Spinal cord injuries can extremely severe. They can cause long-term damage, including pain, loss of sensation, and paralysis. The injury can be devastating, leading to a dramatic shift in your lifestyle. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident that has resulted in damage to the spine, you may be able to assert a spinal cord injury lawsuit with the help of a personal injury lawyer.
What Are Spinal Cord Injuries?
The spinal cord consists of a bundle of nerves that are located within your spine. The spinal cord carries messages between the brain and the body. It controls your ability to move and plays a vital role in your ability to feel. Those with spinal cord injuries may lose the capacity to move certain parts of their body or may not be able to feel their limbs or other portions of the body.
The spinal cord also controls extremely vital functions, including breathing and regulating body temperature. It also plays a role in bladder function and general sexual function as well. Because of the broad range of tasks that the spinal cord controls, those with spinal cord injuries can have a wide variety of symptoms and side effects.
Spinal Cord Injury Causes
Spinal cord injuries are usually the result of a blow to the spine or another traumatic injury. Motor vehicle accidents account for the vast majority of spinal cord injuries. Falls, acts of violence, and recreational sports activities are also relatively common causes of spinal cord injuries.
Errors in medical procedures can also result in damage to the spinal cord. These types of situations may be the basis for a medical malpractice claim.
Legal Theories in Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuits
Where the spinal cord injury is the result of someone else’s negligence, a personal injury claim may be available. Negligence relates to fault and is often associated with carelessness, recklessness, or inattention. A spinal cord injury lawsuit will likely involve showing that someone else was at fault for your injury due to their action or their inactions.
Although negligence is the most common, other legal theories may also be available depending on the cause of your injury. For example, in situations where a product injured you, “strict liability” may apply. In these types of cases, the very fact that the product injured you may be enough to prove your claim.
Compensation in Spinal Cord Injury Cases
Spinal cord injuries are often serious, which means that you may have burdensome medical bill obligations. Thankfully, medical bills are generally covered in a spinal cord injury lawsuit. You may also be able to recover compensation for lost wages and pain and suffering.
In situations where you must alter your lifestyle because of your injury, you may be able to recover for those alternations as well. For example, if your spinal cord injury has left you paralyzed from the waist down, you may be able to recover for the expenses related to making your home accessible for a wheelchair. A personal injury lawyer can help you determine what kind of compensation may be available for your unique situation.