How Much is My Spinal Cord Injury Worth in a Lawsuit?

How Much is My Spinal Cord Injury Worth in a Lawsuit?

A spinal cord injury is one of the most severe effects of an accident that you can suffer. Here, sudden trauma has impacted the spinal cord, which sends messages from the brain to the rest of the body. The area below where the spinal cord suffered an injury cannot receive these messages to carry out movement. A spinal cord injury can affect the rest of your life, and at a bare minimum, you are facing a long road ahead until you can recover to the fullest extent possible.

After an injury, your costs will escalate quickly. Your medical care will be astronomically expensive, and there will be other costs associated with your injury. If you have been in an accident, your thoughts may turn to making the person or company responsible for what happened pay for your injuries. If you prove they were to blame for the accident, they will legally need to compensate you. First, you will deal with the insurance companies that have written the policy because they will write the actual check up to the policy limit amount. This is where a car accident lawyer can step in to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve and navigate the legal complexities on your behalf.

There Are Very High Stakes in a Spinal Cord Injury Case

Man experiencing spinal discomfort or back pain.

Spinal injuries can have severe effects, with one of the most devastating being paralysis. When the spinal cord is damaged because of an accident, it can lead to a loss of sensory and motor function below the site of the injury.

Complete spinal injuries can cause a loss of all function below the injury level, while incomplete spinal injuries allow for you to keep some degree of motor or sensory function, but not all. In either case, life can be totally different.

In complete spinal injuries with paralysis, the loss is permanent and you will never be the same. You can lose your independence in many cases. While incomplete spinal injuries offer some hope for recovery, it is not a guarantee. The rehabilitation process is still significant.

You always need an experienced spinal cord injury attorney to handle your case. Spinal cord injury cases are usually worth far more money than the average personal injury case because of the extent of your injuries and costs. Your financial future and ability to afford your costs are on the line with your claim and lawsuit. If you lose or do not get enough money, the rest of your life will be far more complicated. Not only will you have to deal with serious injuries, but you will also be in financial distress. You need to establish your entitlement to money and get everything you deserve for your injuries.

You Must Know How Much Your Case Is Worth Before You File It

Before you can file an insurance claim or lawsuit, you must do your homework because you have the burden of proof to demonstrate your damages. The insurance company will take a very skeptical view of anything you claim, so you need as much documentation as possible to back up what you are saying.

It is difficult to know what any personal injury case is worth before you file your claim, and it is even more complicated when you are dealing with such a severe condition with so much uncertainty. Insurance companies will be in a much better position than you to know the value of your case. Not only will they not share that information with you, but they will also use it to their advantage in settlement negotiations.

How Your Lawyer Learns How Much Your Case Is Worth

You also know the value of your case by hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you. Once you have reached the point of maximum medical improvement, your attorney will work with experts to calculate what you may be due, including the following:

  • Medical experts to understand the extent of your injuries and how they affect you in the present and future
  • Life care planning experts to learn what care you may need and the help that you require with the activities of your daily life
  • Vocational experts who can give an opinion about whether you can do any work and what type of work you can do
  • Economic experts who can explain how costs may change in the future since your settlement will need to pay you for past and future costs

Most spinal injury victims have many effects on their futures, so considering future losses is critical. These calculations can be difficult, but your lawyer can call in their expert witnesses to make sure you seek compensation for your full case value.

You Can Have High Medical Expenses in a Spinal Cord Injury Case

Man frustrated over high medical bill, expressing anger or dissatisfaction with healthcare costs.

Medical expenses are a large part of your spinal cord injury damages. There is a wide range of costs, depending on the type of spinal cord injury you suffered and your age at the time of the injury. Based on the severity of your injury, the immediate costs of care can reach $1 million.

Acute care costs can be hundreds of thousands of dollars, as doctors may seek to stabilize the affected area and perform surgical procedures. Then, you will likely need a lengthy period of inpatient rehabilitation as you either attempt to physically adjust to your new reality or try to regain some strength and motion to the fullest extent possible.

The initial costs may be just a fraction of what you will ultimately spend on medical care. More serious spinal cord injuries can have medical expenses that top $5 million, and even an incomplete spinal cord injury will often have medical costs that are over $1 million.

Other Costs to Care for Your Spinal Cord Injury

Then, you will have several other costs associated with your spinal cord injury. First, you may need to retrofit your home to accommodate your injury. You may need to completely redesign your house and build things like ramps and specialized staircases to allow you to get around your residence. Second, you will need costly medical equipment to help you live with your condition, including adaptive furniture and an expensive wheelchair.

