A spinal cord injury is one of the most devastating types of injury a person can experience. Spinal cord injuries range in severity but can often result in permanent immobilization and disability. When a spinal cord injury leaves you unable to care for yourself or return to work, a Los Angeles spinal cord injury lawyer can help you recover the compensation you are entitled to as a result of your injury.
When someone else causes an accident that leads to a spinal cord injury, you shouldn’t have to pay the price. If you’re ready to fight for justice, a spinal injury lawyer can help you file a claim and take your case to court if necessary to protect your rights.
What to Expect When Filing a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit
Spinal cord injury lawsuits can be time-consuming. Unfortunately, going to court to recover the compensation you deserve is usually necessary and often takes months, if not years, to complete. Nearly every client who works with a spinal cord injury will go through the same process to recover compensation. However, the good news is that only a small percentage of cases make it to the final step of going to trial in front of a judge or jury; by contrast, over 95% of spinal cord injury cases will get resolved before a trial is required.
1. Hire a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
You need an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer to recover fair compensation for a spinal cord injury in Los Angeles. This type of catastrophic injury often results in very significant injuries and, therefore, very high financial exposure for the defendants. And insurance companies don’t generally hand over six and seven-figure payouts without a fight.
The first step in recovering compensation for a spinal cord injury is researching lawyers and attending a free consultation. During the consultation, the lawyer will review your case, explain your options, and sometimes, can give you an estimate of your case value. Sometimes, an expert spinal cord injury doctor must be hired to specifically evaluate your case and ensure you have a good claim before the lawyer can help you. If you and the lawyer choose to work together, they’ll get started on your case right away.
2. Investigate the Accident
A lawyer has two primary obligations during this period: to prove negligence and to substantiate your claim for damages. Before you can hold the other party responsible for the injury or your medical costs, your lawyer needs to build a case showing how the defendant’s actions directly led to your injury.
Once a lawyer can prove negligence or that someone did something wrong, they must provide proof of how the accident has impacted you. A lawyer will collect evidence of the financial and non-financial impact on your life. This often includes:
- Medical bills
- Ambulance bills
- Medical devices
- Current and future assistive care costs
- Costs of future medical procedures
- Lost wages and benefits
- Anticipated lifetime earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Diminished quality of life
By demonstrating the costs in each of these categories, your lawyer can identify a target compensation value. After a catastrophic injury like a spinal cord injury, non-economic losses like diminished quality of life can substantially increase the total compensation you’re eligible to receive.
3. Submit an Insurance Claim
Spinal cord injury compensation usually comes from an insurance liability policy belonging to the person or institution being sued. For example, if the injury resulted from a Los Angeles car crash, you would file an insurance claim with the other driver’s auto insurance company. When medical malpractice is the source of a spinal cord injury, your spinal cord injury lawyer will seek compensation through the healthcare provider’s malpractice insurance policy.
Once your lawyer is finished with the investigation process and has compiled the necessary documentation, they’ll begin the claims process to recover compensation through the relevant insurance company.
4. Filing a Lawsuit and Negotiating a Settlement
The vast majority of spinal cord injury claims are not settled during the “pre-litigation” phase but are usually settled after the filing of a lawsuit during the negotiation stage. Additional investigation will usually occur during this time, including written questioning of the injured party as well as oral questioning of the injured party or treating doctors or other health care providers involved in the person’s care, which are called depositions. Your spinal cord injury lawyer and the responsible insurance company may also meet and confer during this period in order to determine whether a settlement can be negotiated. Sometimes, attendance at mediation is required, which is a further procedure by which lawyers try to facilitate settlements. If the lawyers can arrive at an acceptable settlement amount for both sides, your claim will be finalized, and your settlement money will be released.
5. Going to Trial
In some cases, an insurance company refuses to agree to pay a fair settlement. When this happens, your spinal cord injury lawyer will need to take the case to trial so that a judge or a jury can reach a verdict. In this way, lawsuits, whether by settlement or trial, are an effective way of recovering compensation for victims of spinal cord injuries. When going to court is the only way to recover the compensation a client deserves, a skilled lawyer doesn’t back away from the fight.
Speak with a Los Angeles Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Today
The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. has recovered over $100 million for injured clients in Los Angeles. Our skilled trial attorneys aren’t afraid to take your case to court if that’s what it takes to deliver justice after a spinal cord injury.
Contact The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles spinal injury lawyer.