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Compensation in Spinal Cord Injury Cases

By Sean Burke on September 30, 2016

Here at the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke, we fight for all injury victims throughout Orange County. Our team of attorneys is here to seek justice and ensure that those who are injured have a system in place that is fair and fights for them.

When people experience a severe neck, back, or spinal cord injury, it can literally change their lives. Let's go over the basics of legal damages in these kinds of cases.

The Consequences of a Serious Spinal Cord Injury

Major spinal cord injuries can lead to lifelong changes to your life and well-being. In the worst cast scenarios, severe spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis. Paraplegics will no longer have the use of their legs, and quadriplegics will not longer be able to use their arms or legs. This means a lifetime of medical attention, careful monitoring, and assistance around the home and to accomplish simple tasks. Career goals and trajectories may be severely altered because of these injuries and accidents.

Even when the spinal cord injury is less severe, the repercussions can last for years. Nerve damage can cause difficulties with sensations and limb strength, and bodily control. Mobility issues can limit what you can do and what jobs you can pursue. This is why it's so important to seek legal help after a major neck, back, or spine injury has occurred.

Damages Hold Negligent Parties Accountable

When pursuing a legal action in an accident case, damages are sought. Damages are a type of monetary reward to the plaintiff in a case that are designed to cover losses and to punish the negligent party. They are common in civil lawsuits.

Types of Legal Damages

There are two kinds of legal damages: compensatory damages and punitive damages.

Below, we explore each of these in more detail, including how they are calculated.

About Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are legal damages that are intended to cover material losses that have been experienced as a result of an injury. This may include medical bills, physical therapy, lost wages at work, lost future earnings, damage to personal property (e.g., vehicle in an auto accident), and so on. Since another person was responsible for the injury occurring, the responsibility for these expenses should be on the shoulders of the liable party.

Tabulating compensatory damages is relatively easy. Receipts, bills, invoices, and other means of assessing or estimating costs can be used.

About Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are legal damages that are intended to punish the negligent party for the incident that occurred. This means that the damages are not linked to a material loss but are meant to deter similar future actions from occurring in the future. The nature of the case determines the amount of punitive damages sought, with more egregious or serious cases of negligence associated with higher punitive damages.

Tabulating punitive damages can be tricky and a somewhat subjective process. In order to be fair when seeking punitive damages, similar cases and the punitive damages awarded may be referenced to come up with an amount.

Contact the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke

For more information about your legal options following a serious auto accident or injury, be sure to contact our personal injury law firm today. The team at the Law Offices of Sean M. Burke is here to help you in your time of legal need.

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