Florida Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers
Spinal cord injuries leave their victims with many injuries, some of which are permanent. These include paralysis, becoming wheelchair-bound, and so on. These health concerns are not only painful to live with, but they also lead to growing expenses for hospital bills, medical prescriptions, and at-home care.
Road accidents like car crashes and truck accidents, and slip and falls, are the leading causes of spine-related injuries. In fact, in the state of Florida, there are hundreds of thousands of auto accidents every year, many of which end up being fatal.
If you or someone you love has sustained spinal cord injuries due to an accident that was caused by the negligence and carelessness of another, contact the spinal cord injury attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers for legal guidance. Read on as we cover some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries, the types of injuries you can sustain, the potential expenses involved, and the process of filing a claim for damages against those responsible.What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
Spinal cord injuries affect tens of thousands of people in a range of accidents. A spinal cord injury involves damage occurring in any part of the spine or nerves, and it usually comes with long term consequences such as the depletion of physical strength, loss of sensation in some or all parts of the body or loss of bladder control. While research is still ongoing, for the most part, spinal cord injury victims have a difficult recovery and many never fully recover.
Spinal cord injuries affect the lives of thousands of Americans. Injuries range from a slight bruise to a tear in the spinal cord. Slight bruises may lead to temporary loss of movement but complete tears may alter the victim’s movement permanently. If the spinal cord is severed, the victim may suffer from lower or full body paralysis. Here is how different parts of the spine get injured:
The spinal columns are made up of a collection of bones called the vertebrae which are in the neck, chest, back and tailbone. The vertebrae are connected by disc structures and if this disc is ruptured or the vertebrae is fractured, the damages may be costly and permanent.
The Neural Arch
The neural arch is connected to the vertebrae from both sides and moves with the vertebra which means that any impact on the vertebra will directly affect the neural arch as well. There are a number of other elements to the spinal cord which are at risk of being affected if you have been in an accident. Your surgeon will be able to inform you of the exact kind of damage your spinal cord has sustained.Most Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injury in Florida
Spinal cord injuries occur in a number of ways, and while some of these are due to natural reasons that are unavoidable, others are due to human negligence Spinal cord injuries account for 39% of all injuries that bring victims to the emergency room. Common causes include:
Accidents involving cars, pedestrians, motorcycles, or trucks can be fatal. These accidents may occur due to a number of reasons including:
- Faulty brakes
- Distracted driving such as texting
- Head on collisions
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence
- Rear end collisions
- Damaged roads
- Improperly serviced large commercial vehicles like cargo trucks
- Trucks not following truck routes
- Driving without a license
- Motorcyclists not wearing a helmet
- Not observing road signs and traffic signals
Injuries from slip and falls bring over a million people to the emergency room every year in the United States, and in older victims, spinal cord injuries become a greater risk. Falls occurring from a height, on the stairs, slipping on spilled liquid or tripping can lead to such injuries. For victims who suffer in these accidents, the property owners may be held liable for their damages. Places where slip and falls often occur include:
- Grocery stores
- Dimly parking garages and car parking lots
- The pavement outside a building
- Inside a shopping mall
- On someone else’s property due to an overturned carpet, objects littered in the walkway, etc.
- Faulty or broken stairs, broken stair bannister, etc.
- On school grounds, etc.
While a spinal cord injury due to surgical malpractice is not very common, if it occurs, the medical practitioners operating on the victim may be held responsible for the injuries. Medical malpractice may be the result of an improper diagnosis by the surgeon, leaving an instrument inside the victim, not keeping a patient under observation for the required period of time, etc. If you can prove that the surgeon responsible for your injuries was not complying to medical standards, then you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Florida also observes a three-strike rule so if the surgeon responsible for your injuries was previously involved in 2 other cases of medical malpractice, their medical certification will be revoked or temporarily suspended. By filing a claim in such a situation, you may be protecting potential victims from being injured.
Spinal cord injuries are generally of 2 main types:
- Complete: This is usually what leads to lower body paralysis. In some cases, extensive physiotherapy may help patients regain feeling in their body.
- Incomplete: In such cases, the patient’s injuries are still severe, but the chances of recovery through extensive treatment are still possible.
The intensity of a spinal cord injury is determined by the vertebrae that have been damaged. The lower the number, the higher the injury is – for instance, the first vertebra is in the neck so your injuries can start out from there or somewhere lower down in the spine such as in your lower back.
It’s important to have a complete discussion with your surgeon about where the damage has occurred, what this means in terms of treatment, both time and expense wise, and how this will affect you in your remaining life. Based on this, you can determine the costs and suffering caused to you before you file a claim against those responsible for your pain.
The legal team at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers are available to assist you with your spinal cord injury claim. We can help determine liability and calculate damages. Contact us for your free consultation and case evaluation. Let us help you pursue the compensation you deserve.Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries vary in severity: the higher up the spine they are, the more problems they present. Symptoms include respiratory trouble, distorted vertebrae, damaged nerves, and muscles in the lower body, affected bowel and bladder system.
Victims should be on the lookout for loss of feeling in any part of the lower body, radiating pain, fatigue, muscle twitching in the legs, arms, and chest.
