A spinal cord injury can impact every aspect of your daily life. You may need mobility equipment, require live-in care and long-term medical treatment, and be unable to return to your previous job. As a result, you can sustain significant physical, financial, and emotional hardship. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your injury, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit—and the Boulder spinal cord injury lawyers at Purvis Thomson, LLP can help.
Our team can help you recover the compensation you need to recover from your losses. We will work closely with you to identify your optimal path to maximum recovery, advocating tenaciously for your best interests during each stage of your case.
Navigating a spinal cord injury lawsuit can be a challenge without an attorney on your side. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, you may need to prove complex liability, defend yourself against accusations of shared fault, or negotiate with insurance companies or defense attorneys. In these situations, the lawyers at Purvis Thomson, LLP can represent your side of the story and advocate for your right to maximum compensation.
Leveraging our skills, experience, and wide network of resources, we can develop a compelling case in your favor and help you navigate the complex litigation process. By hiring a catastrophic injury attorney to represent your case, you will always have an advocate on your side—and you will always have someone in the room who will fight aggressively to achieve the compensation you deserve.
Spinal cord injuries can be serious and debilitating. Depending on the severity of your injury, you may be unable to walk and require long-term, around-the-clock care. Many spinal cord injury victims suffer from psychological distress in addition to these physical complications. Paying for spinal cord injury care can also be expensive; according to the NSCISC, the average lifetime expenses can range between $1.2 million up to $5.1 million.
Through a personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim against the at-fault party, you can recover compensation for the economic and non-economic damages you suffered due to his or her negligence. Economic damages refer to your financial losses, while non-economic damages involve your physical and emotional pain and suffering.
Common damages in spinal cord injury lawsuits include the following:
The attorneys at Purvis Thomson, LLP can help you calculate the full extent of your damages using evidence such as medical records, pay stubs, journal entries, and invoices. To calculate your long-term care costs, we may enlist the help of expert witnesses, such as economists and medical professionals, to determine an accurate settlement amount.
Determining liability for a spinal cord incident can be challenging. There are specific elements of negligence that must be in place in order to determine that a party is actually liable for the incident. These elements include:
Duty of care
Spinal cord injury claim, it is important to establish that there was a duty of care owed by the defendant (the person who allegedly caused the injury) to the plaintiff (the person harmed). Depending on the type of incident that caused the situation, this duty of care will look different. For example, drivers on the roadway all owe a duty of care to operate their vehicle safely, so a vehicle accident incident will examine the duty of care owed by one driver to another. However, premises liability claims will examine the duty of care owed by property owners to those who have a right to be on their premises.
Breach of duty
After establishing that there was a duty of care owed by the defendant to the plaintiff, it will need to be shown that the defendant breached their duty of care somehow. Going back to the examples from above, a vehicle driver can breach their duty of care by failing to follow traffic laws, operating while impaired, or operating while drunk, among other ways. Property owners can breach their duty of care by failing to remedy known hazards on their property or by not warning guests without possible hazards.
If a breach of duty can be established, it must be shown that the breach is what caused the plaintiff’s spinal cord injury.
Finally, the plaintiff must have sustained some sort of monetary loss as a result of the breach of duty and their injury.
When an attorney gets involved in your case, they will examine the entire incident and work to determine which party or multiple parties fit those elements. It may be necessary to file a claim against more than one person, entity, or business in order to recover compensation for your spinal cord injury. Some of the possible viable parties in these situations include the following:
This is certainly not a complete list of all possible liable parties for a spinal cord injury in Boulder. If you have any questions about your case or who to file a claim against, encourage you to listen to the advice of your attorney.
Spinal cord injuries can occur for several reasons. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), approximately 17,900 people develop a spinal cord injury each year. Approximately 296,000 people in the United States live with this injury during any given time.
According to its 2020 statistical report, the NSCISC lists the following as some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries.
When working to understand spinal cord injuries, it is important to realize they are not all the same. There are various levels and classifications of spinal cord injuries, and each of these levels revolves around the severity of the incident and how much they affect a victim. When we examine information from the Mayo Clinic, we can see that the first level of classification for spinal cord injuries is either classified as “complete” or “incomplete.”
Complete spinal cord injury
When a spinal cord injury is classified as complete, this means that the incident has completely severed the spinal cord. As a result, the victim will lose all ability to control motor functions below the site of the injury.
