Sustaining a spinal injury can have devastating effects. In addition to the medical and rehabilitation costs, injury victims can also experience mental and emotional stress. Spinal cord injuries can happen for various reasons, including motor vehicle and fall accidents.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistics Center (NSCISC), over 17,000 new spinal cord injuries happen annually in the United States. If an individual was recently in an accident and sustained injuries, they may be eligible to seek compensation for their injuries.
A West Palm Beach brain injury lawyer can offer legal advice on how to file a personal injury claim. An experienced attorney will help preserve a victim’s legal rights while helping them seek fair compensation for their damages.
Keep reading to learn how a seasoned spinal cord injury attorney can help.
What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?
Spinal cord injuries refer to any damage to the spine from trauma, diseases, or degenerative disorders. These injuries can cause partial or complete loss of motor control and excruciating pain.
In severe circumstances, spin injury victims may experience partial or complete paralysis. Because the spinal cord is responsible for core bodily processes, such as breathing, bladder control, and head movement, even a minor spinal cord injury has the power to change a victim’s quality of life drastically.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injury?
Although there are many potential causes of spinal cord injuries, the following are some of the more common in the United States:
- Car accidents
- Violent confrontations, such as gunshot and knife wounds
- Sports-related and recreational injuries accidents
- Long-term alcohol use
- Diseases such as cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, and spinal cord inflammation.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries come in varying types and severity. If an injury was caused by the negligence of another person or entity, a spinal cord injury lawyer could help regardless of the severity. Even minor injuries lead to astronomical medical costs and the need to miss work.
A spinal cord injury occurs when the cord, nerves, or nearby nerves suffers damage. These injuries may lead to:
- Loss of movement and sensation
- Muscle spasms
- Extreme pain
- Poor coordination
- Loss of balance
The spine has four distinct sections, each with a unique set of nerves that control varying functions.
- Cervical injury – Cervical injuries involve damage to the C1 to C7 vertebrae in the neck region. These are among the most severe spinal injuries.
- Thoracic spinal injury – Thoracic injuries are damage to the T1 to T12 vertebrae of the upper and middle back.
- Lumbar injuries – These lower back injuries involve damage to the L1 to L5 vertebrae.
- Sacral spine injuries – The sacral region is the area just above the tailbone, and sacral injuries can cause issues in the pelvis and hips.
There are two significant forms of spinal cord injuries: complete and incomplete.
Complete Spine Injury
Complete spinal cord damage happens when someone loses all sensation and movement below the injured area of the spine. Paraplegia or quadriplegia may be the outcome of total spinal cord injury.
Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury
Individuals with an incomplete spinal cord injury can still feel and move below the injury site. Although incomplete spinal cord injuries are less severe than complete ones, this does not impede victims from being eligible for compensation.
How Can a Florida Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Help
After suffering a spinal cord injury, an injury attorney can help injured individuals seek the financial compensation they need. Rather than considering the near future, a Florida injury attorney will also consider future medical procedures and potential financial losses.
Unless there is indisputable evidence that the party accused of the negligent act is accountable, most insurance companies try to avoid paying the entire claim. Insurance companies usually want to pay as little as they can to avoid losing money, but this is not in the best interest of the victims, who must support their families while recovering.
Seasoned injury lawyers can negotiate with insurance adjusters on victims’ behalf to prevent injured people from accepting low settlement offers. They are familiar with the local state laws that govern spinal cord injuries and can start assembling a solid claim and case as soon as they are retained.
Florida spine injury attorneys consult with doctors and the rest of the medical team to ascertain how long it might take to recover, how much treatments might cost, and how the injury might affect the rest of the victim’s life. They also collaborate with police officers to have more information about auto accidents and speak with reconstruction experts or other professionals in the forensic field.
Personal injury attorneys have access to e-resources to gather information to ascertain precisely what transpired when the injury occurred and who was at fault. Having a legal team on their side ensures that victims will submit their claims within the statute of limitations deadlines. Attorneys handle legal correspondences so victims can concentrate on healing and caring for their families.
Many spinal cord injuries happen because of someone’s carelessness. Florida courts use these four factors to establish negligence:
- Duty of care: The negligent party must have an obligation to be responsible for the accident victim.
- Breach of duty of care: Did the negligent party fail to exercise reasonable care?
- Causation: Did the breach of duty directly cause the spinal injury?
- Damages: Has the injured party suffered damages from the injury?
The following are some negligent acts that could result in a spinal cord injury:
- Distracted or impaired driving
- Inadequate maintenance of walkways that could have prevented a fall
- Failing to clear snow and ice from sidewalks
- Failing to ensure that people use protective gear when participating in recreational activities
Do not wait until the costs have accumulated before seeking assistance after an accident. Reach out to our Florida personal injury lawyers as soon as possible so that we can begin working on your case.
Damages Injury Accident Victims Can Recover
People injured by the negligent acts of others can recover a wide range of damages through a spinal cord injury lawsuit. Economic damages that victims can recoup include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earnings
- Cost of household services
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Courts may also award punitive damages to punish gross negligence.
The amount of damages victims can receive varies widely depending on the circumstances. However, Florida caps punitive damages at three times the compensatory damages or $500,000. A personal injury attorney can help estimate what each claim is worth.
Consult a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer in West Palm Beach, Florida
The inability to work, interact socially, and cover medical expenses because of spinal cord injuries can be devastating. Our dedicated injury lawyers have extensive experience in dealing with Florida injury cases. Having an injury lawyer on your side will help strengthen your personal injury claim and increase the chances of success.
Call Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers at (561) 800-8000 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.