New England Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers
Securing full compensation for spinal cord injury victims in Maine, New Hampshire, and beyond
Berman & Simmons recently represented a driver from midcoast Maine who was injured when she was rear-ended by a telephone company truck. The woman suffered a whiplash injury with trauma to her neck, back, and spinal cord. She endured multiple surgeries, physical therapy, and a long, painful recovery process. She also lost thousands of dollars in wages because of the time she was forced to miss work.
When the insurance company for the other driver refused to pay fair compensation, we took the case to trial and won a $750,000 verdict for the woman.
Unfortunately, many accident victims who suffer spinal cord, neck and back injuries never receive the money they deserve for medical care, rehabilitation, and lost wages.
Spinal cord injuries (SCI) are among the most serious and devastating injuries a person can suffer. An estimated 275,000 Americans are living with a spinal cord injury, and each year, another 12,500 are injured. These injuries require expensive medical care and ongoing treatment and services, sometimes for the rest of a person’s life.
Learn more about spinal cord injuries
- Level of Spinal Cord Injury
- Types of Spinal Cord Injury
- Degree of Severity
- Causes and Symptoms
- What to Do
- Types of Compensation Available
Don't wait to hire a
personal injury lawyer:
- Maine has strict deadlines for filing many personal injury claims.
- The other insurance company is likely already building their client’s case against you.
- Witnesses may become unavailable and evidence may be lost or degraded with time.
- You’ll need help navigating your medical care and dealing with financial pressures.
- You need peace of mind to focus on your recovery.
SCI is typically caused by a traumatic blow to the spine that fractures or dislocates vertebrae. This is commonly referred to as a broken neck or broken back. The trauma cases bones, bone fragments, discs, or other structures to damage the spinal cord tissue. If the spinal cord is torn or severed, the victim can suffer paralysis.
The level of injury is the lowest point on the spinal cord below which sensory feeling and motor movement are impacted.
The two major types of spinal cord injury are tetraplegia and paraplegia.
The severity of spinal cord injuries is described as either complete or incomplete.
Causes and symptoms of spinal cord injury
Car accidents and other vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, followed by falls, acts of violence, and sports.
Although most people know right away that they have suffered a spinal cord injury, not all injuries are recognized immediately. Here are some common symptoms:
- Unusual pain or pressure in your neck or back
- Weakness or loss of movement in any body part
- Loss of sensation in any body part
- Numbness, tingling or loss of sensation in your hands, fingers, feet or toes
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Difficulty breathing after an injury
- Nerve pain
- Problems with walking or balance
Strong advocates for victims of spinal cord injuries in Maine and New England
What should I do if I have suffered a spinal cord injury?
The prognosis is different for everyone who experiences a spinal cord injury. Some patients recover fully and within a period of months; others suffer injuries that are likely to be permanent. Individual outcomes are influenced greatly by the timing and quality of medical care, and the support systems (family, community, medical) available to each person.
- Immediate, high quality medical care is essential after a spinal cord injury. Victims should avoid any movement while first responders and doctors oversee your care.
- After your immediate symptoms have been addressed and you are in a stable condition, doctors will work with you and your family to create a detailed plan for your recovery. This may include additional surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and other components.
- Emotional and mental health supports are also essential following a spinal cord injury. Individuals should consider a range of therapies to maintain a positive outlook, as depression and anxiety are common for SCI survivors.
What types of compensation are available to spinal cord injury victims?
There are two types of damages for which you could receive compensation: Economic and non-economic.
Economic damages include damages that can be calculated or fairly estimated, such as past and future medical expenses, lost wages and lost earnings potential. Expert witnesses can testify about how the injury impacted the person’s ability to earn a living in the future. These type of damages are sometimes referred to as “out of pocket” expenses.
Non-economic damages compensate victims for losses that are much harder to assign a specific dollar amount. Pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, the loss of companionship from a loved one, or permanent loss of function or permanent disfigurement are all types of non-economic damages.
Spinal cord injury resources
Articles about spinal cord injury
Maine and New Hampshire resources for spinal cord injury victims and their families
Alpha One annually assists more than 6,000 people with a range of disabilities.
The Maine CITE Program helps make Assistive Technologies (AT) available.
Maine Department of Labor, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
New Hampshire Centers for Independent Living are private, nonprofit corporations that provide services to maximize the independence of individuals with disabilities
New Hampshire Dept. of Education, division of Vocational Rehabilitation