What To Do If You Sustain A Spinal Cord Injury After A Car Accident
Posted on January 24, 2022 in Car Accident
Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries across the country. If you or a loved one has sustained a spinal cord injury in a vehicle accident in the state of Oregon, there are various steps that you need to take to ensure that you recover complete compensation for your losses. Spinal cord injuries can result in significant short- and long-term disabilities, and it is important that you take various factors into consideration before accepting a settlement from an insurance carrier.
Car Accident Spinal Cord Injuries Range in Severity
When we look at information available from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), we can see that vehicle accidents have been responsible for the majority of spinal cord injuries across the US over the last five years. The data shows that nearly 40% of all spinal cord injuries are caused by a vehicle accident.
Spinal cord injuries that occur as a result of a vehicle collision can range in severity. In some cases, spinal cord injuries will be considered “incomplete,” and an individual may retain some level of functionality below the side of the injury. However, some crash victims experience a “complete” spinal cord injury that can result in paraplegia or quadriplegia.
Seek Medical Treatment
The number one priority after sustaining a spinal cord injury in a vehicle accident is seeking medical care. The prognosis for a spinal cord injury victim relies heavily on prompt medical treatment and continued medical care. Spinal cord injuries are considered catastrophic, and the treatment an individual receives can mean the difference between a lifetime of paralysis and some measure of recovery.
In addition to emergency medical care, spinal cord injury victims typically need extended periods of rehabilitation and physical therapy. If you have sustained a spinal cord injury in a vehicle accident, it is crucial for you to continue all medical treatment prescribed by the doctors and spinal cord injury specialists.
Keep All Evidence
After sustaining a spinal cord injury in a vehicle accident, it is crucial to keep all documentation and evidence. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Photographs taken at the scene of the crash
- Video surveillance footage of the incident
- Statements from any eyewitnesses to the crash
- All medical records related to the spinal cord injury
- Proof of any out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the victim or their family members
Do Not Speak to the Insurance Carriers
Even though you have to report the spinal cord injury to your insurance carrier, we encourage you to limit conversations you have with any insurance claims adjusters. This includes your insurance carrier as well as the insurance carrier of the at-fault parties. Anything you say to these insurance claims adjusters could be used against you. Their goal was to limit how much money they payout, and when a spinal cord injury occurs, they will use various tactics to downplay the severity of the incident.
Contact a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer
You need to reach out to a skilled spinal cord injury lawyer in Portland as soon as possible. An attorney can get involved quickly, take overall communication with other parties, and conduct a full investigation into the incident. A spinal cord injury lawyer will be responsible for handling all negotiations with other parties, and they will file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court if necessary to ensure you are treated fairly.