Damage to your spinal cord is one of the most serious injuries you can suffer in an accident, and the effects of this damage can permanently impact your daily life.
According to the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, nearly 18,000 individuals in the United States suffer a spinal cord injury every year, with men comprising 78 percent of the total. The most common types of accidents that result in spinal cord damage are motor vehicle accidents, slips and falls, violence, sports, and surgical complications due to medical malpractice.
If you have suffered this catastrophic injury in an accident and you believe that someone else is at fault, a Chattanooga spinal cord injury lawyer could advise you regarding your eligibility to recover damages.
Most spinal cord injuries result from physical trauma that causes fractures to the spine or dislocation of vertebrae, which can displace bone fragments, ligaments, or disc material. Depending on the damage’s extent, a spinal cord injury may be classified as either complete, with a total loss of motor function or sensation below the point of injury, or incomplete, with partial motor and sensory loss below the point of damage.
To seek compensation in a spinal cord injury claim against the party responsible for the accident, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent. Establishing negligence in a Chattanooga spinal cord injury case requires that the plaintiff prove four essential elements:
In Chattanooga, a skilled lawyer who has experience with spinal cord injury cases could help a plaintiff assemble sufficient evidence to prove their claim. In a case where the plaintiff suffers a spinal cord injury in an automobile accident, they may seek to prove that another driver or the automobile manufacturer was negligent. Similarly, in the case of a slip-and-fall accident, the plaintiff could seek compensation from the party that owned the property or was responsible for maintaining it, or both.
Spinal cord injuries resulting from serious accidents often require expensive treatments, evaluations, and rehabilitation. Even with the best care, improvements following a spinal cord injury depend on the initial severity of the injury, the spinal location at which the injury occurred, and the functional abilities the plaintiff retained after the accident.
A spinal cord injury attorney in Chattanooga could evaluate the plaintiff’s damages and accurately attribute the applicable monetary value. In a spinal cord claim, the damages a person may seek include compensation for medical bills, anticipated future medical expenses, wheelchairs and other mobility aids, pain and suffering, lost income, loss of life enjoyment, and loss of consortium. For accidents in which the defendant’s negligence was especially egregious, a court may award punitive damages to the plaintiff, which are designed to punish the defendant’s behavior.
The state recognizes the doctrine of comparative negligence, which means that the compensation a plaintiff may collect will be reduced by their percentage of fault. If the plaintiff is at least 50 percent at fault for the injury they suffered, state law will not allow them to recover any damages.
Spinal cord injuries can have devastating effects on an individual and their family, both emotionally and financially. If you suffered an accident due to another party’s negligence, enlisting the assistance of a Chattanooga spinal cord injury lawyer could help reduce the stresses of the legal process while you focus on healing.
Your lawyer could provide guidance to help you assemble medical documentation and determine who may be responsible for your injury. This legal foundation could bring you closer to securing the compensation you deserve. Call today to learn more.