When the spinal cord is damaged through a spinal cord injury, it can cause damage to the nerves within the bony protection of the spinal canal which can lead to different levels of paralysis. Depending on the injury, paralysis may be temporary or permanent and severe or moderate.


Spinal cord and vertebrae injuries are traumatic and often life changing events. The consequences of this may last a lifetime and place a great deal of stress upon the injured person and their family.

If you sustain a spinal cord injury you will likely face dramatic changes in your life. Spinal cord injuries require making adjustments to the way you do things and accepting that life will be different from now on.

These permanent changes in your lifestyle can cause a great deal of stress to you and your family. The consequences of a spinal cord injury include:

  • Changing your job or giving up work altogether.
  • Having to modify your home or move to a new property that fits your needs.
  • Arranging special nursing care that may be required on a 24 hour basis.
  • Additional costs for services such as rehabilitation, physiotherapy, etc.

Pain and discomfort of the initial spinal injury is often followed by emotional anguish due to the life altering changes and the worry of how you will manage from now on.

If you or someone you know has suffered a spinal injury or paralysis as a result of an accident, then you (or they) may be entitled to compensation.

When you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it’s important that you know your rights and responsibilities to help bring justice for your suffering and compensation to your pain. The team of personal injury professionals at Murphy & Pressentin can help you recover monetary compensation for the losses to you and your family.


The carnage from accidents on our roads and highways is a major source of death and injury in the United States. In 2017, 2.35 million people were injured or disabled in crashes on U.S. roadways.

Serious injuries can have a catastrophic effect on the injured person and their family. The injuries can be life threatening and in many cases will result in a permanent change to someone’s quality of life. Many people who sustain serious injuries in a motor vehicle accident face a future where they require medical care and 24 hour support for ordinary activities of daily living, at least while their injuries mend. This places a great deal of burden upon them and their family and can cause a great deal of distress.

There are many different types of serious injuries, some of which are listed below, and the injury professionals at Murphy & Pressentin have represented people with every described injury, in addition to numerous other unnamed injuries. All of these injuries have serious consequences for the injured person and may result in a completely altered way of life.

Negligent driving is the cause of most serious injury claims. Most of these cases are brought against people who cause accidental injuries while driving carelessly. Examples of careless driving include running a red light, driving at unsafe speeds, or using a cell phone instead of watching the road. A negligent drivers automobile liability insurance will cover claims made up to the policy limits. Some driver’s have additional insurance (such as umbrella coverage provided by a homeowner’s policy) that can also be used to pay compensation for a loss caused by negligent driving. The experienced injury professionals at Murphy & Pressentin conduct investigations to locate any additional policies or sources of compensation.

Impacts of a Serious Injury. Victims and their families often have to learn to cope with life changes and the realization that their loved one has a new set of challenges to face. On a practical level, this may include having to change jobs or giving up work altogether, which places a huge financial strain on the family.

Modifications may need to be made to the family home such as: a hospital bed, a wheelchair, visual aids, daily medications, prosthetic, and specialized care and support. There may be help available for the costs of these services, either from insurance or the state, but obtaining benefits is often a complex and time-consuming process which many people find too stressful.

Taking Action. Compensation can help. We understand that no amount of compensation will restore your health to you, or enable you to function as you did before. However, compensation can cover the costs of rehabilitation or other essential services and replace any lost income or other economic damages. Compensation is also available for the stress, emotional anguish, and the physical pain and suffering associated with the injuries. Family members may also be entitled to compensation for their loss of society and companionship (consortium).

How long do I have to bring a Serious Injury Claim? State law limits the time within which all injury claims must either be resolved by settlement or filed in a civil court action. State laws vary, but most have limitations of two years from the day of the accident (California, Illinois) while others have three years (Wisconsin). Some states have only one year (Tennessee). It’s important that you understand exactly how long you have to bring your claim. If you miss the limitations period by even one day, your right to compensation will be lost forever.

What compensation can be awarded for serious injuries? An injured person may be able to recover:

  • Past medical bills incurred for injuries related to the accident.
  • Future medical bills if those injuries are permanent and require future care.
  • Past wage loss due to the accident.
  • Future income loss, if that person is unable to return to their former profession.
  • Pain and suffering which resulted from their injuries.
  • Loss of society and companionship (consortium) for the spouse (and in some cases children) of an injured person resulting from their loss of services.
  • Property damages they may have suffered in the accident.

At Murphy & Pressentin, most claims are resolved with the insurance company before a lawsuit is filed or before the case goes to trial. However, some cases do go to trial and the decision about who is at fault and how much to award the injured person is left in the jury’s hands.