Spinal Cord Injuries
Typically, the more severe the injury the bigger the damages in a spinal cord injury case.
The human spine contains millions of nerve fibers, which are responsible for transmitting information and signals between the brain and the body. Naturally any trauma to this vastly important area can result in significant injuries and, often, lifelong suffering. Because even a limited recovery can be time-consuming and costly, it is definitely in your best interests to explore the possibility of seeking compensation from the party responsible for the injury via a personal injury lawsuit.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can cause a variety of disabilities depending on the location and the severity of the trauma. Some of the main types of injuries include:
Anterior Cord Syndrome: In this type of injury the artery running along the front portion of the spinal cord has been damaged or denied blood flow, causing complete loss of muscle strength below the site of the damage. Most patients retain sensitivity to touch in paralyzed portions of their body but may lose sensitivity to temperature and pain.
Posterior Cord Syndrome: This type of injury is rare. It is characterized by a loss of the ability to perceive the position of body parts below the injury. Typically patients retain some range of motion as well as sensory function.
Complete Cord Injuries: Injuries in which the spinal cord has been completely severed produce the most severe effects. The location of the injury is very important. For example, if the trauma occurs in the lower back, partial paralysis of the lower extremities (paraplegia) could occur, but if the trauma occurs high in the spine near the neck, everything except the head and neck will be paralyzed (quadriplegia).
Determining Damages in Spinal Cord Injury Cases
The testimony of a medical expert who can describe the extent of your injury and your prognosis is absolutely vital for a personal injury case based on trauma to the spine. Why? Because the damages that may be sought in a spinal cord injury case go far beyond your present medical expenses and can include:
Future medical expenses
Cost of physical therapy
Cost of services such as nursing, cleaning, cooking, etc.
Cost of changes to home or vehicle to accommodate the injury
Loss of income and earning power
Pain and suffering
Experts have estimate that the average lifetime cost of a spinal cord injury can range anywhere from $700,000 to $3 million depending on the severity of the injury and the age of the victim. Younger victims with longer life expectancies will naturally require more damages to cover lifelong care expenses than older victims.
Should You Accept a Settlement?
It is never in your best interests to accept a settlement without first consulting a medical expert who can estimate the lifelong costs of your injury and a personal injury attorney who can advise you of your chances of securing a better settlement in court.