How Spinal Cord Injuries are Evaluated in Personal Injury Claims
There are no two spinal cord injuries that are exactly the same. Even when the circumstances that caused the injury are quite similar and the initial diagnoses are nearly identical, there will be differences in the details. Understanding the smallest details of a spinal injury and how they are evaluated is absolutely crucial to ensuring a spinal cord injury client gets a fair, maximized compensation amount from any parties liable for their injury.
When evaluating a spinal cord injury, medical professionals will consider:
- Permanence: Most spinal cord damage is permanent, but some cases do heal or improve over time and with the right medical treatments. The expected permanence or duration of a spinal cord damage and the consequences it brings, such as paralysis, is a major factor in evaluating the injury as a whole.
- Disability: A spinal cord injury may cause paralysis, paraplegia, quadriplegia, and a variety of other serious health complications. The disabilities or debilitations caused by those complications will vary. Knowing what actions or movements are no longer possible for the patient to complete, such as bending over or lifting heavy objects, can help with compensation evaluations.
- Life expectancy: Does the patient’s spinal cord injury jeopardize their overall health? Tragically, a serious spinal cord injury can cause widespread health problems, such as eventual organ failures, that cut short the patient’s life expectancy. If a medical doctor believes a spinal injury has reduced the life expectancy of their patient, then noneconomic damages brought against the liable party may increase.
- Infections and complications: Treating a spinal cord injury and releasing the patient from hospitalization is only the beginning of their recovery. It is impossible for doctors to perfectly predict how the injury will flare up or what problems it will cause in the future. However, as part of a spinal cord injury evaluation, they can give an educated estimate of the likelihood of more problems, complications, and infections will be caused by the same injury later.
- Mental harm: Anyone who suffers a spinal cord injury will experience emotional and mental harm from the incident as well. It is only natural for someone to feel stress, anxiety, or depression as they try to adjust to life with a debilitating condition. Since everyone deals with pain and adversity in their own ways, a personalized evaluation of each patient’s own mental health is necessary.
After a spinal cord injury is evaluated thoroughly, the overseeing medical professional may assign it a numerical value that represents its severity. Alternatively, they may simply provide ample notes and records of the severity of the injury. In either outcome, an experienced personal injury attorney can take that information and use it to build a better case for their client, in both terms of its strength against criticism and its accuracy when seeking compensation amounts.
Discuss Your Options with Our Spinal Injury Lawyers
Have you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury due to the negligence of another party, like a distracted driver who caused your car accident? You need to be confident that your injury will be correctly evaluated, and that the results of the evaluation are used appropriately for your claim’s benefit. To take the guesswork out of your case and the situation as a whole, look no further than Habbas & Associates and our San Jose catastrophic injury attorneys. Equipped with knowledge and know-how we have gained across our 175+ years of combined legal experience, we can review and utilize your spinal cord evaluation to your advantage and in pursuit of the best possible compensation amount.
We look forward to hearing how we can help you. Contact our team today.