Back injuries, in general, tend to be very complicated and serious. As our spinal column protects our spinal cord, a very important part of our central nervous system, if something happens to it, you could end up paralyzed. Furthermore, one back injury can easily worsen or lead to another, especially if left unchecked and untreated. It is therefore important to protect our spine as much as we can and to seek medical attention when we get injured.
There are many ways our spine can get injured – a slip and fall accident, a car accident, or even just poor lifestyle choices. The problem is that it isn’t always your own fault. Sometimes, you take all the precautions that you can, but you still end up injured due to somebody else’s mistakes or negligence. In such a case, you deserve to get compensated for all the injuries and damages you sustained.
Are you suffering from spinal stenosis or another serious back injury? Then we recommend you find a reliable personal injury attorney, even if you plan to just seek reimbursement for your medical bills from your insurance company. A skilled lawyer can do a lot for you in this case. And if more parties are involved, it’s a no-brainer. So, don’t hesitate and contact The Law Place today. We offer a free consultation to all our potential clients so that you can discuss your options with a professional without having to commit to anything. Give us a call anytime. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (941) 444-4444.
What Is Spinal Stenosis?
The vertebrae of the spinal column contain a central opening that accommodates the spinal canal, which encloses and protects the spinal cord. Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the opening in the spinal column narrows and compresses the spinal cord. This process usually occurs gradually as we age. In the beginning, there are no symptoms, but as the condition progresses, patients might start feeling weakness, back pain, neck pain, numbness, tingling, or balance problems. Some people may be able to alleviate their symptoms through physical therapy, medication, and rest, while others will require surgery.
There are two main types of spinal stenosis:
- Cervical stenosis – This type of stenosis occurs in the part of the spine in your neck (cervical vertebrae). Its main symptoms include arm or leg weakness, numbness or tingling, balance problems, neck pain, and in severe cases, bowel or bladder dysfunction.
- Lumbar stenosis – The most common type of stenosis, which occurs in the part of the spine in your lower back (lumbar vertebrae). Its main symptoms include leg or foot weakness, numbness or tingling, leg pain when standing or walking for longer periods of time, or back pain.
What Are the Main Causes of Spinal Stenosis
The main cause of spinal stenosis is aging. As people age, especially after they turn 50, tissues in their spine may start to thicken and compress the nerves of the spinal cord. However, other health conditions can contribute to spinal stenosis as well:
- Bone overgrowth – Bone spurs may grow into the spinal canal as a result of osteoarthritis, or the bones of the spine get weaker and grow larger than usual due to Paget’s disease.
- Herniated disc – Intervertebral discs allow movement of the vertebrae, hold the vertebrae together, and work as a shock absorber for the spine. Due to many reasons (e.g., aging, poor posture, etc.), a disc can herniate, which means that it bulges out of its place, sometimes into the spinal canal.
- Thickened ligaments – The ligaments that hold the bones of your spine together can ossify (thicken and turn into bony tissue) over time and may start pressing on the spinal cord or spinal nerves.
- Tumor – Abnormal tissue growths may develop in the spinal canal and cause spinal stenosis.
- Spine injuries – Car accidents and other trauma can dislocate or fracture one or more vertebrae. This can then may damage or compress the contents of the spinal canal.
There are causes, like aging, that cannot be prevented. If we have a specific genetic predisposition, there is usually not much we can do about it. However, things like spine injuries can definitely be avoided by exercising caution. But even if you are perfectly careful, others aren’t. They could overlook a traffic sign and crash into your car. They might fail in their duty to inform you of a hazard, so you slip and fall and get injured. Or maybe a doctor fails to recognize early signs of developing spinal stenosis, and you discover it only too late. In these situations, you deserve to be compensated for the action (or inaction) of others that led to your injuries resulting in spinal stenosis.
To claim your damages successfully, the help of a personal injury attorney might come in handy. Contact our law firm and find out more about what damages you are entitled to claim and how we can support you in the process.
How Is Spinal Stenosis Diagnosed and Treated?
If you have the symptoms of spinal stenosis, you should visit a doctor. They will review your medical records and perform a physical exam. According to your circumstances, they might also send you to further exams, for example:
- X-rays, MRI, or CT, to view images of your spine.
- Bone scan to look if there is any damage or growths.
- Electromyogram to see if your spinal nerves are healthy.
Once they have enough data and know the cause of your spinal stenosis, they can prescribe you corresponding medical treatment. However, spinal stenosis is impossible to cure. You can only alleviate its symptoms. Some of the most common options include:
- Anti-inflammatory medication and painkillers – At the beginning of your treatment, you can be prescribed products designed to ease the pain and swelling. However, this is only a short-term solution since it can lead to over-dependence on pain medication.
