At Wilshire Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys have been helping spinal cord injury (SCI) survivors get the compensation they need to pay for past and future medical care, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and more. Below, we have provided answers to questions commonly asked by those afflicted with this potentially devastating condition.
Q: As someone who has just been afflicted with spinal cord injury, why should I start thinking about my legal options?
A: Depending on the location and severity of the damage, a spinal cord injury can radically change the life of the victim, causing irreversible effects such as loss of muscle function and paralysis. Many SCI survivors suffer secondary complications including pain, various organ issues, spasticity, and scoliosis. Some even require assisted living care to perform everyday tasks. The resulting expenses can easily amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars, which is why SCI survivors are highly advised to pursue compensation with help from a qualified attorney.
Q: What kinds of damages may I claim for a spinal cord injury?
A: Filing a claim may not undo the accident that caused your spinal cord injury, but it will give you a chance to get the compensation you need to relieve your financial problems stemming from the accident. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you may be entitled to the following damages:
- Property Damages – You are entitled to repair or replacement of any property damaged in the accident – for instance, your vehicle, clothes, or other personal items.
- Past and Future Medical Costs – You are entitled to a sum of money that will enable you to cover all past and future medical care of injuries and disabilities caused by the accident, including hospital and ambulance bills, rehabilitation costs, in-home nursing care expenses, etc.
- Lost Income and Lost Future Earning Capacity – You are entitled to compensation for not only the wages you lose while recuperating from your injuries, but also the potential earnings you will lose due to your disability.
- Pain and Suffering – This describes the physical pain and emotional distress you endure as a result of your injuries.
Q: How can I win my spinal cord injury insurance claim?
A: There are four things you must prove in order to win your spinal cord injury insurance claim:
- The spinal cord injury occurred because of the negligent or careless actions of another party;
- You were injured;
- Your injury resulted from the other party’s actions, and not from a previous condition or unrelated event; and
- The liable party was insured at the time of the incident.
The insurance company may deny your claim unless you’re able to prove that the negligent party owed you a duty of care yet failed to meet their duty. A qualified personal injury lawyer can help you prove who was at fault by obtaining all records, witness statements, and photographic evidence. He or she may also work with licensed engineers, medical experts, and other professionals to reconstruct the accident and establish the full extent of your damages. It is important to get a lawyer started on your case as soon as possible since memories fade and conditions change with time. Without proof of fault, you will have a very difficult time supporting your claim.
Q: How can I take care of my immediate medical bills?
A: Claims and lawsuits often take time to process, and compensation is not given right away. Even if you decide to pursue legal action, you still have to deal with your immediate medical bills. Wilshire Law Firm can help you out. As your legal representatives, we can coordinate the paperwork to obtain payment of your medical bills through:
- Your own medical coverage;
- The liable party’s insurance coverage;
- State and federal medical payment programs; or
- By arranging with your health care providers to hold collection until you receive your compensation.
Q: How long do I have to file a claim?
A: In the state of California, the deadline to file most personal injury claims, also known as the statute of limitations, is TWO YEARS from the date injury. Failure to file a claim within the statutory period could result in your claim being barred. Therefore, it is imperative that you call a spinal cord injury attorney as soon as possible before your time runs out.
If you have any questions about your specific case, please don’t hesitate to contact Wilshire Law Firm for answers. Our excellent legal team is on standby, ready to assist you with all of your recovery needs. Our toll-free number is (800) 522-7274. We offer no obligation consultations at zero cost.