Selecting an Attorney in a Spinal Cord Injury Case
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Severe spinal cord injuries can impact every aspect of your life. In addition to medical bills and lost wages, you or your loved one must learn to live with a new normal.
You might want to file a spinal cord injury lawsuit. When choosing your attorney, there are many factors to consider.
You’ll want to work with an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer. Spinal cord injuries often result in years of medical care that can cost you unimaginable amounts of money and cause immense pain and suffering.
Only an attorney knowledgeable in spinal cord injury law can present a successful case.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Before approaching an attorney, it’s helpful to know what type and level of spinal cord injury you or your loved one have. Doctors classify spinal cord injuries into two categories: complete and incomplete. Your classification may affect the size of your settlement.
Complete spinal cord injuries occur when the damage is permanent. These types of injuries result in tetraplegia (paralysis of the torso, legs, and arms) or paraplegia (paralysis of the legs and part of the torso).
Incomplete spinal cord injuries are less severe and are a result of partial damage to the spinal cord. If you can move your body beneath the damaged area even slightly, you’ll receive this diagnosis.
Many people with spinal cord injuries also suffer from other complications, including loss of bladder control, loss of skin sensation, problems with circulatory control, problems breathing, and depression. If any of these apply to you, be sure to mention them to your lawyer.
Finding a Lawyer
If you are affected by a catastrophic injury resulting in paralysis, it can be challenging to focus on the practicalities. Work with your family members to research personal injury attorneys to find the best option for you.
Because pursuing a spinal cord injury claim is so specialized, it can be tough to find the right attorney for you. You should not just consider their terms and their experience, but also find someone with whom you can have a relationship.
Spinal injuries are overwhelming, and your ideal attorney won’t add to your panic. Find someone who you click with and who takes your feelings seriously.
Unlike other personal injury cases, spinal cord injury cases can take years to litigate. It’s essential to work with a lawyer who you trust, and not one who simply views you as a means to make money.
Instead of just picking the first google result, call around and chat with lawyers to see how you connect. If you like them, set up a free consultation to see what else they can offer you.
Don’t forget to clarify which lawyer at the firm will work on your case. Some firms will delegate, so you might end up working with an inexperienced new hire.
Also, check with them about when and how often they will update you about your case. You want to work with an attorney who is willing to keep you updated.
To fully understand the implications of a spinal cord injury, your lawyer must have expertise in medical matters. Medical specialization is particularly crucial if your injury is a result of medical malpractice.
You won’t be just suing for lost wages. If your injury resulted in paralysis, you probably need expensive mobility tools, made changes to your house and car and attended physical therapy.
A lawyer with a medical background is an excellent asset to your case. Ms. Kroll can help guide you legally while also providing medical insights.
Terms and Conditions
Like with any agreement, you must clarify what type of fee your lawyer wants. Most lawyers will want to negotiate a contingent fee, which you won’t have to pay upfront. This type of agreement means they’ll only receive a payment if your case is successful. Usually, their fee will be a percentage of your settlement fee, rather than a predetermined number.
However, there are several things to be aware of when discussing the particulars of the contingent fee.
If your case isn’t successful, who will cover any related costs? During your case, your attorney will likely call many experts to testify, including doctors, liability experts, rehabilitation coaches, and quality of life experts. These costs can quickly rise, and you want to be sure that you’re not required to cover them out of pocket.
You’ll also want to confirm the exact percentage before signing the contract.
What to Ask Potential Lawyers
After you’ve chosen a lawyer, call them for a free consultation. To get the most out of your first meeting, here are a few questions you should ask.
First, present them with all your information. Include details about the cause of your injury, medical records, how your injury has affected your ability to work, and any lost wages.
After discussing the details and answering any questions from the lawyer, ask for their opinion on whether your case could be successful. If they aren’t sure they can argue your case successfully, consult with another lawyer.
If several attorneys all agree, you might want to follow legal advice and drop the case.
You’ll also want to ask if there are any alternatives to legal action. Sometimes, mediation can resolve a case without going to court. If this is an option, it might take less time and get you faster results.
Lastly, always be honest with your lawyer. Keep them informed of any new updates, even if you’re concerned it will negatively impact your case. If your ability to work changes or there are any medical changes, let your attorney know as soon as possible.
Set Up Your Free Consultation Today
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. have a wealth of experience taking on insurance companies. If you or a loved one has experienced a spinal cord or brain injury, you’ll want to work with a diligent and caring attorney.
Don’t wait too long to start the legal process. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to prove injuries, and the longer you’ll have to wait to receive your settlement.
Call 866-MICH-LAW today to set up your no-obligation consultation with Michigan’s best personal injury lawyers.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.