The country experiences more than 17,700 spinal cord injuries every year. There are millions of people in the United States that are suffering because of these injuries. In some of these cases, the injury was caused by a careless person or company. Anyone who suffers a spinal cord injury in Georgia due to another party’s negligence is owed compensation.
The lawyers at The Herro Law Firm specialize in personal injury claims, including spinal cord injury cases. Whether you were injured while driving or in a fall, you may be owed financial compensation. Spinal cord injuries can be very severe and come with years of medical bills and lost wages. You shouldn’t be forced to carry those losses alone if someone else caused your injury.
Our law firm was founded with the purpose of helping those in need. Our Macon spinal cord injury lawyers work on your side to gather evidence, navigate tricky legal waters, and fight for your compensation. If you’ve recently suffered a spinal cord injury, then you should get in touch with a Macon personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Pick up your phone and call us today at (404) 433-6876 for a free consultation.
What Losses Can Be Recovered in a Spinal Cord Injury Claim?
The severe nature of spinal cord injuries often leads to larger payouts. Many clients settle their claims for well over $1,000,000. There are several different factors that go into calculating the appropriate damages.
Past and Future Medical Expenses
A large portion of the damages will come from medical expenses. This includes emergency room visits, doctor visits, medication, rehabilitation, and any ongoing treatments. Some people with spinal cord injuries spend the rest of their lives receiving treatments or medications for pain.
Another large portion of the economic damages is lost income. A patient may miss days, weeks, or months at their job. They may even lose their job entirely or their ability to work in a specific field. The liable party is responsible for covering these financial losses to an extent.
Lost Enjoyment and Quality of Life
This is a type of non-economic damage that can be difficult to quantify. If a person becomes depressed or loses enjoyment in life because of the injury, then they should be compensated.
Emotional Suffering and Distress
This is another form of non-economic damage that is very common. A serious injury can cause lasting pain that is both physical and emotional. The liable party is responsible for compensating the victim for this ongoing pain and suffering.
What Are the Most Common Types of Spinal Cord Injuries?
The most common types of spinal cord injury cases that we deal with involve the loss of function in limbs. These types of injuries change the patient’s life forever and deserve compensation. The three most common types are:
Quadriplegia, which is also referred to as tetraplegia, is a paralysis that affects the torso, legs, and arms. It is an extremely severe condition that often leaves people unable to move entirely. It is often caused by injuries that are higher up in the spinal cord. Treatment options include surgery, therapy, medications, and steroids. The average lifetime cost is around $1.35 million.
This condition involves the paralysis of three limbs. In most cases, it is the two legs and one arm, though it can involve both arms and one leg. As with quadriplegia, this can severely limit movement and require a lifetime of medical treatment. Lifetime treatment for triplegia can exceed $1 million.
Paraplegia is the most common and least severe of these types of spinal cord injuries. It involves the paralysis of both legs. It most often includes complete paralysis below the waste. Paraplegia can be easily caused by an injury to the low or middle spine. Most patients spend at least 2 months in the hospital after diagnosis and can spend as much as $500,000 on medical bills during their lifetime.
Why Should You See a Doctor Right Away After a Back Injury?
Any serious accident that involves the back can become extremely problematic. A minor injury may be treatable with medication and a heating pad. A more severe injury could leave you paralyzed for the rest of your life. This extreme potential is why you should visit a doctor immediately after suffering any sort of serious trauma to the back.
If you’re unsure, then you should pay attention to any of the common symptoms of a spinal cord injury. They include:
- Loss of movement in limbs or torso
- Difficulty or pain when breathing
- Loss of sensation in the limbs or torso
If you experience these symptoms after an accident, then you should immediately visit your doctor. A spinal cord injury that is treated early will have a much higher success rate. Avoiding treatment can cause a minor injury to become more severe with added movement and stress.
What Are Some of the Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?
The following causes of spinal cord injuries are the most common.
Around 12 percent of all workplace accidents involve damage to the spinal cord. Trips, slips, and falls are the most common type of workplace accidents and they can easily cause direct trauma to the spine. 66 percent of people are employed at the time of their injury but only 17.4 percent are employed 1-year later. That percentage does increase to 32 percent within 30 years of the injury.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Car accidents and motorcycle accidents are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries. Almost 40 percent of all spinal cord injuries occur because of a vehicle accident. In those cases, we find the person or organization liable for the accident and pursue compensation.
Georgia uses comparative negligence law, which means even if you’re partially at fault for the accident, you can still seek compensation if your percentage of fault is less than 50%.
The second most common cause of spinal cord injuries is falling. They account for nearly 32 percent of the injuries. Falls can happen nearly anywhere and the distance doesn’t need to be far to damage the spine. The percentage of injuries caused by falls has continued to climb over the decades. During the 1970s, only 17 percent of spinal cord injuries were caused by falls.
Sport or Recreation Accidents
High contact sports come with many dangers, including the risk of a spinal cord injury. Accidents can happen on the field, in the ring, and even when preparing in the gym. Around 8 percent of all spinal cord injuries are caused by sporting accidents.
Violence accounts for 14 percent of all spinal cord injuries. The most common types of violent injuries involve gunshot wounds.
What Can I Expect to Recover if I Have a Spinal Cord Injury?
We fight to help you recover compensation for all of the damage you have suffered because of the injury. Those damages can be either economic or non-economic. Economical damages include medical expenses, damage to personal property, and lost income. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and disability.
In cases where the defendant maliciously intended to cause harm or acted with extreme recklessness, the court may award punitive damages to the victim.
Is a Spinal Cord Injury Case Different From Other Personal Injury Cases?
Spinal cord injury cases are generally larger and more complex than standard personal injury claims. They can involve financial losses that can continue for decades. The severity of the injuries often means they impact many different areas of life. Patients tend to suffer from serious emotional distress that can also last for decades.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Spinal Cord Injury Claim in Georgia?
Yes. Spinal injury cases have the same statute of limitations as other personal injury cases. That means you have 2 years from the day of the injury to file your claim. However, it is never a good idea to wait this long. You should contact a Macon spinal cord injury lawyer as soon as you have visited a doctor.
What if a Spinal Cord Injury Happened at Work?
If you work at a company with three or more employees, then the employer is legally required to have workers’ compensation insurance.
You should immediately notify your employer after the accident and seek medical attention. Your employer should have information available regarding the medical care providers in their network. Their worker’s compensation insurance is required to cover the fees related to medical bills, ongoing treatment, and lost wages.
The insurance company may attempt to deny your claim. You can fight back with a “notice of claim” appeal to pursue compensation. Many employees who were initially denied were able to get approved after their appeal. Of course, it helps to have an experienced lawyer on your side when you make your appeal.
In Need of a Macon Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer? Contact Herro Law Today!
Spinal cord injuries can be devastating, expensive, and debilitating. If the injury was caused by another driver, a careless retail store, or a negligent manufacturer, then you deserve compensation for your suffering.
At The Herro Law Firm, our job is to fight for a fair settlement that covers all of your physical and emotional pain as well as your financial losses. Contact our Macon legal team at (404) 433-6876 when you’re ready for your free consultation.