- Epidural steroid injections – A local anesthetic and steroid medication is injected directly into the area of the spinal stenosis to ease inflammation and pain.
- Physical therapy – Exercise is very important for improving your condition. However, it should be done under the supervision of a physiotherapist or a doctor so that you strengthen correct muscle groups and don’t make your condition even worse.
- Chiropractic care – An alternative approach that combines physical therapy exercises with massage therapy and other procedures.
If non-surgical options don’t work, the doctor could recommend surgery:
- Laminectomy – The surgeon makes an incision to access your spine and then removes or trims bone spurs, ligaments, or anything else pushing on the nerves.
- Discectomy – If your spinal stenosis is caused by disc herniation, the surgeon removes the part of the disc that causes the problem.
- Spinal fusion surgery – A surgical procedure designed to immobilize a painful vertebral segment.
However, even with surgery, your spinal stenosis won’t be cured, and you will need a lot of physical therapy to get back to normal. Surgery also involves some risks like infection, blood clots, or injury to the nerve roots. Your doctor should evaluate the benefits and risks of the surgery and decide accordingly in your best interest.
What Damages Can You Claim for Spinal Stenosis?
Are you suffering from spinal stenosis as a result of somebody’s action or inaction? Then you deserve to be compensated for it. The amount of compensation you can claim depends on the particular circumstances of your case, but, in general, you could be entitled to some of the following damages:
- Medical bills – Spinal stenosis can cost you a lot of money, especially if you need surgery. You should have all your medical expenses reimbursed, including the cost of your physical therapy, medication, or mobility aids. Just don’t forget to keep your medical bills and stick to the prescribed treatment to support your claim as much as possible.
- Lost wages – Spinal stenosis is usually quite painful until it’s properly managed. You will probably need to take some time off from work for some pain management and recovery. However, taking time off usually means receiving a lower or no salary, which can have a devastating impact on your family income. If the accident wasn’t your fault, then you definitely deserve to be compensated for your lost wages until you can go back to work.
- Lost earning potential – Since spinal stenosis cannot be cured, you may no longer be able to do your job. Maybe your profession required a lot of walking and standing, so you need to change it to a sedentary job which is paid less. In such a case, you deserve to be compensated for the difference between your previous and current salaries.
- Pain and suffering – Spinal stenosis can be quite limiting. You might have to stop playing your favorite sport, for example. Or you might be left with chronic pain, so you simply don’t enjoy your life as much as you used to. In such a case, you should be compensated for the emotional impact of your condition. This compensation is calculated based on your medical expenses, which are multiplied by a number from 1 to 5 according to the severity of your condition.
However, being entitled to these damages doesn’t automatically mean receiving them. You might need to fight hard to actually get them. That’s where you could use the help of a skilled personal injury attorney. They know how to deal with insurance companies, negotiate a fair settlement with the other party, or build a strong case for a lawsuit. The attorneys we hire at The Law Place have already successfully resolved many personal injury cases, so they could be able to help you as well. Just give us a call and schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers to see what damages we could help you claim.
What Is the Average Settlement for Spinal Stenosis?
So, what is the average settlement for spinal stenosis? Well, that’s very hard to generalize. Every personal injury claim settlement depends on many factors that are impossible to tell in advance without knowing the case in more detail.
For example, your medical bills will depend on your actual condition and symptoms. Steroid injections and pain medication can cost a few thousand dollars. Complicated surgery and prolonged physical therapy can require a seven-figure payment. Your lost wages compensation really depends on your salary and the duration of your absence from work. If you lose your earning potential, it again depends on your particular circumstances. And compensating the emotional impact of your back injury usually depends on the skills of your attorney since these damages tend to be quite hard to claim successfully.
To sum it up, if you want to know more about the average settlement you could get for your spinal stenosis, you will have to tell us more information about your particular case. But don’t worry, The Law Place offers a non-binding, free consultation to all its potential clients. This way, you can consult your case with us and then walk away, no strings attached. But we really believe you should discuss your case with an attorney just to make sure that you don’t claim less than you are entitled to claim.
Claiming Compensation for Spinal Stenosis as a Result of a Car Accident
One of the possible ways you can sustain spinal stenosis is a car accident injury. A strong impact might dislocate or fracture some bones in your spine, and that can create pressure on your spinal cord. This could cause you a lot of pain and require expensive medical care. However, if you didn’t cause the accident, it’s not fair that you should pay all the expenses by yourself.
