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How Much Is Your Spinal Cord Injury Worth?

How Much Compensation Will I Get in a Spinal Injury Settlement?

A spinal cord injury (SCI) is an injury to the spinal cord, which is a crucial part of the central nervous system that extends from the base of the brain down through the vertebral column (spine). The spinal cord is vital in transmitting signals between the brain and the rest of the body, allowing for movement control and communication of sensory information. When the spinal cord is damaged, it can result in a wide range of impairments and disabilities.

Spinal cord injuries are among the most devastating and life-altering injuries that individuals can endure. Assessing their value in personal injury claims is a difficult process full of challenges. A Washington, DC spinal cord injury lawyer is your best advocate for achieving fair compensation.

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What Is the Average Settlement Amount for a Spinal Cord Injury in DC?

Neck and back injury cases are so specific that it’s nearly impossible to pinpoint any average settlement amounts. Settlements in personal injury cases involving these injuries can range from tens of thousands of dollars to multiple millions of dollars, depending on the details.

Settlement amounts are typically made up of compensatory damages — in other words, compensation for all of the losses the victim has endured because of their spinal cord injury. However, in some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded.

Whereas compensatory damages compensate for the victim’s losses, punitive damages are intended to punish the at-fault party for their reckless behavior and deter them and others from engaging in similar behaviors. Punitive damages are more common in accidents involving egregious negligence. For instance, if a drunk driver causes a car accident that results in the victim becoming paralyzed, they may also be required to pay punitive damages, which are included in the settlement to the victim.

Factors That Impact Your Spinal Cord Injury Settlement

The settlement amount you will likely receive for your specific spinal cord injury case depends greatly on various factors. Spinal injury settlement amounts are intended to compensate the injured party for all the losses they’ve endured, so the extent of those losses impacts the case’s value. Generally, the most severe neck and spinal cord injuries will result in the highest settlement.

Some of the factors that will determine your neck injury settlement include:

  • Medical ExpensesNeck and back injuries often require extensive medical treatment, which also means extensive medical bills. The higher the medical bills and medical expenses associated with your post-injury treatment, the higher your back injury settlement is likely to be.
  • Lost Wages and Lowered Earning CapacityBack injuries often necessitate time off work for recovery, ranging from a week to months. Loss of wages during this recovery period is calculated in compensation settlements. Moreover, severe injuries can cause long-term or permanent disability, impacting the victim’s ability to work in their previous capacity or earn comparable income. These diminished future earnings also become factors in settlement calculations.
  • Pain and Suffering Back or neck injuries, of course, involve a great deal of physical pain and suffering, but this can also take a mental and emotional form. Learning to live with something like a cervical spine injury, for example, puts the injured party through a physical, mental, and emotional rollercoaster and is no easy feat. The extent of a victim’s pain and suffering will also impact their case’s value.
  • Long Term Care Some spinal cord injuries require long-term care, like ongoing physical therapy or in-home support. These costs are also included when considering the worth of a spinal cord injury case.

Challenges in Valuing Spinal Cord Injuries

In this section, we delve into the difficulties faced when determining the worth of spinal cord injuries.

Complexity of Assessing Non-Economic Damages

One of the primary challenges in valuing spinal cord injuries lies in assessing non-economic damages. Unlike medical expenses or lost income, non-economic damages are intangible and can be challenging to quantify. These damages encompass pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and the profound impact on one’s quality of life.

Pain and suffering, for instance, can vary greatly from person to person. It can be influenced by the individual’s pain tolerance, psychological resilience, and coping mechanisms. As a result, determining a fair compensation amount for these non-economic damages can be highly subjective. It may require negotiation, expert testimony, and legal precedent to arrive at a reasonable figure.

Disputes and Negotiation Tactics in Personal Injury Claims

Spinal cord injury cases often lead to disputes between the injured and responsible parties, such as insurance companies or healthcare providers. The insurance company may attempt to minimize its liability by disputing the extent of the injury, the causation of the injury, or the necessity of specific treatments or accommodations. These disputes can prolong the claims process and necessitate legal action.

