Damage to the spinal cord that results in loss of mobility, feeling or function is a spinal injury. Unlike other injuries that can partially or fully heal when damaged, the spinal cord is not able to repair itself. Scientists are making significant advances in treating spinal injuries and are helping injured patients make promising recoveries, never once thought possible. Accident victims are entitled to have the best and most comprehensive medical options available to help them with their recovery.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are one of the most catastrophic types of injuries a person can endure, frequently resulting in permanent disability. Almost 11,000 people in the United States sustain a traumatic spinal cord injury each year, and more than 200,000 people live with paralysis caused by spinal cord injury. According to the Mayo Clinic, motor vehicle and motorcycle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the U.S., accounting for almost half (44%) of all spinal cord injuries. Other causes of spinal cord injuries are:
Acts of violence (physical assaults, gunshot wounds, and knife wounds)
Sports and recreational injuries (impact sports and diving into shallow water)
Diseases (cancer, arthritis, and osteoporosis)
Statistically, spinal cord injuries most commonly happen in men between 16 and 30 years old, or older than 65. Females only account for about 20 percent of traumatic spinal cord injuries. The result of spinal cord injuries can be temporary or permanent. Terms that are often used to describe permanent spinal injuries are:
Paraparesis: A slight degree of paralysis affecting the lower extremities.
Paraplegia: Complete paralysis of both lower extremities and usually the lower trunk. The upper extremities are not involved.
Quadriparesis: Partial paralysis of all four limbs (arms, legs).
Quadriplegia or Tetraplegia: Complete paralysis of all four limbs.
Recovering Damages in a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit
The lawyers with GBM Law represent spinal cord injury victims where negligent, reckless or intentional actions caused an accident resulting in the injury and disability. This could be a car or motorcycle accident, an accident at work, or a fall. When we take on a spinal cord injury cases, we work with life-planning experts to determine the lifelong needs of the victim and their family members. Our clients may need surgeries, extensive rehabilitation services, therapies, and caregivers for decades into the future. Damages recovered in an Ohio spinal cord injury lawsuit may include:
You may recover compensation for all expenses related to the immediate aftermath of your accident, including ambulance transport, emergency medical care, hospitalization, rehabilitation and surgeries. These damages are considered “economic” and are generally simple to calculate because many have already been incurred. Your future medical care for your expected lifetime can also be estimated, calculated and compensated in your lawsuit.
Loss of Earning Capacity
Spinal cord injuries are unique in that they are permanently life changing, and may be career ending. When someone suffers a spinal cord injury and becomes permanently disabled, a vocational expert can calculate the expected impact the injuries will have on the worklife of the injured and an economist can calculate the lifetime earnings a person would have earned had they not been injured.
You can still recover for loss of earning capacity even if you hope to return to the workforce. For example, if the individual is able to retain some upper body control and eventually be able to work in some capacity, it may be a lower paying position or only part time. For those that did not work outside of the home but contributed to a family, the amount that it would cost to pay for childcare and domestic help can also be calculated and recovered from the at-fault party.
Future Life Care Costs
If you need domestic help, a part time aid, housekeeper, or a full-time nurse, compensation for these costs, for your lifetime, may be part of your lawsuit.
Pain and Suffering
The physical pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life following a permanent injury is significant, and juries and judges place tremendous focus on this. Monetary damages recovered can be significant and make a meaningful improvement to the injured victim’s remaining quality of life.
Experience Counts in Spinal Cord Injury Litigation
Experience, knowledge and skill is essential in spinal cord injury cases because the attorney has the duty to demonstrate the full emotional, mental, physical and financial impact of an injury. Proper case preparation can ultimately be the difference of hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Working with life care planners and expert witnesses, the legal team at GBM Law can demonstrate the full impact of an injury and advocate for maximum compensation. We have been handling spinal cord injuries in Ohio for more than 30 years, and have recovered more than $200 million for our clients.
Understand Your Legal Rights and Options
At GBM Law, we offer a free consultation for spinal cord injury victims in Ohio and their family members. Contact us today to discuss your case. We are happy to answer your questions, offer guidance and share our unique experiences handling situations similar to yours. As part of our contingency fee agreement, there are never any fees unless we recover compensation for you.
For more information feel free to call us at (614) 222-4444 or fill out a case evaluation form.