A spinal cord injury (SCI) can be a life-altering event that can cause severe and permanent damage to an individual’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being. Catastrophic injuries can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as car accidents, falls, scaffolding and ladder accidents, forklift accidents, and sports injuries.
If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury due to the negligence or wrongful act of another, you have legal rights and options that you can pursue to seek compensation for your damages. In this article, we will explore the legal rights and options available to catastrophic SCI victims in New Jersey.
Legal Rights for Catastrophic Spinal Cord Injury Victims in New Jersey
The first step for any SCI victim is to understand their legal rights. In New Jersey, catastrophic SCI victims have the right to pursue compensation from the person or entity responsible for their injuries. The compensation can include economic and non-economic damages such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
Under New Jersey law, catastrophic spinal cord injury victims have the right to pursue legal action against the party responsible for their injuries. The legal options available to them may include filing a personal injury lawsuit, a workers’ compensation claim, or a social security disability claim.
1. Personal Injury Lawsuit
You might be able to file a personal injury lawsuit if another person’s carelessness or negligence resulted in your spinal cord injury. A personal injury lawsuit is a legal action that seeks compensation from the person or entity responsible for the injury. To file a lawsuit, you need to establish that the other party was negligent or intentionally caused the injury. A personal injury lawsuit can result in a settlement or a jury award.
2. Workers’ Compensation Claim
If your SCI occurred while you were on the job, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation provides wage replacement and medical benefits workers who suffer workplace injuries. However, you cannot sue your employer for additional damages if you accept workers’ compensation benefits.
3. Social Security Disability Claim
If your spinal cord injury prevents you from working for at least 12 months, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Social Security disability benefits provide monthly benefits to individuals with disabilities who have paid into the system and are unable to work due to a disability.
4. New Jersey Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act (AICRA):
AICRA is a law that provides certain benefits to people injured in car accidents, regardless of fault. If you have suffered an SCI in a car accident, you may be eligible for medical expense benefits, lost wage benefits, and other benefits under AICRA.
5. Long-term Care Insurance:
If you have long-term care insurance, it may cover some of the costs associated with a spinal cord injury, such as in-home care, rehabilitation, and assistive devices.
Legal Options for Catastrophic Spinal Cord Injury Victims
Once you understand your legal rights, you can pursue compensation through various legal options. Here are some of the options available to catastrophic spinal cord injury victims in New Jersey:
1. Negotiating a Settlement
Negotiating a settlement with the responsible party or their insurance company can often provide a quicker resolution than pursuing a lawsuit. An experienced spinal cord injury attorney can help you negotiate a fair settlement that provides you with the compensation you need.
2. Filing a Lawsuit
If negotiations fail, filing a personal injury lawsuit may be necessary. In a lawsuit, the plaintiff seeks to prove that the defendant was responsible for their injuries and should be held liable for the damages they have suffered.
3. Pursuing Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or arbitration, can provide a less adversarial approach to resolving disputes. These methods can be quicker and less expensive than pursuing a lawsuit.
Catastrophic spinal cord injuries can result in lifelong disabilities and medical expenses. Victims of these injuries have legal rights and options available to them in New Jersey. If you or someone you love has suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury, it is essential to consult with an experienced attorney to understand your legal options and rights.
Contact Lombardi & Lombardi Today For a Free Consultation About Your Catastrophic Spinal Cord Injury
At Lombardi & Lombardi, we believe that everyone deserves justice and fair compensation for their injuries. For over 40 years, our experienced attorneys have been fighting for the rights of personal injury victims in New Jersey, including those who have suffered catastrophic spinal cord injuries. Our team understands the immense physical, emotional, and financial toll that an SCI can take on your life and the lives of your loved ones. That’s why we work tirelessly to pursue all legal avenues available to you and help you obtain the maximum compensation possible.
We have a proven track record of success in personal injury cases, including those involving spinal cord injuries. Our attorneys are well-versed in the laws and regulations surrounding SCI cases in New Jersey and will use their knowledge and expertise to advocate for your rights. At Lombardi & Lombardi, we pride ourselves on our personalized approach to legal representation. We take the time to listen to your story, understand your unique situation, and tailor our legal strategy to your specific needs and goals.
We believe in transparency and communication, and we will keep you informed every step of the way. You can trust that we will fight for your rights and interests, always putting your needs first. If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury, don’t wait to seek legal representation. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us help you obtain the justice and compensation you deserve.