Suffering a spinal cord injury can have devastating consequences. It can alter the course of your life and have a significant impact on your family. Some spinal cord injuries are catastrophic and result in paralysis or quadriplegia. These severe injuries may cause lifelong changes in your ability to feel sensation, in your strength, and in your bodily functions below the level of the injury. Unfortunately, many spinal cord injuries cannot be fixed, leaving the victims facing permanently reduced quality of life and a lifetime of disability. We at Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer have decades of experience representing individuals who have suffered spinal cord injuries and helping them and their family put their lives back together managing the devastating financial and non-financial consequences of a spinal cord injury.
At Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer Trial Lawyers, our attorneys understand the particular issues and losses that spinal cord injury victims and their families often face. When the negligent or intentional acts of others cause spinal cord injuries, we aggressively fight for our clients to recover the maximum amount of compensation to which they are entitled. We strongly believe that people who are seriously injured by the wrongful or negligent actions of others should receive full and fair compensation for their losses. Because of this belief, we work tirelessly to obtain successful outcomes for our clients.
What is a spinal cord injury?
Your spinal cord is a bundle of nerves located inside of your vertebral column. These nerves are a crucial part of your central nervous system because they carry nerve signals received from the peripheral nerves to the brain. They also carry the brain’s response back to the peripheral nerves. When a spinal cord injury occurs, there may be a partial or full loss of sensation and motor control below the site of the injury. Severe spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis of the lower limbs or of all four limbs. Since the spinal cord is responsible for sending signals for many different bodily functions, accident victims may suffer a wide range of permanent, serious health and quality of life issues.
Common causes of injuries to the spinal cord:
Spinal cord injuries can be caused by blows to the spine or traumatic injuries. They also can result from certain medical conditions and diseases. Some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries include the following:
- Medical malpractice
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Violence and assaults
- Sports activities
- Surgical errors
- Failure to diagnose Cauda Equina Syndrome
Claims involving spinal cord injuries:
Many spinal cord injury lawsuits include negligence claims. Negligence is a legal theory, and plaintiffs must prove all of the elements of negligence to prevail in these types of claims. For example, you might file a negligence lawsuit if you were struck by a car while you were crossing the street in a crosswalk.
Defective products may also cause spinal cord injuries. For example, you could suffer a spinal cord injury in a motor vehicle accident because of a faulty airbag or seatbelt. In this case, the manufacturer of the seat belt or airbag might share liability for your injuries with the at-fault driver who caused your accident. In this type of situation, you may be entitled to recover damages from the companies that manufactured and designed the defective product.
Medical malpractice or medical negligence may also cause permanent spinal cord injuries. For example, Cauda Equina Syndrome is a neurological emergency which requires immediate neurosurgical intervention to relieve pressure on the Cauda Equina nerves, the nerves at the lower end of the spinal cord. If a medical provider fails to recognize this neurosurgical emergency (for example in a hospital emergency room), a patient can suffer permanent neurological injury and be paralyzed from the point of injury and down. Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer attorneys have represented scores of clients with Cauda Equina Syndrome.
Commonly raised defenses:
In many spinal cord injury cases, the defendants argue that the injured plaintiffs contributed to the cause of their accidents. In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the states follow modified comparative negligence rules. Under these laws, the fact that you are partially at fault for your injuries will not serve as a bar for your ability to recover damages. This is the case as long as your percentage of fault does not exceed the fault of the defendant or the total liability of all of the defendants. However, your damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you. Many defendants will try to assign blame to the injured victims to try to reduce the amounts that they might be forced to pay.
Another common defense that might be raised is that you assumed the risk. This type of defense is common in cases in which your injury occurred while you were participating in a risky activity. The defendant might argue that you assumed the risk of injury when you took part in the activity. Experienced lawyers should anticipate the defenses that might be raised and work to build robust evidence to counter the arguments.
Monetary awards in injury cases are designed to compensate injured victims for the losses that they have suffered. The damages are meant to restore injured victims to their pre-accident conditions.
In cases involving spinal cord injuries, the damages may include compensation for pecuniary and non-economic losses. The pecuniary losses include the economic damages that you have suffered. These damages include things such as past and future medical costs, ongoing rehabilitation costs, personal care assistance, life care costs, income and earnings capacity losses, and property losses. Pecuniary losses might also include the costs of home modifications, such as the installation of stairlifts and access ramps. The non-economic losses include physical pain and mental suffering, disfigurement, disability, emotional trauma, loss of companionship, loss of life’s pleasures, loss of services and loss of consortium.
Spinal cord injuries can happen in many different situations, including the following:
- Truck accidents
- Automobile accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pool Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Bicycle accidents
- Construction accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
Contact Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer for help
The attorneys at Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer are experienced trial lawyers who understand the importance of thoroughly investigating all of our clients’ claims. We have recovered substantial record settlements and verdicts for our clients who have suffered spinal cord injuries because of the negligence of others. We thoroughly investigate and zealously prosecute our cases on behalf of our clients. We retain and work closely with top experts in the country to build strong cases that clearly show liability. When you work with our attorneys, we will partner with you to build the strongest possible case. Our legal team is responsive and keeps our clients up-to-date on their claims at all times so that you will know what to expect.
Contact Raynes Lawn Hehmeyer Trial Lawyers today by filling out our online contact form or calling us at 800.535.1797. We offer free consultations and can provide you with an honest evaluation of your claim.
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