Motorcyclists simply do not have as much protection that most other drivers have. Unfortunately, this can lead to catastrophic injuries when an accident occurs. Perhaps one of the most catastrophic injuries that can occur to a motorcyclist is a spinal cord injury. Here, we want to discuss how motorcycle spinal cord injuries occur and whether or not these individuals can secure compensation for their losses.
According to data available from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the US. Since 2015, 37.7% of all spinal cord injuries recorded across the country have been the result of vehicle accidents. This includes incidents involving vehicles versus vehicles, commercial truck accidents, bus accidents, pedestrian accidents, motorcycle accidents, and bicycle accidents.
Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable because they have very little protection for their bodies when a crash occurs.
Spinal cord injuries range significantly in severity. In some cases, spinal cord injuries are considered incomplete, which means they do not result in a complete severing of the spinal column. This could lead to various levels of paralysis or disability. However, a complete spinal cord injury means that the spinal cord is severed at the site of the injury, leading to paralysis from that area downward. Again, the level of severity and paralysis will depend on where the spinal cord injury occurs.
If a motorcyclist sustains a spinal cord injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of another motorist, then they should be able to recover compensation for their losses. The at-fault party will typically be responsible for paying compensation through an insurance settlement or as a result of a personal injury lawsuit verdict.
The ultimate goal for a spinal cord injury victim is to recover the compensation needed to treat every aspect of the injury. Unfortunately, spinal cord injuries are often permanent, which means individuals will need lifelong care. Data from the NSCISC indicates that the first year of medical treatment for a spinal cord injury can range anywhere from around $400,000 to more than $1.2 million, depending on the level of severity of the injury. However, these are just the first-year medical costs. Each subsequent year of medical treatment can range anywhere from around $50,000 to more than $200,000.
Aside from medical costs, any potential settlement must include compensation for lost wages, home or vehicle modifications, medical devices, in-home medical care needs, as well as physical and emotional pain and suffering losses.
A spinal cord injury lawyer is absolutely going to be necessary after these injuries occur. Motorcycle accidents themselves are notoriously difficult when it comes to dealing with insurance carriers, and incidents involving catastrophic injuries are even more challenging. Insurance carriers and at-fault parties will almost always put up a fight from having to pay out total compensation.
When you work with a spinal cord injury lawyer in Santa Ana, you will have an advocate with the resources needed to completely investigate the incident. They will enlist assistance from medical, financial, and economic experts to help calculate total expected losses. This includes not only the initial medical bills but also the lifelong expenses that will be expected as a result of the injury.