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Spinal Injury Compensation in Georgia: Types of Damages You Can Pursue

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When Is Compensation Recoverable for Spinal Injuries?

Injury to the spinal cord can have life-altering consequences for victims. If you sustained spinal injuries in an incident that was someone else’s fault, you have a right to seek compensation from the responsible party. Examples of incidents that can cause spinal injuries include:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents 
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Slip or trip and falls
  • Workplace accidents
  • Assaults

What Types of Damages Can Be Sought for Spinal Injuries?


Compensatory Damages for Spinal Injuries

If someone else’s negligence caused spinal injuries, you are entitled to seek compensatory damages designed to compensate you for the losses you have suffered. These may include:

  • Economic damages: Objectively verifiable monetary losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of future earning capacity.
  • Non-economic damages: Intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, and loss of consortium. 

The damages you are entitled to will depend on the specific circumstances of your situation. Common damages in spinal cord injury cases include medical expenses, rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupational or vocational therapy, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, modifications to the home and/or vehicle, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Punitive Damages for Spinal Injuries

In some instances, with “aggravating circumstances,” additional punitive damages may be awarded. Rather than compensating the victim, these damages are designed to penalize, punish, or deter the defendant. Under Georgia law, punitive damages may only be awarded when it is “proven by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant’s actions showed willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression, or the entire want of care which would raise the presumption of conscious indifference to consequences.”

How Many People in the U.S. Suffer Spinal Cord Injuries?

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) Facts and Figures, an estimated 294,000 people are living with spinal cord injuries in the U.S. The incidence is approximately 54 cases per one million people or about 17,810 new cases yearly. The average age of injury has increased from 29 in the 1970s to 43 since 2015. The leading cause is motor vehicle accidents, followed closely by falls.

How Do Spinal  Injuries Occur?

The spine consists of 24 vertebrae plus the sacrum (tailbone). Cartilage discs between the vertebrae help cushion and protect the bones. The spinal cord is a delicate, tubelike structure enclosed and protected by the spine. It consists of nerves that carry messages to and from the brain and the rest of the body. 

Spinal injuries can affect the bones, the spinal cord, or the roots of the spinal nerves. Because the spine surrounds and protects the spinal cord, injuries to the spinal bones, discs, or ligaments can also injure the spinal cord. These injuries include fractures, dislocations, misalignment of vertebrae, and loosening of ligaments. 

What Are the Different Types of Spinal Cord Injuries?

As stated by the Mayo Clinic, spinal cord injury can be complete or incomplete. With a complete spinal cord injury, all sensation and ability to control movement below the level of the injury are lost. With incomplete injury, some sensation and control of movement remain below the affected area. Incomplete spinal cord injuries come in varying degrees. 

The level of injury on the spinal cord determines how much of the body is affected by complete or partial paralysis. Tetraplegia (also known as quadriplegia) occurs when the arms, hands, trunk, pelvic organs, and legs are affected. Paraplegia occurs when paralysis affects part or all of the trunk, the pelvic organs, and the legs. 

Why Choose The Scott Pryor Law Group After a Spinal Cord Injury?

Your best chance of recovering full compensation for spinal cord injury caused by the negligence of another is to have an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney handling your claim. At The Scott Pryor Law Group, we have recovered multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for our clients. Our founding attorney has been named among the top 1% of trial lawyers in the country. Call us at (404) 474-7122 for legal help after spinal injury.

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