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Car accident: The challenge of calculating spinal injury damages

Victims of crashes nationwide, including in British Columbia, can pursue recovery of damages. This is if the car accident was caused by the negligence of another person. However, how do one know the monetary value of damages caused by spinal cord injuries – both short and long-term losses? This is particularly applicable to incomplete spinal injuries because it typically involves 'wait and see' scenarios. Most victims of such injuries are discharged from medical facilities before they have healed, and they then live in suspense to see how much they will recover.

Pain can be ever-present -- even if the patient cannot feel it. While the return of sensation might be something to cause excitement, it will also restore the ability to feel pain; however, the danger is that pain can return without the sensation to enable the patient to feel it. Pain can be a warning signal that certain movements may cause harm. However, if the pain is not felt, unintentional damage can be done to a shoulder, knee or another joint. Fatigue is also common to incomplete spinal injury patients, and it is more prevalent in those who can get about without wheelchairs.

Studies have found a variety of emotional consequences of incomplete spinal injuries, many of which are caused by financial problems -- both short and long term. This might be linked to difficulties in obtaining unemployment and disability benefits and more. Alcohol problems seem to develop within the first year for many patients, often increasing in the following years. Sadly, many spouses also suffer emotionally and resort to alcohol for relief. Children in some families with incomplete spinal injury victims have shown the tendency to develop social problems.

These facts underscore the earlier question about determining a monetary value to claim in the pursuit of financial relief when a personal injury lawsuit is filed against a negligent driver. This is where the skills of an experienced British Columbia car accident lawyer comes in. Such a professional will know how to calculate past and future financial damages such as medical and all other expenses along with how to quantify emotional damages to draft a claim for adjudication by the court.

Source: craighospital.org, "Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries: Down the Road", June 9, 2017

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