Spinal cord injuries are often catastrophic and can turn your whole life upside down. If you suffered a spinal cord injury caused by the negligence of another party, you could be entitled to recover compensation to help pay your bills and deal with the changes to your life. Hiring an experienced spinal cord injury attorney in Muncie can be critical to your recovery.
At Vaughan & Vaughan, we have been helping spinal cord injury victims in Muncie recover financial compensation from those responsible for their injuries for more than 100 years. Our team of Muncie personal injury lawyers has the experience necessary to help get your life back on track. Contact us today by phone or through our website to schedule a free consultation.
Steps a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Will Take on Your Behalf
When you secure the services of an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer, there are several steps they will take in their pursuit of securing compensation on your behalf. One of the first things you can expect your attorney to do will be to investigate your accident so they can collect evidence to support your claim and prove the at-fault party’s liability.
After completing this investigation, your lawyer will review the damages you have sustained and evaluate how much your claim is worth. The next step will be filing a personal injury lawsuit with the court or submitting an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurer. They will then proceed to complete all the steps in the applicable process.
While your lawyer continues to build a strong case on your behalf in preparation for a potential court appearance, they will also be engaged in negotiations with the opposition, attempting to reach a settlement agreement. If a deal can not be reached, your lawyer will proceed to argue your case at trial.
Settling Vs. Going to Court
The main benefit of taking your case to court is that there is the potential to recover a larger amount of money than you would get through a settlement. However, a jury trial is incredibly unpredictable, even if your case seems airtight. Settling means a guaranteed payday. Additionally, you will recover compensation far more quickly through a settlement deal.
For the defendant, going to court means the possibility of avoiding having to pay anything to the plaintiff. However, the money they will pay in legal fees will increase significantly, and a loss in court would be compounded by the money owed to attorneys. Settling also allows the defendant to avoid any unwanted media coverage that may come with a trial.
Because settlement deals tend to be in the best interest of everyone involved, most spinal cord injury cases are settled out of court. However, you still need to ensure that you hire an attorney with a history of securing compensation through litigation because there is always the possibility that you will be unable to come to terms on a settlement deal with the opposing party.
Ensure that Your Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit Gets Filed on Time
When pursuing compensation through a lawsuit after suffering a spinal cord injury, it is critical that you pay attention to the personal injury statute of limitations in the state where your injury occurred. Indiana’s statute grants victims a two-year window in which to submit the paperwork necessary for a lawsuit.
Missing this deadline will likely mean you are out of options for recovering compensation. However, you should be aware of the fact that special circumstances can alter the filing deadline and allow you to submit your lawsuit long after the typical two-year deadline. At the same time, you could find yourself in a position where you have far less than two years to take legal action.
The best way to protect yourself from losing your right to recover compensation because of an unforeseen deadline is by speaking with an experienced spinal cord injury attorney in Muncie soon after your accident. Your lawyer will identify the applicable deadline and prepare and file your paperwork well in advance of the cutoff.
Most Frequently Recovered Spinal Cord Injury Damages
After an accident that results in a spinal cord injury, there are several different types of damages you will likely be eligible to pursue. Identifying all the damages that apply is critical for recovering the full value of your injury claim. While figuring out what damages you can claim is often challenging, an experienced Muncie spinal cord injury lawyer can help.
All the damages you are eligible to pursue can be divided into three primary categories.
Any loss you suffer because of your injury that has a direct impact on your finances is considered to belong in the category of economic damages. Determining the value of economic damages is fairly straightforward since these are monetary losses that have dollar figures attached. The economic damages most often awarded following a spinal cord injury include:
- Property damage
- Money for completing daily tasks you can no longer do yourself
- Medical expenses
- Future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Lessened earning ability
Every other loss resulting from your injury is sorted into the broad category of non-economic damages. Because these losses are of such a personal nature, determining their worth can be complex. The non-economic damages most often awarded following a spinal cord injury include:
- Permanent disability
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
Punitive damages differ significantly from the compensatory damages reviewed above. Instead of replacing losses sustained by the injury victim, punitive damages are used to punish the liable party for their actions or inaction.
Punitive damages are not available in the vast majority of spinal cord accident cases. For your case to qualify, the liable party must have been criminally negligent or acted with the willful intention of causing harm.
Get in Touch With an Experienced Muncie Spinal Cord Accident Lawyer Today
To give yourself the best possible chance of recovering the money you need after suffering an injury, it is essential that you hire an experienced attorney. At the law offices of Vaughan & Vaughan, we have over a century of experience helping accident victims recover the compensation they need.
Contact us today by completing our online contact form or giving us a call and schedule a free case evaluation with one of our spinal cord injury lawyers in Muncie.