Massachusetts Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves and cells that runs from the lower part of the brain to the lower back and allows people to control their movements. Damage or injury to the spinal cord can be devastating, including loss of mobility and possible paralysis. Spinal cord injuries are often catastrophic injuries with life-long consequences. The impact can be traumatizing for victims and their loved ones.
According to Mayo Clinic, approximately 11,000 spinal cord injuries occur in the United States each year, with car accidents accounting for almost half of the injuries. The most serious spinal cord injuries include paraparesis, quadriparesis, paraplegia, and quadriplegia. In the worst cases, spinal cord injuries can result in death.
Whether injured in a car accident, a slip and fall accident, or as a result of medical malpractice, spinal cord injuries can be life altering for victims and their families. In cases where there is no paralysis, there may still be constant physical pain and permanent or partial disability leaving the victim unable to work or enjoy some of life’s most simple daily activities. Adding to the physical and emotional pain, spinal cord injuries often involve a lengthy treatment and recovery process which leads to expensive medical bills and related expenses.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
While almost any type of accident can lead to a spinal cord injury, the leading causes of spinal cord injuries in the United States include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle & bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Construction site accidents
If you suffered a spinal cord injury in one of the above accidents due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages.
Statistics show that men are more likely than women to suffer a spinal cord injury and individuals between the ages of 16 and 30 are at a significantly higher risk than any other age bracket. Individuals 65 and older are at higher risk of suffering a fall and more susceptible to a potential spinal cord injury in an accident.
The medical complications resulting from a spinal injury can be severe and traumatic. In the most devastating cases, a spinal cord injury can cause death or paralysis. Other serious health complications include breathing difficulties, speech problems, vision loss, loss of hearing, nerve damage, issues with bladder control and bowel control, and sexual function issues.
Who is Liable for a Massachusetts Spinal Cord Injury?
Depending on the severity of the spinal cord injury, there may be a lengthy recovery timeline and extensive medical treatment resulting in massive medical bills. With a lot of money at stake in a potential lawsuit, insurance carriers and liable parties are always trying to limit their exposure and culpability. To succeed on a personal injury claim related to a spinal cord injury, a plaintiff must show the defendant owed him/her a duty of care and the spinal cord injury was caused by a breach of that duty of care.
For workers who sustain spinal cord injuries in the workplace, the situation is different. Instead of filing a personal injury complaint against the employer in superior court, an injured employee can pursue a workers’ compensation claim with the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA), which oversees the workers’ compensation system. However, Massachusetts law allows the injured employee to sue any third party whose negligence caused or contributed to the workplace injury.
Assuming liability is accepted or proven, the plaintiff in a spinal cord injury case can recover damages for medical bills and related expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, as well as pain and suffering. The injured party may also recover damages for loss of enjoyment of life, rehabilitation costs, caregiving related expenses, and may even be entitled to compensation for costs associated with making necessary home modifications, if necessary. Also included in the personal injury complaint may be a loss of consortium claim on behalf of the plaintiff’s spouse.
Contact a Massachusetts Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
The critical function of the spinal cord means injuries to the spinal cord can result in serious injury or even death. Although no amount of money can make up for the pain and suffering associated with a severe spinal cord injury, a skilled personal injury attorney can help the injured receive compensation for their injuries.
If you are in Massachusetts, and you or your loved one has sustained spinal cord injuries due to another’s negligence, we have the knowledge and experience needed to navigate you through the long and complicated legal process. At Riccio Law, we are committed to helping you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, discuss your legal rights and learn more about the services offered at our firm.