Virginia Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
Every year, thousands of individuals suffer spinal cord injuries, with hundreds of thousands already living with the consequences of these injuries. A spinal cord injury can get in the way of living life as you once did, resulting in physical hardship and mental and emotional trauma.
If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury at the hands of another, you should strongly consider taking legal action. Filing a lawsuit for your injuries not only holds the responsible party liable for their actions but also lets you fight for the financial recovery you need to move forward.
Our Virginia spinal cord injury lawyers at Emroch and Kilduff has extensive experience fighting for the rights of spinal cord injury victims. We know what it takes to pursue compensation, and we never back down from a fight.
We want to help you. Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation.
Virginia Spinal Cord Injury Guide
- What Legal Damages Can a Spinal Cord Injury Cause?
- How Do Spinal Cord Injuries Happen?
- Filing a Lawsuit
- Pursuing Compensation
- How an Accident Injury Lawyer Can Help You
What Legal Damages Can a Spinal Cord Injury Cause?
A spinal cord injury is any injury affecting part of the spinal cord or the nerves that aid in movement and sensation. Spinal cord injuries are extremely serious, as they often have life-altering consequences.
The symptoms of a spinal cord injury can vary but depend on the location of the injury on the spinal column and the severity of the damage.
The severity of a spinal cord injury is considered either complete or incomplete. A complete spinal cord injury refers to injuries that cause victims to lose all motor function below the area of injury; a spinal cord injury is incomplete if the victim retains some motor function below the injured area.
Spinal cord injuries can cause:
- Partial or total loss of movement
- Loss of sensation
- Intense pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Numbness or tingling
In most cases, spinal cord injuries are very serious injuries that require medical attention and extensive medical treatment. If someone else caused your injury, you can recover compensation for all of them.
Serious Complications and Consequences of Spinal Cord Injuries
Complete spinal cord injuries usually result in permanent, life-altering effects. Incomplete spinal cord injuries may allow for some improvement over time, but victims may never be the same as before the injury.
Some of the most common health complications resulting from spinal cord injuries include:
- Paralysis: Victims of spinal cord injuries can either become paraplegic, meaning they’re paralyzed from the waist down, or quadriplegic, meaning paralyzed in all four limbs
- Loss of Bladder or Bowel Control: A spinal cord injury can affect the way the bladder empties and the way the bowels function
- Persistent Pain: Chronic muscle, joint, and nerve pain are all common with spinal cord injuries
- Issues With the Respiratory System: If the abdomen or chest are affected, a spinal cord injury can make it difficult to breathe or cough
- Muscle Tone Problems: Spinal cord injuries can either cause uncontrolled motion in the muscles or a loss of muscle tone
- Sexual Dysfunction: A spinal cord injury can affect the sexual organs of both men and women
A spinal cord injury can have a negative impact not only on physical health but on mental health as well. Many victims of spinal cord injuries suffer from mental and emotional issues, including depression, as these injuries can lead to drastic changes in a person’s lifestyle and relationships.
How Do Spinal Cord Injuries Happen?
Spinal cord injuries can happen for many reasons. They most frequently occur after suffering some trauma to the back.
The most common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Construction accidents
- Accidents involving guns
- Pedestrian accidents
- Defective products
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
Spinal cord injuries can happen for other reasons out of one’s control, such as debilitating medical issues or complications. However, if you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury due to another party’s negligence or intentional actions, you may be able to file a lawsuit.
Filing a Lawsuit for a Spinal Cord Injury
The type of lawsuit you file depends on how the spinal cord injury arose. The most common types of lawsuits for spinal cord injuries are personal injury claims, medical malpractice claims, and defective product claims.
You would file a personal injury suit if you sustained a spinal cord injury in an accident. Personal injury lawsuits enable victims of car accidents, slip and falls, or pedestrian accidents to hold the person or persons responsible for the accident accountable for their actions and pursue monetary damages.
A medical malpractice claim is also a type of personal injury claim, but it involves the negligence of a healthcare provider. If you sought treatment from a medical professional and consequently suffered a spinal cord injury, you may be able to seek compensation through a lawsuit.
Defective product claims are reserved for cases involving victims who suffer injuries while using defective or malfunctioning products. In a defective product lawsuit, you could seek financial recovery from the party liable for the defect.
An accident injury attorney can review the details of your case to determine the precise cause of your injury and the type of lawsuit they could file on your behalf. By filing a lawsuit, you can seek justice while pursuing financial compensation for your injuries and related losses.
Liability for Spinal Cord Injuries
Determining liability is one of the most important aspects of any personal injury case. Once you’ve determined who’s responsible, you’ll need to prove liability in the eyes of the law.
Who bears responsibility for your injuries depends on your situation and the circumstances under which your spinal cord injury came about.
Some of the common liable parties for spinal cord injury cases include:
- Store owners/managers
- Product manufacturers and distributors
It’s also not uncommon for multiple parties to hold liability for injuries.
Negligence is a frequent cause of spinal cord injuries. In a legal context, negligence is defined as failing to exercise care appropriately or reasonably.
