A spinal cord injury lawyer in Virginia Beach does more than represent you in an injury claim. Learn about spinal cord injuries and the role of attorneys.
Truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, product liability, or motorcycle accidents are situations where people suffer severe injuries or catastrophic injuries. These wounds range from traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, back injuries to neck injuries. Another type of personal injury suffered in accidents is a spinal cord injury.
Spinal cord injuries are famous for intense physical pain, and without immediate medical attention, the injured victim may suffer temporary or permanent disability. As a result, Virginia law allows injury victims to file personal injury claims against the responsible party. Doing this requires the expertise of a personal injury lawyer.
An experienced attorney is what stands between you and fair compensation. At VACAIL personal injury law firm, we handle different injury cases, including spinal cord injury claims. So, contact our Virginia Beach spinal cord injury attorneys for excellent legal representation.
What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?
Spinal injuries result from damage to the vertebrae, ligaments, or spinal cord discs. A traumatic spinal cord injury results from a sudden, traumatic blow to the spine that fractures, dislocates, crushes, or compresses one or more vertebrae. An excellent example is a rear-end automobile accident or a knife wound penetrating the spinal cord.
Severe damage to the spine can cause limit a person’s mobility temporarily or permanently. If the accident also led to individual nerve cell injuries, it might affect the muscles and nerves below the injury site. Furthermore, this injury affects the central nervous system.
The central nervous system comprises the brain and spinal cord. So when there’s a disconnect between the two, sensory tracts can no longer carry signals from the body parts to the brain. So, you find yourself unable to feel cold, heat, pressure, pain, and the position of your limbs.
The road to recovery is long for a spinal cord injury victim. Aside from the physical pain, there’s emotional trauma. This is why our accident lawyers advise motorists to avoid auto accidents. However, aside from motor vehicle accidents, you can suffer a spine injury from:
- Medical malpractice
- Slip and fall accidents
- Violent acts
- Sport and recreational accidents, and
The best way to manage this injury type is to get medical care as soon as possible. You don’t have to worry about the medical bills as your personal injury lawsuit compensation will cover it.
Can I File a Claim for a Spinal Cord Injury in Virginia Beach?
Dealing with physical injuries means medical expenses that you might be unable to afford. However, even if you could afford medical care, you should not have to pay for the harm caused by a negligent party. As such, you can file a spinal cord injury claim to recover financial compensation.
However, you must be the victim and not the fault party to have the right to sue. Simply put, your actions must not have contributed to the incident that led to your wound. If you were partially to blame, you would lose your right to compensation.
So suppose you were a distracted driver involved in a drunk driving accident. Your distraction contributed to the occurrence, so you cannot file an accident claim. All these are based on the Virginia contributory negligence doctrine. The rule is so strict that your claim will fail even if you were only 1% at fault.
What Compensation Can I Get in a Spinal Cord Injury Case?
In any injury case, the negligent party is the one who breached the duty of care owed to the victim. If the breach results in injuries and damages, the victim is entitled to compensatory damages. As a spinal cord injury victim, you are entitled to economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
It refers to losses that have a fixed dollar amount. Simply put, you know the cost and have the receipts to show it. You can get economic damages for:
- Medical costs (past, current, and future)
- Property damage
- Loss of income
- Cost of medical equipment
- Funeral and burial expenses (this is only for a wrongful death claim if the spinal cord injury killed the victim)
It refers to damages that have no fixed dollar amount. Non-economic damages often compensate for intangible losses. For example, in a spinal cord damage case, non-economic damages cover chronic pain, future pain, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, mental anguish, etc.
Unlike the first two, compensatory damages, punitive damages seek to punish negligent behavior. So, suppose an impaired driver with a history of DUI charges caused your accident. You may get awarded punitive damages to punish such behavior and to deter others.
Note that your chances of getting punitive damages are higher in a jury trial. Also, insurance companies do not offer punitive damages. Lastly, in a spinal cord injury case, this compensation would likely run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. You can find out the worth of your case from your spinal cord injury attorney.
How Do I Prove Negligence in a Personal Injury Case?
Spinal cord injuries fall under personal injury claims, and as such, they are subject to personal injury laws. Therefore, to prove negligence, your personal injury attorneys must establish the four elements of negligence. They are:
- Duty of Care: The at-fault party must have failed to exercise reasonable care, thereby breaching this duty. Note that the situation or the relationship between the parties determines a duty of care.
- Breach: A breach exists where the negligent party performs an act contrary to the duty of care. For example, in motor vehicle collisions, an at-fault driver would have breached their care duty if they drove under the influence of alcohol.
- Causation: The breached duty must have caused the spinal cord injury to have a valid claim. So suppose you fell and fractured vertebrae, and on the way to the hospital, you suffered a minor car accident. If the accident did not aggravate the wound, you would not receive compensation from the at-fault driver. This is solely because the spinal cord injury happened before the accident. If the fall happened because of a dangerous condition on a property, the best person to sue is the property owner.
- Damages: The last element to prove is damages. In other words, the accident must result in financial costs, and you need to recover the money spent.
Do I Need a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer in Virginia Beach?
Legal guidance is essential in any legal action and to get maximum compensation. Therefore, you need law firm attorneys with combined experience representing you. A lawyer with extensive experience knows how to negotiate with the fault party’s insurer and the insurance company attorney. In addition, a lawyer has the following qualities:
- Legal Knowledge: Lawyers actively involved in legal practice know the laws that apply to your case. This includes the law of evidence, the Statute of Limitations, and procedural laws. They also have extensive legal resources at their disposal.
- Investigative Experience: The practice of law involves investigating clients’ versions of events to uncover the truth. While you recuperate from your spinal cord injury, your attorney will investigate the events leading to your accident. In addition, they will gather the evidence needed to prove your claim.
- Trial Experience: Most spinal cord injury cases end in lawsuits due to the severity of the wound and the compensation sought by an injured party. Hence, you need experienced trial lawyers with knowledge of the ins and outs of the court system.
- Success Record: An excellent attorney should have a successful record in addition to legal experience. Thus, go for a lawyer with a history of winning personal injury claims. You can check internet reviews and noteworthy achievements on the law firm’s website to confirm their success record.
Book a Free Consultation With Our Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers in Virginia Beach
At VACAIL, we are legal professionals with years of experience helping spinal cord injury victims. Our super lawyers have several legal strategies for winning injury cases, and we will apply them to your case. In addition, we are ethical attorneys committed to getting you justice. So call today to schedule a free case review.