If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident and have suffered from a spinal cord injury, you need aggressive help from an experienced Chicago spinal cord injury attorney. At Duncan Law Group, we can help.
Recover compensation for a serious spinal cord injury by getting in touch with our attorneys. Contact us at Duncan Law Group for a consultation.
The spinal cord is responsible for many of the regular bodily functions, such as breathing, maintaining temperature, bladder control, and sexual functioning. This means that a spinal cord injury can have far-reaching and life-altering effects. A spinal cord injury is any harm caused to the spinal cord that results in some loss of motor control and sensations, including paralysis.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 12,000 and 20,000 people suffer a spinal cord injury (SCI) every year, joining the ranks of approximately 200,000 people throughout the United States who currently live with this type of injury.
The spinal cord is a critical structure that is responsible for helping your brain and body communicate with each other. It is a long bundle of nerves that extends from your lower back all the way up to the lower part of your brain.
There are three main parts of the spinal cord: the cervical or neck region; the thoracic or chest region; and the lumbar or lower back region. The spinal cord is protected by three layers of tissue and the vertebral column, which are the bones along the spine. The spinal column begins at the base of the skull and goes down to the sacrum, which is a bone in the pelvic region.
If you believe that you qualify for a spinal cord injury lawsuit, you need a lawyer on your side. These high-value claims can be highly complex and challenging to prove, and you may face tough opposition from an insurance company or defense attorney.
A Chicago spinal cord injury lawyer can protect your best interests and deliver several important benefits to your case, such as the following:
If you plan on filing a spinal cord injury lawsuit, you may wonder how much compensation you can expect to receive. In your claim, you are eligible to recover a settlement for the physical, emotional, and financial damages that you experienced. The value of your final award will depend on your individual losses.
In Illinois personal injury claims, there are two categories of damages that you can claim: economic and non-economic. In certain circumstances, you could also claim a third category of compensation known as punitive damages.
Economic damages involve the financial losses that you sustained due to your accident and resulting spinal cord damage. Caring for yourself after this type of injury can be very expensive, but by filing a lawsuit, you could recover the compensation that you need to pay for your past and future needs.
Examples of economic damages in spinal cord injury claims include the following:
Calculating economic damages is relatively straightforward and usually relies on documents like receipts, bills, medical records, and paystubs. For future costs, your spinal injury lawyer can speak to expert witnesses who can help calculate your long-term expenses.
In addition to financial losses, you can sustain significant physical and emotional trauma due to a spinal cord injury. Through an Illinois personal injury lawsuit, you have the right to recover non-economic damages for the pain and suffering that you experienced.
Common types of non-economic damages include the following:
Non-economic damages are intangible and can be difficult to calculate. Your attorney can leverage common formulas used by insurance companies to estimate this portion of your award.
In certain circumstances, you may also claim punitive damages in a spinal cord injury lawsuit. Unlike economic and non-economic damages, which intend to compensate you for your losses, punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant. Under Illinois law, you can recover punitive damages if the at-fault party’s actions were fraudulent, willful and wanton, or intentional.
For example, if you are hit by a driver in a fit of road rage or if a coworker intentionally pushes you off of a roof, you could likely recover punitive damages in your claim. An attorney at Duncan Law Group can evaluate your claim and determine your eligibility.
Most spinal cord injuries fall into one of two categories: complete or incomplete. When a person experiences a complete spinal cord injury, he or she sustains permanent damage to the affected area. As a result, he or she can develop tetraplegia or paraplegia and become completely paralyzed below the injury site.
An incomplete spinal cord injury involves partial damage to the spinal cord. Patients may retain some movement and feeling below the injury site. A full recovery is sometimes possible depending on the severity of the injury.
Sufferers of a spinal cord injury have usually suffered some kind of impact to the spine. Automobile accidents are responsible for 46% of spinal cord injuries, followed by slip & fall injuries.
These traffic collisions include:
Other common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
No matter what the cause of a spinal cord injury, the effects can be devastating. Not only will an injury victim face a lifetime with this kind of injury, but their family and other loved ones may need to care for them. In addition, the financial cost of a spinal cord injury and therapeutic treatment can be immense.
The spinal cord is divided into four distinct sections, which include different groups of nerves that control various parts of the body. Medical professionals classify spinal cord injuries into four categories based on the location of the damage: sacral, lumbar, thoracic, and cervical.
The cervical portion of the spine is located at the very top of the spinal cord. Because this part of the spine is the closest to the brain and affects a larger part of the body, cervical spinal cord injuries are often very severe. Many patients develop tetraplegia, which is the loss or limitation of feeling and movement below the neck.
Thoracic spine injuries occur in the upper and middle part of the back. Damage to this area typically results in paraplegia, or paralysis that affects the legs and lower body.
The lumbar spine protects the lowest portion of the spinal cord below the thoracic spine. Injuries to the lumbar area will usually result in loss of function in the hips and the legs.
The sacrum is the lowest part of the spine, extending from below the lumbar spine to just above the tailbone. The sacrum does not technically contain any spinal cord, but damage to this area mimics similar injuries. Generally, a sacral spinal cord injury will result in some loss of feeling and function in the hips and legs.
The medical expenses for treatment of an SCI alone can be staggering, with the CDC estimating annual costs ranging from $15,000 to $30,000 and lifetimes expenses from $500,000 to $3 million. Additionally, a spinal cord injury victim is often rendered partially or totally disabled with a condition such as paraplegia or quadriplegia, with the result that he or she may be unable to work and earn a viable income.
Working with a lawyer can have an impact on your case. Our law firm can help you recover the compensation you need to offset these costs. The damages for a spinal cord injury are intended to cover the losses caused by the injury, such as medical bills, pain and suffering, ongoing health care, physical therapy, property damage, rehabilitation, the cost of assistive devices, and modifications to your home.
Whatever the cause of your spinal cord injury, if it is the result of another person’s careless, reckless, or otherwise negligent actions, you have a right to demand financial compensation for the enormous economic consequences of such a severe and catastrophic injury.
Don’t go uncompensated for the consequences of your spinal damage. Your life may never be the same again, but with the help of Chicago spinal cord injury attorneys from Duncan Law Group, you may be able to recover an insurance settlement or jury verdict to pay for your losses and help you move on from the accident. We want to hold negligent parties accountable.
Duncan and our team are willing to travel the homes of those whose spinal cord injuries make it difficult or impossible to come to our firm. Take the first step toward the money you deserve and call Duncan Law Group now at (312) 202-3283 to speak with an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer in Chicago.