Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are arguably some of the worst injuries that can be sustained, and there are unfortunately many different ways to incur one through personal injury. The manner in which you are injured will affect your chances of receiving compensation for your injuries.
Spinal Injuries Sustained Due To Auto Accidents
Automobile accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), with approximately 38% of reported SCIs in the most recent available data being due to car accidents of some variety. There is no data available on how many of those accidents are due to negligence or recklessness on the part of another driver, but given the frequency of automobile accident-related personal injury cases, one may assume the percentage is high.
Actionable car accidents and the injuries they cause are usually due to recklessness or negligence. There are specific parts to any negligence claim that must be proved in order to prevail in court, by South Carolina law:
- The existence of a duty of care between you and the defendant
- The breach of that duty of care
- Proof that the harm you suffered was directly caused by the actions of the defendant
- While the existence of a duty of care is usually provable by law, it can be difficult to show that the defendant’s actions were the direct cause of your injuries
Also, South Carolina is a comparative fault state, meaning that if you are deemed to be 51% or more at fault for the accident, you will not recover anything. You must be able to prove all parts conclusively.
Spinal Injuries Due To Medical Malpractice
Injuries caused by medical malpractice, by comparison, are usually easier to link to the conduct (or omission) of a specific party. Medical malpractice causes approximately 10% of reported spinal cord injuries, and in South Carolina, it is fairly straightforward to attempt to bring one. There are multiple ways that a spinal injury can occur due to malpractice, such as failing to provide adequate fall protection, or a surgical mistake.
In a medical malpractice action, a plaintiff must prove that a medical professional abrogated the standard of reasonable medical care; in other words, that the care provided was not up to the standard of a reasonable doctor. If a medical professional of similar age, talent and experience would have provided a different sort of care; you may have a case for malpractice. However, it is important to be aware that you have a limited time in which to bring such a case. In South Carolina, the statute of limitations to file a medical malpractice case is three years from the date that the injury happened, or from the date the injury was discovered (or reasonably should have been).
Contact A Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has experienced a spinal cord injury, you need compassionate and knowledgeable assistance to get the compensation you are due. The experienced North Charleston personal injury attorneys at Callihan & Syracuse understand how confusing this time can be, and we are happy to help you through. Contact our offices today to discuss your case.