The spinal cord is responsible for enabling communications between our brain and the rest of the body. Any damage to the spinal cord can lead to serious long-term complications, including permanent paralysis and disability. Each year, nearly 18,000 people develop a spinal cord injury.
These injuries can result in expensive medical costs, loss of income, and many other physical and psychological consequences. If you sustain a spinal cord injury in California, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the person responsible for your damages.
Medical Expenses for Spinal Cord Injuries
Medical expenses for spinal cord injuries can exceed millions of dollars over a person’s lifetime. Some of the most common sources of medical costs include the following.
- Spinal cord surgeries
- Medical equipment, such as wheelchairs
- Hospital stays
- Trauma care, such as ventilator use
- Prescription medications
- Doctor’s appointments
- Transportation to and from medical care
- Ambulance fees
In addition to hospitalizations, surgeries, and routine medical care, you may need specialized treatment. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may need to attend rehabilitation programs, install disability accommodations in your home or vehicle, or hire a live-in caregiver. These special needs can be very expensive, and the average person does not have the means to pay for these needs out of pocket.
What Other Losses Do Spinal Cord Injury Victims Experience?
As a spinal cord injury victim, you can sustain many other losses outside of the tangible medical expenses. A spinal cord injury can impact your ability to go to work, and you may lose weeks or months of lost wages. Sometimes, your injury can prevent you from returning to your old position, leading to the loss of future earnings and benefits.
The physical and psychological toll of a spinal cord injury is also immense. You may develop mental health conditions, such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, as a result of your condition. You may be unable to achieve independence or engage in the activities you once enjoyed. These impacts are just as serious as financial losses.
Legal Options for Spinal Cord Injury Victims
A spinal cord injury can lead to thousands of dollars in medical expenses and result in the need for long-term care. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, you may be unable to return to work, lose weeks or months of wages, have to pay for property repairs or replacements and suffer from physical and emotional pain and suffering.
If you sustained a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s negligence, you could file a lawsuit or an insurance claim against the at-fault party. Through your claim, you can recover compensation for the economic and non-economic losses you sustained due to the at-fault party’s negligence. To prove your right to compensation, you will need to provide sufficient evidence to support four key elements.
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care.
- The at-fault party breached his or her duty of care.
- The breach of duty directly caused your accident and spinal cord injury.
- You sustained damages that you can recover in your lawsuit.
In these situations, you need an attorney on your side. A California spinal cord injury lawyer will have the resources, network, and knowledge necessary to craft a compelling case for your right to compensation. Your attorney will also leverage the full power of his or her firm’s resources to conduct an in-depth investigation and gather evidence to establish the at-fault party’s negligence. As soon as possible after your accident, contact a spinal cord injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.