You may also need to pay for home professionals to come and assist you when you need it. Those who have suffered more severe injuries may need care practically around the clock because they cannot care for themselves. The costs of this care add up quickly, and you should also budget for future medical care costs. For example, those who have suffered severe spinal cord injuries often suffer from respiratory issues that require extensive care.

Lost Income from a Spinal Cord Injury

In addition, you may never work again after your injury, and even if you can work, you may be unable to do what you did before. Your settlement or award will compensate you for the lost income that you could have earned had you never suffered an injury in the first place.

You will receive compensation for income you have not earned and will not make in the future.

Here, you can find some significant disagreements with the insurance companies, and they may underestimate what you could have earned if you continued your career path. Your income is not flat, nor is it static. You should get paid for what you would have earned, including annual raises and promotions that you may have received.

How Your Pain and Suffering Damages Are Calculated

Man on couch, experiencing spinal discomfort, seeks relief from osteoporosis-related pain at home.

In a spinal cord injury case, pain and suffering will be a large part of your damages. The effects that your injuries have on you are something for which you will get compensation. Given the severity of a spinal cord injury, you can expect that your pain and suffering damages will be significant and can be several times the amount that your medical bills reach.

Pain and suffering after a spinal cord injury can take on the following forms:

  • Physical discomfort from your injuries
  • Anxiety and depression on account of your physical condition
  • The loss of enjoyment of the life that you had before your accident
  • The emotional distress that you suffered as a result of your accident

Insurance companies will likely multiply your medical bills by a certain number to determine what they offer you for pain and suffering. Depending on the severity of your spinal cord injury, the multiplier may be as high as five. As much as you think this money may be, it is likely nowhere near enough to compensate you. Insurance companies will refuse to hear your story and assign you the same multiplier as any other accident victim. Your situation is unique, and you should get more money than the insurance company offers.

Pain and Suffering Should Compensate You and Not an Average Plaintiff

Your pain and suffering damages should be specific to your situation, and there may be reasons why your injuries have more profoundly impacted you than an average person. You may have already been prone to depression, even before you suffered an injury. Then, the responsible party must pay you for all you have endured.

You need to document your pain and suffering injuries as extensively as possible as soon as you can. Insurance companies will never take the victim’s word for anything, especially when it means that they have to pay you more money. They make subjective elements of your claim far more difficult because they are always trying to find ways not to pay what you deserve.

You Never Have to Take What Insurance Companies Offer

In many respects, your spinal cord injury case is worth the final amount of your settlement check. In other words, you have much control over what your case is worth, and you do not have to accept any settlement offer that does not fully pay you for your injuries. You can continue negotiating compensation with the insurance company or file a lawsuit and proceed to a jury trial. The choice is entirely yours because you are the one who has legal rights.

Your lawyer will review any settlement offer you receive, whether in response to an insurance claim or a lawsuit you have filed. If the offer is insufficient to fully pay you (and chances are it will be), your lawyer will advise you to say no. It is possible to get more money when you fight for it, and an experienced attorney will give you the power and the knowledge to take on the insurance companies. You must hire a lawyer after you have suffered an injury as soon as possible to prepare for the legal process.

Insurance Companies Have Every Reason to Be Afraid of You

Insurance companies often fear going to trial with a seriously injured accident victim. The jury can sympathize with the plaintiff because they are human and see the extent of the injuries. Insurance companies know that their financial damage can be far worse when the jury determines damages. Litigation is your ultimate trump card in a spinal cord injury case because the jury may award you a large sum of money if you can prove fault in your case. Insurance companies are often weary of claimants, even though they act like they have power over you.

You Never Have to Pay a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Upfront

You may be wondering how much legal help will cost you since you are already dealing with steep costs associated with your injuries. You need some good news during this difficult time, and you will be glad to know that you do not have to pay anything out of pocket for your attorney. They will work for you on a contingency basis and get a percentage of your settlement or jury award if you win. If you do not win, you do not pay, a risk your lawyer takes when they accept your case.

Attorney Jordan Lulich
Jordan Lulich, Car Accident Lawyer

Consult a Spinal Injury Lawyer Today

Once your physical condition is stable enough following your injury, do not delay in seeking a free legal consultation with a personal injury attorney. You can learn about your rights and how much your injury lawsuit might be worth.