Whether from a car accident, a fall, or some other type of trauma, sustaining a spinal cord injury can be a life-changing experience. The consequences can be life-threatening or lead to permanent paralysis and chronic pain. It’s essential to have comprehensive medical care and consult with a serious injury attorney to avoid making mistakes that could worsen your condition and affect the outcome of a potential claim.
Spinal Cord Injury Mistakes to Avoid
Here are some of the most common mistakes that may make life more complicated after a spinal cord injury.
Not Receiving Comprehensive Medical Treatment
It’s critical to seek medical attention immediately when you experience potential spinal cord injury symptoms, no matter how minor they might seem at first. Adhering to your treatment plan thoroughly is also crucial to your recovery, so follow all instructions on managing your condition, including medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes.
Not Contacting a Personal Injury Attorney
Another essential next step is to contact an attorney with experience handling spinal cord injury claims. This likely isn’t your general counsel. It’s a legal team that understands the importance of acting quickly on serious injury cases to advise you of your rights, evaluate factors of potential compensation, and help you avoid costly mistakes that impact your case.
Not Collecting Evidence
To prove negligence, you’ll need evidence to support your claim. Your legal team works with you to compile facts from medical and police reports, eyewitness testimony, photos of the accident scene and your injuries, and other crucial details.
Speaking to Insurance Companies
You’re not required to give a recorded statement or speak to an insurance company without consulting your attorney first. Whatever you say could be used against your case and may affect the amount of your settlement. An insurance adjuster might perceive one misconstrued statement as an admission of fault and impact the validity of your claim.
Posting on Social Media Sites
Avoid posting details about your accident and your injuries on social media sites. Anything you post, including photos, can damage your case and may be used to prove you don’t have an injury or, if you do, it’s not that severe.
Waiting Too Long to File a Claim
Each state has a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim. In Missouri, the statute of limitations is five years for personal injury claims involving significant injuries. This means you must file a civil lawsuit within five years of the injury or from when the injury was discovered.
After this period expires, a lawsuit may not be considered by the court, and any potential damages won’t be recoverable. However, some exceptions to the five-year statute of limitations are made in certain cases, such as when a spinal cord injury happens to a minor or a person with a disability.
Not Planning for the Future
A spinal cord injury can affect your ability to work and perform daily activities, requiring deliberate planning for future wellbeing and lifestyle adjustments. A skilled personal injury attorney factors these needs, along with future medical expenses, into your claim to provide thorough compensation.