Spinal Cord Injuries and Personal Injury Claims – What You Need to Know
Motor vehicle accidents and catastrophic falls are the most common causes of spinal cord injuries in Canada. You have to know what to do to improve your spinal health.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. NOLO also adds the following important facts about spinal injuries.
The average spinal cord injury award is in the region of a Million Dollars. Spinal injury awards are commonly some of the highest awards made due to such a catastrophic injury with far-reaching physical and psychological, vocational, and social consequences for the victim’s life.
The ongoing expenses, including medical and psychological, can mount up into the millions.
A spinal cord injury is an irreversible catastrophic injury with potentially devastating impacts including far-reaching physical, psychological, vocational, and social consequences to one’s life – and – the beginning of an expensive life-long adjustment process with innumerable and unforeseeable circumstances.
Complete versus incomplete spinal cord injury
Spinal cord injuries can differ significantly in their severity.
They are classified into two main types:
- A complete spinal cord injury
- A complete injury means that, below the injury site, there is no nerve communication and motor function.
You need to know more about it, so you can determine your prognosis for recovery from a spinal cord injury.
An incomplete spinal cord injury
An incomplete spinal cord injury is less severe. The spinal cord can still transmit some messages from the brain to other body parts.
Symptoms of spinal cord injury
Potential symptoms include:
- Partial or total loss of movement
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Numbness, tingling, changes in sensation in the feet and hands
- Difficulty in breathing and walking
- Paralysis that may be immediate or develop over time
- Pain or pressure in the neck, head, or back
- Weakness in various parts of your body
- Unnatural positions of the spine or head
- Changes in sexual function.
Can you claim personal injury for a spinal cord injury?
You can claim. Spinal cord injuries typically have high awards, especially if more serious, due to the ongoing expenses over the victim’s lifetime.
The claim is dependent on proving fault on the part of the defendant. These claims are often the result of injuries inflicted in motor vehicle accidents and slip-and-fall cases.
Spinal cord injuries can be highly complex, and there are many things to consider and many costs to project before arriving at an amount to be claimed.
Due to this complexity, it is vital when looking for a personal injury lawyer to carefully select an advocate with specialized knowledge in spinal cord injury claims and a proven track record in this area.
Matt Lalande, a spinal cord injury lawyer from Hamilton, Ontario, says that “it is imperative you choose a firm that is experienced and familiar with catastrophic spinal cord injury claims and can ensure that both your own insurance company and the insurance company at-fault provide you with the compensation you deserve.”
What kind of expenses can be included in the award?
All expenses incurred in the treatment and accommodation of the victim’s new lifestyle can be claimed. The extent of the claim will depend primarily on, but not limited to the following:
- the extent of the injury
- the amount of medical costs incurred
- the amount of future medical costs
- pain and suffering
- loss of earnings
- any rehabilitation, either long or short term, that is required
- special accommodations such as a wheelchair and motor vehicle adaptations
The list is almost endless. Your attorney will help you include all of the costs you need to claim to ensure that you get the total compensation due to you. It is not possible to apply for an increase in the award later, so you need to make sure that you include everything in your claim.
Although a monetary award will not be able to undo your spinal cord injury, it will go some way to relieving the financial burden on you and your family for costs incurred and likely to be incurred.
Retaining a professional lawyer specializing in spinal cord injury claims will go a long way to ensure that you get the compensation to put you back in the same financial position you were in before the accident.