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What Are My Rights After a Spinal Cord Injury?
Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp
(833) 997-1774

Even a minor spinal cord injury can be a life-changing experience accompanied by adverse physical, financial, and emotional impacts. Although spinal cord injuries can occur in almost any type of accident, they are much more common in some than others. For example, data published by the National Institute of Child Health and Development shows that, since 2005, more than 40% of all spinal cord injuries have been caused by car accidents and almost 30% have been caused by slip-and-fall accidents. If you sustained a spinal cord injury caused by another person’s negligence, a Portsmouth personal injury attorney can help you pursue the financial compensation for damages you need and deserve. 

What is a Spinal Cord Injury?

A spinal cord injury is an injury that affects any area of the spine or the connected nerves that play a role in sensation and movement. Spinal cord injury symptoms vary widely and depend primarily on the exact location and severity of the injury.

Spinal cord injuries are classified as complete or incomplete. A complete injury is one that causes the victim to lose all function below the injury site. An incomplete injury is one in which the victim retains some function below the injury site. 

Spinal cord injuries can lead to: 

  • Total or partial loss of movement
  • Loss of feeling
  • Spasms
  • Extreme pain
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tingling or numbness

Along with the physical damage, spinal cord injuries can harm a victim’s mental well-being as well. It is not uncommon for spinal cord injury victims to experience psychological issues, such as anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder which can cause extreme and unwelcome changes in their jobs, personal relationships, and lifestyles. 

Legal Considerations

Many legal considerations must be taken into account in a spinal cord injury case. These include: 

  • Contributory Negligence: Virginia follows the doctrine of contributory negligence. This means you will be barred from financial recovery if you contributed to your spinal cord injury in any way.  
  • Statute of Limitations: With some rare exceptions, the Virginia statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years from the day the injury occurred. If you fail to file by this deadline, you will be barred from financial recovery.  
  • Evidence: Collecting and indexing as much relevant evidence as possible is critical to building a solid case. Strong evidence includes pictures, videos, eyewitness testimonies, police reports, medical records, and many other things.
  • Insurance: Understanding what insurance coverage may be available to cover the damages related to your spine injury is important. Potential insurance policies include yours and the at-fault party’s.
  • Damages: If your spine injury case is successful, you could be entitled to financial compensation for multiple forms of damages, such as medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.  

Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Handling a personal injury claim is challenging, especially if you are trying to recover from serious injuries. Partnering with a skilled Portsmouth personal injury lawyer from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp who can ensure your rights are protected and who understands the intricacies of the legal process is paramount to the success of your claim, like when we mediated a settlement for a client whose vertebra was fractured in a car accident.  

We can help you collect evidence, build a strong case, negotiate with the insurance company, and ensure you are fairly compensated for your damages. Schedule a free consultation by calling us at (833) 997-1774 or filling out the contact form on our website. Our offices are located in Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Hampton. 


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