Spinal Cord Injury Law

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Definition

This type of injury damages the central nervous system in the spinal cord, which carries signals between the body and the brain and controls the body's movements and sensation. It can result in full or partial loss of motor control and sensation or actual paralysis of one or more limbs. These injuries are usually caused by a trauma, a blow or other impact to one's spine as a result of a car accident, a fall, a violent act (such as a gunshot wound), a recreational sports injury, a developmental disorder, tumor, disease, or a surgical mishap. There is currently no cure for spinal cord injury.

What is Spinal Cord Injury Law? Personal injury law usually categorizes these types of injuries as catastrophic injuries. When the injury is caused by another individual's negligence it can result in a personal injury lawsuit and in the case of a surgical error, a medical malpractice claim. These injuries can also lead to product liability lawsuits, if they were caused by defective products, such as faulty seatbelts. It is usually necessary to have knowledge of disability and social security law, due to the permanency of these types of injuries.

Defenses to these claims include contributory or comparative negligence and assumption of risk. For example, the injured party's actions contributed to his/her injury because he was drunk or he/she was injured during a high-risk activity, such as sky diving and he/she was aware of the risk.

Unlike other less severe personal injury claims, damages for SCI claims can exceed recovery of medical expenses and pain and suffering. They may include compensation for the long-term effects, such as rehabilitation and home aid, cost of wheelchairs and other devices, and the expense of adding ramps and stair lifts to the victim's home and transportation. Spouses of SCI victims may also sue for loss of household services, loss of consortium, and loss of spousal intimacy.

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