If your spinal cord is damaged in an accident, you may be experiencing changes in your strength and body function, or even paralysis, which could be permanent. You may need special care for a lifetime, which can be expensive. If you experienced a catastrophic injury because someone else was negligent, contact a Marlborough spinal cord injury lawyer to discuss the compensation you could receive.
Common Types of Spinal Cord Accidents
Automobile and motorcycle accidents account for almost half of all spinal cord injuries reported in the U.S. each year. Other causes include:
- Slip and fall accidents (most common among people over age 65)
- Leisure activities such as diving, skiing, snowboarding, jet skiing, and horseback riding
- School or professional athletics, especially contact sports such as football
- Violent acts such as gunshot or stab wounds
Alcohol is a contributing factor in one out of every four spinal cord injuries.
Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries
Medical professionals will assess a victim’s injuries after an accident and determine where along the spinal cord an injury occurred. The section of the spinal cord immediately above the damage is called the neurological level of the injury. They will also assess how severe the injury is, which is called the completeness.
Severity of Injury
The completeness of a spinal cord injury is classified as either “complete,” if all feeling and motor function below the injury are lost, or “incomplete,” if some feeling and motor function remain. Paralysis from a spinal cord injury is classified as tetraplegia or quadriplegia, in which the paralysis affects the whole body, and paraplegia, in which the paralysis affects just the lower body. A Marlborough spinal cord injury attorney can review medical records to help determine how much money an accident victim may need, depending on the severity of the injuries.
Negligence in SCI Cases
Spinal cord injuries are sometimes caused by a victim who did not take enough safety precautions, such as climbing on an unsteady chair to reach a high shelf, or by driving while intoxicated. However, many more spinal cord injuries are caused by others acting carelessly when they have a responsibility to those around them. For example, motorists have a responsibility to drive sober. If they do not, and another person is injured in a crash, a Connecticut personal injury attorney may be able to help file suit for compensation.
If the Victim Was Also Negligent
Victims who are partly at fault for their injuries can still be awarded damages under Connecticut’s Modified Comparative Negligence law. To collect damages, victims cannot be more than 50 percent at fault. A victim’s damages award will be reduced by the victim’s blame for the accident. For example, if a victim is determined to be 40 percent liable for an accident, the court would reduce a $100,000 damages award by 40 percent, to $60,000. A Marlborough spine injury lawyer can review each case to help determine fault and how compensation may be adjusted.
What is the Statute of Limitations in Marlborough?
Connecticut law allows a victim of a spinal cord injury to file a lawsuit up to two years after the date of the accident. There are some instances where a case must be filed in as little as 90 days. Thus, it is crucial that a spinal cord injury victim contact a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that critical deadlines are met.
Are Punitive Damages Available in Spinal Cord Injury Cases?
Along with compensatory damages, Connecticut will occasionally allow the victim of a personal injury to collect punitive damages. These are meant to punish a defendant for intentionally or maliciously causing the injury. The courts could award double or triple the amount given in compensatory damages. A Marlborough neck, back, and spine injury lawyer could review a case to help determine if punitive damages are appropriate.
A Marlborough Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Works for You
Spinal cord injuries can wreak havoc on your physical, emotional, and social functions. They are also enormously expensive to treat. A Marlborough spinal cord injury lawyer can help you by assessing the severity of your case before filing a lawsuit against the parties that caused your injuries. Call today for a free consultation.