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Available Damages In A Spinal Cord Injury

One of the most deadly injuries that a person can incur is one that involves the spinal cord. It can have lasting impact on the life of an individual. One spinal cord injury could mean loss of livelihood for the injured person. According to the website of Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC, it can also have a huge impact on your financial situation. In most instances, the best course of action is to recover compensation from the liable person.

While no amount of money can replace the quality of life that will be potentially lost, claiming damages can help the plaintiff get back up on their feet. Here is a breakdown on the recoverable damages in a spinal cord injury claim:

Medical Expenses

Due to the severe nature of spinal cord injuries, the most obvious target for damages is medical expenses. Hospital and medical expenses, therapy sessions, rehabilitation, ambulance costs, and other medical bills can pile up and become overwhelming for the plaintiff. Medical expenses may also include future costs associated with the injury.

Lost Wages

Before the injury happened, the plaintiff may have been earning wages from the performance of their job. With the injury that source of income becomes lost. As the wages may have been the source of livelihood of the plaintiff prior to the injury, damages may also include the amount that the injured had been making as well as future wages they could have earned if not for the injury.

In-home assistance and renovations

Once the plaintiff has finally returned home, it is likely that there will be drastic changes in their lifestyle. The court may award financial assistance to the plaintiff that they may require at home. If required, the damages may shoulder the installation of a wheelchair ramp or widen doorway.

Pain and suffering

Damages in a spinal cord injury can help compensate for pain and emotional distress that the plaintiff went through because of the injury. However, some tort laws put some limitation on the cost of pain and suffering.

Loss of consortium

The impact of the injury will not only be felt by the plaintiff but also by their loved ones. The relationship between the injured and their spouse may be greatly affected. For this reason, damages in a spinal injury may also compensate for the effects it will bring to the relationship of the plaintiff and their loved ones.

Punitive Damage

This type of damage is designed to punish the defendant for their actions that resulted to the injury.

Spinal cord injuries can have a lasting effect on an individual and their way of life. Recovering damages is one of the ways they can get up on their feet and make the most out of the situation they will be facing in the future.

Understanding Cerebral Palsy

Raising a child suffering from cerebral palsy can be very painful, difficult and costly for any family. This brain disorder can either partially or totally eliminate a child’s capability to perform and actively participate in fun-filled activities and, depending on the severity of the disorder, but a severe type of cerebral palsy will definitely require medical care for rest of the child’s life.

Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term that is used to describe a group of incurable and chronic brain disorders that impair a child’s motor skills, coordination, balance and mental abilities. These result to
abnormal muscle tone and reflexes, problems with movement, insufficient muscle growth, misaligned joints, deformities in bones, extreme fatigue due to movement and walking, difficulties in breathing, language and speech, feeding and swallowing difficulties, learning disabilities, cognitive impairment and so forth.

More than 500,000 children are currently suffering from this injury, which may be congenital or acquired in nature, and about 10,000 more acquire it every year. Besides that fact that cerebral palsy is currently the most common neurodevelopmental motor disability in children, it is also most often a result of medical malpractice due to negligence.

There are four major forms of cerebral palsy, each being based on the specific effects of this disorder:

  • Spastic cerebral palsy, which is the most common form suffered by patients has five sub-forms which include: diplegia, wherein both legs get impaired more usually than both arms; quadriplegia, the most severe form of spastic cerebral palsy because it impairs all four limbs; hemiplegia, which affect the limbs on one side of the body; monoplegia, wherein only one limb is affected: and, triplegia which affects three limbs.
  • Athetoid cerebral palsy or dyskinetic cerebral palsy, which is characterized by slow and involuntary, writhing of the hand, arm or leg, as well as unconscious drooling and facial grimaces.
  • Ataxic cerebral palsy, which is characterized by difficulty in maintaining balance and tremors or shaky movements. A child suffering from ataxic cerebral palsy can be viewed as clumsiness or jerky.
  • Mixed cerebral palsy is a combination of any two forms of cerebral palsy in a patient. The most common combination, though, is spastic and athetoid.

Victims of medical malpractice resulting in cerebral palsy have legal rights that may entitle them to receive compensation for all the damages due to the injury. For better understanding, click here to learn more about cerebral palsy.

Personal Injury: Accidents Involving Pedestrians

The National Safety Council, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nongovernmental public service organization that promotes health and safety in the US by helping minimize the alarmingly high number of preventable injuries and deaths in working environments, homes and communities, records about 70, 000 pedestrians accidents in the US every year. From the given figure, about 4, 500 are fatal or end in the victim’s death a few days following the accident.

Fatal accidents are usually more frequent in rural areas where vehicles can run at faster speeds due to lighter traffic, where pathways are poorly illuminated at night, and where there are usually no sidewalks where pedestrians can walk safely. In urban areas or cities, on the other hand, where pedestrian activities and the volume of cars are always high, pedestrian accidents are usually non-fatal.

Ensuring the safety of pedestrians is a major traffic concern for the simple reason that all Americans become pedestrians at certain times of the day. Besides a person walking, the term “pedestrian” also refers to anyone who is on foot, including someone running or jogging, or a person standing at a street corner. If a car driver can sustain severe injuries in an accident, how much more will a pedestrian, who has nothing, whatsoever, to protect his/her body from the impact caused by an approaching vehicle. Thus, an accident can easily result to severe injuries or, worse, untimely death.

