The spinal cord is the link between your brain and all of the nerves in the rest of your body, meaning that an injury to this important bundle of nerves can be absolutely catastrophic in a number of ways. While the most common effects of a spinal cord injury are paralysis-related, there are a number of other issues that a victim may encounter following a spinal cord injury as well. Since this complex bundle of nerves is so complicated, science is still unraveling many of the mysteries of this important communication system, and while there are new advances in spinal cord recovery technology each year, this type of injury can completely change someone’s life.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a spinal cord injury, contact the award-winning team of personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys at Fasig | Brooks as soon as possible. Our history and winning record of experience representing a number of cases relating to spinal cord injuries and the long-term impacts of this type of serious injury speaks for itself, and we will be happy to discuss how we can help you get the compensation you deserve during a free initial consultation.
Read more below to get a better idea of spinal cord injuries and how they are treated in personal injury cases, and contact us as soon as possible so that we can discuss your specific situation in a free consultation. There is a long road ahead of us to get you the money you deserve, and it starts with a first conversation.
Calculating Compensation For a Spinal Cord Injury
There are many different things that a spinal cord injury victims and their family will need to figure out as they begin to make sense of the injury and the impacts on their lives, but one of the central things that a spinal cord injury lawyer can help you understand is the question of compensation: who is liable for the injury, and how much do they have to pay? This question can take months or years to answer and then either negotiate or fight for through a trial as a final settlement or award, and the most important thing you can do to answer this question is to hire an attorney as soon as possible.
Compensation after a personal injury case take two forms: economic damages, and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are the basis of the case, and seek compensation for all measurable financial impacts to the victim, such as medical bills, lost wages, long-term impacts to earning capacity, short- and long-term disability, and more. These are the easiest damages to calculate since they typically come with a receipt, an income statement, an invoice, or another way to simply and easily measure the financial value of each line item.
Non-economic damages make up the other half of the compensatory damages sought in a personal injury negotiation or trial. They are more complicated to calculate, and as such, more hotly contested. They include things like the actual pain and suffering of the injuries, the long-term emotional and psychological impact that a spinal cord injury has on a victim’s life, and more. Since there are no set financial values for these types of impacts, there are additional steps your personal injury attorney will need to take in order to reach a fair agreement.
Understanding Punitive Damages
You may have additionally heard the term “punitive damages” mentioned in your research, and it is important that you understand how these damages are completely separate from the compensatory damages that you and your attorney will be seeking. In particular, situations where the defendant acted in an egregiously dangerous or reckless manner, or if the defendant is an individual or business with significant capital, a judge or jury may decide that the compensatory damages are not enough to make an adequate impact.
In these instances, they may choose to award the victim punitive damages. These damages, though, are not to be requested to negotiated for by the plaintiff, so you and your attorney will not discuss these damages. If your situation seems to warrant additional consideration, or if your attorney believes that you are clearly entitled to damages above the standard compensatory damages, then they may choose to bypass the entire settlement negotiation process and opt to file a lawsuit immediately.