In 2020, 246 speeding accidents in Bakersfield resulted in fatal injuries and deaths. If you are involved in a crash due to another driver’s overspeeding, resulting in a spinal cord injury, you may receive compensation for the damages of the collision. But how do you make sure you get the maximum spinal cord injury settlement? These steps will help you establish the other driver’s negligence:
- Gather your medical records.
- Obtain the police report.
- Calculate the total damages.
- Contact a Bakersfield Auto Accident Lawyer.
Read on to learn how to prove your spinal cord injury from a speeding accident in Bakersfield.
What Are Spinal Cord Injuries?
Spinal cord injury (SCI) happens when there is damage to any bones, cells, or nerves surrounding the spinal cord. SCI can cause temporary or permanent changes in the following body functions:
- strength, and
- body functions below the damaged area.
A spinal cord injury can be classified into two categories depending on the severity of the body damage, including:
- An incomplete injury means the spinal cord can still send and receive messages from the brain. Individuals with partial injuries maintain some sensory function and may be able to control muscle activity below the lesion site.
- A complete injury occurs when no nerve is transmitted below the damaged body part, resulting in diminished sensory and motor function.
You may have a spinal cord injury if you experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- numbness, tingling, or alterations in sensation in the hands and feet,
- paralysis may occur instantly or gradually when there is a swelling and hemorrhage impact on the spinal cord,
- headache or tightness in your neck or back,
- loss of mobility,
- inability or weakness to move any part of the body,
- unnatural spinal or head placements,
- bladder and bowel control problems,
- walking difficulties,
- breathing problems, or
- sexual function changes.
If you notice these symptoms, you must consult your doctor immediately to avoid further complications.
Can Speeding Accidents Cause Spinal Cord Injuries?
Road traffic accidents are one of the primary causes of spinal cord injuries.
A severe car accident can cause an extreme impact on the spinal cord or surrounding tissues and nerves. An example of this is a car crash caused by overspeeding. A vehicle with increased acceleration may have difficulty reducing speed, resulting in a more severe impact. This, then, can cause extreme damage to the spinal cord.
What Types of Compensation Can I Claim for My Spinal Cord Injury?
A spinal cord injury dramatically changes your lifestyle, affecting your physical, emotional, and mental states. With the severity of the injury, you may claim several types of compensation if you are involved in a speeding car accident in Bakersfield.
Economic damages are financial losses from a car accident. These tangible losses may include the following:
- Medical bills
When including your medical bills, you may consider the past, present, and future medical expenses related to your spinal cord injury or any other bodily damages resulting from the crash.
- Vehicle repair or replacement costs
You may include the vehicle repair or replacement costs of your damaged vehicle. Aside from this, you may also add other damaged properties caused by the accident, such as a broken cell phone and watch.
- Lost wages
During your healing process, the lost wages from your missed work hours may be added to your settlement amount. However, you must have a certification or other documentation, such as pay stubs, verifying that you missed work due to your injury.
On the other hand, non-economic damages are non-monetary losses from a car accident. This can be emotional distress you experience due to a car accident. Other non-economic damages include:
- pain and suffering,
- emotional distress,
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,
- loss of companionship, and
- diminished quality of life.
Punitive damages are special costs awarded to victims. Sometimes, the court may impose additional monetary awards if they find the at-fault party’s actions extremely negligent or malicious.
To qualify for punitive damages, the court typically considers the following factors:
- the actions of the at-fault party,
- assets of the at-fault party,
- the severity or degree of the injuries, and
- the victim’s actual injuries that resulted in the current case.
Suppose you are involved in a speeding car accident in Bakersfield that results in spinal cord injuries. In that case, it is possible to consider the following factors since bodily damage can affect your lifestyle drastically.
In such circumstances, a Bakersfield Auto Accident Lawyer can help you compute the total restitution of your case by considering all possible types of damages, including non-economic damages. They can also determine if you are qualified for punitive damages to add to your settlement.
4 Steps to Claim a Spinal Cord Injury Settlement from Speeding Accidents
To claim your spinal cord injury settlement from speeding accidents, you should have the necessary evidence to prove that the crash caused your damages. You can do this by following the steps below:
Gather Your Medical Records
Your medical records are essential in proving the cause of your spinal cord injury. It can also present the severity of your injuries, which is typically considered when deciding the total compensation value.
A medical record may include the following:
- medical history,
- physical exam,
- plan of care,
- verbal and written orders,
- progress notes, and
- medical test results.
Obtain the Police Report
Aside from your medical records, you may also use the police report created by the authorities who responded to your speed car accident. Typically, a police report has the following information, which may help describe how the accident happened and what caused it.
- the involved parties’ contact information, such as:
- their name, home address,
- driver’s license number, and
- insurance provider number,
- the vehicle plate number and type,
- the contact details and statements of witnesses,
- the time, date, and location of the incident,
- a demonstration or diagram of the speed car accident,
- the police’s conclusion about how the accident happened and what caused it, and
- traffic violations by any party involved.
You may also need the following details to obtain the record:
- first and last names of at least one of the involved drivers,
- location, date, and time of the speed car accident, and
- incident or case number.
Calculate the Total Damages
Sometimes, the at-fault party’s insurance company may insist on a lowball offer when compensating for your spinal cord injury and other damages from the crash. They may do this if you have loopholes in your case, such as when you weren’t consistent with your medical treatments. In such cases, they may argue that your injury isn’t as severe as you claimed.
In high-speed car accidents resulting in spinal cord injury, you may consider other damages that you incur from the crash, such as pain and suffering and future medical expenses if you have a disability. Unfortunately, they may provide an initial offer that only covers your current costs if you have limited knowledge of car accident claims.
This is why you must hire an accident attorney who can examine the facts of your car accident and determine all possible damages to include in your settlement value.
Contact A Bakersfield Auto Accident Lawyer
Aside from computing the maximum compensation you deserve, an auto accident lawyer can also gather evidence and prove liability to support your case.
Let’s say your speed car accident caused you a severe spinal cord injury. In such circumstances, you will need to focus on your recovery before filing a claim. A Bakersfield Auto Accident Lawyer can then investigate your accident and find the necessary evidence to justify your claim.
What Happens If the Speeding Driver Leaves the Accident Scene?
Sometimes, the speeding driver leaves the accident scene to avoid liability for the crash’s damages. When this happens, avoid following the driver. Instead, remain at the location of the collision and gather as much proof as possible.
If the police fail to identify the driver, you may likely receive compensation for the damages from your insurance provider. This can be possible if you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, which pays for the crash’s medical costs and property damage expenses.
Your accident attorney can also check your other insurance coverage to maximize your policy and receive the maximum compensation you deserve.
How Can A Bakersfield Auto Accident Lawyer Help Me?
When filing for a speed car accident claim, you may face several hurdles that may hinder you from receiving the total compensation value.
Suppose you need time to recover from your spinal cord injury, and you don’t have the energy or time to file a case against the at-fault party immediately. As soon as you are ready to pursue a case, you have already exceeded the two-year allowed time frame for a personal injury claim.
To avoid this situation, a Bakersfield Auto Accident Lawyer can help you receive the necessary medication and treatments while sorting your spinal cord injury settlement. They can do the following to win your case while you focus on your recovery:
- Gather the necessary information and proof to support your claim.
- Prove liability.
- Communicate with an insurance provider.
- Meet legal requirements and deadlines.
- Defend your case in a trial if needed.
Jacoby & Meyers have passionate injury attorneys with expertise in winning speed car accident claims. We offer our services to accident victims in Bakersfield and other parts of California. Contact us at 800-500-0000 for a free consultation and learn about your legal options today.