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Car accidents are by far the most common cause of spinal cord issues, leading to 47% of all spinal cord injury cases. Damage to the spinal cord happens when parts of bone, disc material, or ligaments bruise or tear into the spinal cord tissue and destroy a portion of the nerve cells which help the brain communicate to the rest of the body.

Spinal cord injuries require immediate medical attention. The injury may be more serious than you realize, even if you aren't experiencing any symptoms. This is not only important for your health, but if you neglect to seek medical attention and things continue to get worse, it could have an affect on the relevance of your case.  

To determine where responsibility lies, an investigation will have to be done to find exactly what went wrong and who was involved. There are a lot of factors when it comes to car accidents; therefore, it is important to investigate every detail of your situation. Thankfully there are lawyers who specialize in taking a closer look at each individual case to discover who is liable for the incident that occurred. These lawyers are there to help you sort out the facts of your case and relieve you of the weight of the expenses that have come your way -- which can cost over $1 million in the first year alone depending upon the location of the injury.

Every Driver’s Duty

There are a number of issues that can occur while operating a motor vehicle. The crux of a legal case is typically that something happened that shouldn’t have, or something was misplaced or overlooked. Every driver on the road, and those who are responsible for the safety of these drivers, have a duty and responsibility to follow certain rules. If one does not follow these rules, they have the possibility of being found to be negligent.

All drivers of motor vehicles must:

  • Drive in a reasonable fashion to keep all others on the road safe.
  • Drive at a reasonable speed. The signs indicating a set speed limit are the maximum speed allowed in the area. However other conditions can also affect if a speed is reasonable such as weather, road conditions, traffic, and visibility issues.
  • Continue to give their vehicle the proper amount of maintenance, such as ensuring the brakes and lights are functioning correctly.
  • Remain in control of their vehicle by paying attention and being aware surroundings in case they have to stop suddenly.
  • Follow their state’s laws, which tend to vary by state but some include not driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and driving on the correct side of the road.

If someone has breached one or more of these duties - they are now open to being found responsible for your spinal injury. The first thing to understand is that you deserve help. This should have never happened to you and you should not have to face the repercussions for someone’s carelessness on your own.

Finding Liability

Your attorney is your advocate and will be researching every component of your case to uncover the potential indicators of liability. Some examples of the type of investigating you and your attorney could be doing include:

  • There could have been something wrong with your car. For example, maybe the brakes weren’t working correctly or the tires had a manufacturing issue. Depending on how new the car is, liability could fall on the maker of the car or the person who sold it to you. Additionally, if you had the car repaired or parts replaced not too long ago, liability could fall on the repair shop for improper repair.
  • There could potentially have been something wrong with the road. Maybe there was inadequate signage for a tight curve and/or the speed limit wasn’t appropriately matched.
  • If the accident happened near the corner of the street where a home is, the responsibility could be on the owner of the property for failure to maintain lawn care or having things in the yard that restricted your sight.
  • There is also the possibility of a vicarious liability, where the responsibility falls on any third party that had the “right, ability, or duty to control” the situation. Such as:
    • If an employee driving their company car caused the accident - the company would be responsible.
    • If someone else owned the car that was responsible for the accident and knew it was irresponsible to allow the person operating it to be behind the wheel, they would be liable under negligent entrustment.

Insurance & Expenses

Medical treatments and residual expenses for a spinal cord injury can add up to as much as millions of dollars -- this is why it is important that you find a good lawyer who can determine who is liable for your injuries and will ultimately be responsible for those costs. It is advised not to talk either party’s insurance company without the assistance of a lawyer.

Your lawyer will help you solidify whether this accident was based on negligence or defective products, and that will determine what action will be taken by either party’s insurance company. Most likely, the other party’s insurance company will try to undervalue your claim and that is why it is important to have a lawyer who can build a strong case for you.

You may also come upon some issues with your own insurance company if you are not covered for your vehicle and/or the other party doesn't have the insurance to cover your injuries and damages cause by the accident. Therefore you do not want to hesitate to seek out help. When it comes to the health, safety, and well-being of your family, you cannot solve all of these issues on your own.

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