About 17,500 spinal cord injury cases occur every year, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. The spinal cord is responsible for controlling the body’s movement and sense of feeling, which means the severity of a spinal cord injury may range from temporary loss of sensation to extreme paralysis and loss of mobility.
In Georgia, a spinal cord injury can be considered a catastrophic injury, as it is a medical condition that is so severe that it may prevent the injured person from living the life they led prior to the event that caused the injury.
The aftermath of a spinal cord injury may be hard on the family and loved ones of an injured person as well as the injured person themselves. If you suffered a spinal cord injury and are worried about taking care of your family, call a Gwinnett County spinal cord injury lawyer today. A compassionate catastrophic injury attorney could determine if you are eligible to receive compensation for your damages.
Damages in a Spinal Cord Injury Case
Damages from a spinal cord injury can be vast, especially considering the potential costs of medical care for such a condition. The average length of a hospital stay for a spinal cord injury is about 45 days, and initial medical costs can range from $140,000 to $200,000 during the first year alone.
Not only are the financial costs high, but the physical and emotional aspects of a spinal cord injury can be devastating. On top of potential paralysis, spinal cord injuries may lead to heart risks and chronic pain, and oftentimes a life-changing injury can lead to depression, anxiety, or loss of enjoyment of life.
Fortunately, though, all these damages may be recoverable if the injured party can prove the negligence of a third party caused their injuries.
Negligence and Spinal Cord Injuries
The majority of personal injury claims are based on negligence, which is formally defined in Official Code of Georgia §51-1-2.In order to raise a successful spinal cord injury claim based on negligence, the injured party must prove four elements—namely, that a duty of care existed between the defendant and plaintiff, that the defendant subsequently breached that duty, that the breach directly caused the plaintiff’s injuries, and that damages to the plaintiff resulted from that injury. A Gwinnett County spinal cord injury lawyer in could help the injured person establish fault.
Potential Defenses to a Negligence Claim
Courts in Gwinnett County recognize that an accident may be the fault of more than one person. Some states have adopted a rule which prohibits an injured party from recovering damages if they are found to be partially at fault for their accident.
Georgia, on the other hand, has adopted a comparative negligence rule, which essentially means that the injured party may recover damages so long as they were less negligent, or less at fault, than the defendant in their civil case. However, the amount of damages available to the injured party may be reduced.
Under O.C.G.A. §51-11-7, the amount of damages awarded to an injured plaintiff will be reduced in proportion to the amount they were found to be negligent. For example, an injured party who is found to be 30 percent responsible for their own injuries would have the amount of damages available to them reduced by 30 percent.
Contacting a Gwinnett County Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
Spinal cord injuries may have life-changing impacts on both you and their loved ones. If you suffered from such an injury and believe someone else was at fault, a Gwinnett County spinal cord injury lawyer today may be able to help. To get started exploring your legal options, call today to schedule a consultation.