A Georgia Lawyer Helping Spinal Cord Injury Victims Recover Compensation
Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are among the most serious injuries people can sustain. In some cases, victims are left paralyzed with little hope of recovery. Even in less serious cases, people who sustain spinal cord injuries often deal with serious issues like pain, loss of range of motion, numbness, and weakness in parts of their body.
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury, it’s possible that you are entitled to significant compensation for your accident-related losses. For this reason, it’s imperative that you speak to an experienced lawyer about your options as soon as you can. It’s important to understand that the early involvement of a lawyer will maximize your chances of obtaining the compensation to which Georgia law entitles you. To schedule a free case evaluation with a spinal cord injury lawyer in Gwinnett County, call our office today at (404) 418-8244.
Spinal Cord Injury Basics
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that allows your brain to send and receive nerve signals to and from the rest of your body. When it is injured, it can interfere with the transmission of these signals, potentially resulting in serious problems. Doctors group SCIs into two broad categories:
- Incomplete – In an incomplete spinal cord injury, there is still some function and feeling below the site of the injury.
- Complete – In an incomplete spinal cord injury, there is no function or feeling below the site of the injury.
Spinal cord injuries are often the result of trauma to the spinal cord itself or the spinal column, which consists of the vertebrae, discs, and muscles and tendons that surround it. Common causes of spinal cord injuries include motor vehicle accidents, pool accidents, bicycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and sports accidents.
Spinal Injuries Can Result in a Lifetime of Losses
It’s important to understand that spinal cord injuries often leave victims with permanent medical problems, including total paralysis below the site of the injury. As a result, a spinal cord injury can profoundly affect the rest of your life and result in untold economic and non-economic losses. In fact, according to the Dana and Christopher Reeve Foundation, the estimated lifetime cost for a 25-year-old with high tetraplegia (paralysis below the C1-C4 vertebrae), is $4,724,181.
Of course, this is to say nothing of the non-economic losses that SCI victims experience. When you lose the ability to use your use your body the way you used to, your life will never be the same. You may be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of your life and unable to engage in any of the activities that you once did. You may become incontinent and unable to engage in sexual intimacy ever again. You may develop health conditions that are a result of not being able to engage in physical activity. When you consider these and the other ways that a spinal cord can affect you, it’s easy to see how the real costs of a spinal cord injury go far beyond the costs of medical treatment.
Why You Need a Spinal Injury Lawyer on Your Side
Many spinal cord injury cases involve settlements or awards well into the millions of dollars. Which this kind of money on the line, insurance companies are highly incentivized to minimize payouts and even completely deny claims whenever possible. It’s absolutely critical that spinal cord victims obtain the representation of an experienced, aggressive lawyer who is familiar with insurance company tactics. These tactics can include the following:
- Requesting overbroad medical record authorizations in an effort to find something in your past that could qualify as a “pre-existing condition.”
- Unreasonable delays in processing claims
- Waiting for medical bills to pile up before making a settlement offer, knowing that the victim is experiencing financial pressure
- Making unreasonably low settlement offers
- Contacting victims with a settlement offer as soon as possible after an accident, hoping that they have not yet retained an attorney and learned the actual value of their cases
- Pressuring victims to provide a recorded statement about their accident, hoping that they will say something that indicates that their accident was partially or even completely their fault
When you retain an attorney, he or she will handle all communications with the insurance company on your behalf. In addition, your lawyer will obtain evidence of your losses—including those that will occur in the future—in an effort to force the insurance company to adequately compensate you. Importantly, in spinal cord injury cases, obtaining evidence of future medical expenses and lost income requires the assistance of experts who will take into account factors like the rising costs of medical care, inflation, career advancement, and regular raises to arrive at an accurate figure of your actual damages. Without this type of evidence, it can be extremely difficult for victims to obtain the compensation they deserve.
Protecting Your Rights After a Spinal Cord Injury
Protect your legal rights after a spinal cord injury by taking the following steps:
- Keep detailed notes about the way in which your injury is affecting you. Make notes about pain, feelings of depression, an inability to do certain tasks, sleep problems, and social functions that you skip because of your injuries, and anything else that you feel is relevant.
- Do NOT provide the insurance company with a recorded statement
- Do NOT accept any money from either the insurance company or the person that caused your accident or his or her employer
- Call an attorney as soon as you can. Waiting to start your claim could hurt your chances of recovering compensation. In fact, if you wait too long, your claim could be completely barred.
Call Brauns Law Today to Speak With a Gwinnett County Spinal Cord Injuries Lawyer
At Brauns Law, we are dedicated to representing the rights of individuals that have suffered spinal injuries in preventable accidents. We offer completely free, no-obligation consultations and will never collect legal fees unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf. To schedule your free consultation with attorney David Brauns, call our office today at (404) 418-8244 or contact us online.