Wondering how much the average settlement for a spinal cord injury is? This article will discuss spinal cord injuries and what type of damages victims may be entitled to after an accident.
Their once vibrant and happy life comes scrambling down, and the hope of ever getting back on their feet vanishes.
Typically, the body below the injured part of the spinal column weakens and completely loses sensation. The victims lose control of their bowel and bladder movements.
Their normal sexual function flies off the window, and the future becomes uncertain. What of soaring medical costs that bring them to their knees financially?
Without a doubt, every spinal injury victim deserves a fair settlement.
The New Orleans personal injury lawyers at Wright & Gray law firm help victims recover compensation for their injuries. The victims are relieved from the burden and assured of a more dignified life.
What Are the Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries in Louisiana?
Unfortunately, Louisiana residents and tourists can get spinal injuries from the workplace, at home, while driving, or taking an afternoon stroll. These injuries usually occur after a traumatic blow to the spine.
As a result, the vertebrae are crushed, dislocated, or compressed and may cause permanent loss of mobility or sensation.
These are the most common accidents that result in spine injuries;
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Slip and falls
- Motorcycle accidents
- Violent acts
- Medical negligence
- Product defects
What Are the Most Common Types of Spinal Cord Injury?
Spinal cord injuries are classified into incomplete and complete injuries. Complete spinal cord injuries refer to permanent spinal damage resulting in permanent disability and chronic pains.
Incomplete spinal cord injuries result from partial damage to the spine. The victim, however, can feel or move depending on the severity and injured area. Nonetheless, incomplete spinal injuries are classified into five sections, namely cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum, and coccyx.
The cervical contains seven vertebrae that connect the back of the skull to the lower back. Injuries to the cervical region may cause severe symptoms such as;
- Lower body and legs paralysis
- Loss of sensation in the neck
- Breathing difficulty
- Limbs paralysis
- Loss of sexual capability
Thoracic consists of 2 vertebrae that line up from the upper shoulder to the middle back. Injuries on the thoracic may result in;
- Loss of control of the abdominal muscle
- Inability to control some of the body functions
- Reduced sensation below the waist
The lumbar consists of five vertebrae located from the middle back to the lower back. Some of the symptoms include;
- Loss of limb muscle control
- Loss of sexual function
- Loss of bladder control
The sacrum and coccyx comprise the lower back vertebrae to the tail bone. The two sections usually recover without major medical interventions.
How Do I Know I Have Sustained Spinal Cord Injuries?
In most cases, spinal cord injuries move from incomplete to complete due to improper handling of the injured. Therefore, it is advisable to lie still until medical help arrives to avoid aggravating the situation.
But how do I know my spine has been damaged? Here are some of the common symptoms you should look out for;
- Weak muscles
- Difficulty in breathing
- Loss of bladder and bowel functions
- Loss of sensation on the legs, arms, and chest
- Inability to feel cold, warm and loss of touch
- Stinging sensation
- Reduced sexual sensitivity
What Is the Process of a Spinal Injury Lawsuit?
Spinal cord injuries sustained due to another person’s negligence are entitled to fair compensation. The fault party must cater to future expenses and the quality of life of the injured.
The best way to get justice is to file a spinal injury lawsuit.
Each claim varies according to the severity and type of accident. However, here is the basic procedure of filing a spinal injury claim.
Look For a Competent Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
The complex legal battle arising from a spinal cord injury requires a lawyer with extensive experience in handling spinal cord lawsuits.
Hiring an experienced spinal cord injury attorney safeguards your chances of winning the case and having a successful financial recovery. Wright & Gray law firm has the experience to help you get the compensation you deserve.
If you hire any person wearing a lawyer tag, you may end up harming your only chance of getting the justice you deserve.
Discuss Every Aspect of Your Case
Your lawyer will weigh the available options and determine if you have a case or not. The lawyer will gather all the information needed to form the basis of your claims. The meeting can take place on your hospital bed, home, office, over the phone, or via video call. What is essential is laying all the cards on the table and exploring every case angle.
