What is the Process for a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit?
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Spinal cord injury claims can take years to process because they often involve complex injuries that have resulted in large medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Taking on a spinal cord injury lawsuit on your own is difficult, especially if you are the injured party. Working with a spinal cord injury lawyer at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., allows you to focus on healing and attending your medical appointments instead of dealing with the stress of suing without legal advice.
Spinal Cord Injury Facts
Before starting the process for your spinal cord injury lawsuit, it’s essential to understand some basic facts about your injury and what it could mean for your future.
These types of injuries occur when something damages your spinal cord or the nerves at the end of the spinal cord. Common causes include car accidents, sports injuries, and falls. They are often severe, causing paralysis and a loss of feeling below the injury. If you cannot feel anything below the injury, you have complete paralysis, while those with some feeling have incomplete paralysis.
Spinal cord injuries require extensive medical attention for months or years. You may also need to purchase a wheelchair, make your home accessible, or pay for a home carer. Depending on your job, you may also be unable to return to work.
Seek Medical Attention
The first step in a spinal cord injury lawsuit, whether your injuries are because of a medical malpractice incident or a car accident, is to seek medical attention as soon as possible since your injury can continue to worsen because of swelling, bleeding, or inflammation in the days and weeks following the accident.
It’s important that you continue to attend all necessary medical appointments, including doctor’s appointments and physical therapy if recommended. Insurance companies or your opponent’s lawyer could argue that a failure to attend these ongoing appointments shows your injury isn’t as bad as you claim.
Make sure you keep a detailed record of all your medical visits. You may need to call the hospital several weeks after your injury occurs to get the documents since many people suffering from spinal cord injuries are in shock when they arrive at the hospital.
Find an Experienced Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
Once your doctor releases you from the hospital, find an experienced personal injury law firm near you. If your injuries mean you must remain in the hospital long-term, ask a loved one to help you contact a lawyer.
In Michigan, you have three years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. While this may seem like a long time, it can take years for your case to work its way through the legal system, so the sooner you start, the sooner you can receive your compensation.
At your initial consultation, one of our expert attorneys Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., will ask you about your accident. Bring all your records with you, including a police report describing your accident, names and phone numbers of witnesses, diagnoses, medical bills, and other costs. If you cannot return to work, let your lawyer know how many days of work you have missed because of your injury.
Whenever you receive information about your medical status, get a new prescription, miss a day of work, or spend money making your home accessible, note it down. Make an electronic and physical file of all relevant documents that you can share with your lawyer. Having an electronic copy means you won’t lose essential documentation even if you lose or damage the paper file.
These records are essential for proving your financial claims. Once your lawyer has proved that the other party caused your accident, they can use your documentation to determine how much compensation you should receive.
After your initial meeting with your lawyer, they need to research your case. Be sure to disclose any previous medical or legal issues since they could affect the type of research your lawyer must do.
Your lawyer will look into the police report and try to piece together exactly what caused your accident, allowing them to determine who is liable and who to name in your suit.
Speak With The Insurance Companies
Your lawyer can speak with your insurance company on your behalf if they have delayed your payout. They will also send out letters of representation to other insurance companies involved in your case, letting them know that you have legal representation. If an insurance company contacts you despite knowing you have a lawyer, don’t respond. Instead, let your lawyer know since they should handle all communication.
Settlement or Trial?
After doing research and speaking with the police, insurance companies, medical personnel, and your friends and family, you and your lawyer must decide whether you should file a spinal cord injury lawsuit, naming everyone who could be liable for your injury, or try to come to a settlement, without involving the courts.
Deciding whether to go to trial or to take a settlement offer is entirely up to you. However, your lawyer can provide detailed legal advice on which is better. Each spinal cord injury case is unique, and while a settlement is better for some victims, for others, going to court is the best option.
While many victims are impatient to get their compensation, it’s important to remember that these cases can take years. The goal is to ensure that you receive enough compensation to pay for your ongoing medical expenses, now and in the future.
Arrange Your Free Consultation
If you or a family member has recently suffered a spinal cord injury, you deserve compensation for your pain and suffering. Eileen Kroll, a senior partner at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., is a former registered nurse who can bring her medical expertise to your injury case.
To get started, call us at 1-866-MICH-LAW and schedule your initial free consultation. We work entirely on contingency, meaning that we don’t get paid until you get compensation. Don’t delay and call us today.
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.