Most spinal cord injuries are categorized into two designations: complete and incomplete. A complete spinal cord injury is an injury that completely severs the cord. An incomplete injury partially damages the cord but does not sever it entirely. With a complete injury, the brain will be unable to communicate with the parts of the body connected to the cord below the site of the injury. The severity of a complete spinal cord injury depends on where the injury is located and how damaging the injury is.
With an incomplete spinal cord injury, the effects are more unpredictable. Victims of incomplete spinal cord injuries typically contend with symptoms like reduced touch sensation, diminished range of motion, and impaired control over the body connected to the cord below the site. Some will retain functional control but experience greatly diminished sensation, while others will retain sensation but lose flexibility and control.
Victims of incomplete spinal cord injuries may require medical device use, need ongoing occupational and physical therapy, and face multiple difficult adjustments to their everyday life. Those who suffer complete injuries face paralysis, which may prevent them from walking again or having any control over their body below the site of the injury. Ultimately, any spinal cord injury is likely to be a life-changing experience for the victim and impose many burdens on them and their family.
When a spinal cord injury results from the negligence or intentional misconduct of another party, the injured party has the right to seek compensation for their damages from the party who caused their injury. A few of the most commonly reported causes of spinal cord injuries that can generate personal injury claims in Las Vegas include:
- Motor vehicle accidents. If another driver’s negligence or misconduct causes a spinal cord injury, the victim has the right to file both an auto insurance claim and a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver to recover their losses. However, insurance alone is unlikely to cover the entire scope of damages that a spinal cord injury will entail.
- Premises liability. If you suffered a slip and fall accident resulting in a spinal cord injury on another person’s property, you might have grounds for a premises liability claim. The property owner is legally required to ensure their property is free of hazards that might injure lawful visitors. As long as you can prove you were legally present on the property and the owner should have addressed the hazard that caused your injury, they are liable for resulting damages.
- Work-related injuries. Many people in Las Vegas work in potentially dangerous fields like construction. When falls or similar workplace injuries result in spinal cord injuries, victims may have the ability to file workers’ compensation claims for some initial recovery. However, if a specific party bears fault for a workplace injury, the injured party can pursue further legal recourse with a third-party personal injury claim.
- Criminal violence. Unfortunately, as a major tourist destination, Las Vegas is a prime location for violent crime such as assault and armed robbery. If you suffered a spinal cord injury due to another party’s intentional act of criminal violence, they face prosecution from the state along with civil liability for your damages. Your Las Vegas spinal cord injury attorney can advise you as to how their criminal case might affect your recovery efforts.
These are only a few possible examples of how spinal cord injuries might happen due to the negligence or misconduct of other parties. Your Las Vegas spinal cord injury attorney will be invaluable when it comes to gathering the evidence needed to firmly prove liability for your injury, including material evidence from the scene of the accident in question and statements from any witnesses who saw it happen firsthand. In addition, if your case involves any unique technical details, your attorney may consult an expert witness who can provide valuable professional insights on these details.
Proving liability for your spinal cord injury is just the first phase of your case. Before you can proceed with your recovery process, you will need to prove the full scope of the damages the defendant caused so you can hold them appropriately accountable. Nevada law does not limit economic damages, so you have the right to claim full repayment of any and all economic losses the defendant inflicted on you and your family. Claimable economic damages in a spinal cord injury case often include:
- Medical expenses. When a defendant has caused a physical injury, they absorb liability for the expense of treating the victim’s injuries. Spinal cord injuries are highly damaging and often difficult to treat. Because of that, most victims will require not only extensive immediate treatment but also ongoing rehabilitative care. Your Las Vegas spinal cord injury attorney will help you assess the full scope of medical treatment you will need to reach maximum medical improvement, and the defendant is liable for all associated expenses.
- Lost income. If a defendant’s actions leave you unable to work and earn income, they are liable for the income you cannot earn. This applies to future income you can no longer earn as well. Since spinal cord injuries tend to cause extensive long-term medical complications, a defendant may face liability for both immediate lost wages and the victim’s lost future earning potential.
- Property damage. In the event that the defendant’s actions also damaged the victim’s property, such as their house or vehicle, the defendant absorbs liability for the expense of repairing or replacing any of the property they damaged.
