Spinal cord injuries (SCI), like brain injuries, can be catastrophic. As a personal injury law firm, we’ve represented many clients that have suffered various injuries, from soft-tissue damage to full-body paralysis. With this type of injury, people often require long-term, continuing medical care, which is expensive.
Recovering from an injury as severe as spinal cord damage can be time-consuming and overwhelming, but our team is here to help. So if you or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord injury, you shouldn’t handle it alone. You need a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta, GA, who knows how to handle these claim types.
Common SCIs You Can Sue For
Spinal cord damage can affect your body in various ways. The most catastrophic injuries involve paralysis and are classified in these ways:
- Quadriplegia: Loss of movement in all four limbs; chest muscles are affected, and the patient usually needs a breathing machine.
- Triplegia: Loss of movement in one arm and both legs.
- Paraplegia: Loss of movement and sensation in both legs.
Critically injured patients need continuous care for the rest of their lives, while others can lead independent lives with much support. Patient costs add beyond medical care; vocational training, special equipment, home care, and psychological counseling will all be necessary.
As attorneys, we often see clients who have had minor car accidents and didn’t experience symptoms until much later. However, if you’re experiencing any symptoms of spinal cord damage, you should get medical attention as soon as possible.
You need to prioritize your health, and with a diagnosis and an experienced spinal cord damage attorney in Atlanta, you could get financial compensation for your medical bills.
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What Happens to Your Body When You Suffer Spinal Cord Trauma?
According to the Georgia Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund Commission, there were 570 spinal cord injuries in our state in 2018. Spinal cord damage is a serious, life-altering injury with devastating physical, emotional, and financial consequences. When the spinal cord or bundle of nerves is damaged due to extreme weight or pressure, it can cause paralysis, loss of sensation, loss of motor control, and chronic pain.
Depending on the severity of your pain, individuals may be unable to walk, move their arms or legs, or perform everyday bodily functions. The loss of function can require the injured person’s assistance in performing daily tasks. For example, you can suffer neck injuries along with the torso, which may lead to the inability to move your head properly.
Mental health issues could develop, such as depression, intense bouts of anger, along with learning disabilities. Depending on the severity of your injury, your treatment options could be temporary or lifelong.
What Should You Do if You Have Spinal Cord Damage from an Accident in Atlanta?
Spinal cord damage can happen in many ways. Our personal injury firm has seen a lot of cases involving auto accidents and tractor-trailer crashes. Other types of accidents that may result in an SCI include:
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Construction accidents
- Slip and falls
If you’ve had a spine injury, first, we want you to get immediate help. Unlike minor accidents, you may not be able to gather information at the time of the accident.
It might not be possible to get the names of witnesses right away. However, our spinal cord lawyers in Atlanta, GA, can contact a professional to recreate the accident.
Don’t Agree to a Quick Settlement To Get Your Case Over With
You should contact a lawyer as soon as you notice you’re injured. The more time you take or delay your case, the harder it can be to recover compensation.
Often, people want to minimize what has happened to them and are quick to settle with an insurance company. They want to make life return to how it was and think a quick settlement will do so.
But a quick settlement usually won’t cover your costs after your accident. You can return to a productive life after traumatic spinal cord damage but will need medical and financial help. Once you settle with an insurance company, you never have the chance to go back and remake your case for a higher compensation amount.
How Much Is a Spinal Cord Damage Lawsuit Worth?
It’s impossible to say exactly how much your claim could be worth without knowing the details of your case. Some spinal cord injury victims recover thousands of dollars, while others’ settlements range into the millions. But, of course, it all depends on what damages you received because of your accident.
Spinal cord injuries often yield higher settlements than other cases. Due to the extensive care and long recovery times associated with spinal damage, the damages involved in such cases tend to be more severe. Some of our firm’s most successful case results involve spinal cord accidents.
To learn more about how much you might be able to expect for your pain, you can get a free consultation with one of our attorneys. A spinal cord attorney in Atlanta, GA, can look at your case and give you a better idea of the size of your settlement.
What Compensation Can You Recover if You Suffer a Spinal Cord Accident in Atlanta?
A spinal cord injury case is a personal injury case. As a spinal cord injury victim, you are eligible to recover economic damages and non-economic damages such as:
- All reasonable and necessary medical expenses, including past and future expenses
- Lost income due to your pain
- Loss of quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
- Burial expenses if you’ve lost a loved one
- Property damage
- Emotional damage
In a catastrophic injury, we try to recover for future medical expenses so you will be covered throughout your life. Often for younger clients or someone who is entirely disabled, we structure your financial recovery so all the money isn’t spent at once.
