Legal Concerns, Health Management, Legal Care Planing.
Whether your spinal injury is from a fall, car accident or other accident, the impact on you and your family can be devastating. The medical costs of a spinal cord injury can be massive and run into the millions of dollars over the years. If you or a loved one were in an accident and had a spinal cord injury, you might be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit to be compensated for your injuries and losses.
Spinal Cord Injury Defined
A spinal cord injury is when the spinal cord is damaged. The spinal cord is the bundle of nerves that runs down the back; injury to the spinal cord can leave the victim with paralysis in part or all of the body. The spinal cord is responsible for many of our bodily functions, such as body temperature, breathing, bladder and sexual function. So, an accident victim can suffer many types of permanent and serious health issues.
Common Reasons for Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury is normally the result of a serious injury or blow to the spinal column. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center reports that the most common causes of spinal cord injury are:
- Car accidents – responsible for 42% of all spinal cord injuries
- Falls – 26.7%
- Acts of violence, such as gunshot wounds – 15.1%
- Recreational sports activities – 7.6%
A spinal cord injury also can be due to errors that happen during surgical procedures on the back and neck. In some cases, a spinal cord injury may have been avoided. The error could be medical malpractice.
Legal Aspects of Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuits
A personal injury lawsuit may be filed if your spinal cord injury was caused by negligence. Most spinal cord injury lawsuits are based upon the theory of negligence. If your injury was caused by the negligence of another person or entity, such as a car pulled out in front of you and struck your motorcycle, you must prove that the party you sue was negligent.
Another legal basis for these lawsuits is a defective product. If your injury was caused by a dangerous or defective product, such as an airbag or seatbelt, you could be compensated in a product liability lawsuit against the company(ies) that designed, manufactured and sold the product(s).
Typical Defenses For Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuits
A common defense is for the plaintiff to argue that your own carelessness led to the accident. So, the defendant is not at fault. For instance, because alcohol is involved in many injuries to the spinal cord (the Mayo Clinic says about one out of four), the defendant might artug that the intoxication of the plaintiff was the major cause of the accident and injuries. This defense is based upon the concept of ‘contributory negligence’ and ‘comparative negligence.’
Another defense is if the injury happened while engaged in some type of dangerous activity, such as skiing or bungee jumping. They may use the ‘assumption of risk’ defense, arguing that you made the choice to engage in an activity that was likely to lead to hear so you should not be compensated.