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The Legal Process for Spinal Cord Injuries in Minnesota

by Mar 16, 2024Mike Miller, Personal Injury

Spinal cord injuries are among the most devastating and life-altering injuries a person can experience. They often result from traumatic accidents such as car crashes, falls, or sports injuries, and can have profound physical, emotional, and financial consequences for the victim and their family. In Minnesota, navigating the legal process for spinal cord injuries involves various steps and considerations, from medical treatment and rehabilitation to pursuing compensation through a personal injury claim. 

Treatment and Effects of a Spinal Cord Injury 

A spinal cord injury (SCI) can have long-lasting effects on a person’s health and well-being. The treatment and management of an SCI typically involve a multidisciplinary approach aimed at maximizing recovery, improving quality of life, and minimizing complications. 

Immediately following an SCI, the primary focus is on stabilizing the spine and preventing further damage to the spinal cord. Emergency responders and healthcare professionals work swiftly to assess the extent of the injury, immobilize the spine to prevent further damage, and provide life-saving interventions. This may involve immobilizing the spine with a brace or traction device and administering medications to reduce inflammation and swelling. In cases of severe SCI, surgery may be necessary to realign the spine, remove any debris or fragments, and stabilize the affected vertebrae. 

Once the spine is stabilized, the focus shifts to rehabilitation, which plays a critical role in helping individuals with SCIs regain function and independence. Rehabilitation programs may include physical therapy to improve strength, flexibility, and mobility, occupational therapy to develop skills for daily living tasks, and speech therapy for individuals with speech and swallowing difficulties. Additionally, psychological counseling and support services may be provided to address the emotional and psychological impact of the injury. 

Despite advancements in medical treatment and rehabilitation, the effects of an SCI can be long-lasting and may vary depending on the severity and location of the injury. Common effects of SCI include partial or complete paralysis, loss of sensation, muscle weakness or spasticity, bowel and bladder dysfunction, and chronic pain. These physical limitations can significantly impact a person’s ability to perform daily activities, participate in work or leisure activities, and maintain social connections. 

In addition to the physical effects, SCIs can also have profound emotional and psychological consequences. Individuals may experience feelings of grief, anger, frustration, or depression as they adjust to their new circumstances and cope with the loss of independence and mobility. It’s essential for individuals with SCIs to have access to comprehensive support services, including counseling, peer support groups, and community resources, to help them navigate the emotional challenges of living with an SCI. 

Pursuing A Personal Injury Case 

In cases where the spinal cord injury results from the negligence or wrongful conduct of another party, such as in a car accident or a slip and fall incident, the victim may be entitled to pursue compensation for their injuries and losses. This typically involves filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company or initiating a lawsuit in civil court. However, navigating the legal process for spinal cord injuries can be complex, requiring the assistance of experienced personal injury attorneys who are adept at handling such cases. 

Personal injury attorneys who handle spinal cord injury cases understand the unique challenges and complexities involved. They have the knowledge to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the injury, gather evidence to support the claim, and build a compelling case on behalf of the injured party. This may involve consulting with medical experts to assess the extent of the injury, projecting future medical needs and expenses, and calculating the full extent of the damages suffered by the victim. 

Moreover, personal injury attorneys can negotiate with insurance companies on behalf of their clients to seek fair and just compensation for medical expenses, lost income, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, and other related damages. If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, attorneys are prepared to advocate for their clients’ rights in court and pursue litigation to secure the compensation they deserve. 

Establishing Liability 

One of the key challenges in spinal cord injury cases is establishing liability, or legal responsibility, for the accident and resulting injuries. This often involves conducting a thorough investigation into the circumstances of the accident, gathering evidence such as witness statements, accident reports, and medical records, and consulting with expert witnesses, such as accident reconstruction specialists or medical experts. The goal is to build a compelling case that demonstrates how the defendant’s negligence or misconduct directly contributed to the victim’s spinal cord injury. 

In addition to proving liability, it’s essential to accurately assess the full extent of the victim’s damages, including both economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages may include medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost income, and property damage, while non-economic damages may encompass pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. Calculating the value of these damages requires careful consideration of the individual’s past, present, and future needs, as well as the long-term impact of the spinal cord injury on their quality of life. 

Steps In the Legal Process 

Once the personal injury claim is filed, the legal process typically involves negotiation with the insurance company in an attempt to reach a fair settlement. This may entail submitting evidence, documentation, and medical reports to support the victim’s claim and engaging in settlement discussions with the insurance adjuster. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to litigation, where it will be heard before a judge and jury in civil court. 

Throughout the legal process, the victim’s attorney plays a crucial role in advocating for their rights and interests, negotiating on their behalf, and providing guidance and support every step of the way. A skilled personal injury attorney with experience in spinal cord injury cases can help the victim navigate the complexities of the legal system, protect their rights, and pursue the compensation they need to rebuild their lives after a devastating spinal cord injury. 

Spinal Cord Injury Accident Attorneys in MN 

The legal process for spinal cord injuries in Minnesota involves various steps and considerations, from medical treatment and rehabilitation to pursuing compensation through a personal injury claim. Navigating this process can be challenging, but with the help of experienced legal representation, victims of spinal cord injuries can seek justice and obtain the compensation they rightfully deserve. Personal injury attorneys provide invaluable support and guidance to spinal cord injury victims and their families throughout the legal process. They serve as compassionate advocates, offering reassurance, advice, and assistance every step of the way. 

Sieben Edmunds Miller understands the profound impact that spinal cord injuries can have on individuals and their families. Our experienced team of personal injury attorneys is committed to providing compassionate support and aggressive advocacy for those who have suffered such injuries due to the negligence of others. With our unwavering dedication to our clients’ well-being and our track record of success in handling complex spinal cord injury cases, you can trust us to fight tirelessly on your behalf. Let us be your advocates in pursuing the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation. 

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