An experienced car accident attorney could help you claim the compensation and win the settlement you actually deserve. Our attorneys are knowledgeable in the laws of Florida and have already resolved many personal injury cases, so they could be able to help you as well. Below, you find some of the most important laws that apply if you wish to claim compensation following a car accident. Our attorneys will make sure that your process of claiming compensation is in line with all the applicable rules and regulations, of course. However, we decided to list the most important regulations here so that you have an idea of what could affect the success of your claim.
Florida Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law
Florida is a no-fault state, as stipulated by Florida Statute 627.7407. This means that when you sustain a back injury in a car accident, you have to claim from your own insurance company first up to the limit of your policy. Moreover, all drivers must be covered by personal injury protection (PIP) with a minimum policy limit of $10,000. Only when you exceed your policy limit are you then entitled to claim damages from the other party.
But even if your medical expenses don’t exceed the $10,000 limit, negotiating with insurance companies isn’t easy. They are known to try and devalue their clients’ claims as much as possible so that they don’t have to pay them that much money. Moreover, as an individual, you have very little leverage over them. It’s therefore advisable to join forces with a skilled attorney from a reputable law firm. Our personal injury lawyers know the tricks commonly used by insurance firms, so they won’t fall for them and will be able to stand their ground.
Florida Statute of Limitations
If you aren’t satisfied with your back injury settlement value, your attorney might consider taking your case to court. However, there is only a limited time frame when this is possible, as stipulated by Florida Statute 95.11. For personal injury claims, the law provides a 4-year period from the date of the car accident, within which you can sue the other party for a higher settlement. After that, you lose your right to file a lawsuit.
A good attorney knows this, of course, so they will make sure that you make it within the required time frame. However, it’s still advisable to start as soon as possible. There is a lot of paperwork and many deadlines to catch, so four years suddenly don’t seem that long anymore. So, don’t hesitate and contact us today, especially if your back injury case is already older. The sooner we start, the higher chance we have of securing a fair settlement for you.
Florida Comparative Fault Law
If you take your back injury case to court, the other party will probably fight back. Under Florida Statute 768.81, more than one party can be found liable for a car accident. What does that mean? Let us give you an example. If the other driver failed to obey the stop sign and collided with you, but you were talking on your phone while driving, you might both be found liable for the car accident. The court will then determine each party’s percentage of fault, e.g., 10% for you and 90% for the other driver. This way, the other party will only have to pay 90% of your damages. You can still claim damages if your percentage fault is lower than 50%.
The other party will probably try to increase your percentage and lower their own percentage as much as possible. That’s why it’s so important to have a skilled personal injury attorney by your side. They will shield you against the other party’s attempts to blame you for the accident so that you have a chance of reaching the highest settlement.
Claiming Compensation for Spinal Stenosis as a Result of a Slip and Fall Accident
In Florida, every property owner must maintain their property in such a condition that it’s safe for anyone who legally enters it. They need to perform general maintenance of the premises with due care, and if there is a hazard, they either need to remedy it, or they should at least inform you about it. If you sustain a serious back injury as a result of a slip and fall accident on somebody else’s property due to their negligence, then you should receive fair compensation for it. The rules for filing a premises liability lawsuit are established in Florida Statute 768.0755. However, a skilled personal injury lawyer will know what conditions need to be fulfilled to claim damages.
Have you injured your back on somebody else’s property and believe that you have the right to compensation? Then don’t hesitate and contact us to schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers.
Claiming Compensation for Spinal Stenosis as a Result of Medical Malpractice
It’s also possible that you had symptoms of spinal stenosis, went to a medical care provider, and they failed to recognize them and didn’t prescribe you the right treatment. As a result of their misdiagnosis, your condition has worsened or maybe even become irreversible. Or maybe they prescribed you the wrong pain medication because they didn’t check your medical record for allergies and caused you even more harm. If this is your case, then you should be compensated for everything the doctor’s error has cost you. Call The Law Place today and schedule a free case evaluation to see what we could do for you.
Call The Law Place Today
Are you suffering from spinal stenosis as a result of somebody else’s negligence? Or have you been offered a personal injury settlement and aren’t happy with its value? Then don’t hesitate and call The Law Place today. Our attorneys have more than 75 years of combined experience in Florida law, and most of them have been rated 10.0 by the AVVO, which is the highest score an attorney can receive at this site. Moreover, our law firm values a good attorney-client relationship, so you can rest assured that our services will be discreet and tailored to your needs.
With us, you don’t have to worry about the costs. Our company works on a contingency basis, which means that we don’t get paid unless we win a settlement for you. We will explain all the details to you during our first consultation, which is for free for all our potential clients. This way, you can find out and discuss your options without having to commit to anything. There is really nothing that you can lose in contacting us.
Call The Law Place for a free consultation today at your convenience on (941) 444-4444.