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How Much is a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit Settlement Worth?

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Recent Multi-Million Dollar Spinal Cord Injury Settlements

Recent Multi-Million Dollar Spinal Cord Injury Settlements

Nov 30, 2021

A spinal cord injury can lead to permanent damage that leaves a victim enduring lifelong pain and suffering. While the Mayo Clinic notes that many scientists are optimistic that advances in research will someday make repair of spinal cord injuries possible, suffering such a severe injury today can be a life-altering event that often requires a great deal of treatment and rehabilitation.

How Much is a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit Settlement Worth?

Below we will take a look at some common causes of spinal cord injuries. We’ll also review some recent settlements that can help injured victims get a sense of how much their spinal cord injury lawsuit may be worth.

What is a Spinal Cord Injury?

A spinal cord injury involves damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal. According to the Mayo Clinic, spinal cord injuries can cause permanent changes in:

  • Strength
  • Sensation
  • Body functions below the site of the injury

Furthermore, in addition to the pain and suffering that typically accompanies a severe injury, damage to the spinal cord can impact you mentally, emotionally, socially, and financially.

How Common are Spinal Cord Injuries?

The National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA) estimates that as many as 450,000 people in the U.S. are living with a spinal cord injury.

The NSCIA also reports that each year approximately 17,000 new spinal cord injuries occur in the United States. The majority of these spinal cord injuries are caused by trauma to the vertebrae column, which, according to the NSCIA, can affect the spinal cord’s ability to send and receive messages from the brain to the body’s systems that control sensory, motor, and autonomic function.

What are the Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?

The NSCIA as well as the Mayo Clinic confirm that motor vehicle accidents (auto and motorcycle) are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the U.S., with the majority of those impacted being younger people. For individuals over 65, falls are the leading contributor to spinal cord injuries.

Other common causes of spinal cord injuries include:

  • Acts of Violence: Approximately 12% of spinal cord injuries are a result of what the Mayo Clinic refers to as “violent encounters,” typically from gunshot wounds. Knife wounds are also a common cause of spinal cord injuries.
  • Sports and Recreation Injuries: Athletic activities including impact sports (such as diving in shallow water) cause approximately 10% of spinal cord injuries.
  • Diseases: Cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, and inflammation can also cause spinal cord injuries.

Just over half of all spinal cord injuries occur in individuals ages 16-30, most of whom are male (80%). For sports-related spinal cord injuries, males represent nearly all cases – accounting for 90%, according to the NSCIA.

Engaging in risky behaviors can increase your likelihood of suffering a spinal cord injury. In addition, alcohol use is reportedly involved in approximately 25% of all traumatic spinal cord injury cases.

Spinal Cord Injuries at Work

Spinal cord injuries also commonly occur as a result of work-related accidents. Statistics on how many work-related spinal cord injuries occur annually vary, but the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have published two reports confirming the following:

  • Between 1974 and 1979, 144 patients with spinal cord injuries were admitted to the Sunnybrook Medical Centre. 25 of those patients (24 being men) had sustained their injuries at work – accounting for 17.4% of the total cases.
  • In a report from Australia, work-related spinal cord injuries accounted for about 13% of all traumatic cases from 1986 to 1997. The labor force-based incidence rate in Australia averaged four cases per million of population per annum over the period. The rate was highest among those aged 25-34 years (4.9/million) and among farmers (17.0/ million).

How Do I Know if I Have a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit?

If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident, motorcycle crash, work-related incident, or other type of event that involved another’s negligence or carelessness, you may be eligible to recover financial compensation for numerous damages.

Some common damages that may be recoverable after a spinal cord injury include:

  • Hospital bills
  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Emotional trauma
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Diminished quality of life

Spinal cord injury damages can be pursued through a personal injury civil lawsuit against the negligent party – whether an individual or entity.

How Much Have Spinal Cord Injury Victims Recovered?

Some recent spinal cord injury settlements include:

$1.55 Million Settlement for School District Truck Accident: In 2017, a North Carolina man driving a school district dump truck crossed the center line and struck another vehicle head-on. The crash left the other driver with a severe spinal cord injury as well as an ankle fracture, shoulder injuries, and nerve damage, according to a September 2019 lawsuit. The severity of the woman’s injuries will reportedly require “medical care for the remainder of her life.” The driver of the school truck was cited for speeding, and earlier this month the spinal cord injury victim was awarded a $1.55 million settlement.

$17.5 Million Settlement for Inmate Paralyzed in Prison Guard Altercation: In April 2020, Seth Fletcher was reportedly serving a two-year sentence at Chillicothe Correctional Institution in southern Ohio. During a strip search which was conducted after guards suspected a cigarette found on the inmate was laced with drugs, an altercation occurred. After being tackled and handcuffed, Fletcher was taken to a suicide watch location. During the transport, the prison guards reportedly dropped the inmate, causing him to sustain a severe spinal cord injury that led to paralysis. Earlier this month, the State of Ohio agreed to pay Fletcher $17.5 million in damages for the spinal cord injury.

$2.45 Million Settlement for Spinal Cord Injury Involving South Charleston Police: In May 2020, a man riding a motorcycle near South Charleston, West Virginia, was spotted by police. Upon following the motorcyclist, the officer reportedly learned that the registration for the license plate and bike did not match. In a lawsuit, the motorcyclist claimed that the officer ran his cruiser into the bike, knocking him off and into an area with standing water. The suit also claimed the officer stomped on the motorcyclist’s head as he lay on the ground unable to move. The incident left the motorcyclist paralyzed with a severe spinal cord injury. Earlier this month, a federal lawsuit was settled for $2.45 million.

Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.

Dordulian Law Group’s Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers

Dordulian Law Group (DLG) has helped countless accident victims recover maximum financial compensation for their injuries. Recently, DLG secured a $3.25 million settlement for a woman who sustained a severe spinal cord injury when a bench collapsed in the lobby of a medical building.

Although the defendant attempted to settle the case for only $5,000, DLG’s spinal cord injury lawyers fought hard to ensure that the woman secured the maximum financial compensation she needed to receive future medical care without the worry of mounting expenses.

If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury, our dedicated attorneys are available 24/7 to discuss your legal options. Our consultations are always free and without any obligation. Additionally, there is never any fee for our legal services until we’ve successfully recovered a maximum damages award for your spinal cord injury claim.

To speak with a member of our team, contact us today at 818-322-4056. DLG’s personal injury lawyers have helped clients recover more than $100 million in settlements and verdicts over the years. If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury due to another’s negligence, you can be confident that we will fight to help you secure justice.


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