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How to Help a Loved One Cope with a Spinal Cord Injury

How to Help a Loved One Cope with a Spinal Cord Injury

When a loved one sustains a catastrophic injury like spinal cord damage, witnessing the aftermath isn’t easy. Of course, actually living with the injury is even harder, so family members are usually inclined to help however they can. 

If your relative is recovering from a spinal cord injury (SCI), you may be eager to do your part. Upon learning about the uphill battle he or she faces, though, it’s natural to feel powerless. This is especially true when the prognosis includes permanent paralysis.

Regardless of your loved one’s odds of making a full recovery, there are a number of ways you can help him or her cope with both the physical limitations and psychological ramifications of his or her condition. If you’re unsure how to start, here are some of the most effective strategies for offering assistance:

1. Arrange for Counseling

Virtually everyone who sustains a life-changing injury can benefit from counseling. Even if your family member appears to be handling the situation fairly well, he or she may be struggling with loneliness, hopelessness, anxiety, or depression, all of which are perfectly normal—and relatively common—in the wake of catastrophe. Fortunately, after determining the extent of any psychological issues, a licensed professional can offer various techniques for overcoming them.

Should your loved one be resistant to seeing someone, eliminate all the hurdles of doing so. For example, you can take it upon yourself to find a specialist who will accept his or her insurance, schedule the appointments, and then provide transportation to and from the sessions.  

2. Get out of the House

Once your relative’s condition stabilizes, don’t let him or her stay cooped up in the house all day. With the right mobility devices, you can take him or her on all kinds of outings. Even something as simple as spending time in nature could provide a host of benefits, from relieving stress to combatting depression.

3. Set a Series of Goals

Help your family member set both small and large goals, and then track his or her progress in regard to achieving them. This is one of the surest ways to maintain the motivation to keep going, especially on days when even the best possible outcome looks bleak or the situation in general feels unbearable. Upon reaching each milestone, help your loved one identify a new goal so he or she will always have something to work toward.

Discuss Your Case with a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney in Long Island

If your loved one sustained an SCI because another party failed to act with reasonable care, contact WeitzPascale to determine the most strategic way to proceed. Our resourceful team will help you identify all responsible parties, gather evidence of liability, and fight for a fair settlement.

Our law firm has earned a 10.0 rating from Avvo and an AV-Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell. Call 516-280-4716 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a spinal cord injury lawyer in Long Island.

How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?

If you were hurt at the hands of someone else, you’re probably wondering whether taking legal action is even worth your time. While there’s no way to guarantee that any given claim will yield compensation, a knowledgeable attorney can help you approximate a fair settlement amount based on the facts of your case.

Let’s take a look at some of the factors that could impact the potential recovery in a personal injury claim:

1. Liability

If you contributed to the accident in which you were hurt, you may have to settle for a reduced payout. New York has a pure comparative fault rule, which means the total compensation to which a plaintiff is entitled is reduced by his or her own liability.

If you were struck by a distracted driver and seriously injured, for example, but you were speeding at the time, the pure comparative fault rule could apply, depending on the circumstances. If you were deemed 25 percent liable, you would be entitled to compensation for no more than 75 percent of your damages. If you end up incurring $50,000 in losses, that means you could only recover up to $37,500.

2. Damages

Naturally, the total damages you incur will have a major influence on the potential value of your case. For injured parties in New York, recoverable damages might include:

  • Medical bills;
  • Lost wages;
  • Loss of future earnings;
  • Replacement services;
  • Home and vehicle modifications; and
  • Property repairs.

Personal injury claimants may also be entitled to compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering, mental anguish, physical impairment, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment in life. Generally speaking, more severe injuries warrant higher compensation for these kinds of damages because such injuries have a greater impact on overall quality of life.

3. Available Coverage

It’s an unfortunate truth that personal injury payouts are often limited by the liable party’s insurance coverage. If you slipped and fell at the grocery store, for example, the insurance policy of the property owner or occupier would likely limit the amount of compensation available to you.

The insurance policy limits might not matter if the damages are relatively minor, but they can cause significant issues for claimants who incur major losses. If you have suffered significant damages, a seasoned attorney can conduct an investigation to look for other potentially liable parties from whom you can seek damages.

Discuss Your Case with a Personal Injury Lawyer in Long Island

If you sustained serious injuries because another party failed to act with reasonable care, contact WeitzPascale. We are committed to protecting the physical, emotional, and economic wellbeing of our clients.

There’s no charge for the consultation, and we accept personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis. In other words, no attorneys’ fees will be charged unless we win your case through a settlement or trial verdict. Call 516-280-4716 or use our Online Contact Form to set up a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in Long Island.

Can You Sue If You’re Partially at Fault for a Personal Injury?