Incomplete spinal cord injury
When a spinal cord injury is classified as incomplete, this means that the incident has not completely severed the spinal cord. With an incomplete spinal cord injury, individuals may have some sensory or motor function below the site of the injury. There are varying degrees of incomplete spinal cord injuries.
When it comes to defining paralysis a person sustains due to a spinal cord injury, two of the terms you should be aware of include “tetraplegia” and “paraplegia.”
You may also hear this referred to as quadriplegia, and this means that nearly all of a person’s body is affected by paralysis. This includes arms, hands, legs, trunk, and pelvic organs. Actually, individuals who are quadriplegic have sustained A spinal cord injury higher on their spinal column towards the head.
A person who has paraplegia will typically have paralysis in the lower part of their body, the trunk, legs, and pelvic area. Typically, individuals who are paraplegic have sustained A spinal cord injury at the lower part of their spinal column.
Information from the Shepherd Center shows that there are four ways to define spinal cord trauma that can occur to individuals.
If you developed a spinal cord injury in an accident caused by another person or entity, you may have grounds for legal action. A personal injury lawsuit or insurance claim enables you to hold the at-fault party accountable for your injuries and recover the compensation you need to recover.
However, you will need to prove that the at-fault party is responsible for your injury. During the insurance process, you will need to supply enough evidence to the insurance adjuster to establish that the other party caused your accident. During a lawsuit, you can prove your right to compensation by establishing the following four elements.
For example, say that you are in a car accident and sustain a spinal cord injury. The accident occurs when a driver runs a red light and collides into the side of your vehicle. All drivers owe a duty of care to follow traffic laws and drive safely, making it simple to establish the at-fault driver’s duty of care. You and your Boulder pedestrian accident lawyer can establish breach of duty by using surveillance footage, witness testimony, and police reports of the driver running the red light, which is an illegal act.
These same pieces of evidence, along with your medical records, can establish causation and your right to damages. Your Boulder attorney who specializes in spinal cord injuries will work closely with you to gather the evidence necessary to prove your right to compensation and establish the at-fault party’s liability.
Spinal cord injury victims in Boulder must keep specific timelines in mind when it comes to filing a claim against another party. The Colorado personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date an injury occurs. This means that spinal cord injury victims have a two-year window with which to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent party. For vehicle accident claims in Colorado, the state extends the personal injury statute of limitations to three years from the date the accident occurs. This means that if a person sustains a spinal cord injury as a result of the negligent actions of another driver, they have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit instead of two.
One thing is certain about the statute of limitations, and that is failing to file the claim on time will almost always mean that the victim becomes unable to recover any compensation at all. We strongly encourage you to reach out to an attorney for assistance with your claim as soon as possible. Your lawyer can examine the facts of the case and help get your claim filed promptly.
In addition to the statute of limitations for civil personal injury claims, spinal cord injury victims must also be aware of any deadlines put in place by insurance carriers involved in the claim. In almost all personal injury cases, there is an insurance carrier involved on one side or the other. These insurance carriers have fairly stringent reporting deadlines, and failing to promptly report a claim to the carrier could result in a claim delay or denial. When you work with an attorney for assistance with your claim, they will be the one to help you file the insurance claim and the personal injury lawsuit within the required deadlines. You do not have to handle all of this on your own.
We encourage you to speak to your attorney about initial settlement offers that may come from an insurance carrier or at-fault party. Often, insurance carriers or at-fault parties will offer quick settlements in order to limit how much compensation they pay overall. These first settlements are usually for amounts that are nowhere near sufficient to pay for the damages the spinal cord injury victim has sustained or will sustain in the future.
One of the reasons that having an attorney is so important is so that spinal cord injury victims can fight for the compensation they need now and plan for their new future based on any disability caused by the injury. Spinal cord injury victims typically need continued lifelong care, possibly even in-home medical assistance, for the remainder of their lives.
Early settlement offers should be examined very closely to see if they meet the needs of the spinal cord injury victim currently and if they will meet all future needs the spinal cord injury victim may have.
Spinal cord injuries can lead to financial hardship, emotional trauma, and long-term physical complications. In these situations, you need a Boulder spinal injury attorney who can help you hold the at-fault party accountable—and the Boulder spinal cord injury attorneys at Purvis Thomson, LLP can help. Contact us today to schedule a free case consultation and learn more about your optimal path to recovery.
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