How Much Is My Spinal Cord Injury Worth in a Lawsuit?

October 23, 2023 | Ed Bernstein
How Much Is My Spinal Cord Injury Worth in a Lawsuit?

Spinal cord injuries can change your life in the blink of an eye. One moment, you are living your life as usual, and the next, you are facing devastating physical limitations, mounting medical bills, and an uncertain future. If someone else's negligence caused your spinal cord injury, you may consider filing a lawsuit; but how much is your injury worth?

Calculating a spinal cord injury's worth is a complex process and depends on the injury's severity, ensuing medical costs, and loss of earnings. An experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyer can help you to get full compensation for your loss.

What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?

How Much Is My Spinal Cord Injury Worth in a Lawsuit

A spinal cord injury typically occurs when any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal suffers damage. This can occur because of a traumatic blow to your spine that fractures, dislocates, crushes, or compresses one or more of your vertebrae. Arthritis, cancer, inflammation, infections, or disk degeneration may cause non-traumatic spinal cord injuries.

With complete injuries, the signals cannot pass through the damaged area of the spinal cord, resulting in total loss of sensory and motor function below the injury level. On the other hand, with incomplete injuries, some signals can still pass, and there is often some degree of functionality remaining.

These injuries can cause permanent changes in strength, sensation, and body function below the site of the injury. The effects may include paralysis, loss of sensation, breathing problems, and changes in sexual function.

The recovery prospects can vary significantly depending on the injury's circumstances, the immediate response and rehabilitation, and the individual's overall health. A spinal cord injury is a medical emergency that requires close attention.

Common Accidents That Can Result in a Spinal Cord Injury

Some of the most common accidents that lead to spinal cord injuries include vehicle-related collisions, falls, acts of violence, and sports-related accidents.

  • Vehicle-related accidents account for almost half of all new spinal cord injuries each year, making them the leading cause, and include car and motorcycle accidents and pedestrian injuries.
  • Falls, particularly among older adults, rank as the second most common cause of spinal cord injuries.
  • Acts of violence, particularly gunshot and knife wounds, also contribute to a significant number of spinal cord injuries.
  • Sports and recreation activities can result in spinal cord injuries, specifically impact sports and shallow-water diving and swimming.

If you suffer a spinal cord injury because of another person's wrongful actions, regardless of the cause, reach out to an experienced spinal cord injury accident attorney immediately. A legal professional can determine your legal options and fight for the financial damages you deserve.

Factors That Determine the Worth of a Spinal Cord Injury in a Lawsuit

Several key factors will inevitably determine the overall value. These factors relate to the injury's effects and the influence it has had on your life, but every case is unique, these factors may differ slightly based on individual circumstances.

The Injury's Severity

The extent of your spinal cord injury has a dramatic impact on your lawsuit's value. More serious injuries, such as complete spinal cord injuries that lead to permanent paralysis, tend to yield higher settlements or verdicts than less severe injuries, such as partial spinal cord injuries.

Medical Expenses

Medical bills can accumulate rapidly following a spinal cord injury, including bills for emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, medication, and potentially lifelong care or therapy. You may claim these expenses in your lawsuit. You can also include future medical costs related to the injury.

Loss of Earnings

If your spinal cord injury has forced you out of work temporarily or permanently, you are entitled to compensation for lost income. This can cover past, present, and future earnings that you have lost because of your injury.

Pain and Suffering

Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, are more subjective but equally important. This category refers to the physical distress and emotional trauma you experienced as a result of the accident and injury.

Influence on Quality of Life

How has the spinal cord injury hampered your ability to enjoy life and carry out everyday activities? If your injury led to a significant decrease in your quality of life, this will help determine your lawsuit's value.

Punitive Damages

If the party responsible for your injury acted with extreme recklessness or malice, the court might award punitive damages. These damages punish the wrongdoer and deter others from engaging in similar behavior.

How to Calculate the Worth of a Spinal Cord Injury

After acquainting yourself with the factors that determine the worth of a spinal cord injury lawsuit, the next crucial step is to understand how to calculate these factors into a dollar amount. No one-size-fits-all approach assigns monetary value, so you need the skills and knowledge of an experienced legal professional to calculate your damages.

Detailed Explanation of the Calculation Process for Each Factor

Your spinal cord injury's severity is a significant determinant of your case's value; for instance, a person who has become permanently paralyzed because of an injury may receive more compensation than someone whose injury is less severe. The calculation process for past and future medical expenses entails adding up all the costs related to the injury, including hospital bills and the costs of long-term therapy or care.

