Can You Handle a Spinal Cord Injury Case on Your Own?
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Tom Metier with Metier Law Firm.
Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) can be particularly catastrophic both for the injury victim and their family. Due to the nature of spinal cord injuries, the impact may be short or long-term, but generally involves a significant loss of mobility and in some cases paralysis and even death. Treatment and recovery for SCIs tends to be rigorous and expensive, so it’s important to explore your options for financial protection in the event of such an injury. While minor injuries may not require the assistance of an attorney, due to the inherent severity of injuries to the spine and the extent of the damages typically involved, it is generally recommended to hire an SCI attorney to handle the case on your behalf.
Damages in a spinal cord injury case tend to be both economic and non-economic.
Economic damages refer to the expenses associated with an injury that come with a set price tag. Medical bills, lost wages, and more tend to fall into this category, as they are relatively easy to identify. However, in the case of a spinal cord injury when medical treatment may need to go on for years and lost wages may be the result of a permanent loss of profession, it’s important to discuss the situation with an SCI attorney. These attorneys have seen enough SCI cases to know exactly what kind of future medical and wage expenses to expect.
Non-economic damages are just as important, and while they are often not involved in minor injury cases, they typically play a significant role in SCI lawsuits. The intangible damages a person suffers are generally considered non-economic damages; pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life are just two examples of non-economic damages that may be applicable in an SCI case. For example, if an SCI victim will no longer be able to pick up their young child or throw a ball with friends, these losses are significant and should be accounted for in the lawsuit.
Identifying, accounting for, and proving these and other damages generally requires the help of a lawyer.
It is not uncommon for an injury victim to accept an initial settlement offer from the negligent party only to later discover that the settlement was grossly insufficient to pay their future damages. An SCI attorney can sit down with the injured party and their family to go through each and every damage which may be applicable to their case and make sure that the amount they are seeking is sufficient to pay both their current and future expenses. This could mean considering the costs of rehabilitative therapy and/or in-home care, as well as considering the effects of the SCI on the victim’s loved ones, relationships, and social life.
However, an SCI attorney’s job does not stop at identifying the potential damages an injured person can sue for. The SCI attorney can then take up the difficult task of collecting all of the evidence necessary to prove that the damage does, in fact, exist, as well as proving that the amount you are requesting is necessary for a fair recovery. Evidence in an SCI case may include medical bills, estimations of future expenses by industry experts, case comparisons, in addition to witness testimonies and pictures or videos from the scene of the accident. While some of this evidence may be available to the injured person and their family, other types of evidence can be all but impossible to collect without the help of an experienced SCI attorney.
SCI lawyers understand the stress these injuries place on a family.
It’s important to note that SCI attorneys understand the stress, fear, and pain that this type of injury and the following litigation can put on a victim and their family. That’s why these attorneys offer free consultations and usually work on a contingency fee basis; this means the client will not have to pay for the attorney’s legal services unless and until they win their case. This also prevents the injured party from having to pay for the services of injury analyses experts needed to prove their damages. SCI attorneys may also have access to resources for support that they can direct an SCI victim and their family to for help in the recovery process.
If you or a loved one suffered an SCI as the result of another party’s negligence or intentional conduct, you may be eligible to file an SCI injury claim to seek compensation for you and your family’s damages including medical bills, lost wages, and more.