If you suffered a spinal cord injury because of someone else’s recklessness, you already know how this catastrophic injury has affected you physically, financially, and emotionally. You might not know how to obtain compensation for the trauma you endured or who to trust to help you to take this action. If you find yourself in this situation, you can trust the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, to help you every step of the way.
Our firm has earned a reputation of getting the maximum compensation possible for our personal injury clients. We provide individualized service to our clients and keep you notified of what is going on in your case. We can help you recover your damages. Call us now at 865-546-1111 for a free, legal consultation with a spinal cord injury lawyer in Kingsport.
Car Crashes Are the Most Common Cause of Spinal Cord Injuries.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, specifically because they can easily cause trauma to the face, head, neck, and back area. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), vehicular accidents are responsible for over 38 percent of spinal cord injuries in the United States.
How Do I Hold the At-Fault Driver Responsible for My Spinal Cord Injury?
While your spinal cord injury may have occurred due to someone else’s negligence, you must prove your claim before you can recover compensation. If an insurance adjuster does not believe you have a severe spinal cord injury, expect a challenge to your claim. Our firm, however, has extensive experience in negotiating with insurers. We know the type of proof to present to insurance companies in order to prevail in a negligence claim.
Tennessee requires that you prove four elements of negligence.
Duty of Care
The person who caused your injury had a duty to ensure your safety. For instance, the driver who hit your vehicle owed you a duty to drive in a careful manner.
Breach of Duty
The at-fault driver breached the duty owed to you by causing an accident.
The at-fault driver’s negligence caused you to suffer an injury. The driver could have been speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, texting and driving, or driving in some other type of reckless manner.
As a result of the driver’s negligence, you suffered economic and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress.
How Much Compensation Can I Recover?
Before we can answer that question and provide you with legal options, we need to gather key details about how your injury occurred and how it has affected your life. This helps to determine your compensation award. For instance, you would receive more compensation for a spinal cord injury that caused paralysis than one that only caused stiffness in your back or neck.
The way your accident happened can also impact your case. If another driver was behaving recklessly and bears the full blame for causing the wreck, we can request your full damages from them. If, however, you share some of the blame for the crash, you may only be eligible for partial damages. In a case where both parties share blame, the state’s modified comparative negligence rules come into effect.
Under these laws, each party is eligible for a reduced percentage of their total damages based on their degree of fault.
Imagine, for example, another driver rear-ended you, causing damage to your vehicle and a spinal cord injury. While the rear driver probably bears most of the fault for the crash, if your brake lights were out and you stopped suddenly, you might share some of the blame, as well. A judge might determine you were 20 percent at fault for the wreck. In this case, you could only recover 80 percent of your total damages.
What Type of Damages Can I Pursue?
Depending on the severity of your injury and the facts of your case, you can pursue economic damages that include:
- Current and future medical bills;
- Inpatient rehabilitation;
- Home health care;
- Assistive medical devices like wheelchairs, walkers, and canes;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of earning capacity, if you can no longer work; and
- Loss of enjoyment of life, if the injury diminished your quality of life.
Tennessee does not limit economic damages, but there are caps on non-economic damages, like pain and suffering and emotional distress. State law caps non-economic damages at $750,000. If your injury resulted in paraplegia or quadriplegia, the law allows awards up to $1 million.
Should I File a Personal Injury Claim or a Lawsuit?
After we conduct an investigation to determine the party responsible for your accident, we prepare a solid claim to file with their insurance company. If you have already received an offer for a settlement, we recommend that you do not accept it before speaking with us first. This is because the offer may not take care of your needs. We understand the struggles you face and our goal is to get you full compensation for your current and future needs.
If the insurance company gives a low offer or the insurer wants to deny your claim, you have the option of filing a lawsuit and we would serve as your legal representatives.
Tennessee gives you one year to file a personal injury lawsuit over your spinal cord injury. We recommend that you schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible so that we can get started investigating your accident.
Let Us Help You Recover After a Spinal Cord Injury.
We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not pay us unless we successfully resolve your case. Call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC, now to speak with a spinal cord injury lawyer in Kingsport. We will answer your questions, thoroughly develop your case, and speak on your behalf to insurers. Call us at 865-546-1111 today.