and back pains
What You Can Expect to Recover if You have a Spinal Cord Injury
In a spinal injury compensation case, damages include both intangible and economic suffering. Economic damages include quantifiable losses such as medical bills and loss of income. The intangible losses refer to the unquantifiable losses such as lifestyle change and emotional suffering.
The settlement case for SCI victims looks at losses wholistically, and despite the cheque not alleviating all the pain and suffering, it does ease the burden. Below are the damage included in compensation.
For treatment, a spinal cord injury victim may spend up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The treatment continues for a lifetime, and these costs, therefore, need to be anticipated. With medics’ help, the legal practitioner assesses the victims’ future needs and includes the compensation claim expenses.
The Crockett Law Group attorneys are great in ensuring the past, and future medical costs are catered for to avoid further devastating a family already in grief.
Loss of earning capacity
Most SCI victims lose their full earning capacity and can no longer fend for themselves. When building a claim, projections of the lost earnings are made and considered in the final summation.
Suffering and physical pain
SCIs cause long-term physical challenges, such as immobility, struggle with bowel control, and extensive care and medical visits. The cost and level of suffering become even higher depending on their injury, which is considered during compensation.
Loss of companionship and consortium
SCIs not only affect the patient but their spouses as well. Without a spouse to assist with managing the household, a victim’s spouse suffers emotionally and psychologically. They can therefore sue for loss of household services and support attributed to their spouses’ injury.
Spinal cord injuries come with a lot of mental anguish for the victim. Coping with the reality of living life differently and not enjoying activities they once did can cause frustration and internal grief. The drastic changes they have to make in life are depressing and can create ongoing mental trauma.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Claim?
The time limit for filing a claim is known as a statutory limitation. It is essential to involve a qualified Palm Springs spinal cord injury lawyer at the onset of your injury or accident for several reasons.
- Witness statements must be collected right away to avoid misinformation or even cases of memory loss
- Physical evidence that is important in the case may disappear or fade, weakening your case
- A solid legal and medical foundation for your claim is built if the spinal cord injury lawyer is involved from the time of injury and through your medical treatment journey
The statute of limitation may be shorter if injured by an institutional defendant hence why you should consult an injury attorney sooner than later.
A Palm Springs Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer is Ready to Help.
Spinal cord injuries are devastating for anyone to experience. They are life-changing and take a huge toll economically, emotionally, and psychologically on the victim and their family. Crockett Law Group is ready to assist in easing the burden by successfully claiming compensation for you. Call us at (800) 900-9393 to schedule your appointment and free case review.