Every year, over 17,000 new spinal cord injury cases occur in the United States. Currently, between 249,000 and 363,000 people live with a spinal cord injury in the United States. Spinal cord injuries can occur in various types of accidents, and vehicular accidents cause the majority of spinal cord injuries. A significant percentage of spinal cord injuries result in some type of paralysis, changing the victim’s life forever.
If you or your loved one have experienced a spinal cord injury in Virginia, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Spinal cord injury victims have a legal right to sue the person or company whose negligence caused their injury. The sooner you consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer, the better. Contact the spinal cord injury lawyers at Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC today to schedule your free initial consultation.
What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?
Our spinal cords are responsible for sending messages between our brain and bodies and vice versa. Our spinal columns protect a bundle of nerves that run along our spinal column. When we experience an accident or a significant amount of force on our back, the spinal vertebrae can dislocate or fracture and cause irreparable damage to a person’s spinal cord.
Every type of these injuries is unique, and each patient will have a different outcome. In some cases, when victims receive quick medical treatment, the long-term effects can be mitigated. In other cases, doctors cannot stop paralysis from occurring, and the victim will experience the life-altering complications associated with it.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Doctors classify spinal cord injuries as traumatic or non-traumatic. Non-traumatic spinal cord injuries are caused by other health conditions, such as disc degeneration, arthritis, or inflammation. Traumatic spinal cord injuries occur when the victim experiences a sudden, forceful blow to the spine that dislocates, compresses, or fractures one or more vertebrae. In other cases, an external object can penetrate the victim’s body and sever the spinal nerve bundle, causing a traumatic injury.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Unfortunately, many spinal cord injuries are entirely preventable. Every year, thousands of Americans experience spinal cord injuries caused by another person’s negligence or recklessness. At Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC, we have successfully obtained compensation in many different spinal cord injury cases. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center at UAB, the most common causes of spinal cord injuries in the United States are as follows:
- Vehicular accidents: 39.3%
- Falls: 31.8%
- Violence, mainly gunshot wounds: 13.5%
- Recreation/sports activities: 8.0%
- Surgical or medical: 4.1%
- Other 3.1%
Proving Liability in a Virginia Spinal Cord Injury Case
Spinal cord injury victims in Virginia may have a right to file a personal injury lawsuit. As a plaintiff, the injured person needs to prove that another person’s or company’s negligence caused the accident that resulted in their spinal cord injury. Suppose someone experiences a spinal cord injury in a car accident. In that case, the victim would need to prove that another driver’s negligent driving caused the car accident that resulted in his or her injury.
Negligence happens when someone reaches his or her duty to act reasonably under the circumstances. The plaintiff must show that the defendant owed him or her a duty of reasonable care. Suppose the victim became injured after a slip and fall accident in a store. In that case, the store owner owed the victim a duty to keep his or her property reasonably safe and free from danger. The person who brings the claim must use evidence to prove that the defendant’s negligence caused his or her injuries.
The Statute of Limitations for Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuits in Virginia
Virginia imposes a statute of limitations on legal claims. The statute of limitations is the timeframe in which a plaintiff must file a lawsuit after becoming injured. In most cases, injury victims have two years from the date they became injured to file a personal injury lawsuit. There are a few rare exceptions to this role, but it’s important that you discussed your case with an attorney as soon as possible, so you don’t miss the deadline for filing your lawsuit.
Living with a spinal cord injury can be costly, especially if you experience paralysis, and most injury victims need to spend over a month in the hospital and a rehabilitation center. Many of our clients are unable to work as they continue the rehabilitation process. Spinal cord injuries can cost well over 2 million dollars to treat during the victim’s lifetime.
Many injury victims require significant medical assistance. No amount of money can fully compensate a victim. However, successful plaintiffs are entitled to compensation that can help offset the financial costs associated with spinal cord injuries, such as:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
The Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer
Discussing your case with an experienced attorney is crucial. Your attorney will be able to review your case carefully and identify who is at fault for your injuries. If you plan to submit an insurance claim for compensation, your attorney can negotiate with the insurance company and ensure they give you a fair settlement offer. Should your case proceed to trial, your attorney will develop your legal strategy and present evidence in court on your behalf.
Contact a Fairfax County Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Today
The skilled personal injury lawyers at Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC have a proven track record of successfully obtaining spinal cord injury victims’ compensation. We understand how difficult it can be for a client to adjust to the new normal living with a spinal cord injury while facing mountain medical bills. Our legal team works tirelessly on behalf of our clients as we advocate for their right to compensation.