Any damage to the nerves within the spinal column is commonly referred to as a spinal cord injury and can result in the partial or total loss of motor control and sensation. In many cases, spinal cord injury victims suffer partial (paraplegia) paralysis from the waist down or total paralysis (quadriplegia). Furthermore, your spinal cord controls different functions of the body such as bladder function, breathing, sexual function, and your temperature. Consequently, victims of spinal cord injuries often suffer with a wide range of serious health problems, some of which are permanent.
What are the causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?
Spinal cord injuries are caused by a blow to or traumatic injury of the spine. Statistics from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center show that the most common causes of this type of injury are:
• gunshot wounds or other acts of violence – 15.1%
• motor vehicle accidents – 42.1%
• recreational or sports activities – 7.6%
• slip and fall accidents – 26.7%
Spinal cord injuries can also result from back and neck surgeries that have a higher element of risk involved. Medical malpractice suits typically arise when the spinal cord injury could’ve been avoided. However, due to the negligence of the doctors or health care workers, the plaintiff gets injured.
What is the Legal Basis for a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit?
Many spinal cord injury lawsuits, as well as most personal injury cases, are based on the legal theory or concept of negligence. However, spinal cord injury lawsuits are often filed when someone gets injured by using a defective product. In cases that involve negligence, the injury victim (plaintiff) must prove that the defendant was responsible for their injuries. In the case of a defective product injury, you may be entitled to damages from all entities in the chain of supply (designer, manufacturer, distributor, retailer, etc.) as per personal injury lawyer in Calgary.
2 Types of Defenses
The two most common defenses in a spinal cord injury lawsuit are the “assumption of risk” and “comparative or contributory negligence” as follows:
Assumption of Risk – in cases when a spinal cord injury results from participating in a dangerous activity, defendant’s often raise this defense by arguing that the victim chose to participate in such an activity.
Comparative or contributory negligence – in cases base on comparative negligence, the defendant’s and victim’s carelessness are taken into consideration. When the defendant uses the contributory negligence defense, they are claiming that the victim caused their injuries.
In either case, the injury victim may be entitled to compensation for their injuries as well as their pain and suffering. How well your lawyer presents the case in court or is able to manage the out of court settlement, will determine the compensation that you get.