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What compensation can be recovered for a spinal cord injury?


Spinal cord injuries are often life-changing. Damage to the spinal cord or the nerves in the spinal canal can result in loss of strength and sensation below the level where the injury occurred. In cases of severe injury this loss can be complete, resulting in paralysis. Bodily functions such as bladder and bowel control can also be affected.

Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of injury to the spinal cord. Automobile and motorcycle accidents cause more than one-third of spinal cord injuries annually. Falls and sports injuries are other leading causes.

A person who has suffered a spinal cord injury caused by a negligent or distracted driver has a legal right to compensation. The injured party can bring a personal injury lawsuit and seek damages for past and future lost income, as well as rehabilitation costs and medical expenses. Damages can also be recovered for mental and physical pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

The costs of medical treatment, rehabilitation and physical therapy following an injury to the spinal cord can be very high. For this reason it is critical to recover as much compensation as possible through the legal system. Proving the full extent of damages in a spinal cord injury case requires thorough preparation. Medical experts can be called to testify about future medical expenses and rehabilitation costs. Vocational experts can present detailed calculations of the victim's loss of future earnings. An experienced personal injury trial lawyer will make sure every item of recoverable damages is presented to the jury.

Source: mayoclinic.org, "Spinal Cord Injury," accessed Aug. 7, 2016

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