Spinal cord injuries usually cause nerve damage as well as diseases like paraplegia (which causes lower body paralysis) and quadriplegia (which leads to loss of limb function).Treatment of a Spinal Cord Injury
While the treatment for spinal cord injuries varies based on the type and level of injury, some common areas of treatment that you may have to undergo include:
- Physical therapy to regain normal movement and physical strength
- Surgery to repair damaged vertebrae, discs or cord
- Injections and oral medications to treat the pain and to prevent infection
- Temporary or long term assistance to eat, go to the toilet, and more
- Adopting a precautionary lifestyle with limited leisurely activities and new dietary restrictions
- Therapy to deal with the trauma of these injuries and their impact on your new life.
Apart from the medical bills of a spinal cord injury, the entire process greatly affects both the victim and their family.How Much Does it Cost to Treat Spinal Cord Injuries?
Again, while every spinal cord injury is different, the cost of treatment for any kind of injury is on average quite high and could potentially end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.Major Factors in Spinal Cord Injury Cases
Spinal cord injuries require extensive surgery, physical therapy, medication, and other treatment for recovery. Victims may also require the installation of ramps and other items in their homes and may also need 24/7 medical attention. If you have sustained spinal cord injuries, you may file a claim for:
Medical expenses incurred and future medical costs
This includes the cost of surgery, diagnostic tests such as X-rays, MRIs or CT scans, medical prescriptions, physical therapy, doctor appointments, and more. For those whose injuries caused permanent damage such as the need for a wheelchair, the medical expenses will also include the cost for new surgical equipment, construction at home to accommodate for the new patient or at-home nursing. Your medical practitioner can provide you with an estimate of these future costs.
Pain and suffering
Motor vehicle accidents and slip falls may leave victims with the pain of the spinal cord injury, the pain during recovery and suffering in terms of the trauma the injury has caused. Some spinal cord injuries may lead to problems in performing daily tasks, such as partial or complete incontinence.
Suffering also includes depression, anxiety and the loss of the ability to enjoy life. Victims who seek professional help for these problems can also include those damages in their claim.
Loss of consortium
Loss of companionship with your spouse, both emotionally and physically is another claim that can be pursued.
Loss of income and future earnings
Victims may be unable to earn while they are undergoing treatment and recovering which can put a strain on their financial position. Moreover, some victims may be unable to earn at all due to permanent injuries to the spinal cord, while others may have reduced functions and reduced earning potential.
Some victims may lose their lives due to spinal cord injuries that became too severe. In such a case, their family can pursue a wrongful death claim for their loss.
According to the Florida Statute of Limitations, you have a set period of time during which you can file a lawsuit for damages:
- For most accidents and negligence cases, you have 4 years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit.
- For a medical malpractice suit, you have 2 years from the date of discovery of the injuries.
- For those who have lost a loved one due to spine-related injuries, they have 2 years from the date of the accident to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Contact an experienced injury attorney for legal guidance on your specific claim. The attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers offer a free initial consultation.Steps You May Choose Take If You Sustain Spinal Cord Injuries in Palm Beach, Florida
If you have been in an accident such as an auto accident or a slip and fall and you’ve sustained injuries wait for the paramedic and local police department to arrive. You will likely receive treatment at the scene and be transported to a local emergency room.
Be sure to get a copy of the accident or incident report. If there were any witnesses to the accident, take note of their contact information including their name, phone number and email address.
Make sure that you undergo a complete and thorough medical examination. Keep copies of all your discharge papers, medical records, prescriptions and medical expenses.
It is advised that you speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer. They can help guide you as to your legal options. The attorneys at Frankl and Koninsky Injury Lawyers are committed to assisting you with your accident claim. We will handle all communication with the at-fault party’s insurance company and their attorneys. We are dedicated to pursuing the compensation you deserve.Hiring a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Palm Beach County spinal cord injury lawyers can assist you with pursuing your claim for damages against those whose negligence has caused your accident.
Your personal injury lawyer will help you gather the following documentation to establish your claim:
- Accident or incident reports
- Surveillance footage if any from the scene of the accident
- Witness statements and testimonies that show how you were victimized in the accident
- Medical records and medical expenses
- Projected costs of future medical treatment
- Evidence of lost wages and potential loss of future income
- Expert witness reports, including accident reconstructionists
At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we are dedicated to assisting you with your claim for damages. You can contact us for a free consultation and case evaluation. Reach out to us through our website or call at:
- (561) – 800 – 8000, Boynton Beach
- (954) – 800 – 8000, Pompano Beach
- (772) – 800 – 8000, Port St. Lucie
Our attorneys have over 40 years of combined legal experience and millions recovered in settlements and verdicts for our valued clients. We are ready to help you get the fair and just compensation you deserve. If you can’t reach our office, just give us a call, and we’ll come to your home or hospital, seven days a week.
Unfortunately, the majority of people who suffer from spinal cord injuries in accidents are in the prime of their life and these injuries can prevent them from pursuing their careers, passions and dedicating time to their families. If you have been the victim of severe spine injuries resulting from an accident that was caused by the negligence of another, contact our legal team and let us fight for the compensation you deserve.