Types of Spinal Cord Injuries and How They Influence Settlements

Spinal cord injuries are especially devastating. They often result in long-term suffering, and a victim may never be the same again. From permanent paralysis to the inability to eat or even speak, these injuries are severe and can often result in higher compensation amounts than other types of injuries. The amount of compensation a person receives for their spinal cord injury will depend on the severity of that injury. Obviously, the more severe the injury, the higher the potential compensation.

The Two Categories of Spinal Cord Injuries

  • Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries: An incomplete injury is where the spinal cord is still intact, but the victim has limited function remaining. The degree of the function the victim still has is determined by the severity of the injury and where the spinal cord was damaged. The most common types of incomplete spinal cord injuries include central cord syndrome, anterior cord syndrome, and Brown-Sequard syndrome.
  • Complete Spinal Cord Injuries: This occurs when the full spinal cord is severed, which leaves the individual with significant functional limitations. Sometimes physical therapy can help them regain some function, but other times a person has permanent paralysis. The common types of complete spinal cord injuries include tetraplegia, paraplegia, and triplegia.

Factors that Influence Settlement Values in Spinal Cord Injuries

After a spinal cord injury, there are numerous factors a personal injury attorney will assess to determine the value of the victim’s settlement.

  • Severity of the Injury: Severity plays a critical role in determining value. A complete spinal cord injury is more severe than an incomplete one; therefore, a person with a complete spinal cord injury is likely to receive higher compensation.
  • Medical Costs: The amount of medical expenses, including projected medical costs, will influence the settlement value. A complete spinal cord injury may require more physical and rehabilitative therapies and long-term care over.
  • Plaintiff: Unfortunately, the plaintiff’s background does influence their settlement. The defense will do what they can to make the plaintiff seem untrustworthy or limit the sympathy the jury gives the plaintiff.
  • Age and Health: A younger victim who is permanently disabled will have a higher settlement value than a 50-year-old that is retired with a spinal cord injury.
  • Evidence and Testimony: The power of the evidence against the defense will also play a role in settlement value. The stronger the evidence is for the plaintiff, the higher the settlement. If the evidence is weak, the defense may offer a low settlement because they know that the plaintiff would not fare well in court.

Spinal cord injuries often yield settlements in the hundreds of thousands to the millions. Therefore, it is imperative you contact a personal injury attorney at Udall Shumway, PLC to receive assistance with your spinal cord injury claim.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Spinal Cord Injuries, or any other personal injury, please feel free to contact Brian T. Allen at  480.461.5335,  log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.