Spinal-cord Injury and
Selecting an Attorney

Reprinted from PN May 2006

You may be considering legal action related to your spinal-cord injury. Do you know what to look for before hiring an attorney?

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A spinal-cord injury (SCI) turns a person's world upside down, with so many things to do and decisions to make amid overwhelming emotions such as anger, fear, depression, and loss. Finances and managing the costs of a disability are among the concerns demanding immediate attention.

Most people are not in a financial position to pay for essential daily needs such as a power wheelchair, accessible housing, medical supplies, and attendant care. They will require assistance from their health and disability insurance companies, and the state and federal government.

Many states' laws provide that a person who is responsible for an injury, as a result of his or her negligence, is required to bear the cost of that injury in proportion to the individual's contribution in causing it. This means that if you are in an accident and it was 50% someone else's fault (and caused by their carelessness), that person (or the individual's employer) may be legally responsible to pay for half of your damages.

Damages include emotional or general damages for pain and suffering, and economic damages like medical expenses, attendant care, and medical equipment, as well as loss of earnings due to inability to work or decreased earning capacity over the person's entire lifetime. Even if someone else was only 20% responsible for the accident, this would still amount to a very large sum.

The article explains reasons why you should seek legal counsel after a catastrophic injury and gives tips for finding the right attorney.


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Spinal-cord Injury and
Selecting an Attorney


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