Even when you take precautions of wearing a helmet and installing proper safety gear, bicycle accidents can still happen. When you suffer spinal cord injuries as a result, the impact is life-changing. You’ll need immediate treatment and possibly surgery to recover in the short term. In more severe cases, you might require ongoing rehabilitative care to return to health. Unfortunately, some victims never fully recover from spinal cord injuries.
Under Pennsylvania law, you may be able to obtain financial compensation for such damages as medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. However, the legal theory of comparative damages may limit your recovery. The spinal cord injury lawyers at Cohen, Placitella, & Roth, P.C. in Philadelphia have represented many clients in bicycle accidents, helping them get full compensation for their losses.
Damages in a Spinal Cord Injury from a Bicycle Accident
Damages is a general term for how you’re compensated for losses in a personal injury case. However, damages is further broken down into different categories.
- Economic Damages: Losses that are concrete and actual are considered economic. These would be damages that have an ascertainable value, such as the costs of the medical care you require after a spinal cord injury. Also included in economic damages would be your lost wages that you would have earned, had the bicycle accident not impacted your ability to work.
- Non-Economic Damages: This term refers to losses that you suffer, but which cannot be easily given a dollar value. They include the following:
- You may sustain significant pain and suffering after the spinal cord injury and during your recovery period.
- Emotional distress may result from the personal impact the bicycle accident has on your life.
- Your marriage may be affected by your injuries, including your personal relationship and sex life. The legal term used for this type of non-economic damage is loss of consortium.
- Other relationships may be disturbed by your spinal cord injuries, such as those with your children. If you’re unable to play with them or engage in activities that you did before the accident, the law refers to these damages as loss of companionship.
- Punitive Damages: In cases where reckless or intentional conduct caused your bicycle accident, you may be able to recover punitive damages. These amounts are intended to financially punish the responsible person for his or her actions. An example might be where a driver’s road rage leads to a bicycle accident, causing your spinal cord injury.
Discuss Your Legal Options with a Philadelphia Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
A crafty defense attorney can attempt to place blame on you when you’ve sustained spinal cord injuries in a bicycle accident, so you need a lawyer that will vigorously pursue your right to compensation. You’ve likely suffered a number of losses, and an experienced attorney will fight to get the highest economic and non-economic damages under the law. If you’ve suffered a spinal cord injury in a bicycle accident, please contact the Philadelphia offices of Cohen, Placitella, & Roth, P.C. Attorneys at Law. One of our lawyers can discuss your case over the phone or schedule a free consultation.