What To Do If You Sustain A Spinal Cord Injury After A Car Accident
Automobile accidents are the most common cause of spine related injuries. As your spinal cord is extremely important for your health and mobility, these injuries can be devastating. Even if you are not paralyzed you can struggle with issues for the rest of your life, including pain, stiffness, inability to work.
How Spinal Injuries Happen In Accidents
The spinal cord links the brain to the rest of the body. Damage to the spinal cord as a result of trauma happens when parts of the bones, the disc material or the ligaments bruise or tear into the spinal cord tissue and destroy a portion of the nerve cells which helps the brain communicate to the rest of the body. This injury can result in loss of movement, sensation or control of body functions such as breathing, and bowel movement.
Types of Paralysis
Spinal cord injuries are “complete” when almost all feeling or sensory functioning is lost below the person’s affected area. There are two forms of paralysis that fall into this category:
● Paraplegia: This term refers to all or part of the trunk, legs, and pelvic organs.
● Tetraplegia: Also known as quadriplegia it affects the arms, hands, body legs and pelvic organs.
You do not, however, need to be paralyzed to have incurred a serious spinal cord injury. Many severe spinal cord injuries cause a variety of other symptoms and issues beyond just paralysis.
The Costs Of Spinal Injuries
Caring for someone with a spinal cord injury is very costly in the United States. Estimates of yearly costs of spinal cord injuries are as follows:
● Tetraplegia/Quadriplegia: Over a million dollars the first year and over $180,000 yearly afterwards.
● Paraplegia: Over $500,000 the first year, over $65,000 in subsequent years.
● Incomplete Motor Function Of Any Level: Over $300,000 the first year and over $40,000 subsequently every year.
For a young person, the lifetime costs are devastating to the individual and their family.
Liability in Spinal Cord Injuries Due To Accidents
If a spinal cord injury was a result of a car accident that was someone else's fault, It is imperative that the injured victim obtains the services of an attorney to obtain compensation. Even if the injured person is not at fault an investigation will have to be completed to determine liability You must also determine the at fault driver was negligent. A driver is negligent when:
● The driver was not driving in a responsible fashion to keep others driving safe.
● The driver was not driving the speed limit or too fast for road conditions.
● The driver did not maintain their vehicle. An example is driving on bald tires.
● The driver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or otherwise impaired.
Other Parties That May Be Liable For Your Spinal Cord Injury
One of the benefits of having a qualified attorney on your side is their ability to examine and uncover other potential indicators of liability. Some examples are:
● Vehicle Malfunction: If there was something wrong with your car the liability could include the dealer who sold the car and the manufacturer. For example, incorrectly installed brakes causing them to fail. If your car was not repaired correctly the repair shop could also be liable.
● Road Issues: Something may have been wrong with the road, such as inadequate signs for the road.
● Obstruction: If the accident occurred as a result of a homeowner not maintaining their property and obstructing vision, the owner of the property could be liable.
● Vicarious Liability: This term refers to the responsibility of a third party who had the “right, duty and ability to control” the situation. If an employee of a company car hit you, the company could also be responsible.
● Negligent Entrustment: If the owner of the vehicle allows someone to drive, knowing they are irresponsible or impaired, they are responsible.
The attorneys at Justice Pays have decades of experience working only with the injured, and not the insurance companies. With an excellent reputation for getting the most compensation for our clients, we will treat you and your family with the care and respect you deserve. To learn more, give us a call at one of our Southwest Florida offices for a free case review. Our friendly staff will explain the process and help you understand all your options.