It’s not uncommon for injured parties to have played a role in the accident in which they were hurt. Pedestrians often get struck while jaywalking, for example, and shoppers often slip and fall despite “Wet Floor” signs because they’re not paying attention to their surroundings.

Thankfully, shouldering a portion of fault for your injuries doesn’t automatically bar you from recovering compensation for your damages—in most states. Unless you intend to take legal action in Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, or Virginia, you may be entitled to damages even if you were partially liable for the accident; however, some states bar recovery if the plaintiff’s liability reaches a certain threshold—usually 50 percent or 51 percent. These are called “modified comparative fault” states.

Fortunately, under New York’s pure comparative fault system, a plaintiff is not barred from recovery even if they were more at fault for the accident than the defendant. In fact, even if you were 99 percent at fault, you could still pursue compensation for the 1 percent of your damages for which the defendant was liable.

When a personal injury plaintiff is partially liable for their own damages, their financial recovery is reduced by their own percentage of fault. For example, if you were hurt in a slip and fall and you are deemed 25 percent liable, you can seek compensation for only 75 percent of the associated losses from the defendant. If you end up incurring $50,000 in damages, that means you could recover up to $37,500.

When Might Punitive Damages Be Available in a Personal Injury Case?

The pure comparative fault rule applies to compensatory damages, which essentially aim to make the plaintiff whole again. Such damages are composed of the economic and non-economic damages that the plaintiff incurred. Examples include:

  • Medical bills;
  • Home care;
  • Child care;
  • Domestic help;
  • Lost wages;
  • Lost earning capacity;
  • Property damage;
  • Alternative transportation;
  • Home and vehicle modifications;
  • Mental anguish;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Physical impairment and disfigurement; and
  • Loss of enjoyment in life.

In some cases, plaintiffs are entitled to more than just the standard compensatory damages. If the defendant’s conduct constituted malice; wanton recklessness; willful negligence; fraud; a high degree of immorality; or a conscious disregard for the plaintiff’s health, rights, or safety, the case may warrant a punitive award. Instead of reimbursing the plaintiff for his or her losses, punitive damages aim to punish the defendant and to deter such conduct in the future. If you can provide clear and convincing evidence that your injuries were caused by more than ordinary negligence, you may be entitled to a punitive award.

Discuss Your Case with a Personal Injury Attorney in Long Island

If you were seriously hurt because another party failed to act with reasonable care, contact WeitzPascale. We will conduct a thorough investigation into your accident, gather evidence, and help you pursue the highest payout possible. Call 516-280-4716 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Long Island.

Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?

 Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?Serious injuries can make it challenging if not impossible to complete even the simplest tasks. From driving to the store to cooking for your family, errands and chores that you used to perform without a second thought can be entirely unmanageable after getting hurt.

When daily tasks are a struggle, the thought of filing a personal injury lawsuit and going to court can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, the vast majority of personal injury cases do not go all the way to trial.

If you have the ability to prove liability, causation, and damages, your attorney may be able to secure a settlement through negotiations with the opposing party. If the insurance company or defendant is uncooperative, though, it might be in your best interests to file a lawsuit.

Even if a lawsuit is filed, it is still possible to reach a settlement in the early stages of litigation—before the case reaches trial. But if disputes persist through discovery and alternative dispute resolution, going to court might be the best option.

Here are a few common disputes that might send a case to trial:

1. Liability Disputes

The opposing party might refuse to accept fault, or they may challenge the percentage of liability imposed on them. This dispute is more likely to arise if you, the claimant, were partially liable, or if multiple defendants share fault.

2. Causation Disputes

If you had a preexisting medical condition that was aggravated or exacerbated by the accident, a dispute might arise regarding causation. In other words, the defense might assert that the damages you are claiming were not caused by the accident but rather by your preexisting condition.

3. Damages Disputes

The insurance company or defendant might dispute your attorney’s settlement calculations. They may argue, for example, that your lawyer has overestimated the cost of future medical care or lost wages. Your lawyer can try to mitigate and avoid such disputes by basing the settlement calculations on the relevant statutes, case law, and the facts surrounding the accident, and by gathering all available evidence of the damages you have incurred.

4. Other Disputes

You might face a dispute if you make a mistake during the proceedings. For instance, if you delay seeking medical care or disobey your doctor’s orders, the opposing party might say that you have failed to mitigate damages and, as a result, should not be compensated for 100 percent of your losses or even at all. If you post on social media, the content you publish is likely to be used against you during the course of litigation.

Call 516-280-4716 to Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney in Long Island

If you intend to file a personal injury claim in New York, turn to WeitzPascale to determine the most strategic way to proceed. Our consistently superior results and excellent client testimonials demonstrate the dedication we bring to every case we handle. Call 516-280-4716 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Long Island.