Spinal cord injuries are serious injuries that tend to be caused by significant trauma to the shoulders, neck, or back. These injuries are generally slow to heal and exceptionally painful – and are closely associated with a significant risk of considerable losses in range of motion and of chronic pain. In addition, serious spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis below the point of the injury. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, the best path forward begins with reaching out to an experienced Florida spinal cord injury attorney.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are common to every form of traffic accident, slip and fall accidents, accidents on the job, and many more. The Mayo Clinic reports that these injuries are often the result of a traumatic force to the spine that ultimately dislocates, crushes, compresses, fractures, or otherwise harms one of the vertebrae that make up your spinal cord. As the bleeding, swelling, and general inflammation caused by the accident continue to settle around your spinal cord, the damage caused can continue to worsen. If the spinal cord is severely damaged or even severed in the accident that causes the injury, the victim suffers paralysis, which can be either incomplete (some control of movement retained) or complete (no control of movement retained) and can affect the entire body (quadriplegia) or the lower body paraplegia. Spinal cord injuries, in other words, are exceptionally serious injuries.
Building Your Strongest Claim
The costs associated with a spinal cord injury tend to be immense – and ongoing – which makes bringing your strongest claim paramount. There are four basic elements that must be present in order to bring a successful claim related to a spinal cord injury, and your dedicated spinal cord injury attorney is well equipped to establish these elements on your behalf.
The Other Party Owed You a Duty of Care
To begin, the other party – whom you identify as being at fault – must have owed you a duty of care (or must have had a responsibility for your safety) to begin with. When you get behind the wheel of your vehicle, for example, you owe everyone else on the road a duty of care that includes driving safely, following the rules of the road and allowing for their safe passage. And every other motorist on the road owes you the same duty of care. Further, commercial property owners owe their customers, clients, visitors, and other invited guests a duty of care related to maintaining the property in the reasonably safe condition necessary to allow for their safety (the level of care necessary is the same level of care maintained by other reasonable property owners in similar situations).
The Other Party Breached the Duty of Care Owed to You
The party whom you cite as being at fault for the accident that leaves you with a spinal cord injury must have breached the duty of care owed to you – or failed to live up to his or her responsibility to your safety. For example, if you sustained your spinal cord injury in a traffic accident, any of the following forms of driver negligence will suffice to satisfy this element of your claim:
- Impairment by alcohol and/or drugs
- Exhaustion (also known as drowsy driving)
- Distraction (texting is the deadliest distraction of all)
- Excess speed (either in excess of the posted speed limit or too fast to safely accommodate for the condition of the road)
- Failure to adhere to the rules of the road
If you suffered a spinal cord injury in a slip and fall accident on a commercial property, on the other hand, this breach of responsibility could include failing to clear away a tripping or slipping hazard within a reasonable amount of time.
The Breached Duty of Care Caused Your Spinal Cord Injury
The third element in your spinal cord injury case is that the party whom you identify as being at fault must have caused your injuries. This means that his or her negligence must have been directly responsible for the accident that left you with a spinal cord injury. For example, if a motorist who was speeding excessively slammed into the back of your vehicle when you came to a sudden stop for a forward accident, he or she would be directly responsible for any ensuing injuries as a result of him or her not being prepared to come to a safe stop as necessary (in relation to whatever is happening on the road)
You Suffered Actual Damages
When it comes to the law, damages refer to those losses you suffer that are covered in a lawsuit. And in the case of an accident that leads to a spinal cord injury, these damages can be extensive.
If someone else’s negligence causes you to suffer a spinal cord injury, your damages are likely to divide into several basic categories.
The medical expenses associated with a spinal cord injury can require ongoing physical and occupational therapy in addition to all of the following common medical expenses:
- Emergency care
- Surgical care
- Hospital stays
- Medial treatments, procedures, and tests
- Pain management
- Prescription medications
- Care from doctors and specialists
- Adaptive physical therapy
- Home health care
While you tend to the healing process, you’ll very likely miss hours on the job and experience lost earnings as a result. If your earning potential is affected, the financial loss is even more significant.
Pain and Suffering
The physical pain and suffering associated with spinal cord injuries can represent one of the most difficult hurdles you face on the path toward recovery.
Turn to an Experienced Florida Spinal Cord Injury Attorney for the Legal Guidance You’re Looking For
The knowledgeable spinal cord injury attorneys at Iscoe Law Firm – proudly serving Miami, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Fort Lauderdale, and Broward County – have the experience, drive, and legal experience you are looking for. We’re available to take your call 24/7 – 365 days a year – so please don’t wait to contact or call us at 800-800-6500 today.