Massachusetts Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
The spinal cord is one of the most sensitive parts of the body. The bundles of nerves and bone that run through your back are critical in nearly every bodily function, from sensing pain to standing or walking. When your spinal cord is injured, the effects can be catastrophic. Many spinal cord injury victims are left paralyzed from the waist down, the chest down, or even from the neck down. A spinal cord injury can completely derail your life and leave you severely disabled. Many spinal cord injuries happen in accidents caused by someone else’s negligence.
Treating a spinal cord injury could also be costly. The specialized medical care necessary to take on these injuries can have an enormous price tag, and the treatments could last for years. Spinal cord injuries are not only debilitating but medically very complicated. Many spinal cord injuries require surgeries, medications, and intense physical therapy. The bills for a spinal cord injury tend to pile up very quickly, and many injured victims are left wondering how they will ever afford their necessary medical care. It may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the person responsible for your injuries to cover the costs of your recovery.
To learn more about recovering damages to offset these expenses, contact Massachusetts spinal cord injury lawyer John J. Sheehan today. An experienced spine injury attorney in Massachusetts may be able to accurately estimate the total amount of damages owed to you and help you prepare a convincing compensation claim. Call the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 for a free legal consultation.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Spinal Cord Injury in Massachusetts
After a spinal cord injury, you may be left wondering how you are going to recover. Many people who suffer spinal cord injuries are so disabled that they must re-learn basic, everyday tasks. While you can certainly live a normal life in time, the costs of recovery today can be extremely expensive. From surgeries to therapies to medications, recovering from a spinal cord injury is not cheap. If your injury was caused by someone else, you might want to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit to get compensation to pay for your recovery.
The type of case you will file will depend on how you were injured. Accidents cause many spinal cord injuries. Accidents could include car wrecks, workplace accidents, or even incidents in your own home or someone else’s home. Accident cases are often based on negligence, which requires proving the defendant breached a duty of care they owed you.
Other times, spinal cord injuries are caused by intentional acts of violence. In such gruesome circumstances, you are dealing with intentional torts. These kinds of cases have different elements to prove in order to be successful. The elements to prove will vary based on the type of tort.
It can be hard to fully understand the kind of case you have on your hands. Call our Massachusetts spinal cord injury attorneys for help today.
How Spinal Cord Injuries Happen in Massachusetts
Not every spinal cord injury leads to a viable injury claim. For a plaintiff to recover compensation for their injuries, the damage to their spinal cord must result from another person’s negligence. Our Massachusetts spinal cord injury lawyers could review the facts surrounding a spinal injury to identify the negligent parties responsible for a spinal injury. The following include some of the common causes of spinal cord injuries:
Of all potential causes of a spinal injury, vehicular accidents are by far the predominant cause. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, nearly 40 percent of all spinal injuries result from vehicle crashes. These injuries are common given the large mass and high velocity of most passenger vehicles.
Car accidents can be very complicated cases to deal with. They tend to happen very quickly, and much evidence is lost when first responders whisk you away to the hospital and law enforcement clears the scene from the road. However, our Massachusetts spinal cord injury attorneys can help you prove another driver was at fault for your accident and liable for your injuries.
The second major cause of spine injuries is fall accidents. Approximately 30 percent of all spinal injuries result from a fall. These injuries can occur in a public place, at a private residence, or work. People tend to disregard slip-and-fall accidents as thinly veiled money-grabs. On the contrary, slip-and-fall accidents can be extremely dangerous.
While a healthy young twenty-something might be physically unharmed after a slip-and-fall, elderly or infirm people could be seriously injured. Spinal cord injuries are not unheard of in slip-and-fall cases, especially when the plaintiff has an underlying medical condition that leaves them susceptible to injuries. Even young, healthy people could suffer spinal injuries in a particularly nasty fall. Slip-and-fall accidents tend to happen in places like icy walkways, wet floors, or uneven ground.
Violent crime is the third most common cause of a spinal injury. While any form of criminal assault could lead to a serious injury, the vast majority of spinal injuries caused by violence involve gunshot wounds. These acts of violence make up 13 percent of all spinal injuries. Spinal cord injuries could also be caused by blunt force trauma. Many victims suffer spinal injuries when another person severely beats them.
A spinal cord injury caused by an act of violence will likely be handled differently than a typical personal injury case related to negligence. In most acts of violence, there is no negligence. Instead, you might be dealing with an intentional tort. On top of that, the defendant in your case might also be facing criminal prosecution, which could delay your personal injury case. However, a guilty verdict or a guilty plea from the defendant could be used to help your civil lawsuit. Talk to our Massachusetts spinal cord injury lawyers for more information about intentional torts.
Medical and Surgical Errors
Complications from surgery or other medical treatment round out the top five causes of spinal cord injuries. Surgery patients are especially vulnerable, which renders a medical error during surgery especially devastating. More than 5 percent of spinal injuries stem from medical complications.
Cases involving medical complications can be difficult to prove in court. While there may be numerous possible complications, most plaintiffs cannot recover any money for damages unless they prove medical malpractice. Proving medical malpractice goes beyond showing the presence of a complication. Generally, your doctor must have acted in a way they knew was negligent. A doctor who did their very best to help a patient but ultimately injured the patient will probably not be found liable. Instead, you must show that your doctor’s actions did not meet the appropriate standards of medical care, and you were harmed as a result.
Statute of Limitations for a Massachusetts Spinal Cord Injury Claim
Like all states, Massachusetts has adopted a statute of limitations for all spinal cord injury cases. The statute of limitations prevents a plaintiff from filing a lawsuit after a set amount of time. The purpose of this statute is to prevent delay before injury suits.
In Massachusetts, according to Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 260, § 2A, the time limit to file a personal injury lawsuit is three years from the date of the injury. If a plaintiff files a lawsuit after that time limit has expired, the court has the power to dismiss the case permanently.
There are a few exceptions to the statute of limitations. Plaintiffs who cannot file a lawsuit due to a disability may toll the statute until their disability subsides. Disability here does not necessarily refer to a physical disability. Instead, it refers to any condition that would prevent the plaintiff from filing a lawsuit on their own. While physical disabilities could fit this description, they do not always. For example, a person in a wheelchair may be perfectly capable of filing a lawsuit. However, a person in a coma could not.
The statute of limitations could also be tolled if you were under the age of 18 when the injury occurred. In such a case, the statute of limitations might not even begin to run until you reached the age of majority.
Depending on how you were injured and the type of lawsuit you want to file, there may be other means of tolling the statute of limitations in your case. Contact our Massachusetts spinal cord injury attorneys for more information about filing your lawsuit.
Call a Massachusetts Spinal Injury Attorney to Discuss Your Options
If you sustained a spinal cord injury, you may pursue damages from those responsible. Taking on a spinal cord case is daunting, but you are not alone. Contact our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan about pursuing compensation for your injuries. Call us today at (617) 925-6407.