The spinal cord acts as the nerve center of our bodies, connecting our brains to our lower backs and conducting signals to and from the brain and body. An injury to the spinal cord often results in catastrophic – or even fatal – consequences. If your spinal cord suffers any type of injury, you may experience severe symptoms in the parts of your body below the injury.
If your spinal cord injury was caused by another person’s negligence, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against them. This type of claim is often necessary to provide you with the money that you need to recover from your injury and to support you as you move forward with your life. Compensation in a spinal cord injury lawsuit may include money for medical bills, future medical treatment and therapies, lost wages, home and vehicle renovations, emotional distress, and more.
At Poole, Brooke, Plumlee, we have significant experience handling cases involving spinal cord injuries, including those that cause paralysis. We use our experience and knowledge to help our clients get full compensation for their losses. Contact our law office today to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Each year, more than 17,000 people will suffer a spinal cord injury. Sadly, these numbers do not include fatal spinal cord injuries. Altogether, there are an estimated 291,000 people living with spinal cord injuries in the United States.
Spinal cord injuries have many potential causes, including:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Workplace injuries
- Slip and falls
- Medical malpractice
- Sports injuries
- Dangerous or defective products
- Bike accidents
- Acts of violence (assault)
There are two main types of spinal cord injuries. A complete spinal cord injury causes permanent damage to the affected area of the spinal cord and often results in paraplegia or tetraplegia. An incomplete spinal cord injury involves partial damage to the spinal cord.
A spinal cord injury may happen at four levels:
- Cervical spine, which affects the head and neck region above the shoulders
- Thoracic spine, which affects the upper chest, mid-back, and abdominal muscles
- Lumbar spine, which affects the hips and legs
- Sacral spine, which affects the hips, back of thighs, buttocks, and pelvic organs.
Depending on the type and level of spinal cord injury, an accident victim may experience nerve damage, loss of sensation, paralysis, spasms, difficulty breathing, herniated discs, and/or loss of sexual function. They may also require the use of a wheelchair.
When Can I Sue for a Spinal Cord Injury?
If your spinal cord injury was caused by another person’s negligent, intentional, or reckless conduct, then you may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. This may include:
- A careless driver
- A medical professional
- A product manufacturer
- A building or property owner
- Government entities
- Amusement parks
- Grocery stores
If your accident occurred at work, you can pursue a workers’ compensation claim against your employer. You may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party who was responsible for your injuries.
Through a personal injury claim, you will be able to recover financial compensation for all of your losses. This may include medical expenses, home health medical care, physical and occupational therapy, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. Damages in a spinal cord injury case are often complicated because people who have spinal cord injuries may require long-term care – and their quality of life may be seriously compromised. An experienced Virginia spinal cord injury attorney can work with you to help you get the money that you deserve for your injuries.
How Can a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Help Me?
After an accident – especially one that results in a life-changing injury like a spinal cord injury – your main focus will almost certainly be on your health. Yet as the bills mount and you are unable to work, you may start to worry about how you will pay for it all. At this point, you may start to consider filing a lawsuit against the at-fault party.
You may consider handling the claim yourself through the other person’s insurance company. An adjuster may have already contacted you and asked you to give a statement or sign some paperwork. You should not talk to the insurance adjuster or sign anything before you talk to a lawyer.
The adjuster works for the insurance company – not for you. They do not have your best interests at heart. Instead, their goal is to resolve your claim for as little as possible – or to deny it entirely.
A spinal cord injury lawyer is legally obligated to advocate for your best interests – which is incredibly important in this type of case. They will start by taking over all communications with the insurance company for you so that you can focus on your recovery. At the same time, they will begin an investigation into the accident to put together the strongest possible claim for compensation.
One of the biggest mistakes that people can make in a spinal cord injury case is to accept a lowball settlement offer. Spinal cord injuries often require long-term medical care and may even necessitate things like renovations to your home or the purchase of an accessible vehicle. An experienced spinal cord injury lawyer can find hidden value in your case and fight to ensure that you get every dollar that you are entitled to – so that you can focus on your health and stop worrying about money.
Personal injury law firms handle these types of cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you won’t pay anything upfront, and you will only pay a fee if you recover money through a settlement or a verdict at trial. In this way, you can get the legal representation necessary to get fair compensation for your injuries – even if you cannot afford to pay a lawyer out of pocket.
Call Today to Talk to a Virginia Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
Spinal cord injuries can have serious, long-term consequences. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Our law firm can help.
Poole, Brooke, Plumlee has decades of experience representing injury victims who have suffered catastrophic injuries. We offer free initial consultations, and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. To learn more or to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with a Virginia personal injury lawyer, give us a call at 757-499-1841 or fill out our online contact form.