Loss of earnings calculations are based on the income you used to make before the injury and the income you could make if you had not suffered the injury; for instance, if you were earning $50,000 per year before the accident and now cannot work at all, you would be entitled to recover this lost income.

Calculating non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, is usually based on the severity of the pain and emotional distress you endured.

The effect on your quality of life is also subjective; for example, if you loved to play tennis but cannot play anymore because of your injury, this loss of enjoyment could carry a monetary value.

The court determines punitive damages and usually bases them on the severity of the defendant's actions.

You need a legal professional to guide you through this complex process. A skilled attorney can accurately calculate all the factors and obtain the compensation you deserve.

Lawyers know how to negotiate with insurance companies, gather the necessary evidence, and present a strong case in court, if necessary. They can also navigate the legal complexities associated with your case, ensuring you understand your rights and the possible outcomes.

How Can a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Help You?

Navigating the complex waters of a spinal cord injury lawsuit can be daunting, especially when dealing with the physical and emotional repercussions of such a life-altering event. A competent attorney can calculate the damages, maximize your lawsuit's worth, and guide you through the process.

Legal representatives can level the playing field, especially when you are up against insurance companies and their teams of lawyers. Their goal is often to pay out as little as possible, but a legal representative can hold your ground when demanding fair compensation.

Attorneys experienced in spinal cord injury cases bring a wealth of knowledge and skill to maximize your lawsuit's outcome. They understand the specifics of personal injury law and can effectively argue your case. They can gather and present powerful evidence, negotiate with deft skill, and even take the case to trial (if necessary) to fight for the best compensation on your behalf.

Not all lawyers are equally well equipped to handle a spinal cord injury lawsuit, so it is important to choose someone with specific experience in the field. Look for a lawyer with experience in personal injury law, specifically spinal cord injuries. A proven track record of positive outcomes for their clients is also a good indicator of a strong attorney.

What to Do Following a Spinal Cord Injury Accident

If you or someone you know has suffered a spinal cord injury, the following immediate steps are crucial:

Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Nothing is more critical than your health. Even if your injury does not seem severe initially, latent complications may arise. Always seek immediate medical attention following an accident. Medical professionals can also prepare a medical report to demonstrate your spinal cord injury's severity and provide proof of a connection between the accident and injury.

Notify the Relevant Parties

You should inform your employer, insurance company, or local authorities about the incident, depending on the nature of the accident.

Avoid Discussing the Accident With Others

Never discuss the accident broadly or post about it on social media, as the insurance company could use this against you in a lawsuit, hurting your chance of securing the money you need.

Contact a Skilled Spinal Cord Injury Accident Lawyer

Get in touch with a spinal cord injury attorney as soon as possible. They can explain your rights, assess your lawsuit's potential value, and guide you through the complex legal process ahead.

When you retain skilled legal counsel, these attorneys can gather critical evidence on your behalf, interview witnesses to help substantiate your legal claim, and stand by your side throughout this challenging legal journey.

Understand the Worth of Your Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit By Hiring an Experienced Spinal Cord Injury Attorney

Various factors determine the worth of a spinal cord injury lawsuit, including the injury's severity, the associated medical expenses, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, the influence on your quality of life, and potential punitive damages. The process of quantifying these factors into a monetary value often requires the skills of a legal professional.

Your attorney plays a pivotal role in calculating the damages, arguing your case, negotiating with insurance companies, gathering and presenting evidence, and maximizing your lawsuit's worth. A legal representative experienced will recover the compensation you deserve.

You are not alone with your spinal cord injury. Reputable law firms are here to provide the skilled legal support you need to navigate this process. Do not hesitate to seek legal advice to understand your spinal cord injury lawsuit's worth and take the right steps toward justice.


Ed Bernstein

Edward M. Bernstein, Esq. is the owner and founding partner of Edward M. Bernstein & Associates, and one of the most recognizable figures in Nevada. Ed is one of state’s premier personal injury attorneys and has hosted The Ed Bernstein Show for over 31 years. He has served the Las Vegas community for decades with dozens of community appointments and terms of service. In the year 2000, he was Nevada’s Democratic nominee for the United States Senate.

Ed received his B.A. from Long Island University in 1971 and his J.D. from Widener University in 1975. Since then, Ed’s professional accolades include numerous publications, honors and awards, court appointments, and has been named one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators.