According to data provided by The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), around 12,000 Americans experience a spinal cord injury every year. Spinal cord injuries can result in partial or full paralysis in the worst cases and thus may mean the person may never work or enjoy activities by themselves again. Due to this irrevocable change, it can amount to the person wanting justice for the injury they have sustained.
It is possible that, depending on the cause surrounding your spinal cord injury, you may be owed compensation. A Clearwater spinal cord injury lawyer at The Law Place will be able to analyze and navigate your case through the Florida legal system to seek the compensation you are owed. Contact our Clearwater, FL office today to organize a free consultation for a case evaluation on (941) 444-4444. Our phone lines are open 24/7.
What Can Cause a Clearwater Spinal Cord Injury?
Spinal cord injuries can be caused by an array of reasons, and no two will be the same. Depending on the severity and cause of your injury, this can impact if and how much compensation you may receive. Here are some common examples of causes:
- Car accidents.
- Surgical errors.
- Cycling accidents.
- Motorcycle accidents.
- A secondary injury as a result of cancer or osteoporosis.
- Falls, this ranges from seemingly minor slips to falls from a height.
- Assaults with a knife or gun.
- Athletic and sporting accidents.
If your spinal cord injury was caused by something that wasn’t your fault and instead by somebody’s negligence or recklessness, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer today to see if you have a strong compensation case.
Determining Liability for Your Spinal Cord Injuries
Depending on the cause of your spinal cord injury, this will determine any liability. Personal injury attorneys will be able to analyze your case and determine who may be at fault. Some examples of where liability may exist are:
- Car accident – In Florida, anybody driving a vehicle has a presumed duty of care to others on the road and can consequently be found liable for any injuries they cause. As Florida is a no-fault state, it doesn’t matter who was at fault for the accident, you should first resort to your insurance company to claim for damages. However, because spinal cord injuries have the potential to cause a uniquely high amount of damages, your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is sadly unlikely to cover it. Therefore, it is common to look to the other driver or their respective insurance company to provide compensation.
- Commercial truck accidents – If a commercial truck driver is driving within the scope of his employment, i.e. ‘on the job,’ his employer will be liable via vicarious liability. It is possible the employer failed to maintain the vehicle, overloaded it, or put unreasonable hours on the driver’s schedule leading to fatigue.
- Falls – Property owners will be held liable for the conditions of their property, and safety standards must be adhered to. If you’ve been injured because of a hazard on somebody’s property that they should’ve known about it and had enough time to fix it or at least warn people of it, then they could be negligent and thus liable for your injuries.
- Work-related incidents – An employee may suffer falls from high work areas, construction accidents, injuries by defective equipment, etc. Unfortunately, an employer will owe nothing more than worker’s compensation benefits. However, an injured employee may still recover damages from a sub-contractor, non-co-worker, and other businesses.
- Medical negligence – If you suffered your spinal cord injury as a result of medical malpractice and negligence, you could be entitled to compensation. This is as long as they failed to take reasonable care in their actions.
- Sports – If a child sustains a sports-related injury, the coach or trainer in charge could be found liable for not taking proper precautions. Additionally, equipment manufacturers can be found liable for injuries attributable to defective or inadequate sporting equipment.
Other Issues Resulting From a Spinal Cord Injury
It is a common occurrence that if people hear spinal cord injury, they immediately think of paralysis, this is, unfortunately, the case for multiple victims. On the other hand, there are many other complications a person can suffer from after such an injury. Our injury attorneys are well aware no money can make up for your suffering, but it helps get the best medical care, make adjustments in your home, and to hire care workers if necessary. Other issues that a spinal cord injury can cause include:
- Poor coordination.
- Tingling in hands and feet.
- Loss of feeling that could be temporary or permanent.
- Loss of sexual function.
- Uncontrolled shaking.
- Breathing difficulty.
No matter what damages you receive following a spinal cord injury, it is important you receive the damages you deserve following such a debilitating incident and if you now need to alter your lifestyle around it. Contact The Law Place today!
What Do I Need to Prove to Win My Case in Clearwater?
To win your case, your Clearwater spinal cord injury lawyer will need to prove that:
- You were owed a duty of care.
- The duty of care was breached.
- The breach caused your injuries.
- Your injuries led to damages.
Duty of care means that somebody owed you a duty to be careful; e.g. property owners have a duty to keep their properties free of hazards. If someone did not act as a reasonable person would, then they have breached this duty of care. If this breach then contributed to or directly caused your spinal cord injuries and if they led to emotional, physical, and financial struggles, you should be owed compensation and need to consider hiring dedicated personal injury lawyers to fight for your case.
If you are unsure as to whether you may be entitled to a spinal cord injury claim, then contact The Law Place as soon as possible to organize a free consultation so that we can evaluate the details of your case and determine the likelihood of a successful claim. Damage to your spinal cord can be extremely serious, and thus we recommend that you seek support as soon as possible.
What Losses Can Be Claimed for in a Clearwater Spinal Cord Injury Case?
After a spinal cord injury in Clearwater, your damages are likely to be considerable. To receive maximum compensation, you should seek help from spinal cord injury attorneys at The Law Place. Examples of damages you can claim for include:
- Medical costs – It is unavoidable that following a spinal cord injury, you will require medical attention. Therefore, the cost of past, present, and future treatments, including medical bills and rehabilitative care, can be claimed for.
- Assistive care and living – If you require at-home care workers or your home now requires alterations to suit your needs (e.g. hand railings, wheelchair ramps, new suitable furniture), then these costs can be claimed for.
- Loss of earnings – For any time off work where you have lost wages, this loss of income can be claimed for. Similarly, if you are unfortunately unable to return to work, projected earnings from lost work can be claimed for.
- Pain and suffering – This involves any physical or mental suffering following your injury as well as any loss of enjoyment. For example, if you are no longer able to practice sports, you once did this count as a loss of enjoyment. Pain and suffering is hard to quantify and transform into monetary compensation
- Property damage – Most common in the case of a car accident when claiming for the damaged vehicle.
Comparative Negligence in a Clearwater Spinal Cord Injury Case
Florida state laws operate under comparative negligence. Comparative negligence means that is someone only demonstrated partial fault for your injury, then you could still be owed compensation. If your case was taken to court, then they would determine what percentage of the fault was your own. Therefore, as long as you were less than 50% at fault, you can still claim damages. However, your settlement will be reduced to illustrate this, i.e. they will reduce by the amount you were at fault.
An example is that if your spinal cord injury was caused through a car accident and the other driver involved was driving under the influence and behaved recklessly, but you were speeding, you would both have a partial fault in this case. In this situation, your attorney will be able to argue that the other driver did, however, possess the majority of the fault. Henceforth, if you were found to be 10% at fault, your settlement will in hand be reduced by 10%.
Time Is of the Essence
If you have suffered a spinal cord injury in Clearwater, then you need to consider the importance of acting quickly legally. In Florida, there is a statute of limitations in place per Florida Statute 95.11. This statute explains that the claimant only has four years from the date of their accident to make a claim if this time elapses, then the case will be permanently be barred and consequently will be unable to receive any compensation they may otherwise deserve. In the very unfortunate case that the spinal injury leads to death, then this time limit is reduced further to two years.
Contact The Law Place, in Clearwater, FL, today to organize a no-obligations free consultation whereby our team of injury lawyers will explain the legal journey ahead and evaluate your case to decide whether your claim is strong enough for the court.
Contact a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer at The Law Place Today!
If you or a loved one have suffered from a spinal cord injury, then contact The Law Place today. At The Law Place, our personal injury lawyers possess a combined 75 years of experience and are dedicated to fighting for justice. After experiencing such a devastating ordeal, it is vital you at least receive compensation to try and make right what has been done to you.
Get in touch with the law firm today to organize a free consultation with our team of attorneys so you can receive all of the necessary information regarding your legal case before making any commitment. You shouldn’t have to go through this alone. Call (941) 444-4444 today; our phone lines are open 24/7 for your convenience.