Do I Have Grounds for a Spinal Cord Injury Claim?
The cost of medical care, lost wages, and other direct financial losses after a spinal cord injury (SCI) can easily reach millions of dollars—and that’s not even accounting for the devastating emotional and psychological trauma suffered by the victim and his or her loved ones. Given the profound economic impact of a spinal injury, it’s only natural to consider every potential option for pursuing compensation with the help of a personal injury attorney, and that may include bringing a tort claim against the liable party or parties.
For your case to yield a settlement or verdict, you will have to prove liability, causation, and damages. If any one of these elements cannot be established, it is unlikely that you will be able to recover damages.
To prove liability, you will have to show how the defendant was legally responsible for your injury. Liability is usually established by proving negligence but can also be established by proving intentional misconduct or strict liability. Depending on the circumstances, your Martin County personal injury attorney might use the following evidence to prove liability: the police report, the incident report, deposition from eyewitnesses, deposition from an accident reconstruction expert, surveillance footage, and photos of the scene.
To prove causation, it must be shown that the tort was a proximate cause of the spinal cord injury. A dispute regarding causation might arise if you had a pre-existing injury that was aggravated by the accident. You must be able to show that you would not have incurred the damages you are claiming but for the defendant’s misconduct.
To prove damages, your Martin County spinal cord personal injury attorney will need to present evidence to demonstrate the kinds of economic and non-economic damages you have incurred and their value. If you intend to pursue punitive damages, it must be shown that the defendant acted with gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
What Is Alternative Dispute Resolution?
Although most personal injury cases are resolved out of court, it is not uncommon for spinal cord injury cases to proceed to litigation. There is often a lot of money on the line when a person suffers an SCI, which means defendants tend to invest considerable resources into disputing these claims.
If a settlement is not reached, your case may proceed to the discovery phase, during which your Martin County spinal cord personal injury lawyer and the attorney of the defense will serve interrogatories to obtain information pertaining to the case. Your medical records might be assessed by the defense, and various witnesses may be deposed.
If a settlement is not reached during or after the discovery phase, your case may proceed to alternative dispute resolution such as mediation or arbitration. If your case goes to arbitration, the arbitrator’s final decision will be binding. In mediation, however, the final decision is not binding. Under some circumstances, a case must go through mediation before proceeding to trial. There are also scenarios when the court requires a case to go through arbitration rather than through trial. This might happen if a judge thinks a settlement is within reach.
Call Us Today at 561-299-3999 to Speak with a personal injury attorney
Far too many personal injury claimants accept a settlement early in the proceedings only to find out later that they received an unfair payout. Don’t let this happen to you. Our attorneys will help you compile all available evidence of liability and damages and will use prove negotiation strategies to fight for the highest possible compensation. For a free case review, send us a message or call our personal injury attorney at 561-299-3999.