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What To Do If You Sustain A Spinal Cord Injury After A Car Accident

Posted on August 10, 2021 in

spinal cord injury after a car accident

Car accidents can lead to severe, lifelong injuries that lead to permanent disabilities—including spinal cord damage. Any injury to the nerves and vertebrae along the spinal cord can lead to paralysis, long-term complications, and the need for extensive medical care, impacting your physical, emotional, and financial well-being. 

If someone else is responsible for your accident, however, you may be eligible for financial compensation to pay for these losses. You will need to take careful steps after the collision to seek help and prove your right to compensatory damages.

Oregon Is a Fault Car Accident State

Oregon is a fault-based car accident state, meaning that drivers who cause car accidents are financially liable for their victims’ damages. Through an insurance claim or lawsuit, you can recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and more. However, you will need to prove that the other driver caused the accident. 

Specifically, you will need to gather enough evidence to prove four important facts.

  • The at-fault driver owed you a duty of care. All drivers have a duty to follow traffic laws and drive their vehicles safely.
  • The driver breached his or her duty of care through a negligent act or failure to act.
  • The driver’s breach of duty caused your accident and spinal cord injury in Portland.
  • You sustained damages in the accident that you can collect in your claim. 

Many pieces of evidence can help prove your claim, including witness testimony, police reports, traffic camera footage, and medical records. To prove the nature and extent of your damages, you can provide documents such as bills, invoices, paystubs, correspondence, and journal entries. 

What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident

If you are injured in an Oregon car accident, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. Spinal cord injuries are very severe, and you will likely be unable to walk or move around after the accident. Ask someone in the area to call 911 to bring law enforcement and emergency medical services to the scene and receive medical attention as soon as possible. Save all records related to your treatment and injuries—these documents will be valuable pieces of evidence for your claim.

If you are suffering from a severe spinal cord injury, you will be unable to speak to the responding officer, exchange contact information with the other driver, or document evidence at the scene. However, the responding officer will create a report that will include important information such as the names and contact details for the involved parties, witness information, and a summary of how the accident occurred. You can find this report after your accident and use it to begin building your claim.

After you receive medical attention for your injuries, contact an Oregon car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Do not speak to any representatives from the other driver’s insurance company before you speak to a lawyer. Your attorney can investigate your accident and identify whether or not you are eligible for a claim. 

Your lawyer can also help gather the evidence you were unable to collect immediately after the collision, crafting a compelling case for your right to compensation. Speak to a Portland car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to initiate the investigation and identify your optimal path to maximum compensation.