Greenville Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Spinal cord injuries are one of the most severe traumas that a person can have. Unlike many other injuries, spinal cord injuries often change a person’s life forever. Depending on the circumstances, the victim may experience permanent partial or total paralysis, long-term loss of income, extensive pain, and mental trauma.
If you or a loved one has had a spinal cord injury because of a car accident, slip and fall, or some other traumatic event caused by another, then you have the right to seek financial compensation. Read on to learn more about spinal cord injuries from a legal perspective, including the types of compensation you can receive. Then, consider contacting a local Greenville spinal cord injury attorney right away.
Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), almost 18,000 Americans suffered a spinal cord injury in 2020. On top of that, there are about 300,000 Americans living with a spinal cord injury.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can occur whenever an accident puts severe trauma or pressure on the spine. Some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Traffic accidents,
- Pedestrian accidents,
- Slip and fall accidents,
- Bicycle accidents, and
- Sporting or boating accidents.
Whatever the cause, spinal cord injuries are almost always serious. In fact, spinal cord injuries require, on average, 11 days of acute care, and 30 days of rehabilitative care.
Typical Physical Effects from Spinal Cord Injuries
A lengthy stay at the hospital is usually just the first step on the road to recovery for those with spinal cord injuries. Sadly, many spinal cord injuries lead to permanent physical effects and impairments. The exact kind of effects vary based on where the spinal injury occurred. The most typical physical symptoms of a spinal cord injury are include the following.
Paraplegia occurs when a person has some degree of paralysis in their legs. Paraplegia can be either partial or complete. People with incomplete or partial paraplegia may have some kind of feeling or control in their legs. Alternatively, they might have some sensation or control in one of their legs, but not the other. Total paraplegia means that the victim has no kind of feeling or function in their legs whatsoever.
A quadriplegic experiences paralysis of both the arms and legs. For those with complete quadriplegia, it is impossible to perform virtually every type of daily activity, including eating, dressing, and bathing. In the worst cases, quadriplegics cannot speak and need a ventilator to breathe. For obvious reasons, a person’s life expectancy is greatly shortened with quadriplegia.
People with spinal cord injuries experience many other symptoms besides paralysis. For example, “phantom” pain can occur in an area with partial or total disability. Other common symptoms include muscle spasms and bizarre reflex responses.
Yet another common symptom is pain around the point of injury and throughout the back. Depending on the kind of injury, the pain can be a burning or stinging pain. Unfortunately, pain caused by a spinal cord injury is often permanent.
If you have a spinal cord injury, one of the reasons you should consult with a Greenville-area spinal cord injuries attorney is that they have experience with people who have similar symptoms. Therefore, they can understand what you’re going through.
Types of Legal Damages for Spinal Cord Injuries
South Carolina law recognizes several distinct kinds of damages for personal injury claims, including those that relate to spinal cord injuries.
Economic damages are designed to compensate the plaintiff for all their tangible monetary losses. Economic damages are objective. Moreover, they can (and should) be verified independently through various kinds of evidence. Examples of economic damages include:
- Medical expenses—including ER visits, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and prescriptions);
- Property damage—such as damage to a car or bicycle; and
- Lost income—including lost wages caused by missing work and the loss of future promotions because of your injury.
To help you prove your economic damages in court, a Greenville spinal cord injury lawyer will need you to produce copies of medical bills, insurance claims, and leave slips.
Non-economic damages are designed to compensate the plaintiff for more abstract losses. They tend to be subjective in nature and hard to measure. Here are a few examples of non-economic damages:
- Emotional distress,
- Physical disfigurement,
- Loss of life enjoyment,
- Mental trauma, and
- Physical pain and suffering.
Because spinal cord injuries often produce permanent physical effects, establishing non-economic damages is essential for recovering the right amount of compensation. At the same time, they are more difficult to establish, which means you should get legal help. To learn more about non-economic damages, reach out to a Greenville-based spinal cord injury attorney.
The last major kind of damages in South Carolina is punitive damages. As the name suggests, these damages focus on punishing the defendant rather than helping the plaintiff. Courts do not award punitive damages in most cases. Rather, they award punitive damages when the defendant recklessly or intentionally causes injury to another party.
Why You Need a Greenville Spinal Cord Injuries Lawyer
There are many reasons to consult a local spinal cord injuries attorney.
First, a local attorney with experience in spinal cord injury cases knows how to present your claim properly. Because they focus on this particular kind of case, they know what issues to look for and how to to maximize your damages.
Second, Greenville spinal cord injury lawyers understand that spinal cord injuries are more permanent than other injuries. This means they understand that you will need compensation for the rest of your life. With that knowledge in mind, they can hire expert medical witnesses to discuss the severity of your injuries.
Finally, a qualified spinal cord injury attorney knows how to negotiate on your behalf with third parties, such as insurance companies and your employer. They can help ensure that your rights are respected.
It’s completely natural to want to rest and heal after suffering a spinal cord injury. However, you must act quickly because South Carolina law limits the amount of time you have to file a claim in court. Specifically, you have only three years from the date of the accident to file a suit. After that time passes, you will not be able to receive compensation for your losses, even if you have a good case.
Let the Peace Law Firm Give You a Hand Up Today
We recognize that there are many Greenville spinal cord injury attorneys that you can visit. However, John Peace stands out from the crowd. He has practiced law in front of various state and federal courts for over 20 years. That means that he has the experience that you need to win your case. On top of that, he truly cares about his clients. As our testimonials reveal, treating you like family and helping you win are our two top priorities. Lastly, we operate on a contingency basis, which means that you will need to pay us only if you win.
Even if you are still on the fence about hiring a lawyer, contact us today. All our initial consultations are free. Let us help you get your life back on track.