After You’ve Received a Spinal Cord Injury in a Car AccidentNew Jersey Legal News
You’ve been involved in a car accident and, as a result, you have received a serious and traumatic spinal cord injury that happened unexpectedly. Nobody ever accounts for these serious injuries that can leave you in a difficult position and have a major impact on your life but, every year, they continue to happen and cause chaotic results to those involved. In fact, in just one year, an estimated 12,500 spinal cord injuries take place across the U.S.
Spinal cord injuries are known for producing both minor and severe symptoms, including paralysis or death among the worst. If an individual has been harmed due to a spinal cord injury, they might wonder how they can move forward with a claim for compensation. You might have many questions, and our skilled attorneys at Brady, Brady & Reilly wish to help you through these challenging times.
Various Facts About Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are divided into these two categories:
Incomplete: When it comes to incomplete injuries, the spinal cord is only partially severed, which means that the injured person will still have some type of function within their body. The degree of the function they still have depends on the extent of the injury.
Complete: Complete injuries, on the other hand, occur when the spinal cord is completely severed in an accident. You might have eliminated function in certain parts of the body. However, with treatments and physical therapy, over time you might be able to regain some of your function.
Because of the better treatment that we are experiencing in the U.S. today, over 60% of the spinal cord injuries individuals sustain are incomplete. This is because many individuals know how to respond to these injuries from the moment they occur so that the injury does not turn into a complete injury. Spinal cord injuries can have a huge and lasting impact on a person’s life, which is why it is important to act quickly following an accident where one of these horrific injuries is suspected.
Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries
There are many symptoms of spinal cord injuries that might happen the moment the accident takes place or might show up over time. A life can immediately be put in danger after an accident that involves a spinal cord injury. Some of the most common symptoms that somebody might experience following an accident with a spinal cord injury includes the following:
- Varying degrees of paralysis
- Difficulty breathing
- Problems related to your bowel functions
- Frequent pain
- Changes in mood or personality
- Nerve pain
- Muscle pain
The prognosis for a spinal cord injury depends upon its severity and location along the spinal column. Using only symptoms will not tell you how far your injury has progressed and every single spinal cord injury is different from the next. Some people will make a miraculous recovery even in cases where they are not expected to, while others will need years of therapy and still won’t see any progress. These accidents are known for having a huge impact on your life and can severely affect everything from your physical health to your psychological health. This is why it is imperative that, after an accident, you be in the care of an experienced medical professional who has worked with those who have sustained these serious injuries in the past.
It is also known that the medical care associated with spinal cord injuries can be quite expensive, mainly due to the fact that this type of care tends to be ongoing or lifelong and can include aspects like constant care, therapies, surgeries, and more. This is why it is not always easy to dictate your damages in these cases.
Damages in a Spinal Cord Injury Claim
Every spinal cord injury case is different, but here are some of the damages that you will likely receive in your claim:
Medical Expenses: Spinal cord injuries are almost always serious, which means that you will need various methods of treatment, even if it means surgeries that will cure the condition or medications that will help you keep the pain at bay if your injury is inoperable. Medical expenses include aspects like hospital and doctor’s fees, prescription costs, sessions at therapy, rehabilitation, and assistive devices to help you around your home. Any type of fee that is related to the medical care you have received for this specific injury is up in the air and can fall into necessary damages.
Lost Wages: Many people who have sustained a serious spinal cord injury will not be able to return to work for quite some time, which means that you might also be eligible for lost wages. If you are unable to return to work and have missed out on opportunities or you have discovered that you are permanently disabled and will never be able to work again, you might be eligible for these damages now and in the future.
In-Home Assistance: Your lifestyle will be forever changed when you receive a spinal cord injury, which means that there need to be big changes in what happens at home. You might need help with various aspects, including cooking and landscaping, cleaning your home, or even transportation to and from appointments, now that you are unable to do these tasks on your own. In-home assistance costs will pay for these aspects when you aren’t able to do so on your own.
Pain and Suffering: Injuries can take a huge toll on your life, which is why you might be eligible for pain and suffering damages. These damages account for the emotional distress, humiliation, depression, and more that you have felt.
Punitive Damages: In some cases, you might be eligible for punitive damages that are meant to punish a defendant for their reckless actions and deter this reckless behavior in the future. If you believe that you are eligible for punitive damages, it might be time to speak with an attorney about your options.
How an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Can Help
Dealing with a spinal cord injury brings a wide array of challenges that you might not have prepared for. These injuries can be both stressful and traumatic, leaving a huge impact on your life that you never accounted for. Because of this, it is important to have a personal injury attorney on your side who has handled cases like these in the past and will assist you as you work toward compensation. Our attorneys at Brady, Brady & Reilly have helped many victims of New Jersey car accidents and are here to assist you as you face the reality of your spinal cord injury. Please contact us at (201) 997-0030 for more information on how we can help you.