What Damages Can You Receive in a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit?
A spinal cord injury is one of the most traumatic and physically disabling injuries a person can experience. Severe damage to the spinal cord can cause the loss of sensation, function, and even paralysis.
When pursuing financial compensation after a spinal cord injury in a traumatic accident, a variety of factors must be considered to determine what you are entitled to recover under the law.
As a leading personal injury law firm in Providence for more than 45 years, Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd has seen the devastating effects of these injuries on victims and their families. Our experienced spinal cord injury attorneys are committed to holding those responsible for your injuries accountable for their negligence.
What Types of Compensation Can I Recover in a Spinal Cord Injury Claim?
Financial awards for individuals who have been injured or experienced other compensable losses are referred to as damages. Compensatory damages typically include some blend of economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages involve the tangible financial losses you have incurred, or will incur, as a result of your injury. These damages are usually more straightforward because they are documented, verifiable, and more easily calculated. They include medical expenses and loss of earnings.
Non-economic damages are more subjective, and difficult to quantify. They relate to the types of harm that do not come with receipts or other objective documentation. While economic damages are meant to compensate an individual for his or her monetary losses, non-economic damages are intended to account for the pain, suffering, emotional distress, and similar issues that affect injury victims.
What Are Economic Damages for a Spinal Cord Injury?
In Rhode Island, people who suffer spinal cord injuries because of someone else’s negligence can seek full compensation for their financial losses. Not only can you pursue recovery for the monetary losses you are currently experiencing, but your future losses as well. For example, if you will require ongoing pain medications, rehabilitation therapy, or other medical treatment, you can seek compensation to cover these expenses for as long as necessary.
The economic damages that can be recovered after a spinal cord injury may include your current and future:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Physical and psychological therapy costs
- Home and vehicle modification expenses
- Expenses for medical and adaptive devices
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
How To Calculate Your Current Economic Damages
The process for calculating your current financial losses is relatively straightforward. Essentially, you collect all of the bills and receipts for your medical care and other costs related to your injury.
Once you’ve established the figure of your injury-related bills, you add the total of the income and benefits you lost as a result of being unable to work during your recovery.
The total of these expenses represents your current economic damages.
How To Calculate Your Future Economic Damages
Determining the value of your future financial losses is more difficult. To accurately calculate these damages, your attorney will work with your doctors and perhaps with life care planning experts to evaluate the extent of your future medical needs.
Additionally, your lawyer will calculate the amount of income you will likely lose as a result of being temporarily or permanently unable to work.
What Are Non-Economic Damages for a Spinal Cord Injury?
A spinal cord injury can affect every aspect of your life. While your financial losses may be extensive, the current and future non-economic cost of your injury could be even more impactful.
The non-economic losses for which you may be entitled compensation can include your immediate and long-term:
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional distress, such as grief, depression, and anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
How To Calculate Your Current and Future Non-Economic Damages
To place a dollar-value on your current and future non-economic losses, your attorney will consider a number of factors, including:
- The psychological impacts of your injury
- The physical impacts of your injury
- Other day-to-day impacts of your injury on your ability to engage in the activities of daily living
- How long you will likely experience these impacts
- Your age
- Your overall health, employment status, and financial condition
- The severity of the accident
How Can a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Help Me?
If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury, your situation may feel overwhelming. Between dealing with pain and disability, making arrangements with your employer, following your doctor’s instructions, and facing the immediate and long-term impacts of your injury, you shouldn’t have to handle the complex legal process alone.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can advise you on your legal rights, and take steps on your behalf, such as:
- Investigating the details surrounding your injury
- Determining which party or parties are responsible for your injury
- Calculating the true value of your personal injury claim
- Communicating with the insurance company
- Negotiating a settlement with the insurance company
- Ensuring all of the timelines and other steps in the legal process are handled correctly
- Taking your case to trial, if necessary
Contact a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer in Providence Today
For 45 years, Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd has achieved landmark decisions in a broad range of personal injury cases. Not only have our victories helped our clients rebuild their lives after catastrophic injuries, they have changed Rhode Island law.
We understand the hardships you may be facing. Our distinguished legal team is committed to pursuing the full compensation you deserve for your immediate and long-term financial and non-economic losses.
View our multi-million-dollar settlements and trial results.
Please call Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd today at (401) 273-8330 to discuss your spinal injury case. Your initial case evaluation is free.