A spinal cord injury or SCI is a type of injury that may easily have long-term consequences. While most injuries, such as broken bones or damaged muscles, can have lingering effects, spinal cord injuries are frequently permanent and may cause life-long damage. Because of this, SCIs are often evaluated, in terms of monetary damages, as if they will last for the rest of the victim’s life. It is very important for the victim of a spinal cord injury to work with an attorney who understands how to calculate these types of damages accurately and to ensure that the victim gets all of the compensation to which he or she is entitled.
Spinal Cord Injury – A Lifetime of Impact
Spinal cord injuries are not simple, and the monetary damages they entail can be difficult to calculate properly. An attorney assessing a spinal cord injury must look not only at the immediate damages but also at the probable consequences over a lifetime.
For example, suppose that a healthy 35-year-old man with a family is tragically injured in an automobile accident. He suffers a spinal cord injury and needs compensation to help pay for his own and his family’s needs now and in the future. How would an attorney estimate these damages to be sure that the client was treated fairly?
First, the attorney must ascertain the type of SCI the victim has suffered. In simple terms, spinal cord injuries are of four types:
- This type of SCI affects only the “tailbone” area and is considered the least serious of any type of spinal cord injury. While these injuries can be very serious, the victim is most likely to be able to walk and lead a somewhat normal life with a sacral injury.
- This type of injury affects the lower part of the spine and often leaves victims with a lifetime need for a walker, braces or even a wheelchair. In most lumbar injuries, the lower half of the body is primarily affected, but the victim can often continue normal functions above the waist.
- These types of SCIs involve the upper region of the back and often affect the hands and arms. These types of injuries may leave the victim unable to perform various “hands-on” tasks such as tying shoes or working on a computer. People who work with their hands can be greatly impacted by such an injury, even if they are still able to walk.
- A cervical SCI is usually the most devastating of all types and often affects the entire body. The victim may be unable to walk or perform any functions and will need permanent, lifelong care.
Depending on the level of SCI, the attorney must now calculate a monetary amount owed to the victim by the liable party. This calculation must take into account all of the medical care, services, and support the victim and his family will need for the next 35 to 40 years, while also adding in the right amount to compensate the victim and family for pain and suffering caused by this accident. The attorney may also want to include amounts for loss of job opportunities and other intangible costs that represent the true impact of this type of injury on the victim’s life.
At Barber & Associates, we have been working with spinal cord injury victims for many years. We have developed strategies and methods that are proven to work and have the settlement history to show for it. Our clients routinely collect much more for their lifetime injuries than they would if they accepted an insurance company’s initial offer. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you recover the right and fair amount of compensation for your spinal cord injury.