Spinal cord injuries can be absolutely devastating, not only to the victim, but to those around them as well. For the victim an injury to the spinal cord can result in a lifetime of medical consequences, including being paralyzed in the lower parts of the body (paraplegic) or in all four limbs (quadriplegic). Spinal cord injuries can also affect bodily functions and vital signs as varied as breathing, body temperature, bladder and sexual functioning.
According to estimates, there are some 17,000 new spinal cord injury cases in the United States every year and an estimated 300,000 people live with the results of an SCI. Many of these people face mounting medical bills while being unable to work due to their injury.
If you have suffered from a spinal cord injury, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover lost wages and get your medical bills paid. But how do you know if you have a case?
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
According to statistics, almost half of all spinal cord injuries are a result of a motor vehicle accident. Roughly another quarter of SCIs are the result of a fall, usually off of a roof or something else high off the ground. The third most common cause of spinal cord injuries are gunshot wounds.
Other common causes of spinal cord injuries include recreational sports injuries and errors during surgical procedures; the latter would fall under the category of medical malpractice. But what about the other causes; can they lead to a lawsuit?
Was Your Injury the Fault of Someone Else?
Whether or not you can file a lawsuit based on your spinal cord injury depends on who was at fault. Besides the medical malpractice example mentioned above, there are many other ways someone can cause a spinal cord injury.
The most obvious example is a motor vehicle accident that is the fault of another driver. If the accident was clearly their fault and the accident clearly caused your spinal cord injury, you may have a case against the driver, their insurance company, or both. They can either be directly at fault for the accident or the accident can be the result of their negligence for you to have a possible lawsuit. This applies to both passenger and commercial vehicles.
Another example is if you fall as the result of someone else’s negligence, like if a retail store failed to alert you to the presence of a wet floor or a faulty staircase, for instance. The bottom line is, you have to be able to prove that the other party was at fault.
Fighting for the Compensation You Deserve
If you decide to file a lawsuit and you win, you could be awarded compensation for things like your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and even wrongful death if the victim passed away and the suit is filed by their surviving relatives.
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, contact the experienced attorneys at Hilton and Somer for a free consultation.