How to receive compensation for your spinal cord injuries
Statistics indicate that there are roughly 17,000 new spinal cord injury (SCI) cases each year. Spinal cord injuries are often very devastating, and may result in paralysis or serious disability. What’s more, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that the annual costs associated with SCI injuries amounts to more than $9.7 billion.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured, we strongly encourage you to give the Lorenzo & Lorenzo law firm a call. We’ll learn more about your spinal cord injury and find out what rights you have to accident compensation under Florida’s personal injury law.
Types of spinal cord injuries
The spinal cord is divided into 4 distinct sections. Each one protects a different set of nerves that in turn control other functions of the body. Doctors typically classify injuries based upon the exact area damaged:
- Cervical — Involves damage to the C1-C7 vertebrae in the neck. Cervical spinal cord injuries are typically the most serious form of spinal cord injury, and often result in paralysis.
- Thoracic — When the T1 through T12 vertebrae in the upper and middle back are injured. Thoracic spinal injuries can result in damage to the chest, back and abdomen.
- Lumbar — An area in the lower back that includes the L1-L5 vertebrae. When your lumbar spine is damaged, you may encounter problems with the hips and legs. This includes difficulty standing or walking.
- Sacral — This region of the spine is located just above the tailbone and includes the S1-S4 vertebrae. Damage here can lead to problems in the hips, thighs, buttocks and pelvis.
Complete vs. incomplete spinal injuries
A spinal cord injury can be further classified into 1 of 2 categories: complete and incomplete.
An incomplete spinal injury is one in which there is only partial damage to the spinal cord. This can result in numbness, pain and a limited range of motion, among other things.
A complete spinal cord injury injury occurs when there is permanent damage to a particular area of the spinal cord. This can result in severe disabilities such as paraplegia or tetraplegia.
Common causes of spinal cord injuries
The exact cause of a spinal cord injury will often depend on many factors, including a person’s age. For example, young people are more likely to experience an SCI due to an automobile accident. Those over age 65, on the other hand, may encounter a spinal cord injury after a slip and fall. People of all ages may suffer from a spinal cord injury if they are injured while playing sports or become the victim of a violent crime.
Regardless of the cause, a spinal cord injury is one of the most devastating ones an individual can encounter.
How much compensation can I receive for a spinal injury in Florida?
The nerves within the spinal cord control a number of bodily functions and processes. Accordingly, anyone with an SCI could experience a wide range of effects as a result. These can be anything from numbness in the legs to difficult standing, stooping or bending. More serious cases could even result in paraplegia (being paralyzed from the waist down) or tetraplegia (paralysis from the neck down).
Spinal cord injuries are apt to be long-term or even permanent in many cases. In addition to permanent disability, you can also incur a loss in wages, along with emotional pain and suffering. A spinal cord injury lawsuit is often the best way to ensure you receive fair compensation.
Was negligence a factor?
Negligence often plays a role in the development of an SCI. To determine negligence, Florida courts consider the following 4 elements:
- Duty of care. Did the other person have a duty to act responsibly toward the injured party?
- Breach of duty. Was there an actual breach in the duty of care?
- Causation. Did the breach of duty directly lead to the spinal cord injury?
- Damages. Did an individual suffer actual damages as a result of the injury?
Some examples of negligent behavior that could lead to a spinal cord injury include the following:
- Driving while distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failing to keep sidewalks in good repair, thereby leading to a fall
- Not removing snow or ice from walkways
- Allowing people to participate in sports or recreational activities without the proper protective gear
If you or a loved one are an accident victim, don’t wait until the bills begin piling up to get help. The sooner you reach out to our experienced Florida personal injury attorneys, the sooner we can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Talk to an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer in Tampa, FL
The lifetime costs of a spinal cord injury can reach into the millions of dollars, and the life expectancy for those diagnosed with an SCI hasn’t improved much since the 1980s. Since SCIs are very costly, insurance companies will often fight hard to keep from paying their fair share.
You need someone fighting on your side, too. Contact Lorenzo & Lorenzo’s Tampa injury lawyers for a free consultation today to increase your odds of a successful outcome.