What Qualifies A Spinal Cord Injury For A Lawsuit?

By: Brandon Howl

Spinal cord injury cases can be complex since they require a lot of insight into long-term needs and substantial medical records. Most times, these cases require the services of an experienced spinal cord lawyer who knows how to seek the full spectrum of damages for a victim. However, just because you can file a lawsuit doesn’t mean you should, or that you will win. If you or your loved one has recently sustained a spinal cord injury, you should talk to a qualified spinal injury lawyer. Here are some questions that will need to be answered in order to determine if you are eligible to file a lawsuit.


 Who is responsible for your injuries?

For you to file a suit, someone has to have been responsible for your injuries. It’s not always clear regarding who is responsible, and sometimes it might be possible to sue even if you injured yourself.

Generally, you have to prove that the other party was negligent and failed to meet a clear duty. For example, a doctor who failed to treat a spinal cord infection might have been negligent. If you can’t prove negligence, you have to be able to prove that the other parts acted intentionally to cause you harm. For example, if someone shoots you, causing your spinal cord injury, that person could be held responsible. Some of the most common defendants in spinal cord injuries are:

  • manufacturers of devices like seat belts or guns that malfunction
  • doctors and other medical providers who don’t provide appropriate care
  • businesses whose employees take part in dangerous behaviour
  • businesses that fail to provide a sufficiently safe environment
  • people who injured you, like a person with whom you were involved in a car accident


Did someone make your injuries worse?

Liability isn’t always a clear issue. Sometimes there’s no one person liable, but there was someone who made your injury worse. This could be a doctor who didn’t treat your injuries in a timely fashion, or someone who interfered with your ability to get to the hospital as soon as possible.

Some spinal cord injury lawsuits have multiple parties. You can sue all of the parties responsible. Even if someone isn’t clearly liable, you might be able to sue if they made the injury worse. For more information about spinal cord injuries, Mayo Clinic has additional in-depth information on their website.


Can the responsible party pay?

Spinal cord injuries aren’t cheap, and this is a major consideration when you file a lawsuit. The chances that someone will be able to afford the costs associated with a spinal cord injury are very slight. If your injuries were caused by an individual who is not covered by insurance, it might not matter how much you win; you can spend the rest of your life getting small amounts of money trying to recover what you’ve lost.

An experienced spinal cord injury lawyer will often try to circumvent this by finding another party to hold responsible. This could be a manufacturer instead of the person who owned the defective product, or the business rather than the employees.


Could other legal issues come into play?

Even if you injuries are severe and you can show that another party was responsible, you might still not win your suit. To maximize your chances of winning, consult with an experienced personal injury law firm such as Preszler Law for your available options. Some common issues that might affect your case include:

  • legal precedent, where previous decisions determine which cases can and cannot be filed
  • the statute of limitations, which means once your claim goes past a certain date, you cannot file, so you have to act quickly
  • You have to be able to prove that your injuries were caused by the other party, and that your injuries didn’t come before the incident.