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Are there special considerations in a spinal cord injury lawsuit?

Once spinal cord nerve cells are injured, they often fail to regenerate. As a result, a diagnosis of a spinal cord injury is often disheartening news, partly due to the prospect of permanent injury. However, a new drug might be changing that outcome, at least in some cases.

Called epothilone, the drug is currently prescribed to cancer patients. However, recent research indicates that it may reduce scar tissue and perhaps even stimulate new growth in damaged spinal cord cells. Unlike other types of chemotherapy, epothilone can penetrate the central nervous system’s  blood-brain barrier and reach the damaged nerve cells. So far, the research has been confined to animal subjects, although researchers are very excited by the results.

This is undoubtedly good news. According to the Mayo Clinic, motor vehicle accidents account for over one-third of spinal cord injuries each year in the United States. However, there are a variety of other causes, including falls, diseases, sporting activities and acts of violence.

If an individual’s spinal cord injury was the result of another’s negligence, he or she should consult with an attorney. An attorney that focuses on personal injury lawsuits knows that proving causation is often an important hurdle. In the example of a motor vehicle accident, every driver has the duty of obeying traffic laws. If that standard was breached and resulted in injury, the offending driver may be found liable in the eyes of a jury. 

Yet there is another element that must be established in a lawsuit seeking compensation for an injury victim. A plaintiff also needs to substantiate his or her request for damages. In the case of spinal cord injuries, that estimate can be complex, involving long-term care costs, lost wages, pain and suffering and medication costs.

Source: Nature World News, “Drug Can Possibly Treat Spinal Cord Injuries,” Jenna Iacurci, March 14, 2015

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