How Losses Are Calculated in a Spinal Cord Injury Case
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Gregory H. Herrman with Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C..
Spinal cord injuries (SCI) can be particularly severe, often resulting in expensive medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and life care expenses. If you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury, it is important to reach out to an attorney with experience handling SCI cases. The damages in an SCI case are particular, and it takes the help of expert resources to calculate the damages in an SCI case to ensure an injured person and their family receive the help they need to make the maximum physical and financial recovery.
Losses or damages in an SCI case fall into two categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are relatively easily to calculate and come with a specific price tag. Economic damages generally include medical bills, lost wages, and more. However, non-economic damages are just as important despite being more difficult to quantify; these damages generally relate to the quality of life a person experiences after a severe injury.
Damages in an SCI case may include but are not necessarily limited to the following:
- Past, present, and future medical bills. It takes an expert to calculate the most likely future medical expenses in addition to the present and past ones.
- Lost wages. Wages lost while the injured party receives medical care and undergoes rehabilitation should all be included in a personal injury lawsuit.
- Vocational rehabilitation. This type of rehabilitation is often necessary after an SCI and is specifically intended to help an injured person return to work.
- Pain and suffering. This refers to all the pain and suffering an injury victim endured as the result of their injury.
- Lifecare expenses. These expenses are intended to help an SCI victim function in daily life. It could include the cost of a mobility aid device, in-home care, physical therapy, and more.
- Impairment of earning capacity. SCIs may prevent a person from working as much as they did before, or at all. In this case, the impairment to the injured person’s earning potential needs to be compensated.
- Loss of chosen profession. When an SCI survivor is injured too badly to return to their chosen profession, the loss of that profession (including lost wages) should be included in their damages.
- Loss of enjoyment of life. This is a non-economic damage and refers to a person’s inability to enjoy life as they did before the SCI. The inability to pick up and hug your child due to an injury is a significant loss, and deserves to be compensated.
- Loss of consortium or care and companionship. This refers to the loss of the services or benefits in the relationship with a close family member due to their injury.
- Wrongful death. This is applicable if the victim’s SCI leads to their death. This compensation can be claimed by surviving loved ones of the victim instead of a personal injury claim.
- Funeral expenses. This is applicable in the case of the wrongful death of an SCI victim.
Damages may not be immediately apparent.
Not only can losses in an SCI case be extremely difficult to calculate, they may also not be immediately apparent. For someone who does not have experience with SCI cases, future expenses might be difficult to predict. However, an experienced spinal cord injury attorney will be able to give you a more exact idea of what to expect in your future, both concerning physical recovery and related expenses.