What Damages Can I Recover If A Crash Caused A Spinal Cord Injury?

Man and woman talking on a couch with a wheelchair in the backgroundThe costs of medical care and living expenses after spinal cord injury can total hundreds of thousands of dollars over a person’s lifetime. This figure does not include additional losses, such as reduced income, lost opportunities, behavioral changes, and pain and suffering—all of which can be overwhelming and costly for victims and their families. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to hold that party liable for costs related to the injury.

Recovering Compensation After a Car Accident Causes a Spinal Cord Injury

The majority of U.S. spinal cord injuries are caused by car accidents, and the effects are often irreversible. Any trauma to the back, neck, or spine has the potential to cause a spinal cord injury, such as a head-on collision with a drunk driver, a defective seat belt that fails to protect a passenger, or a head injury sustained in a rollover crash. Since most victims with these injuries are unable to earn a living, the damages from a personal injury case may be the only way they can live out the rest of their lives in reasonable comfort.

Damages you may recover for a spinal cord injury include:

  • Past treatment. Medical bills may begin with emergency treatment and diagnostic testing, and progress to surgery, hospitalization, and recurring doctors’ visits to monitor your condition.
  • Future medical costs. Victims may incur future costs related to complications of the injury as well as the injury itself. Patients with complete or partial paralysis may need lifelong pain medication and physical therapy, but also have an increased likelihood of infections and health complications. Finally, victims may require emotional counseling to cope with the loss of their former abilities and lifestyle.
  • Lost income. Victims who have been permanently disabled have the right to recover the lost wages, benefits, and income they would have earned from the date of the accident to their retirement age.
  • Daily care costs. Victims may be unable to dress, bathe, or drive themselves, requiring part-time or full-time assistance around the house. They may also need expensive assistive devices such as wheelchairs, adjustable beds, ventilators, or text-to-speech computers, as well as accommodations to their living areas (such as ramps or widened doorways).
  • Psychological trauma. Spinal cord injuries can cause significant emotional pain to victims, affecting self-esteem, mood, behavior, and loss of ability to enjoy life. Negligent parties can be compelled to pay an additional amount for the pain and suffering they have forced a victim to endure.

If you are having trouble recovering after a car accident, our injury attorneys have offices in Illinois and Missouri to advise you on your next steps and legal rights. Download your FREE copy of one of our books, When the Rules of the Road Get Broken: A Guide to Illinois Car Wreck Cases or The Missouri Car Crash Guide: Don't Wreck Your Car Crash Case!, or contact the Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm via our online contact form to schedule an appointment.