Dealing with a spinal cord injury suffered in an accident is challenging. Adapting to a new way of doing things is hard, but people can and do live rich, full lives after sustaining a spinal cord injury. However, getting the support you need is expensive, and insurance might not cover everything. Seeking damages from the parties whose negligence caused the accident that led to your or your loved one’s spinal injury could be essential.
Speaking with a Portland spinal cord injury lawyer about your legal options might bring you some clarity. A skilled catastrophic injury attorney could help you recover damages to pay for ongoing care and rehabilitation needs, supplement your or your loved one’s income, and provide compensation for all your family has lost due to a spinal cord injury.
How Long after a Spinal Injury Should Someone Call an Attorney?
When someone experiences a life-changing spinal cord injury, they and their family might be overwhelmed with grief, worry, and confusion. Talking to a lawyer might be the last thing on their minds.
However, an injured person and their loved ones can benefit greatly from having legal representation during the first weeks and months after a severe backbone injury. Insurance companies will be in touch soon after the accident, trying to encourage the injured person to enter into a quick settlement agreement. These professionals are persuasive and might assert that signing an agreement immediately is in the injured person’s best interest.
Agreeing to a settlement before the damages that an injured person suffered are clear is foolhardy. It could take several months to determine how much movement and function a person with a spinal cord injury will recover. A Portland spinal injury attorney could handle all communication with insurance companies to prevent them from pressuring a family into a hasty decision.
Proving Negligence for a Spinal Cord Injury
Whenever an injured person seeks damages from another party, they must prove the other party was negligent. Negligence means failing to use reasonable caution to protect others, resulting in an otherwise preventable injury.
Proving negligence depends on the facts of the case, because the degree of caution that is reasonable under the circumstances varies. For example, people who supervise children must exercise a high degree of caution, because children do not have the maturity to evaluate and avoid risk. Common carriers like buses and trucks have the legal obligation to exercise the “utmost caution” under federal law. Healthcare professionals must provide treatment in accordance with the prevailing medical standards among similarly trained professionals in the area.
A Portland accident attorney could investigate the incident that caused a spinal cord injury to identify potentially negligent parties and gather evidence against them. Spinal injuries are expensive to treat and to live with. A settlement is more likely to fully address the injured person’s needs if several parties contribute to it.
Recoverable Damages in Portland
Damages awarded in a successful civil lawsuit aim to bring a plaintiff to the state they were in prior to their injury. While that isn’t always possible for victims of spinal cord injuries, compensation can help cover certain unexpected expenses related to the injury. In addition to medical treatment, future care, and the injured person’s lost wages, damages might include:
- Diminished future earning opportunities
- Mental health care
- Incidental expenses like parking, meals, and mileage to access treatment or medical support
- Renovations to make a home more accessible
- Adaptations to an existing vehicle or a new vehicle to transport the injured person
- Durable medical equipment
- Costs of hiring help to do the household tasks that the injured person can no longer perform
- Family caregiver’s lost wages and reduced future earnings, or the cost of a hired caregiver
Damages could also compensate for disfigurement, disability, embarrassment, pain, inability to participate in activities the injured person once enjoyed, and other subjective consequences of the injury. In addition, an injured person’s spouse could seek damages for the loss of their partner’s support and intimacy.
If an injured person’s conduct contributed to the accident or their spinal cord injury, they might not be able to collect all their damages. Maine Revised Statutes §156 says that a negligent plaintiff can collect damages, minus a portion that represents their degree of responsibility. An experienced Portland attorney could help prove that the other parties bear most of the liability in a spinal damage case.
Call a Portland Spinal Cord Injury Attorney for Help
A Portland spinal cord injury lawyer could step in right away and start dealing with insurance companies, creditors, and other pressing concerns, freeing you and your family to focus on recovery and the future. Reach out as soon as possible to bring an experienced and compassionate advocate onto your team.