It is no secret that living with a spinal cord injury (SCI) is expensive. Medical bills for SCI patients in their first year of injury alone can range from over $300,000 for paraplegics and over $1 million dollars for quadriplegics. Because these expenses can be so high, and because sustaining a spinal cord injury usually leads to lost wages at work, it’s important to see if you can receive any financial compensation from legal help. A successful personal injury lawsuit may be able to help you recover financial compensation for your spinal cord injury. There is nothing wrong with wanting to receive compensation for the damages you have incurred.
However, going to trial can be quite expensive. Collecting evidence and witness statements costs money, and you would be responsible for these costs as the plaintiff. Lawsuits can be complicated and expensive, but with the right legal help, the financial reward from a successful lawsuit will far outweigh the troubles of going to trial. But before you can go forward, there are questions you must ask to see if you have a case that can result in either a settlement or a win in court. Here are three questions to consider if you are wondering whether you have a chance in court.
1) When Was Your Injury?
One of the first questions you must answer is how long ago was your injury. If your injury took place more than two years ago, the likelihood of you being able to bring your case to court is not high. This is because most states have a statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits of up to two years after the injury date. Once the two years have passed, you can no longer file a lawsuit pertaining to your injury.
Because of this, it is important for you decide as soon as possible if you want to bring your case to court. There are several factors involved in filing a personal injury lawsuit that take time, such as collecting evidence and conducting research, which is also why you must decide soon after your injury if you wish to pursue a spinal cord injury claim.
If your injury was sustained over two years ago, there still may be a chance that you can bring your case to court. Depending on the state in which you live, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases may be longer than two years. There are only a few states that have statutes longer than two years. Research your state’s statute of limitations to see if you still have time to file a claim.
If you were in a coma and woke up years after your injury, you may be eligible for the ‘Discovery Rule Exception.’ This is a rare exemption that allows you to file a personal injury lawsuit years after your injury occurred if you were in a coma for several years.
2) How Much Evidence Do You Have?
The next question you must ask is how much evidence you have to support your case. This question is important because, if you answer no, bringing your case to court may not result in financial compensation. Examples of evidence you may use in court are any documents— photos, videos, bills, witness statements, and more—that prove the following:
1. Extent of injury
2. Cause of injury
3. Damages (medical bills, lost wages) incurred as a result of the SCI
4. Evidence that the person or organization being sued incited the injury
Some of the most important evidence commonly used in court is medical evidence from your doctors, rehabilitation therapists, and anyone else you have worked with in the medical field since your injury. Any professional who has treated you has direct experience seeing your injury and how it has affected you, and they can attest to this in a witness statement. Medical evidence is some of the strongest evidence you can gather.
If you do not have enough evidence that can be used in court, chances are most spinal cord injury firms will not want to take your case. However, it is always worth contacting a law firm to see if they would be willing to take you on as a client. There are always exceptions to various cases.
3) Have You Found an Experienced SCI Lawyer?
The last question you must ask is whether you have expert legal help. The United States legal system is not easy to understand, especially when it comes to the complexities of a spinal cord injury case. It is paramount that you find a lawyer with extensive spinal cord injury experience in the courtroom. Once you have made certain that you would like to move forward with a spinal cord injury claim, finding an experienced SCI lawyer is key to successfully receiving compensation for your injuries under the law. .
Because of the convoluted nature of SCI and personal injury law, you need to make sure you find a law firm that has various experts on staff that can help with the caseload. For more information on how we generously support our clients with spinal cord injuries, contact us today.