Important Legal Disclaimer: These dollar values are from past results and do not guarantee or suggest that your matter will have a similar outcome. The facts and circumstances which led to your injury are likely to be different, and an attorney can provide specific guidance only after engaging in a fact-intensive analysis. Furthermore, the worth of your personal injury case will ultimately be decided by a jury.
If you or your loved one sustained a spinal cord injury (SCI) because of another person or company’s careless actions, you may be entitled to significant compensation. In addition to covering a wide variety of current expenses, compensation can also help to lighten you and your family’s financial burden years into the future.
In an effort to help SCI victims and their loved ones understand the financial aspects of a personal injury lawsuit, we have compiled this simple legal guide explaining the different types of compensation which can be awarded to plaintiffs. It also provides some examples of verdicts and settlements which have been awarded to SCI plaintiffs throughout the United States. If you have any questions about getting compensated for a spinal cord injury in the Oklahoma City area, we encourage you to call the law offices of Hasbrook & Hasbrook at (405) 235-1551 for a free and private legal consultation.
What Types of Compensation Are Available in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The spinal cord is a long bundle of nerve fibers which carries messages between the brain and body. When the spinal cord is injured in a car accident or slip and fall accident, or is damaged by medical malpractice (doctor negligence), the injury victim suffers an array of devastating effects. He or she may lose physical sensation, have trouble breathing and swallowing, become fully or partially paralyzed, have fecal or urinary incontinence, experience severe chronic pain, lose sexual function, develop chronic insomnia, and become severely depressed. In addition to facing these painful and disabling medical complications, the victim is also confronted with tremendous medical expenses — all at a time when they may have to permanently end their career.
These are complex physical, emotional, and financial factors, all of which must be carefully considered with input from medical and economic experts, when deciding what sort of compensation, or damages, should be awarded to the plaintiff. To account for different harms suffered by the plaintiff, compensation is broken down into a few different components, which are described below:
Economic Damages — This type of compensation is called “economic” because it describes damages which can be clearly quantified and calculated. Loss of immediate and future income, as well as the costs of current and projected medical bills, are examples of economic damages.
Non-Economic Damages — Non-economic damages are just the opposite: those which cannot be clearly quantified or calculated. Examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium/companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Punitive (Exemplary) Damages — Punitive damages are only awarded in cases where the defendant’s conduct was egregious, meaning there was extreme misconduct. The purpose of awarding punitive damages is twofold: to punish the defendant, and to act as a deterrent. Punitive damages are awarded less frequently than compensatory damages, but tend to involve larger amounts.
Compensatory Damages — In contrast to punitive damages, compensatory damages exist purely to compensate the plaintiff. Compensatory damages can encompass a wide range of both economic and non-economic damages.
Spinal Cord Injury Verdicts and Settlements
As noted in the legal disclaimer above, the following jury verdicts and out-of-court settlements are not intended to serve as a reflection of every spinal cord injury case. We present them here purely for informational purposes, so that accident victims and their loved ones can develop a clearer idea of the types of figures which have resulted from previous cases across the U.S. We’ve presented them here with brief descriptions of the related cases.
- $12 million settlement for a 16-year-old Minnesota girl who became paralyzed from the neck down (quadriplegia/tetraplegia) and ventilator-dependent after getting into a serious car accident.
- $6.5 million verdict awarded to a Virginia plaintiff whose doctor committed medical malpractice by failing to diagnose an existing SCI.
- $5.6 million settlement for a Pennsylvania bar patron whose spinal cord was damaged when the building’s roof collapsed.
- $5 million settlement for a 64-year-old Ohio man whose vehicle was struck in a truck accident.
- $3.175 million settlement for a California man who sustained an SCI while attempting to open an active fire hydrant the plaintiff believed had been shut off.
- $2.75 million settlement for a 35-year-old Illinois man whose existing spinal injuries were worsened by an automotive accident, eventually requiring three surgeries.
- $2.25 million settlement for a 26-year-old California man who received a delayed diagnosis as a result of doctor negligence.
- $2.1 million settlement for a 66-year old Minnesota plaintiff who became quadriplegic after suffering an accidental fall while out shopping.
- $1.3 million verdict awarded to a Minnesota teenager who fell into a partially-completed swimming pool.
- $1 million settlement for an Oklahoma plaintiff who was injured in a truck accident involving driver fatigue.
- $600,000 settlement for a New York woman who sustained a spinal cord contusion (rupture) in a traffic accident.
- $429,000 verdict awarded to a Georgia man whose vehicle was struck in a rear-end collision.
Talk To Us
If you, your spouse, or one of your family members suffered spinal cord damage in an accident, or was injured by medical malpractice, the catastrophic injury attorneys of Hasbrook & Hasbrook encourage you to call us at (405) 235-1551 to start exploring your legal options in a free and confidential consultation. Our accomplished and passionate legal team brings over 75 years of combined experience to every case we work on. We handle personal injury matters throughout Oklahoma City and the surrounding area.