Negotiation tactics employed by the insurance company can also pose a challenge. They may make low initial settlement offers or engage in “delay and deny” strategies to pressure injured parties into accepting less compensation than they deserve. It’s crucial for those affected by spinal cord injuries to have experienced legal representation to navigate these negotiations effectively and secure a fair settlement.

The Importance of Expert Witnesses and Medical Evaluations

In spinal cord injury cases, the involvement of expert witnesses and medical evaluations is pivotal. Experts in spinal cord injuries, rehabilitation medicine, and vocational rehabilitation can provide critical insights into the extent of the injury, the long-term prognosis, and the associated costs. Their testimony can help establish the value of the claim.

Medical evaluations by specialists can provide comprehensive documentation of the injury, its impact on the individual’s life, and the necessary medical care and assistive devices. These evaluations are essential in building a solid case and providing the court or negotiating parties with a clear understanding of the injury’s scope.

Placing a value to a spinal injury claim involves facing various challenges, especially when evaluating non-economic damages, handling disagreements, and responding to negotiation strategies. Expert witnesses and thorough medical evaluations are indispensable tools in the pursuit of fair compensation for individuals who have endured the life-altering consequences of spinal cord injuries.

Spinal Cord Injuries and DC Personal Injury Claims

When it comes to seeking compensation for spinal cord injuries, personal injury claims play a pivotal role. If you have experienced a serious neck or back injury due to someone’s negligence, you may want to consider speaking to an attorney experienced in spinal cord injuries about filing a claim.

Several factors can significantly influence the outcome of a personal injury claim for a spinal cord injury. While each case is unique, common factors that may impact the result include:

  • Strength of Liability: The extent to which the defendant’s negligence is evident and provable can substantially impact the case’s outcome.
  • Severity of the Injury: The severity of the spinal cord injury, including its long-term consequences and associated costs, is critical in determining the compensation amount.
  • Insurance Coverage: The insurance policies of both the plaintiff and the defendant and policy limits can affect the available compensation.
  • Evidence and Documentation: The quality and quantity of evidence, including medical records, expert opinions, and eyewitness testimonies, can sway the outcome.
  • Legal Representation: The skill and experience of the attorneys representing both parties can influence the negotiation process and, if necessary, the outcome of a trial.

The Importance of Working with a DC Spinal Cord Injury Attorney

How much is your spinal cord injury worth?One of the best ways to protect your rights after a neck or back injury is to work with an experienced personal injury attorney. Personal injury claims are notoriously complex, and taking one on without the aid of a legal team lowers your likelihood of securing a fair settlement.

A skilled¬† personal injury attorney will review your case thoroughly, gathering evidence that establishes liability of the negligent party. They will make sure to account for every loss you have experienced, ensuring your case is being appropriately valued and that there’s ample evidence to support the settlement you seek.

Your personal injury attorney will present your desired settlement to the defendant and their legal team, who can then choose to accept and pay or counter with an offer of their own. Your personal injury attorneys will lead this negotiation process, fighting tirelessly to secure maximum compensation and never accepting an offer that’s lower than you deserve.

If a fair injury settlement cannot be negotiated, your personal injury attorneys will take your case to court.

Call a Top-Rated Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer at Regan Zambri Long

Working with our experienced personal injury attorneys means that you can focus on recovering and getting back to the life you love, knowing that your case is in the best of hands. You have someone advocating for you at every step.

What are common causes of spinal cord injuries?

Spinal cord injuries often result from a range of common causes and accidents, these include:

  • Medical Malpractice can occur when a healthcare provider, such as a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other medical professional or institution, fails to provide medical care that meets the accepted standard of care. As a result, a patient suffers harm or injury. A doctor’s negligence can result in a spinal cord injury.
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents very commonly result in neck and back injuries. Some research has shown that nearly 30% of spinal cord injuries each year occur as a result of motor vehicle accidents. Wearing a seatbelt can help lessen the risk of injury overall.
  • Compression Fractures are most common in women over 50. They’re small breaks in the vertebrae caused by deteriorating bone mass naturally occurring with aging. The fracture could be caused by a fall, lifting a heavy object, or even a hard cough.
  • Falls are a common cause of spinal cord injuries. While it may seem innocuous, something like landing wrong after a fall can cause permanent injury.

Call our spine injury attorneys today for a free, no-obligation case review.

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Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

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