Spinal Cord Injuries in Car Crashes: Seeking Justice

Spinal cord injuries in a car accident case

Car accidents are a harsh reality of life, and their consequences can range from minor inconveniences to life-altering tragedies. Among the most devastating outcomes are spinal cord injuries (SCIs), which can leave victims with permanent paralysis, chronic pain, and a multitude of other challenges.

If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury in a car crash in Georgia, understanding the legal landscape and your options for seeking damages is crucial. Our Atlanta car accident lawyers are here to help you recover the compensation you deserve.

The Impact of Spinal Cord Injuries

SCIs occur when the spinal cord, a vital communication pathway between the brain and body, is damaged. This damage can be caused by various mechanisms in a car crash, such as sudden force, compression, or shearing of the spinal cord. The severity and location of the injury determine the extent of paralysis and other functional impairments.

Here are some potential consequences of spinal cord injuries.

  • Paralysis: Depending on the level of injury, paralysis can affect any part of the body below the injured area, ranging from limited mobility in the limbs to complete quadriplegia.
  • Sensory loss: Loss of sensation in the affected areas is common, making it difficult or impossible to perceive pain, temperature, or touch.
  • Bladder and bowel dysfunction: Loss of control over bladder and bowel functions can be a significant challenge, requiring ongoing medical management and potentially impacting social activities and intimacy.
  • Chronic pain: Persistent pain is a major issue for many SCI survivors, often requiring long-term pain management strategies.
  • Psychological and emotional challenges: Adjusting to life with an SCI can be emotionally and psychologically challenging, leading to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

The Legal Process After a Georgia Car Crash

Suffering a spinal cord injury in a car crash in Georgia is a life-altering event. Beyond the physical and emotional trauma, navigating the legal process can seem daunting. Our Atlanta car accident lawyers can help you secure the compensation you deserve.

Establishing Fault

To establish fault and secure compensation, your attorney will need to demonstrate the elements of negligence.

  • The other driver owed you a duty of care (e.g., to drive safely and obey traffic laws).
  • The other driver breached that duty of care through negligence (e.g., speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving).
  • This negligence directly caused your accident.
  • You suffered injuries and damages due to the accident.

Georgia follows a comparative negligence system, meaning your compensation can be reduced if you share some fault for the accident.

car accidents can cause injuries to the spine

Building Your Case

To successfully pursue your legal claim, it is crucial to gather evidence that supports your case.

  • Medical records: All documentation of your medical treatment and diagnosis of the SCI is essential.
  • Police reports and accident scene photographs: These provide details about the accident and can help establish fault.
  • Witness statements: If anyone witnessed the crash, their testimony can be valuable.
  • Expert testimony: Medical and vocational experts can provide valuable insights into the extent of your injuries and the impact they have had on your life.

The Deadline for a Lawsuit

You have a limited timeframe to file your lawsuit, known as the statute of limitations. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years from the date of the accident. O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33 sets this deadline.

Compensation for Spinal Cord Injuries

An experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer knows how to evaluate your case and seek the maximum compensation.

Economic Damages

  • Medical expenses: Past, present, and future medical costs, including hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, medication, assistive devices, and ongoing medical care.
  • Lost wages: Past and future lost income due to your inability to work.
  • Loss of earning capacity: If your injury reduces your future earning potential, you can seek compensation for this loss.

Non-Economic Damages

  • Pain and suffering: The physical and emotional pain you endure due to your SCI.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: You can seek compensation for your inability to participate in activities you once enjoyed due to your injury.
  • Loss of consortium: If your SCI impacts your marriage or intimate relationships, you may be entitled to compensation for this loss.

Punitive Damages

In rare cases, if the at-fault party acted with intentional misconduct or reckless disregard for your safety, punitive damages may be awarded.

These are meant as a punishment and to deter future similar conduct. O.C.G.A. § 51-12-5 limits punitive damages to $250,000.00, but this cap does not apply to drunk driving accidents.

How an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

Navigating the complexities of a personal injury lawsuit after an SCI can be overwhelming. It is highly recommended to seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in handling car crash cases.

Here is how our Atlanta accident attorneys can help you.

  • We can advise you of your legal rights and options.
  • We will investigate the accident and gather evidence.
  • We will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
  • We will represent you in court if necessary.

The road to recovery after a spinal cord injury is challenging, but with the right support and legal representation, you can rebuild your life and obtain the compensation you deserve.

The Weinstein Firm has won millions of dollars for clients in Georgia. Contact us at 770-HELP-NOW for a free case review.

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