Head and spine injuries are some of the most expensive kinds of personal injuries. For a spine injury, medical bills and associated costs typically average about $1 million in the first year alone. Over the next few years, the costs do not diminish very much.
Serious head and spine injuries also lead to significant pain and suffering. Head injuries often trigger personality changes and other symptoms which make it difficult or impossible to function at work, home, or school. Spine injuries cause intense pain as well as partial or total paralysis.
Due to the severe nature of these wounds, a Brainerd personal injury lawyer is able to obtain significant compensation in many of these cases. This process, which often takes at least several months, begins with some knowledge. Such information is valuable for victims, jurors, and for Brainerd personal injury lawyers.
Why Are These Injuries So Expensive?
In a nutshell, brain and spine injuries generate significant medical bills because both surgical correction and physical therapy are incredibly difficult.
It is impossible to surgically correct brain injuries. These wounds are permanent. Once brain cells die, they never regenerate. However, doctors can ease swelling and stop brain bleeding. These delicate procedures at least keep the injury from getting worse.
Spinal surgery is very intricate as well. The spinal cord is not very long or wide, yet it contains thirty-one interconnected pairs of nerves. Only a few doctors have enough training and experience to operate on such a delicate area. These surgeons expect, and deserve, a great deal of compensation.
The aforementioned million dollar figure also includes indirect economic losses, such as lost wages. It takes many months to recover from back or brain surgery. During much of that time, victims usually cannot move around at all. Then, until they complete physical therapy, their lives are extremely limited.
What Causes Head and Spine Injuries?
Falls cause a number of these wounds. That could be a fall from a height or, more commonly, an ordinary slip-and-fall. But car crashes are, by far, the leading cause of brain and spine injuries.
In terms of head injuries, vehicle collisions combine all three major head injury causes, which are:
- Motion: The violent forces in a vehicle collision are usually more than a restraint system can withstand. Additionally, seat bels and other restraints are not designed to stop motion-related injuries. Yet it is possible to scramble the brain without breaking the skull, just like a person can scramble an egg just by shaking it.
- Trauma: Many times, a victim’s head crashes into a windshield, dashboard, or another solid object. Additionally, a high-speed wreck transforms lose objects inside the car, like cell phones, into high-speed missiles.
- Noise: Witnesses often say that car crashes sound like explosions. Sudden loud noises like these create shock waves which disrupt brain functions. Such wounds are very difficult to address surgically, since there is no brain bleeding or swelling.
The aforementioned violent motion also causes a significant number of spine injuries. The sudden back-and-forth movement often causes pinched nerves and other damage. These injuries are especially acute if the victim had a pre-existing back condition.
In pre-existing injury cases, a Brainerd personal injury lawyer can usually obtain maximum compensation, thanks to the eggshell skull rule. Simply stated, tortfeasors (negligent actors) should not receive financial windfalls because the victim was physically frail.
How Does a Brainerd Personal Injury Lawyer Obtain Compensation in These Cases?
Most brain and spine injury cases settle out of court. However, settlement negotiations cannot begin in earnest until medical treatment is at least substantially complete. Personal injury settlements usually include liability waivers. So, once a victim signs on the dotted line, it’s almost impossible to reopen the case and obtain additional compensation for additional needs.
These negotiations typically begin with a demand letter. If liability is reasonably clear, a Brainerd personal injury lawyer may not even need to file court paperwork to obtain top compensation. Other factors, such as the strength of the victim/plaintiff’s case, any insurance company defenses, and the attorney’s skill, often come into play here as well.
If the case does not settle relatively quickly, mediation is generally the next step. A third-party mediator, who is usually a retired judge or an unaffiliated Brainerd personal injury attorney, works to facilitate a settlement between the two sides. If both parties participate with open minds, mediation is successful about 75 percent of the time.
Connect with a Dedicated Attorney
Spine and brain injury victims need and deserve substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Brainerd personal injury lawyer, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. You have a limited amount of time to act.