What Factors Do Courts Consider When Awarding Damages for Spinal Injuries?July 6th, 2015
A serious spinal injury can be devastating, and they are more common than most people think. There are approximately 12,500 new spinal injury cases in the United States each year, according to the Spinal Cord Injury Model System.
Most injuries affect males in their 40s. Although the average length of an acute hospital stay following an injury has declined, the national average is still 11 days. This does not include the average stay of 36 days in a rehabilitation facility.
Spinal injuries can be expensive to treat and manage, and many people cannot afford ongoing rehabilitation. At The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, a New Orleans medical malpractice attorney may be able to help you recover damages to pay for health-care costs, which can keep you and your family out of debt. Call us today at (504) 586-5200 to find out if you may have a case.
Read on to learn about the factors a judge may consider when awarding damages in a spinal injury case:
What Is a Spinal Injury?
According to the State of Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, a spinal cord injury is not of a degenerative nature; rather, it is an injury to the spinal region by an external force. A spinal cord injury typically results in a partial or total paralysis.
These injuries are particularly common in car accidents or due to a doctor’s negligence during intricate procedures involving the back, neck or spine. In these cases, the victim may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
Factors a Court Will Consider When Awarding Damages
According to the United States Department of Labor, there are several elements that can affect the verdict in these cases. If the lawsuit is successful, the judge will typically award financial compensation for a spinal injury claim to compensate the individual for any losses that he or she suffered or is suffering because of the injury.
Because spinal injuries can be life limiting and debilitating, the judge may also take future medical treatment and rehabilitation into account. Many spinal injury victims lose the ability to walk, and a judge can award damages for household changes to accommodate wheelchairs.
The goal is to award an amount that will make the victim “whole” again – that is, to help the individual return to the same quality of life that he or she had before the accident.
The truth, however, is that no amount of compensation can undo the physical and emotional hardships of a spinal injury. In a matter of seconds, a person’s reckless or negligent behavior can cause a lifelong debilitation. By pursuing damages, though, not only can you avoid debt due to lost wages and health-care bills, but you also may inspire changes that save other people from the same negligence.
At The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm, we can evaluate your injuries and determine if filing a lawsuit would be in your best interests. To speak with a New Orleans medical malpractice lawyer, call us today at (504) 586-5200.