Any injury in Tennessee is frightening and potentially life-altering. Few injuries, though, are as dangerous as spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord controls how the brain communicates with the rest of your body, so any damage to it can have catastrophic, permanent effects. A spinal cord injury can also mean a lifetime of expensive medical treatments and therapy, and the costs are likely to be substantial.
You should not have to handle this massive financial burden on your own. If you suffered a spinal cord injury because of another party’s negligence, you can recover compensation for the trauma you have already endured, and will likely face in the future. A spinal cord injury lawyer in Kingsport, TN can help.
Call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC today to schedule a free consultation: 865-546-1111.
How can I recover compensation for my spinal cord injury?
To be eligible for compensation, we must be able to prove the other party caused your accident. How we do this depends on the details of your spinal cord injury. However, in almost every case, we must establish the following:
- Duty: The liable party had a duty to keep you from undue harm.
- Breach: The liable party breached that duty.
- Causation: Your injuries resulted from the breach.
- Damages: You suffered damages.
We have experience dealing with insurers and lawyers for negligent parties in a variety of circumstances, and can establish negligence and build your case no matter what the cause.
Who might be liable for my accident?
While many people think that there can only be one negligent party in a car accident (the other driver), various parties can be liable:
The Other Driver
You can hold the other driver liable if you can prove that his action or inaction caused your accident and injuries. Consider the following: the other driver ran a red light and crashed into your car. The force of the accident resulted in trauma to your spine. Because of the accident, you can no longer care for yourself or go back to work.
We will gather evidence such as red light camera footage, eyewitness statements, surveillance camera footage, and photos, as well as work with accident reconstruction experts to determine exactly how the accident happened.
In some cases, a mechanic’s shoddy maintenance will cause an accident to happen (e.g., the mechanic did not tighten the studs on the tire hub causing the tire to fall off, the mechanic saw the tires were dangerously worn but did not mention it to the driver causing a blowout, etc.). If this is the case, we can hold the body shop liable for the accident by proving the mechanic’s action or inaction lead to the accident.
You can hold the manufacturer liable if a defective product caused your injury. For example: if you were approaching a stop sign when your brakes suddenly stopped working, causing you to run the stop sign and crash into another car, you could hold the manufacturer liable for any injuries that resulted.
Because it is almost impossible to prove a manufacturer behaved negligently, we must instead prove the following:
- The product was defective when it left the manufacturer.
- You did not alter it substantially between the purchase and the incident in question.
- You were using the product as it was intended.
- The defect caused your injuries.
Holding a manufacturer liable is often difficult because these companies usually have large legal teams behind them waiting to pounce on all lawsuits. However, we are not afraid of these legal teams. We have the experience, knowledge, and determination necessary to win these claims.
Regardless of how your accident occurred, we will gather the necessary evidence and work with experts to establish liability.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit?
Tennessee law observes a one-year statute of limitations for most civil actions involving personal injuries. So, you have a year following the injury to file a lawsuit.
There are some limited exceptions, such as if you are filing against a governmental entity; however, this will likely shorten the time available.
Give us a call as soon as possible so we enough time to gather evidence and file your claim.
What kind of damages can I claim?
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) estimates the average cost of the most severe type of SCI at more than $1 million for the first year and nearly $185,000 for each subsequent year. It is important to note that these are only medical costs; this does not consider other related costs such as “lost wages, fringe benefits, and productivity,” which the NSCISC estimates at approximately $72,000 (in 2014).
Because spinal cord injuries are so severe, there are several types of damages, in addition to medical expenses, that might be available from the at-fault party or his insurer. A Kingsport spinal cord injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC will present the strongest possible case on your behalf so you can secure compensation in the following areas:
- Medical expenses: We will gather and organize bills and other records of the expenses you have already accumulated. Recovery from a spinal cord injury will likely be a lengthy process, so we can also consult medical professionals and secure expert testimony to provide an accurate estimate of the expenses you might face in the future.
- Lost wages: There is a good chance an SCI will cause you to miss a lot of time at work, which means you will miss out on income, as well as benefits, raises, or possible promotions. We will compile documentation of your income history and seek expert testimony, if necessary, to verify what you lost. We can also help you recover compensation if you must take a lower-paying job or if you are unable to return to work at all.
- Pain and suffering: This is harder to quantify than expenses and lost wages, but you deserve compensation for the decline in quality of life you may be experiencing because of a serious spinal injury. We will work with medical, vocational, and psychological experts to determine how this injury has affected you physically and emotionally to put a correct value on your case.
- Punitive damages: These are additional damages awarded to a plaintiff as punishment against the defendant. This can happen when the plaintiff’s injury occurred because of reckless or malicious action by the defendant (e.g., driving while intoxicated). We can help establish whether the other party’s negligence merits punitive damages.
Recover the compensation you deserve. Call us today.
A spinal cord injury can result in lifelong disabilities and staggering medical costs. If you have suffered such an injury because of another party’s negligence, you deserve compensation. We are ready to help you every step of the way. Call the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC at 865-546-1111 today for a free consultation.