This is called a structured settlement, which protects the client through a special needs trust.
How Are Spinal Cord Cases Different from Other Cases?
In most other accidents, there is a clear path to recovery. However, spinal cord injuries are different because long-term health issues require lifetime care, which means long-term medical costs.
The most common healing path is through physical therapy. Physical therapy allows you to build up the muscles you’ve injured at a slow pace. So over time, you’ll be able to move like you previously did if you haven’t suffered complete paralysis.
People who have suffered damage to the spinal cord can go on to lead amazing lives. Plus, more and more research is breaking ground on regenerative therapy. Our personal injury lawyers can set up you or your loved one for a chance at a productive life.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Spinal Damage Claim in Atlanta?
Georgia imposes a statute of limitations to file an SCI accident claim. Generally, the time limit is two years, but some exceptions could significantly increase or decrease your window of opportunity.
For example, if the injured person was under 18, you may have longer to file a claim and still file within the statute of limitations. You may also get longer to file if the accident requires more time to investigate the other party.
Beyond the legal time limit, we urge clients to file quickly. Our spinal injury lawyer in Atlanta, GA, can help you get the proper medical treatment. The sooner we can get started on your case, the better your chances are of getting compensation for your expenses.
What if My Child Was Injured at School or Sports Practice?
In Georgia, most public schools have protections against lawsuits. However, they also often have private insurance for injuries like spinal cord damage.
Sports injuries are also complicated. Most of the time, when you play a sport, you assume the risk of getting hurt comes along with it. This doesn’t mean you can’t still have a successful claim, but you should still talk to an attorney about your or your child’s sports accident.
What if I Was Injured at Work?
Work injuries are often treated as workers’ compensation cases. This means, as an employee, you recover compensation for an injury in the workplace.
However, sometimes a work accident involves someone else at fault for your injury. Therefore, you can proceed with a workers’ compensation claim and a third-party personal injury lawsuit.
For example, you can file both cases if you drive for work and a tractor-trailer hits your car. In addition, if another employer is responsible for your spinal cord damage, you can file both cases. Finally, you can file both claims if you’re on the clock and somebody else is to blame for the accident.
What if I Was Partially at Fault for My Accident?
If you were partially at fault for the accident, you could lose some or all of your compensation. Georgia state law uses the modified comparative negligence rule, which means you can get compensation for an accident if you are less than 50% at fault.
There’s a catch, though. If you’re found to be partially at fault below 50%, your compensation could be reduced proportionally. So, for example, if you had 20% of the responsibility for your accident, your settlement could be reduced by 20%.
That’s why having a lawyer who knows how to prove you qualify for your whole settlement is important. Our Atlanta personal injury attorneys will gather evidence that shows that the other party was responsible for your spinal cord injury.
Can I File a Personal Injury Claim if I’m the Victim of a Crime?
Violent crime is the second cause of spinal cord damage in the United States. But, unfortunately, we don’t know if the criminal can pay for your injuries.
Even if we cannot identify the criminal, we could recover your losses. We’ll go after every possible responsible person or party out there. Crime victims may also be eligible for punitive damages the court awards to punish the defendant.
This is especially true in drunk driving accidents. In addition, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council of Georgia has a crime victim’s program fund for medical bills. We’ve helped many victims get compensation from this fund for medical bills.
What Can an Atlanta Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Do for You?
When you contact a spinal cord injury lawyer in Atlanta from our firm, the first thing they’ll do for you is to listen. Our team will listen to your story of what happened to you and tell you what steps you can take to get compensation.
After you agree to hire us to represent you, our spinal cord injury attorneys in Atlanta can help you start the legal process. We can help you with the following:
- Investigating your case
- Gathering evidence
- Calculating your damages
- Negotiating with the insurance company
- Fighting for you in court if necessary
It’s unlikely that your claim will even turn into a lawsuit and go to court. Most of the time, personal injury claims are settled outside of court. However, in the rare event you go to trial, your lawyer will ensure they represent your case and your rights to the highest degree.
Talk to a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney in Atlanta Today
Anyone with a spinal cord injury needs a lawyer in their corner. Unfortunately, you only have one chance to get this right. The Atlanta spinal cord injury attorneys at John Foy & Associates have been in the Georgia legal business for over 20 years.
Our spinal cord lawyers in Atlanta, GA, can give you the peace of mind you need while fighting for your compensation. So give us a call or fill out our contact form to get a free initial consultation.