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.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries 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.
Common Spinal Cord Injuries in Massachusetts
“Complete” spinal cord injuries refer to injuries that cause permanent damage to parts of the spinal cord. “Incomplete” spinal cord injuries, on the other hand, describe injuries that cause partial damage. There are multiple types of complete and incomplete spinal cord injuries.
The symptoms associated with your spinal cord injury can depend on the part of your spine that is damaged. Each section of the spinal cord protects specific groups of nerves that control different body parts. Our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers can help obtain payment related to any of the following types of spinal cord injuries:
Cervical Spinal Cord Injuries
Cervical spinal cord injuries are the most severe type of spinal cord injury suffered by victims in Massachusetts. These injuries affect the upper portion of the spine near the head and neck. These injuries usually lead to permanent or partial loss of sensory function, among many other symptoms. In some cases, cervical spinal cord injuries can be fatal.
Thoracic Spinal Cord Injuries
Thoracic spinal cord injuries occur when the area of the spine near the mid-back and upper chest is damages. These injuries can lead to the following symptoms:
- Lower back pain
- Leg weakness or loss of sensation
- Lack of control of stool or urine
- Lack of feeling in the genitals
Treatment for thoracic spinal cord injuries can vary. If you suffered such an injury because of someone else’s negligent behavior, you should contact our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers for help determining the proper course of action.
Lumbar Spinal Cord Injuries
Lumbar spinal cord injuries occur because of damage to the lower spine, just below the thoracic section. Victims with lumbar spinal cord injuries often experience debilitating symptoms in their legs and hips. Accordingly, many individuals with these injuries will have trouble walking without assistance. Our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers can help those with lumbar spinal cord injuries find the right rehabilitation programs and mobility-assisting devices for them.
Sacral Spinal Cord Injuries
Lastly, sacral spinal cord injuries are another type of spinal cord injury suffered by victims in Massachusetts. These injuries happen when damage occurs the lower portion of the spine, below the lumbar spine and above the tailbone. Sacral spinal cord injuries can affect your hips, buttocks, and pelvic organs. Victims with sacral spinal cord injuries may be able to recover a wide range of monetary damages from the parties responsible for their harm.
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.
Gathering Evidence in a Massachusetts Spinal Cord Injury Case
In order to recover financial compensation in a spinal cord injury case, you must show that your injury was caused by the defendant’s negligent actions. There are several forms of evidence that can be used to prove fault. However, the process of collecting evidence can be frustrating. Those in control of relevant evidence may not cooperate with plaintiffs. Our experienced Massachusetts personal injury lawyers can help gather and preserve the following types of evidence in your case:
After many harmful accidents, official reports are created that help explain the accidents’ causes. For example, after an injurious car accident, a police officer should visit the scene to draft an accident report. Further, after a slip and fall accident at restaurant, employees present at the time of the accident may have to submit a report. These reports are often the first pieces of information analyzed by lawyers and insurance companies when assigning fault for an accident. Our team can help recover a copy of the official accident report in your spinal cord injury case.
Witness statements are another valuable form of evidence used to prove fault for spinal cord injuries. Eyewitnesses can provide either oral or written testimony that explains the events that transpired before, during, and after a particular accident. Accordingly, you should always attempt to retrieve contact information for witnesses to your accident if possible. Our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers can provide support when reaching out for their cooperation.
Furthermore, in some spinal cord injury cases, surveillance footage can be used to prove fault. Footage from security cameras and dashboard cameras can be highly valuable when proving that an accident was caused by the defendant’s negligent conduct. However, recovering such evidence can be difficult. You can contact our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers for help determining if any relevant surveillance footage can be collected in your case.
Expert Witness Testimony
Expert witnesses are considered experts because they have the requisite education, training, and experience in their respective field. These witnesses can be used to explain complicated theories of fault in spinal cord injury cases. For instance, after a car crash, an accident reconstruction expert may be summoned to explain which driver is at fault. Furthermore, in a case involving an accident caused by a defective product, an engineering expert may be called to explain how the product was defective. Our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers can help call on the right expert witnesses to support your spinal cord injury case.
Photos from the Scene
Lastly, photos from the scene of an accident can also help prove fault in a spinal cord injury case. For example, after a slip and fall accident, photos from the scene may be used to show the dangerous condition that contributed to the fall.
Furthermore, photos from the scene can be used to disprove defendants’ arguments. For instance, a defendant driver may assert that a crash was caused by poor weather conditions. In that case, photos from the scene showing clear weather could be used to refute the defendant’s assertion.
Accordingly, you should always take photos at the scene of your accident if possible. Afterwards, our attorneys can assess the relevance any photos you took during your free case review.
What Compensation Can I Receive in a Massachusetts Spinal Cord Injury Case?
Plaintiffs can recover a wide range of monetary damages in spinal cord injury cases. The damages recovered in your case can depend on the type of accident at issue and the extent of harm you suffered. Our Massachusetts personal injury lawyers can explain which of the following damages may be awarded during your free case review:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket expenses
The compensation awarded to plaintiffs in spinal cord injury cases can help ease plaintiffs’ stress during their difficult recoveries.
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.