Spinal cord injuries are one of the worst types of personal injuries. Learn its causes, recoverable damages, and how a Norfolk spinal cord injury lawyer can help you.
There are different types of injuries Norfolk accident victims face. However, spinal cord injuries are one of the most significant classes of catastrophic injuries. A common spine injury often results in high medical costs.
So, it’s great news that back injury patients can recover compensatory damages from the negligent driver or other fault parties. It would be wise to hire the best Norfolk personal injury lawyers to initiate the legal process. The legal professionals at CAIL are your best bet at getting fair compensation.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury (SCI) isn’t a common injury. They are wounds to the spinal cord that cause a temporary or permanent change in the spinal cord’s normal functions. The functions that can be affected include motor, sensory, or autonomic functions. Spinal cord injuries are a type of trauma to your back that can have devastating effects such as disablement.
There’s a long list of possible causes of spinal cord injuries. Some causative factors include:
- Traffic accidents including all types of automobile crashes, even a motorcycle accident
- Slip and falls
- Sports and recreation injuries
- Excessive alcohol
- Domestic violence and other violent attacks
- Shallow diving and electrical accidents
- Certain diseases such as cancer, arthritis, and inflammation of the spinal cord
If you experience any of these sources of trauma, you should watch out for the following symptoms to know if you have a complete spine injury.
- Walking difficulties
- Uncontrollable bowels and bladder
- Numbness or tingling
- Occasional unconsciousness
- Headaches and back pains
- Shock signals
- Pressure and stiffness in your neck or back
- Exaggerated reflexes and spasms
- Difficult breathing and coughing
- Loss of sensation, including the feeling of heat, cold, and touch
How Long Does It Take To Recover From a Spinal Cord Injury?
After surviving any of the trauma mentioned above, your doctor can order some tests if you have symptoms of spinal cord injuries. These tests help medical personnel make a diagnosis of spinal cord injuries. They include:
- Computerized tomography (CT scans), and
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
It’s not unusual to require surgical repair as a medical treatment for spinal cord injuries. Treating SCIs can be challenging since you can’t reverse the damage to one’s spinal cord. However, medications, rehabilitation, and emergency care can help your condition. There are also some emerging technologies for SCI treatment like improved wheelchairs, electronic aids, and stimulation devices, robotic gait training, etc.
A spinal cord injury patient may not get a prognosis immediately. However, prompt medical attention increases your chances of a speedy recovery. The severity of your injury also affects your recovery timeframe. Furthermore, if it’s a complete injury, your chances of recovery drop significantly. Recovery typically starts from the care you receive in the hospital.
After the hospital discharges you, your recovery process could take six months to one year. Within this time frame, you can recover significant body function. Finally, extensive recovery from spinal cord injuries can take up to two years. If a spinal cord injury patient doesn’t recover after two years, then that may be permanent damage.
What Compensation Can I Get for My Spinal Cord Injury?
After a spinal cord injury, you can recover damages from the fault party. This may be the driver responsible for the motor vehicle accident that caused your wounds. Spinal cord injuries cause a significant reduction in one’s quality of life. So, you can expect to receive major compensation benefits.
Some recoverable damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- In cases of wrongful death, funeral and burial costs
- Loss of consortium and companionship
Since many spinal cord injuries are the effects of negligence, you’ll have to prove the fault party’s negligence in court. You’ll need to establish that the responsible party breached the duty of care that they owed you.
Furthermore, you’ll have to prove that your injury was the result of such a breach. Therefore, your medical record is a major source of evidence. That’s why you should get immediate medical care after trauma. Finally, proving negligence can be challenging. However, an excellent injury attorney would know how to prove your claim.
What Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Do for Your Spinal Cord Injury?
This is one question on the lips of most Norfolk residents with complex injuries from another’s negligence. A personal injury attorney can increase your chances of winning your spinal cord injury lawsuits. There are at least two things they can contribute to your claim. They are:
Calculate the Value of Your Claim
Knowing the exact value of your physical injury lawsuit can be challenging. You’ll need to calculate the economic damages and non-economic damages you deserve. An attorney will also know if you can claim punitive damages.
Many factors determine the value of your case including:
- Whether it’s a severe injury and if you had any preexisting conditions
- The cost of medical treatment including physical therapy
- Whether there’s any additional damage
- The strategy of the insurance company
- Future medical care
An excellent attorney has many methods for calculating the value of claims. So, they can evaluate your lawsuit and ensure you don’t settle for anything less.
Ensure You Follow the Statute of Limitations
Statutes of Limitations are important in personal injury law. They define the specific periods you have to file an injury claim. In Norfolk, you must file your spinal cord injury claim within two years. If you don’t file your lawsuit within the Statute of Limitations, the court may deny your claim. That’s why it’s essential to hire a lawyer since they are well acquainted with these time limits.
How Much Does a Lawyer Take From a Spinal Cord Injury Settlement?
People who suffer accident injuries are often skeptical about hiring a personal injury attorney. They usually bother about the amount of money that they’ll have to pay their lawyer. However, such worries are unnecessary if you have prior information of how much your lawyer will take from your settlement.
Contingency-Fee Agreements (CFAs)
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee arrangement. A CFA means that the lawyer wouldn’t take any money except they win your case. A typical CFA will provide that the lawyer will get paid from any compensation settlements or court judgments. An experienced attorney wouldn’t have any issue agreeing to a contingency fee arrangement because they’ll know how to win your case.
Furthermore, there’s no fixed amount the lawyer takes from your case. Usually, the initial consultation on your case will be free. However, lawyers often take their fees in percentages. Lawyer percentages in CFAs typically range from 30% – 40% of the settlement sum. The range often depends on:
- The amount of time and resources spent on the case
- When the case was settled (at trial or with an insurance company)
If you get the maximum compensation for your medical treatment and property damage early, your lawyer wouldn’t have invested much in the case. Therefore, they often wouldn’t collect much money. However, if the case drags to trial, they will receive a considerable portion of the settlement.
Norfolk Experienced Spinal Cord Injury Law Firm Can Represent You
If you’ve suffered any spinal injuries, you can recover compensatory damages from the responsible party. For instance, you can get both economic damages and non-economic damages. Also, the court may even grant you punitive damages if you suffer additional damage because of the conduct of the fault party. All these available damages can cover all your medical care expenses.
However, if you’ll get all these compensation benefits, you need a personal injury attorney. Proving responsibility in a spinal cord injury claim can be challenging. Furthermore, you must be going through a tragic time because of these bodily injuries. Therefore, it’ll be best to leave the compensation claim to our lawyers at CAIL. We have sufficient experience with winning personal injury suits. Contact us today for a free case review.