A spinal cord injury is a catastrophic injury that can be incredibly expensive to treat and rehabilitate, so the total of your claimable economic damages in a spinal cord injury case may be much more than you initially expected at the outset of your recovery efforts. However, your recovery does not end with your economic damages, as state law also permits you to seek pain and suffering compensation from the defendant.
The plaintiff in a Las Vegas spinal cord injury case has the right to hold the defendant accountable for the physical pain and emotional distress they experienced because of the defendant’s actions. A spinal cord injury can easily result in permanent disability, forever diminishing the victim’s quality of life. Under Nevada law, there is no limit to how much a plaintiff can claim in pain and suffering compensation, so this could form the bulk of your total case award if you suffered permanent harm from the defendant’s actions.
Most personal injury attorneys will use the multiplier method to calculate appropriate pain and suffering compensation for a client who has suffered severe permanent harm from a defendant’s actions. The attorney will add up the total of their client’s economic damages and multiply this by a factor representative of the severity of their client’s condition. This could be five times or more than the total of their economic damages to reflect the severity of the spinal cord injury in question.
Ultimately, you could be entitled to seek far more compensation from the defendant than you might expect. Working with an experienced Las Vegas spinal cord injury not only increases your chances of success with your claim but will also likely generate a much better case award than you would be able to secure by yourself. The sooner you reach out to an attorney you can trust, the more likely you are to maximize your case award.
Q: How Much Compensation Can You Receive for a Spinal Injury in Las Vegas?
A: If another party is responsible for a spinal injury that has permanently diminished your quality of life and ability to work, you could have grounds to claim a substantial amount of compensation. The total value of a personal injury case depends on the severity of the plaintiff’s damages. Your Las Vegas spinal cord injury attorney can help assess the total scope of damages you can claim from the defendant and provide an estimate of your claim’s potential value.
Q: Is a Spinal Cord Injury Considered a Disability?
A: In most cases, yes, a spinal cord injury will qualify as a disability. The spinal cord cannot repair itself like the rest of the body, so any injury is permanent. A partial injury that does not completely sever the cord can still cause a host of permanent complications, including reduced mobility and diminished sensation. A complete injury that severs the cord will paralyze the body connected below the site of the injury.
Q: Can You Work After Spinal Cord Injuries?
A: Some people who suffer spinal cord injuries are able to continue working while others are able to train for alternative work. In the event that you cannot earn as much income as you did prior to your injury because of a defendant’s actions, they are liable for your lost earning capacity. If your injury is on the upper part of the spinal cord and you have been completely paralyzed, you may not be able to work or live independently following initial recovery from the injury.
Q: Do I Really Need to Hire a Las Vegas Spinal Cord Injury Attorney?
A: You are not legally required to hire legal representation for a personal injury claim in Las Vegas, but doing so will significantly improve your chances of maximizing the compensation you secure from the defendant responsible for your injury. An experienced Las Vegas spinal cord injury attorney will know how to accurately calculate your claimable damages and gather the evidence needed to firmly establish liability. Ultimately, you are more likely to win your case and secure the maximum amount of recompense for your losses with an attorney’s assistance.
Q: What Does a Las Vegas Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Charge a Client?
A: The attorneys at Easton & Easton accept personal injury clients on a contingency basis to keep our legal counsel accessible to those who need it most. Under a contingency agreement, the client does not pay any legal fees until their attorney wins their case. Additionally, the contingency fee is a portion of the client’s final case award. If they do not win their case for any reason, they pay nothing, eliminating the risk of legal fees overshadowing their compensation.
The attorneys at Easton & Easton have extensive professional experience with a wide range of personal injury cases, including those that pertain to catastrophic harm like spinal cord injuries. Of course, when another party is responsible for any serious injury, you have the right to seek accountability and compensation for the damages you suffered. However, when it comes to spinal cord injuries, victims often face many life-changing complications, and it’s our goal to help you and your family recover as fully as possible from such an incident. If you are ready to learn how an experienced Las Vegas spinal cord injury attorney can assist you with your recovery, contact us today and schedule a case evaluation with our team.