It only takes a brief moment for a spinal cord injury to derail your life completely. While injuries can range in severity, even moderate injuries can substantially disrupt your life and the lives of your family and friends.
A spinal injury often leaves victims confined to a wheelchair or reliant on other mobility equipment. You may feel overwhelmed by what you’ve just experienced and the difficulties ahead. You may be curious about the average settlement for a spinal cord injury as you face mounting medical expenses, an inability to work, and the high cost of physical therapy and rehabilitation. Speak to a qualified personal injury attorney to discuss spine injury settlement amounts and what your case may be worth.
Is There an Average Settlement Payout For A Spine Injury?
Injured victims may understandably be eager for their attorney to give them a number they may expect to receive after their traumatic experience. However, each spinal cord injury case presents unique facts and circumstances. Each case must be reviewed on an individual basis, and the amount of compensation a victim may receive depends on various factors. As a result, there is no average settlement payout for a spine injury.
What Factors Affect a Spinal Cord Injury Settlement?
Various factors affect spine injury settlement amounts. Once your attorney has an opportunity to review the facts of your case, they go through each of the following factors to determine how they may impact the value of your case. Afterward, an attorney can estimate a value for your case. This will give you an average settlement for your spinal cord injury that can help drive negotiations.
Severity of Injury
The severity of your spinal cord injury dramatically impacts the value of your case. Victims usually heal and fully recover when they suffer a minor injury. As a result, these cases collect less compensation than cases with victims suffering more severe injuries.
Those with spinal injuries resulting in partial or complete paralysis will likely obtain larger settlement amounts because victims never fully recover from their injuries. Instead, they must live with this new “normal” that has completely changed their way of life.
Availability of Evidence
Holding on to all relevant evidence related to your spinal cord injury is vital to supporting your claim for damages.
All demands for compensation require proof. Your spinal cord injury may be outwardly apparent. However, the prognosis of your recovery, the extent of your medical treatment and expenses, the degree to which your injury impacted your ability to work, and other impacts all need supporting evidence. Your attorney carefully gathers the proof needed to support your claim so you can recover the full extent of your spinal cord injury settlement demand.
Disruption to Daily Life
The degree to which your injury disrupts your daily life also significantly increases potential settlement values. For example, a spinal cord injury resulting in complete paralysis undeniably disrupts a victim’s everyday life and activities. These victims can no longer engage in activities they loved before their injury, including walking, exercising, and working. They may be unable to engage with their children due to their injury. Your attorney uses evidence of how your injury affects your daily life to support your demand for compensation from the responsible party.
Emotional and Psychological Trauma
The emotional and psychological toll of a spinal injury is usually significant. A diagnosis of permanent limited mobility often leads victims to suffer anxiety and depression. Your attorney may hire a mental health expert to prove the emotional distress you’ve endured. In most cases, the greater your emotional harm, the higher your settlement value.
What Compensation Makes up Spine Injury Compensation Claims?
In Washington, injured victims can recover both economic and noneconomic compensatory damages. Compensatory damages exist to make a victim whole again after their injury. While no amount of money could replace what you lost due to your accident, obtaining just financial support can help you and your family recover and move in a positive direction.
Economic damages include direct and calculable losses stemming from your spinal cord injury and represent the following:
- Past and future medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of future earnings, and
- Property damage.
Calculating and proving these losses requires concrete evidence. Retain all documentation related to your losses, including bills, invoices, pay stubs, and other similar documents. Your attorney uses this tangible evidence to support your demand.
Noneconomic damages compensate for psychological and emotional losses resulting from your accident and include the following:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of consortium,
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and
- Permanent disability or disfigurement.
These losses often cause the most severe disruption to a victim’s daily life and their relationships with others. However, their subjective nature makes noneconomic damages challenging to prove without an attorney. Despite the challenge of proving their existence, recovering noneconomic losses is vital. Your attorney gathers the evidence, testimony, and experts to support your claim for these intangible losses.
Some courts award punitive damages to punish a liable party for their egregious and reckless conduct and to deter similar future behavior. Unfortunately, Washington is one of only a handful of states that do not allow punitive damages in personal injury cases. Therefore, victims cannot seek damages in addition to their compensatory damages. As a result, injured victims should hire a skilled personal injury attorney to ensure recovery of the full extent of their compensatory damages.
For over forty years, the legal team at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner has obtained record settlements for our clients. A serious injury can quickly become the anchor that weighs down someone’s life. A catastrophic injury affects the victim and their families, friends, careers, finances, and comfort. Our attorneys understand that the process of healing from an injury or accident is frightening and difficult. We are here to help smooth that road to recovery.
By working on a contingency fee basis, we help reduce your financial stresses by never requesting up-front costs or fees and no hourly rates. We are paid only when your claim is settled or a verdict is reached in your case. By letting us get to work for you, you are free to focus on your recovery. Contact Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner today for a free consultation to learn how we can help you!