No one expects the sudden and life-changing consequences of a spinal cord injury. If you suffered a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may have questions about your legal options.
At the law offices of Friedman, Domiano & Smith we offer a free legal consultation to discuss your claim.
Our attorneys have built a reputation for success by recovering millions in compensation on behalf of our clients. Whether through jury trials or negotiating with the insurance companies, our attorneys are prepared to help maximize your recovery.
Do not hesitate to call us after an accident caused by someone else’s negligent actions. There may be a small window of time to protect the value of your claim.
Partner Marco Bocciarelli is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and has been recognized by The National Trial Lawyers Association.
Call 216-621-0070 to schedule a free consultation.
Do I Have a Valid Spinal Cord Injury Case?
A spinal cord injury (SCI) occurs when there is damage to the spinal cord that prevents proper functioning. A severed spinal cord is just one type of SCI where there is a partial or complete loss of movement, sensation or other function below the injury site.
Spinal cord injuries are often very serious and are often caused by one of the following:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Sports injuries
- Construction site accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Medical malpractice
To determine the validity of a spinal cord injury case, our attorneys would need to establish whether your injuries were the result of another party’s negligent actions. To prove a party’s negligence, our attorneys must investigate and prove the following:
- You were owed a duty of care
- There was a breach of that duty
- The breach of duty of care resulted in an accident
- The accident directly resulted in your injuries and other damages
When you contact our firm, we need to assess various details of your situation to determine if you may have a case:
- How your injuries occurred
- Who may be at fault for your injuries
- The extent of your injuries
- Whether you have sought medical attention
Depending on the facts of your claim, our attorneys may have additional questions. Every case is different, and it is difficult to validate a claim without knowing all the facts. It is important to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Call Friedman, Domiano & Smith today at 216-621-0070.
What Compensation May Be Available for a Spinal Cord Injury?
From the high costs of medical bills to home modifications, the damages that result from suffering a spinal cord injury can be overwhelming. If you suffered a spinal cord injury, you may be wondering what kind of compensation you may be able to pursue as a part of your claim.
Our knowledgeable attorneys are prepared to help you pursue compensation for all damages you suffered, which may include:
- Diagnostic testing
- Physical therapy sessions
- Surgical procedures
- Prescription medication
- Rehabilitation services
- Home modifications
- Vehicle modifications
- Ongoing medical treatment
- Occupational therapy
- Lost earning capacity (if you are unable to work in the same capacity as before the injury)
- Lost wages (if you were only temporarily out of work)
- At-home medical care
- Housekeeping services if you are unable to perform some of these tasks yourself
In addition to recovering economic damages, you may also be eligible for compensation for things like:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Lost enjoyment of life
You may be eligible for additional compensation depending on the extent of your damages, how they occurred and who the liable party is.
Should I Hire a Lawyer to Help Me Pursue Compensation for a Spinal Cord Injury?
After an accident that results in a spinal cord injury, it may be in your best interest to work with an attorney. He or she can handle all the legal aspects of your claim while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
An attorney has the resources to thoroughly investigate your claim to determine whose negligence resulted in your damages, too. Once the liable party is identified, an experienced attorney can help build a strong case for compensation.
Attorneys may also be able to help negotiate a settlement with the insurance company to help recover the full cost of your damages. However, when the insurance company refuses to cooperate, having an attorney with courtroom experience to file a lawsuit may also be in your best interest.
At Friedman, Domiano & Smith, our attorneys are prepared to negotiate a settlement or fight the case in court when necessary. Because our firm works on a contingency basis, we do not get paid unless you do. This means our interests align with yours. Unlike the insurance company that is only trying to protect their bottom line.
If you choose to work with our firm, you will have a legal team on your side made up of an attorney, a case manager and a paralegal all working to recover maximum compensation for you.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation: 216-621-0070
What Are the Effects of a Spinal Cord Injury?
The spinal cord is one of the most important parts of the human body. It is also one of the most sensitive. The nerves in the spinal cord control most of our body’s functions. If it is damaged, the results can be permanent and debilitating.
Many spinal cord injury victims may experience long-lasting effects, including:
- Loss of sensation to the senses, such as touch
- Respiratory issues resulting in difficulty breathing
- Pain and weakness in the extremities
- Changes in sexual function, sensitivity and fertility
- Paralysis in all four limbs or lower limbs
- Loss of bladder and/or bowel control
- And more
People who suffer severe spinal injuries may also have a lower life expectancy. Mortality rates for the first year after a spinal cord injury are extremely high and only about 60 percent of victims are expected to survive immediately after suffering a spinal cord injury.
In addition to the physical disabilities created by a spinal cord injury, survivors may also face emotional trauma, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety.
The costs associated with spinal cord injuries can also be extremely high. On average, medical expenses can cost up to $500,000 for the first year after the injury, and an additional $70,000 per year after that.
If the injury is severe enough to force the victim out of a job, the debt incurred can be astronomical, especially since most people have access to health insurance through their employers. This means spinal cord injury victims may be forced to pay their medical costs out of pocket unless they can recover compensation through an injury claim.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Lawsuit for a Spinal Cord Injury?
Yes, there is a time limit. In Ohio, the statute of limitations for most accidents that result in a spinal cord injury is two years. However, if the spinal cord injury is the result of medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is one year from the discovery of the injury.
Even though one or two years sounds like a long time, investigating a claim and negotiating with the liable party may take up a large portion of that time. It may also be more difficult to link the spinal cord injury to an accident or medical procedure if too much time has passed. Therefore, it would be best to get in contact with an attorney soon after the accident or the discovery of a spinal cord injury.
Complete vs. Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are often divided into two categories: complete and incomplete injuries. A complete spinal cord injury is one that occurs when the spinal cord suffers damage, and the brain can no longer send signals below the site of the injury.
A common example of a complete spinal cord injury is tetraplegia, which refers to impairment in all four limbs. Victims lose motor function below the site of the injury, which causes paralysis in the arms, legs and trunk. Victims also have difficulty with bladder and bowel control and may have breathing issues.
Paraplegia refers to paralysis in the legs. This happens when the spinal cord is damaged so that symptoms are only experienced in the lower body.
Complete spinal cord injuries often involve a complete fracture of the spinal cord. Incomplete injuries do not involve a complete fracture. The injury impairs the brain’s ability to send signals below the site of the injury. Unlike a complete spinal cord injury, there is not a complete loss of signals below the site of the injury.
Examples of incomplete injuries include:
- Brown-Sequard Syndrome – Victims experience symptoms more on one side of the body than the other. This is because the spinal cord was only damaged on one side. Victims may have very little impairment on the other side.
- Anterior Cord Syndrome – This is an injury to the front of the spinal cord. Victims may still have sensations but struggle with movements.
- Central Cord Syndrome – Victims may lose some fine motor skills and experience paralysis in the legs.
Call Friedman, Domiano & Smith Today
A spinal cord injury can have life-changing consequences, from physical disabilities to emotional suffering. The financial difficulties spinal cord injury victims and their families experience can also be dire.
That is why the attorneys at Friedman, Domiano & Smith are prepared to help. For over 40 years our law firm has helped countless injury victims recover the compensation they need for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages after an accident caused by someone else’s negligent actions.
We offer a free consultation. There are no upfront fees, and no fees while we work on your case. There is no financial risk in speaking to an attorney. We may be able to discuss your legal options during your initial consultation.
Call 216-621-0070 today to get started.