If you’ve sustained a spinal cord injury, then you know better than anyone what that means: your life will never be the same again. Damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal means permanent changes in how you will conduct your life from here on out.
At Hardy, Wolf & Downing, our team of Maine personal injury lawyers is dedicated to helping victims of negligence and malpractice. Our attorneys ensure that spinal cord injury victims receive full and fair compensation for all medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Complications Associated with Spinal Cord Injury
Common complications that occur with spinal cord injuries include:
- Loss of skin sensation/touch
- Poorer circulatory control, with risks of blood clots
- Difficulty breathing and other respiratory problems
- Problems with muscle tone that result in spastic motions or a general flaccidity
- Loss of overall fitness and wellness due to a sedentary lifestyle, putting you at risk for obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Poor sexual health
- Depression and other psycho-social consequences
In short, the damages you experience from spinal cord injury are devastating, requiring enormous financial and emotional support to cope and move forward. For some, filing a personal injury lawsuit is the last chance of maintaining any sort of financial independence.
For nearly 40 years, the Portland, Maine-based spinal cord injury lawyers of Hardy, Wolf & Downing have been helping victims recover the compensation needed for the loss of quality of life and pain and suffering they will permanently experience.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury occurs when the soft tissue cord connecting the base of your brain to your waist and made up of numerous nerve cells, roots and tracts (which carry signals to the brain and to the muscles) experiences harm.
Trauma to the spinal cord can occur as a result of:
- Car accidents
- Acts of violence
- Sports and recreation activities, such as impact sports or diving in shallow water
In a great percentage of these cases, you may have sustained a spinal cord injury through no fault of your own. Auto and motorcycle accidents, for example, are the leading cause of spinal cord injury in the U.S., accounting for more than 40 percent of new spinal cord injuries each year.
More than one-quarter of all spinal cord injuries happen because of falls, and, as many as 15 percent of spinal cord injuries result from violent encounters involving a gunshot or knife wound, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates 12,000 to 20,000 people experience spinal cord injuries each year.
Compensation Available to Plaintiffs
Litigation can be an effective way to secure the compensation you need in cases where another entity’s negligence caused your spinal cord injuries. In the greater New England area, victims of spinal cord injuries have received very significant compensation.
Here are a few examples of recent spinal cord settlements:
- A plaintiff who suffered spinal cord injuries and partial paralysis from an accident caused by faulty roadway design received $4,050,000.
- A construction worker who fell from scaffolding struck by a truck, suffering a spinal fracture in the ordeal, found some relief from a $1,645,000 verdict in his favor.
- A worker whose severe spinal injuries resulted from a fall from a ladder and ended his career while leaving him with partial paralysis in both legs garnered $30.3 million from a New York State jury.
Criteria for Filing a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit
You may be eligible to receive similar levels of compensation by filing a lawsuit if you can prove that the economic and/or non-economic harm you have experienced were the direct result of another party’s carelessness or negligence. To prove the other party was at fault, you’ll need to show that they (the defendant) was responsible for your care but breached that duty and that your injuries were the consequence of that breach of duty.
For example, if the driver at fault in the accident that caused your spinal cord injuries ran a red light, he/she failed to exercise reasonable care that in turn contributed to your pain and suffering. Or, if the swimming pool you dove into did not have clear indications showing the water level, this also may constitute negligence on the part of a property owner.
Liability Considerations in Spinal Cord Injury Cases
In such cases where one party can indeed be found in a court of law to be “at fault,” they can be held “liable” or financially responsible for your spinal cord injuries. This means they may be ordered by a judge or jury to pay back any losses you have sustained with respect to lost wages, medical expenses or other damages, such as loss of consortium (sexual intimacy in marriage). You may also be able to pursue punitive damages against the at-fault party for their negligent or reckless actions.
Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys You Can Rely On
But time is of the essence. In Maine, you risk abdicating your right to compensation if you do not pursue legal action within six years of your injury. The key is to find a lawyer you can trust, one with a proven track record in the area of fighting on behalf of victims of spinal cord injuries and securing them compensation.
Hardy, Wolf & Downing are just a phone call away. For a free legal consultation, and to find out how you can secure your future and recover from the devastation of a spinal cord injury, call our offices today: (800) 992-7333.
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