Every year, thousands of people suffer from serious spinal cord damage resulting from automotive accidents. Tragically, many of these injuries are fatal, and those who do survive often face expensive medical treatments and a lifetime of limited mobility.
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistics Center estimates that spinal cord injury patients pay around $74,509 annually for medical treatments and related expenses, and these expenses don’t accumulate exclusively in the first year of a victim’s accident — many who suffer from these injuries undergo ongoing medical treatments throughout their lives.
These debilitating injuries often keep people from earning a living wage, and they can even leave a toll on a victim’s emotional and mental health and decrease their quality of life. Surviving a spinal cord injury even reduces your life expectancy.
If you suffered from a spinal cord injury after a wreck caused by another driver, you need to file a claim or lawsuit in order to recover compensation. Otherwise, you could end up paying for the costly bills yourself. Additionally, you need to hold the negligent driver accountable for your other damages, such as pain and suffering, lost wages, and loss of future earnings.
Complete and Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries
After suffering from a car accident, you could suffer from one of two types of spinal cord injuries: complete or incomplete.
Incomplete spinal cord injuries mean that a victim still has partial function between the brain and body, meaning that they won’t suffer from complete paralysis. Those who suffer from this type of spinal cord injury can usually recover a great deal of functionality in their legs and other affected body parts, but many still struggle with permanent mobility issues and require the assistance of walking devices.
A complete spinal cord injury means that a victim suffers from total paralysis. The paralysis types are quadriplegia, meaning the loss of function of all limbs, and paraplegia, meaning the loss of function below the waste. Quadriplegia and paraplegia impact almost every aspect of victims’ lives.
Car accident victims who suffer from complete spinal cord injuries are especially at risk of being unable to make a living wage and will face exorbitant medical bills, but those with incomplete spinal cord injuries should also file a claim or lawsuit.
Spinal Cord Injury Symptoms
If you’re unsure whether or not you’ve suffered from a spinal cord injury, you should be on the lookout for symptoms, including:
- Spasms or exaggerated reflexes
- Loss of mobility
- Losing control over your bowels or bladder
- Trouble breathing
- Coughing up secretions
- Losing the ability to feel certain sensations, such as heat, cold, and physical touch
- Altered sensations
- Pain or stinging sensations
- Change in sexual functions
In the event that you suffer from any of these symptoms after a wreck, you need to seek medical attention immediately.
There also emergency symptoms you may experience that could indicate a potentially life-threatening or paralyzing spinal cord injury, including:
- Significant pain or pressure in the head, neck, or back
- Labored breathing
- Losing body fluids
- Trouble walking
- Trouble with balance
- Complete loss of function in the arms or legs
- Twisted neck or back
- Numbness or tingling in your feet, toes, hands, or fingers
- Losing sensation in your feet, toes, hands, or fingers
If you experience any of these symptoms immediately after a wreck, you should seek emergency medical services.
Recovering Compensation for a Spinal Cord Injury
If you suffered from an injury after a car accident and need to file a claim or lawsuit to recover money for medical bills and other damages, you’ll need to prove two things:
- The party you’re filing against is at fault.
- You suffered damages as a direct result of the negligent party’s actions.
When it comes to proving that another driver is at fault for your wreck, you need to gather critical evidence indicating their negligence at the wheel. This can include:
- Eyewitness testimonies
- The police’s accident report
- Photos and videos of the wreck’s aftermath
- Security, dashboard, and traffic camera footage that recorded the wreck
- Accident reconstruction experts
Some forms of evidence will be challenging to get on your own, such as camera footage. To obtain private security or traffic camera footage, you’ll need to file a subpoena, a difficult and complicated task for most people. Instead, you can hire a car accident injury attorney who can help you obtain all potential evidence, including camera footage. They can also help with gathering eyewitness testimonies and obtaining the police accident report.
When it comes to proving that you suffered damages, you’ll need
- All medical records
- Doctor’s notes
- Medical bills and receipts
- Proof that you missed work
- Witnesses who can testify that the injury impacted your daily life
- Medical expert testimony
- A personal journal for documenting your mental and emotional well-being and any new limitations caused by your spinal cord injury
What Damages Can I Receive for a Spinal Cord Injury?
The compensation that you can recover after a spinal cord injury will depend on the damages that you suffered. For example, those with spinal cord injuries often require costly medical expenses including doctor’s visits, medications, surgeries, and physical therapy.
When you prove your case or claim, the negligent party or their insurance will be liable for your past and future medical bills. They may also be liable for the pain and suffering that you experienced as well as your lost wages and future earnings.
Every spinal cord injury case is different and compensation will depend on your damages, but spinal cord injury victims often recover tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, and some are even able to recover over a million dollars.
Maximize Your Damages By Contacting an Indiana Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
You have a far greater likelihood of proving your spinal cord injury case when you enlist the services of a personal injury attorney. A lawyer will also help you maximize the amount of compensation that you can recover for your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and loss of future earnings.
For skilled Indiana car accident personal injury attorneys, contact Flores Law Group. We’ll help you get the most compensation possible for your spinal cord injury. Call us today at 317-900-2556.