Child Spinal Cord Injury from Accident: Filing a Claim & Recovering Damages
If your child suffered a spinal cord injury after an accident, you are probably facing the prospect of extensive, ongoing treatment and costly medical bills. Depending on who was at fault for the accident, you may be able to collect compensation to pay for those costs.
If you have questions about your legal rights after a child spinal cord injury, contact the personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC today. We can help you recover the damages your family needs to begin healing. Call 404-474-0804 to schedule a free case evaluation.
Who is liable for your child’s spinal cord injury?
You may be able to collect monetary damages from the party liable for your child’s injury. Liability depends on what caused your child's spinal cord injury and whether or not a party’s negligence contributed to it.
If your child suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of a birth injury, the person who delivered your baby might be liable. This could be the obstetrician, an emergency room doctor, an ambulance EMT, or a midwife.
When a child's spinal cord injury resulted from a fall accident, any person whose negligence contributed to that fall might be liable. For example, if your child fell after a push or shove, the person who pushed or shoved your child may be liable for a resulting spinal cord injury. If your child fell because of a dangerous condition in the street, on a sidewalk, or in a building or other location, the person responsible for the dangerous condition might be liable. The owner of the property might also be liable if the owner is a different person than the one who caused the dangerous condition.
If your child's spinal cord suffered injury in a motor vehicle accident, whether the child was a passenger in a vehicle or was a pedestrian, whoever was at fault in the motor vehicle accident can be liable for your child's injuries. In many car accidents, more than one person’s negligent actions contributed to the crash.
When a child's injury was the result of a sporting activity, multiple parties may be liable. For example, if your child suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of a vicious, illegal tackle during a soccer game, the person who tackled your child may be liable. Under some circumstances, the parents of the person who tackled your child may be liable. The organization responsible for the soccer game, such as a youth league, may be liable. In some situations, it is possible to hold the commercial soccer facility liable for injuries that take place in their facility.
If your child’s spinal cord injury happened in a swimming pool accident, the owners of the swimming pool could be liable. If the injury was from a trampoline accident, the owners and the manufacturer of the trampoline could be liable.
When a child’s spinal cord injury was the result of an act of violence, the person who perpetrated the act of violence could be liable. Also, if the negligence of anyone else contributed to the person being able to commit the act of violence, such as through failing to warn authorities about a risk or failing to confine a dangerous person, they might be liable as well.
How does a spinal cord injury affect my child’s life?
A spinal cord injury can have life-changing impacts on your child's life. These can include:
- Muscle weakness or paralysis;
- Loss of voluntary movement in your child's arms, legs, or trunk;
- Loss of feeling in your child's arms legs or trunk;
- Difficulty breathing; and
- Loss of the ability to control the bowel and bladder.
As a result of a spinal cord injury, your child may require hospitalization in an intensive care unit, a hospital, or a spinal cord rehabilitation center. During the initial hospitalization, it may be necessary for your child to have blood tests, x-rays, CAT scans, and MRIs. She may need medications to control swelling. She may also need equipment to deal with other medical consequences of the injury, such as mechanical ventilation, a catheter to drain urine, and a feeding tube.
Your child's treatment team will determine the appropriate medical interventions based on the type and extent of the spinal cord injury. They will tailor her treatment plan to her age, medical history, and general health, also taking into account your preferences and her ability to tolerate medications, therapies, and procedures.
These required medical interventions come at great expense. Before you consider a settlement of your child's injury case, you should examine the costs of all these items.
Will my child need long-term care?
There is currently no cure for spinal cord injury. The therapeutic goal is to prevent additional damage and maximize your child's function at home, in school, and in the community.
Because of that, long-term care is often necessary after a pediatric spinal injury. Your child's situation will determine the long-term treatment plan. After discharge from the hospital and spinal cord injury rehabilitation center, your child may need ongoing medical intervention, in-home health care, and personal assistance.
Your child may require these medical interventions for months, years, or even for the rest of her life. It is vital to keep this in mind when considering the settlement amount of your child’s spinal cord injury claim.
What costs can I expect after my child comes home?
People with spinal cord injuries often face a variety of immediate and long-term costs associated with their injury. You may need to plan for costs associated with:
- Lifelong occupational and physical therapy;
- Specialized equipment, such as wheelchairs, lift equipment in the home, and specialized transportation;
- Constant care for respiratory issues, including the use of a ventilator;
- Bowel and bladder control issue management;
- Special clothing and self-care items;
- In-home nursing care; and
- Counseling and other mental health services.
When thinking of your total damages, do not limit your financial considerations to your current expenses. As your child grows, she will outgrow her equipment. You will have to replace adaptive care items due to wear and tear. There will be a lifetime of expenses.
How can I get legal help with my case?
After a spinal cord injury your child's life will never be the same. Money cannot fix her injury, but a fair settlement can help secure her future. At the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC, we will help you evaluate the financial implications of your child's spinal cord injury. We will consider all of the factors, including current and future medical bills and lifetime care costs. We will file the injury claim and fight to get you the damages you and your child deserve. Call us today at 404-474-0804 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.