Spinal Cord Injury

Pre-Settlement Funding: Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit

 

Spinal cord injuries can result when there is trauma to the spine due to an accident or other serious incident. Oftentimes, these injuries can affect a person’s mobility and forever change their lives, depending on the level of their injury. Spinal cord injuries are often classified as either incomplete or complete. In a case of an incomplete spinal cord injury, an accident victim may still have some sensation and mobility in the affected part of their body. A complete spinal cord injury, on the other hand, defines an injury in which the victim loses all feeling and mobility in the affected area.

Spinal cord injuries can result from:

  • Slip and fall incidents
  • Car accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Acts of violence
  • Sports-related accident

According to data from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, there are approximately 17,500 new cases of spinal cord injuries every year. However, this does not take into account the injuries that prove to be fatal at the scene of the accident. Additionally, estimates show that there are approximately 285,000 individuals in the United States today living with a spinal cord injury.

Common Spinal Cord Injuries

 

Some of the common types of spinal cord injuries which may result from an accident include, but not limited to:

  • Bulging disc in back – When the discs in the spine become compressed, it can lead to pain and challenges with mobility.
  • Herniated disc in back – This is when the outer covering of the disc has a hole or tear putting pressure on nearby nerves. It is generally considered more severe than a bulging disc.
  • Fractured vertebrae – A fractured vertebrae can vary depending on the severity and location of the fracture.  Symptoms can include tingling, numbness, pain in the back or neck, uncontrolled muscle spasms and more.
  • Thoracic spine injury – This occurs when a bone in the spine collapses and can also be referred to as a vertebral compression fracture.
  • Cervical spine injury – This can be serious as it is an injury to the C5 vertebrae and higher which can be fatal.
  • Lumbar spine injury – This spinal cord injury impacts the lumbar vertebra (L1-L5) and can result in loss of function in the hips and legs.
  • Brown-Sequard Syndrome – While rare, this can occur from trauma resulting from an accident, such as a puncture wound to the back, and is characterized by weakness or paralysis on one side of the body.
  • Central Cord Syndrome – The symptoms of this injury include impairment in the arms and hands and to a lesser extent in the legs.

In severe spinal cord injuries, quadriplegia (also known as tetraplegia) or paraplegia may result. There are also different classifications of quadriplegia and paraplegia:

  • Complete paraplegia
  • Incomplete paraplegia
  • Complete quadriplegia
  • Incomplete quadriplegia

Someone with paraplegia is paralyzed in both legs, whereas someone with quadriplegia is paralyzed in both arms and legs. Additionally, those who sustain spinal cord injuries typically have lower life expectancies as a direct result of their injuries. These devastating injuries can undeniably affect a person’s quality of life, and depending on what that person did for a living prior to the injury, may make it difficult (or impossible) to return to work. In cases where a negligent individual is responsible for someone else’s spinal cord injury, the victim may choose to seek monetary compensation by pursuing a personal injury lawsuit.

Understanding Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries

With the complexity of spinal cord injuries it is important to have a thorough understanding and share with your legal counsel the extent of your injury.  Depending on the type of accident that occurred which caused your spinal cord injury you could be experiencing a multitude of symptoms.  Consider a few of the following symptoms of spinal cord injuries:

  • Loss of movement in any capacity
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Exaggerated reflexes
  • Stinging sensation

It is important to ensure that you have a complete team of medical professionals and legal guidance when it comes to understanding your symptoms.  The symptoms shared here are merely a sample of what you could be experiencing and you deserve compensation for the full extent of the symptoms you are enduring.

What is the Average Settlement for a Spinal Cord Injury?

In law, as in medicine, trying to apply a “one size fits all” approach to clients doesn’t work.  Each spinal cord injury case is someone’s life that has been permanently impacted in one or many ways.  In determining a potential settlement consider the following factors that can be used to determine a settlement:

  • Loss of future earnings potential
  • Was gross negligence involved?
  • What is the current amount of the medical bills?
  • What is the cost of the future healthcare needs?
  • Are home modifications required for handicap accessibility?

The uniqueness of each case, along with the questions above, means that settlement amounts can vary widely but depending on the extent of injuries the case could be worth $1 million or more.

What to do After a Spinal Cord Injury?

There is no denying that a spinal cord injury is traumatic and life changing.  The extent of the injury can feel overwhelming and it might be difficult to figure out what to do next.  Consider the following key items to focus on after a spinal cord injury:

  • Focus on your Recovery – Recovery in the case of a spinal cord injury often means adjusting to a new state of “normal”.  After spending time in a hospital recovery often means days with up to 3 hours of rehabilitation.  Rehabilitation can include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and even counseling.  With around 20-30% of those who have a spinal cord injury also showing some signs of depression, counseling can be a key component of the treatment plan.
  • Document/Track all of your medical expenses – As challenging as it can be it is important to document all of the expenses related to your injury.  Be thorough and include the days/times of appointments, how many miles you had to drive to get there, if someone took you to your appointment, cost of your prescriptions, co-pay amounts, etc.
  • Understand timelines and your options for compensation – In order to get to a settlement discussion, you need to have a doctor understand the extent of the spinal cord injury you have suffered.  In some cases, it could take 6 months to simply understand the level and complexity of the injury.  With an average injury claim settling in about 18-months, catastrophic injuries, such as spinal cord cases, can take longer due to their complexity.  Cases requiring such a long time to settle can be challenging on an individual’s finances, making pre-settlement funding a great option to help during these challenging times.

Did you or a loved one sustain a spinal cord injury in an accident as the direct result of another’s negligence? If so, you may be waiting on monetary compensation from a spinal cord injury lawsuit. If you’re still waiting for your lawsuit to settle, you may have other options to receive money sooner.

At USClaims, we offer pre-settlement funding, if a case is qualified for pre-settlement funding then we would purchase a portion of the proceeds of the anticipated court judgment or settlement for some cash now. USClaims only gets paid if a case is won or has reached a settlement! Apply now or call us today at 1-877-USCLAIMS to learn more.

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