Review the Contact With your Lawyer
It is vital to have a contract outlining the scope of legal representation. Ensure the contract is on a contingency fee representation agreement.
In other words, the spinal cord injury attorney is only paid if they win the case.
You do not have to pay them on an hourly basis. However, ensure all the contract terms are included and seek clarification if some clauses are unclear before signing the agreement.
Begin a Vigorous Research
Your lawyer starts collecting evidence and every detail that might help the case. They also review all the possible avenues for recovery, such as the at-fault party’s insurance policy.
Communicate With the Insurance Company
The lawyer writes back and forth to the insurance company negotiating every aspect of the case. Communication between the attorney and other parties can take months to complete.
The Decision to Go to Trial or Agree to a Settlement
The lawyer may advise you to choose an out-of-court settlement based on the circumstances of your case. Going to trial in other cases is the best option if the lawyer believes you deserve more than the amount the insurance company is offering.
What Are the Spinal Cord Injury Damages in Louisiana?
The average settlement for a spinal cord injury in Louisiana is made up of three types of damages; economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages (easy to quantify costs) include;
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and salaries
- Long-term care
- Nursing care
- Therapy expenses
- Personal property damages
- Out-of-pocket expenses
Non-economic damages (hard to quantify costs) include;
- Mental distress
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of an organ
Punitive damages are not awarded to compensate the spinal cord injury victim. Instead, they are meant to punish the liable party if the court finds they acted with malice.
What Steps Should I Take After a Spinal Cord Accident in Louisiana?
Your actions after the accident may have a permanent impact on your health and the kind of compensation you should receive. Here are the standard steps you should take;
Seek Medical Help
The first and most vital step after a spinal cord injury is to get medical treatment. Some spine injuries may cause permanent damage if not addressed by a qualified doctor on time.
You should also see a doctor even if you feel fine and can walk independently. The medical report forms a crucial piece of evidence for your case.
You should call a friend or family member to the accident scene to gather as much evidence as possible. They should take photos and document every accident detail, including the debris.
They should also talk to the witnesses and record their side of the story. The audio and pictures should be clear enough.
Document Every Detail After the Accident
Put down into writing every detail of the events after the accident.
For instance, what happened during that day, the type of injuries you sustained, and how your life has changed. Make sure you ask for someone to help if you cannot write independently. The writings can be a perfect basis for your lawyer to demonstrate the pain and suffering you are going through.
Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney
The lawyer will move swiftly and gather all the evidence crucial to your case. They will determine who is at fault and start a legal battle towards your financial compensation.
Note: you should avoid talking to the insurance companies involved in your case. Some of your comments may end up hurting your legal battle. So, always refer them to your lawyer if they need any clarification.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Spinal Cord Injury in Louisiana?
The truth is, there is no average settlement for a spinal cord injury.
Each case is unique, and damages are calculated based on the severity of the injury, length of the injury, and pre-existing conditions. Each victim should understand how the injuries have impacted their life to determine the kind of settlement they deserve.
For instance, a rear-end collision can cause minor soft tissue injuries that may require a few days of rest.
Another auto accident injury may lead to severe neck injuries or permanent brain injuries that may require surgery or long-term treatment.
Therefore, the settlement in each scenario will be different. Several factors are considered before a settlement amount is determined.
Looking for a Spine Injury Lawyer in Louisiana?
Spinal cord damage can completely change your life for the worse. It gets more frustrating when you do not have a reliable legal partner to help you negotiate a favorable settlement.
But why live in the dark when you have Wright & Gray spinal injury attorneys ready to provide legal advice during the hard times?
Our personal injury attorneys in Louisiana will put all the pieces together and develop the best insurance settlement for your spine injuries. They will create a clearer picture of the financial losses and emotional pain you are going through to push for maximum compensation.
So, contact us today and allow us to make the burden lighter for you and your family.