While drivers play a major role in significantly reducing incidences of pedestrian accidents, some car manufacturers have taken the initiative of designing their new car models with the latest safety devices that will enable the car to detect the presence of pedestrians (and cyclists) meters ahead and fully stop the car (or slow it down), even without driver input, to either lessen the force of impact or totally eliminate the possibility of crashing into anyone or anything. These accident avoidance technologies include the Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake, the Forward Collision Warning system and the Automatic Braking system, which will automatically stop the car, if it senses that the vehicle ahead has suddenly stopped, to avoid collision.

Pursuing legal action to seek compensation for any kind of harm suffered in an accident is the right of anyone; it is also allowed under the law. Many cases are settled, however, even before these reach the courtroom, as liable parties rather decide to offer compensation to the victim and ask that the lawsuit be dropped in return. Many victims accept these seemingly trouble-free settlements, thinking, or being made to think by the liable party’s legal counsel, that accepting the offered compensation totally favors them. In any form of settlement it remains essential that victims are represented by personal injury lawyers to make sure that their rights are fully defended and that the compensation they will receive will justly cover all the present and future damages caused by the injury.

Car Accident Due to Driver Distraction

Being charged with a traffic violation offense and slapped with a fine are already heavy penalties; these are not all, though, for there are still the demerit points that give drivers that added painful sting. Demerit points differ with the type and severity of the violation committed. While some violations are given 1 or 2 points demerit, others are given up to 6 points.

In some states, a total of 12 points demerit can result to suspension of driving privileges and higher car insurance premium. Attempting to elude an officer, DUI and reckless driving are violations that usually get the highest demerit points. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA), coincidentally, has also identified drunk-driving and reckless driving as among the major causes of injuries and death during car accidents; the rest are overspeeding, failure to wear a seatbelt and distracted driving. But just as it appears that the strict and consistent implementation of traffic laws directed against drunk drivers, reckless drivers and speedsters are finally earning favorable results, another violation is consistently making itself as the newest worst cause of driving accidents – cell phone use, whether texting or talking on a handheld or hands-free cell phone.

Cell phone use while behind the wheel is currently considered the worst and most dangerous kind of distracted driving and, on a daily basis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1,153 people are injured and 9 killed due to it. Due to the great risk cell phone use puts innocent motorists and pedestrians into, the state of New York, particularly, deemed it necessary to increase demerit points for violation of texting while driving ban from 3 to 5 (this change became effective on June 1, 2013).

States vary with regard to prohibition of cell phone use while driving. At least 44 states, including the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and D.C., ban text messaging for all drivers (but not talking on the phone), while 37 states plus D.C. prohibit any form of cell phone use by teen and new drivers – the ones mostly involved in car crashes resulting to injury or death (based on CDC and NHTSA records).

Driving distraction, however, is never limited to cell phone use, whether using it to text or talk with someone. There are many other forms of distractions that almost all drivers are guilty of, but without even noticing it. Anything that takes one’s eyes off the road, hand off the wheel, and/or mind off driving, like eating, talking with friends, talking on the phone (whether on a handheld or hands-free phone), adjusting a GPS or radio, applying make-up, and so forth, is a form of distraction.

An article on the website of law firm Williams Kherkher explains how a driving accident due to distractions, which are totally preventable, can suddenly change a person’s (and his/her family’s) life. An injury will also mean lost wages (due to inability to render work for a number of days) and medical bills. In relation to such, Williams Kherkher advises injured victims of car accidents to contact a personal injury lawyer, who can clearly help them in all legal concerns, including the possibility of being compensated by the liable party.

Comparing Injury Laws

Personal injury laws can vary from state to state, therefore filing for a claim can require necessary research and information regarding the laws that would apply to your state and understand how it would affect your claim. There are states that follow the shared fault for accident and injury cases. It is important to understand how this type of rule or law will affect your compensation, otherwise you might not even have any compensation.

The state of Texas follows the “modified comparative negligence” law, where the amount of compensation will depend on the percent of fault of each party. In layman’s terms, this means that the total amount of compensation that will be awarded will be reduced by the amount equal to the percent of fault that the person is legally held liable to. When you have been carry more than 50 percent of the blame for the accident, you will not have legal rights to ask for compensation from the other at-fault parties. If this is still confusing to you, or you would want to argue your case in court, then it is advised to find an Oceanside personal injury lawyer to help you sort out and gather evidence for your claim in court. Meanwhile, the state of Wisconsin follows a similar personal injury law, where they fall under the shared fault or comparative fault system. Despite being partially to be blamed for the accident, you can still collect compensation form the other party involved for the injuries and damages suffered.

There are other similarities between two states, but what a Sheboygan personal injury lawyer should point out is that Wisconsin has a three-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim, while Texas only has two years from when the injury occurred. Missing the statute of limitations would mean forfeiting your right for compensation. Personal injury claims that are filed after the statute of limitation closes will not be entertained or heard in court.

Personal injury laws can take time and additional expense, therefore it is important to hire the right type of lawyers who will properly represent your case in court. Because there are certain differences in state laws and each case is unique in its own, the right lawyers would make or break the case.

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