Dealing with a Spinal Cord Injury

Dealing with a Spinal Cord Injury
Dealing with a Spinal Cord Injury 

If you or someone you love has experienced a spinal cord injury, you know that it can be a life-changing experience. Suddenly you have to adjust to a different physical reality, and have to relearn even basic tasks. You may even be dealing with a spinal cord injury that causes severe pain and discomfort. You may have to spend time in the hospital or possibly in a rehab facility. Just when things seem to be improving, you may suffer a setback or complication. You will probably have to renovate your home to accommodate your new level of mobility; you may be unable to work, and will undoubtedly be worried about finances. In addition, the impact of a spinal injury can at first seem overwhelming, and you may need time to adjust mentally and emotionally. All of these stresses can take a toll on you and your family. It’s estimated that most people with a spinal injury will need two to three years to regain their independence, but with the support of a great team, you’ll learn to thrive, even if you have sustained severe injuries.


Who should you recruit for your team? The most important decisions you make during the weeks following your injury will  center around your physical and mental health. Canada has some of the best medical personnel in the world, so be sure that you are working with physicians who are experts in their fields and familiar with the most recent advances in spinal cord injury treatment. Your team should include doctors, a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, and a good counsellor. Your team will also include family members and friends who are committed to help with your recovery and to provide emotional support. And your team should also include a lawyer experienced in personal injury law.




Personal Injury Law and Spinal Cord Injuries 

Why do you need a lawyer? Simply put, depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Most times after a person sustains a spinal cord injury, finances quickly become a problem. Although OHIP pays for most medical expenses, and there are some resources available for government and community support,  these likely won’t be sufficient. On top of all of your usual expenses, there will be additional ones related to your injury such as personal care workers, medical supplies, and funds needed to make your home more accessible or to adapt your vehicle. As well, you may be unable to return to your job, and therefore you may need a financial cushion until you can transition to a new career.



An experienced personal injury lawyer can look at the facts of your case and decide what the best options are for you.  Working in the legal field, we see dozens of personal injury cases every year, and we know how to proceed. You may be tempted to work with someone you know, such as a family lawyer. But insurance companies require very detailed paperwork, and only a personal injury lawyer will understand what is necessary. Deadlines for filing certain paperwork are very strict, and you will need an expert in the field to ensure that these deadlines are met.


With such important decisions to make, how should you select a personal injury lawyer? First, you’ll need someone who has offices near where you are, who can come to visit easily. Of course, you will also want to choose a firm that has a good reputation, and that has a great deal of experience handling spinal cord injury cases. You’ll be able to tell a lot from a law firm’s website, but be sure to ask to meet with a lawyer. When you contact a law firm, don’t be afraid to ask them to provide recommendations from recent clients.



Making Your Choice 

Meeting with a lawyer doesn’t mean that you’ve agreed to let him or her take your case.  This person will be working with you for several months, so choosing someone you like is important. However, don’t take too long to select a lawyer, as there is certain paperwork that must be completed in a timely fashion. During an interview with a lawyer, ask him or her questions about their education, about their previous experience with spinal cord cases, and about what they see as the way to move forward for your case. Find out how they plan to communicate with you as the case progresses.



The way that you communicate with your lawyer can be key to a successful relationship. Was your conversation easy? Did he/she provide satisfactory answers to your questions? Did the lawyer take time to get to know you? If your first language is not English, it’s also worth finding a lawyer who speaks your mother tongue. Sokoloff Lawyers is known as the “multi-ethnic law firm” because we have lawyers who speak more than thirty languages!


Find a personal injury lawyer you’re comfortable with, and who will be there to support you during your journey back to health from your spinal cord injury.