Damage to your spinal cord is often a life-changing, catastrophic injury. People with spinal cord injuries usually suffer partial or complete paralysis of the limbs.
Adapting to a spinal cord injury requires focus and determination, but financial worries can hinder your healing. If another person or company’s conduct led to the circumstance that caused your injury, they could be liable to pay compensation for your injuries and losses.
Seek help from a dedicated catastrophic injury attorney with experience securing damages for people in situations like yours. At Shook & Stone, our Reno spinal cord injury lawyers could guide you throughout the healing process and help ensure you have the necessary resources to recover and thrive.
Establishing Responsibility for a Spinal Cord Injury
Someone seeking compensation for an injury (plaintiff) must prove another party (defendant) was negligent and that their negligence directly contributed to the situation that caused the injury. A defendant could be a person, company, government agency, or other legal entity. A person seeking compensation for a spinal cord injury often brings a claim against multiple defendants.
Almost all spinal cord injuries result from accidents. At Shook & Stone, our Reno attorneys could investigate and identify all parties whose negligence might have played a role in the situation that led to the spinal cord injury. For example, if the injury resulted from a car accident, potentially liable parties might include:
- Other drivers involved in the accident
- The local government where the incident occurred
- Medical personnel who treated the plaintiff after the injury
Claiming against multiple parties means more insurance companies might contribute to a settlement, increasing the likelihood a person with a spinal cord injury receives sufficient compensation.
Sometimes, the injured person’s conduct contributed to their own accident and injuries. For example, someone who sustains a spinal cord injury when diving into a pool might be partially liable if signs warn swimmers against diving. According to Nevada Revised Statutes § 41-141, an injured person can collect the portion of their damages attributable to other parties’ conduct, but cannot collect any damages if they are primarily responsible for their own harm.
Compensation for Spinal Cord Injuries
The expenses of treating, rehabilitating, and adapting to a spinal cord injury can be challenging to manage, even for people who have good insurance. Most policies have annual and lifetime caps, and treatment for a spinal cord injury could exceed a typical cap quickly. Compensation from responsible parties—referred to legally as “damages”—could provide much-needed funds, allowing an injured person to get the care they need.
Our Reno attorneys could help an injured person and their loved ones document their expenses and the injury’s effect on their lives.
An injured person is entitled to receive the expenses they incurred due to their accident, including medical and rehabilitation costs. Damages could include surgeries, medications, medical devices like wheelchairs, home renovations to accommodate them, and an adaptive vehicle. The injured person is also entitled to damages to make up for lost income and reduced earning capacity in the future.
Compensation also covers intangible losses, such as disfigurement, lost ability to participate in activities once enjoyed, physical pain, disability, and mental suffering. An injured person’s family members could seek damages for loss of consortium if the injury interferes with their relationship with their loved one.
Sometimes, just compensating for someone’s losses seems inadequate. When a defendant’s conduct is so outrageous it merits punishment, the court might award punitive damages. A person could seek punitive damages when they can show that a defendant’s conduct was oppressive, fraudulent, or malicious.
The law limits punitive damages in most cases. Punitive damages cannot exceed $300,000 if the injured person’s compensatory damages are less than $100,000. When compensatory damages exceed $100,000, punitive damages cannot be more than three times the amount of the compensatory damages. There are exceptions to the caps, which our Reno attorneys could further explain.
Pursue Compensation After a Spinal Cord Injury With Our Reno Attorneys
A spinal cord injury is life-changing, and the parties whose conduct contributes to the injury should be responsible for compensating you for your losses. Securing compensation that is adequate to address the substantial economic and non-economic costs of a catastrophic injury requires experienced legal representation.
A Reno spinal cord injury lawyer from our firm has the skills and knowledge to obtain maximum damages. Call Shook & Stone immediately for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.