To establish negligence, you must be able to demonstrate that:
- The party owed you a duty of care
- The party breached their duty of care
- Their breach was the cause of your accident/injury
- You suffered losses as a result
For example, if you received a spinal cord injury following a car accident, you must establish the other driver’s negligence for your suit to proceed successfully.
You would do so by proving that:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care to drive carefully and responsibly
- They breached their duty of care by driving aggressively
- Their actions caused your accident
- You suffered injuries and losses as a result
Proving liability can be tricky, but a skilled accident injury lawyer can make good use of the available evidence.
Evidence for a spinal cord injury often includes:
- Medical records
- Police reports
- Witness statements
- Expert statements
- Doctor’s notes
- Surveillance footage
- Photos and video
Establishing liability is key for pursuing compensation for your spinal cord injury and subsequent losses. Rely on your accident injury lawyer to take the right steps to hold the right party liable for their actions and seek justice on your behalf.
Pursuing Compensation for a Spinal Cord Injury
The kinds of damages made available for a spinal cord injury case depend on the nature of the accident, the specifics of the case, and the type of lawsuit filed. Compensatory damages serve to compensate victims for the tangible and intangible losses their spinal cord injury has caused.
Economic injuries cover the monetary losses incurred from your accident and subsequent injury.
- Past and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Loss of wages
- Lost earning capacity
Non-economic damages aren’t quantifiable, as they represent the intangible losses one suffers from a traumatic spinal cord injury.
These damages can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disability
Punitive damages may also be available in particular circumstances.
If the defendant’s actions went far beyond negligence and their wrongdoing was found to be malicious or willful, a plaintiff could recover punitive damages if a judge deemed it appropriate. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are meant not to compensate but to punish.
In Virginia, there are no caps on compensatory damages, but the law caps punitive damages at $350,000.
If you’ve ended up with a spinal cord injury, you’ll want to ensure you receive maximum compensation for your unfortunate losses. It’s therefore crucial to work with a competent accident injury attorney, as they’ll have the skills and resources needed to accurately calculate the value of your case and fight for fair financial recovery.
How an Accident Injury Lawyer Can Help You
An accident injury attorney gives you the best chance of obtaining the compensation you need after receiving a spinal cord injury. A lawyer can help you most in the following ways.
Filing Your Lawsuit
Filing a lawsuit can be confusing, and you may not know what type of lawsuit is appropriate for your situation. An accident injury lawyer can review your case details, draft the necessary documentation, and file your lawsuit with the court.
Obtaining Important Evidence
Evidence is key in lawsuits, and an accident injury attorney knows how to obtain it. They can determine the best pieces of evidence to build a substantial case.
Calculating Your Damages
An accident injury attorney can accurately calculate your damages and determine how much your case is worth. Without a lawyer, you may be unaware of the value of your case, resulting in an unfair or inadequate settlement.
You can count on your lawyer to know what figure represents fair compensation for your losses.
Communicating With the Insurance Company
Communicating with insurance companies is one of the toughest parts of a lawsuit. Insurance companies are notorious for being difficult to deal with. An experienced accident injury attorney knows how to effectively communicate and negotiate with them.
Engaging in Settlement Negotiations
At some point, your accident injury attorney will likely engage in settlement negotiations with the insurer and opposing parties. The back and forth can be exhausting, but your lawyer will know how to properly handle the negotiations on your behalf.
Representing You in Court
While many lawsuits never see the inside of a courtroom, there are certain instances where going to trial may be the best way to obtain maximum compensation. If your case makes it to trial, your accident injury lawyer will continue to provide high-quality legal representation until your case is resolved.
Time Is Limited to File a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit
Statutes of limitations are laws limiting the time a victim has to file a lawsuit for compensation.
In Virginia, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case is two years from the date of the accident or injury.
Failing to file your claim within the allotted time can have negative consequences. While you may still be able to file your lawsuit, the judge may dismiss your case upon noticing that the statute of limitations has expired. If your case is dismissed, you’ll miss your opportunity to pursue financial restitution for your losses.
Don’t hesitate to consult with an accident injury lawyer. Otherwise, you risk forfeiting your right to fight for compensation.
We Want to Hear From You
Sustaining a spinal cord injury can change your life forever. If another party caused your injuries, holding them accountable is the just thing to do. Pursuing monetary recovery can help relieve some of the undue financial burdens you’ll face throughout your recovery and maybe even the rest of your life.
Emroch & Kilduff has over four decades of experience helping injured clients seek justice for the wrong done to them. We’ve recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients, and we want to do the same for you.
Our award-winning legal team is passionate about providing quality legal representation while giving clients the kindness and support they need during such a troubling time. When you choose Emroch & Kilduff, you can feel confident that your case and future are in great hands.
If you’ve sustained a spinal cord injury through no fault of your own, take action before it’s too late. Contact our office today at (804) 358-1568 for your complimentary case consultation.
“Emroch & Kilduff was a great company to help me in my time of need. The staff was very kind and professional. They kept me very informative on everything and were very pleasing and easy to work with. Everyone was very friendly and knew all their information. Definitely would recommend and go back to them for help again. Thank you Emroch & Kilduff for all your time and help.”
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3600 W Broad St # 700
Richmond, VA 23230