Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jun 19, 2018

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A spinal cord injury can have a devastating effect on your life, and, depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may be entitled to a large personal injury settlement.  If you need to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit, you will face challenges in identifying your available damages, valuing you claim, proving the responsible party was at fault, and negotiating a fair settlement.  An experienced attorney will be able to level the playing field against insurers or opposing lawyers, review your case to determine the value of your damages, and give you the best chance of recovering the money you deserve.

What Can a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Do For You?

When you suffer an injury as a result of the negligence of another person, there are two main ways you can go about collecting damages:

  • You may sue the person who hurt you, take the case all the way to trial and have a judge or a jury decide what compensation you should get.
  • Or, you may be offered an out of court settlement, either before you sue or at any point in the trial up to the time when the jury announces a verdict. If you accept this offer, you will receive a set sum of cash in exchange for your signature on a form releasing the other party from any further liability. 

There are advantages and disadvantages to both of these options. If you hire a spinal cord injury lawyer:

  • Your lawyer will be familiar with the payouts that are common in spine injury cases and can help you to determine if a settlement is fair;
  • Your lawyer will be able to assist in negotiating with the insurance company to arrive at a reasonable settlement; and
  • Also, your lawyer will use advanced knowledge of spinal cord legal cases to help ensure you have the evidence and experts you need to convince a jury to award you the damages you deserve.

Whether your spinal cord injury is serious or mild, the person who caused it should have to pay. A spinal cord injury lawyer can help you make sure that happens.

Risks of Pursing a Claim Without an Attorney

Regardless of how serious you are injured and how clear it is to you that another party was at fault, spinal cord injury claims or lawsuits are difficult cases to win.  If you take on a case without assistance, you take the following risks:

  • Missing a deadline or making a procedural mistake – Insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits have detailed procedures and important timelines that you must be familiar with.  
  • Failing to prove the other party was at fault – Spinal cord lawsuits are high dollar, and defendants or insurance companies prepare strong defenses with the assistance of experienced attorneys.  If you try to take on a case without a lawyer of your own, an opposing attorney can poke holes in even the most clear cut case.
  • Miscalculating damages – It is not easy to identify and calculate all the damages available to you for long term spinal injuries.  Without an attorney, you can miss out on some damages and sell your case short.
  • Agreeing to an unfair settlement – As stated above, an attorney will be familiar with what your case is worth and help you find a fair settlement.  If you choose to take on a case without an attorney, insurance companies or opposing lawyers can take advantage of you during negotiations and encourage you to sign an offer that does not compensate you fully.
  • Not collecting the right evidence – Immediately after your accident there are things you can do to collect and preserve evidence that you will need later. Without an attorney it is easy to miss the opportunity to take photos, get the right medical advice, and know what documents you need to keep.  Your actions before you file a claim can have a significant impact on your recovery, and an attorney will make sure you take the right steps from start to finish.

Spinal cord injury lawsuits and insurance claims require the experienced guidance and support of a personal injury attorney.  There are several risks to taking on the case you own that you likely can’t afford to take given your need for compensation.  Spinal injuries require extensive, and expensive, treatment and rehabilitation, and a lawyer will help you get the compensation you need and deserve.