It is well known that factors stress and strain can make physical pain much worse. For instance, a person who has just been in a car accident will likely have…
Miami Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
If you recently sustained a spinal cord injury, it might seem like every facet of your life has been negatively impacted. You might feel the effects of your injury mentally, emotionally and socially. As a leading personal injury law firm in South Florida, our lawyers have seen the destructive effects of spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries can hinder your ability to work, socialize and pay for much-needed medical treatment. At Suarez & Montero, our lawyers are committed to holding those responsible for our clients’ injuries accountable for their actions. If you or a loved one sustained a serious spinal cord injury, and you require compensation to recover, we may be able to help you file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party.
Facts about Spinal Cord Injuries
The central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. The spinal cord is a long, thin tubular arrangement of nervous tissue which extends from the medulla oblongata in the brain to the lumbar region of the vertebral column. There are four sections of the spinal cord: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral. Each section of the spine protects different groups of nerves that control the body and functions in conjunction with the spine. The human spine (or vertebral column) is made up of 33 bones called vertebrae, which are separated by intervertebral discs. The column can be divided into five different regions, with each region characterized by a different vertebral structure. The spinal cord carries signals back and forth between your body and your brain. When a person suffers an injury to their spinal cord, those signals are disrupted. A spinal cord injury frequently causes permanent changes in strength, sensation and other bodily functions below the point of the injury. Some victims of spinal cord injuries permanently lose sensation and function below the point of the injury. Spinal cord injuries usually begin with a heavy blow that fractures, breaks, or dislocates your vertebrae. Most injuries don’t cut directly through your spinal cord. Instead, they cause damage when pieces of vertebrae tear into cord tissue or press down on the nerve parts that carry signals.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can be categorized into two forms: complete and incomplete injuries. To determine the completeness of a spinal cord injury, a physician must examine the site of the injury along your spinal cord and the seriousness of the injury to the spinal cord. A complete spinal cord injury occurs when all feeling and all ability to control movement are lost below the spinal cord injury. A complete spinal cord injury will cause permanent damage to the area of the spinal cord that is affected. Paraplegia or tetraplegia are results of complete spinal cord injuries. An incomplete spinal cord injury occurs when there is still some motor or sensory function below the point of the injury. Also known as quadriplegia, this means that your arms, hands, trunk, legs and pelvic organs are all paralyzed.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries often occur due to trauma to the vertebrae, ligaments or disks of the spinal column or to the spinal cord itself. Whether the cause of the injury is traumatic or nontraumatic, the damage affects the nerve fibers passing through the injured area and may impair part or all of your corresponding muscles and nerves below the site of the injury. A spinal cord injury may stem from a sudden blow to the spine that fractures, dislocates, crushes or compresses one or more of your vertebrae. In some instances, it may also result from a wound that penetrates and cuts your spinal cord. A spinal cord injury may also be caused by arthritis, cancer, inflammation, infections or disk degeneration of the spine. Below is a list of the most commonly cited causes of spinal cord injuries in the United States:
Car accidents: Auto and motorcycle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, accounting for almost half of new spinal cord injuries each year.
Falls: Falls cause about 31% of spinal cord injuries.
Gun shot wounds: About 13% of spinal cord injuries result from violent encounters, most commonly involving gunshot wounds. Knife wounds also are common.
Sports and recreation injuries: Athletic activities, such as impact sports and diving in shallow water, cause about 10% of spinal cord injuries.
Diseases: Cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis and inflammation of the spinal cord can also cause spinal cord injuries.
Compensation for Spinal Cord Injuries
The impact on the lives of spinal injury victims and their families can be devastating. Additionally, the lifetime medical costs associated with spinal injuries can be costly. If you or a family member have been in an accident and suffered spinal cord injury, you may be able to file a lawsuit and get compensation for your injuries and losses. A spinal cord injury attorney may be able to help you recover the following damages:
Medical Expenses: Plaintiffs can recover money for any medical bills resulting from the injury, including hospital bills, prescription drugs, doctor visits and rehabilitation, as well as any future medical expenses.
Lost Wages: Compensation for time spent away from work, as well as a loss of earning capacity may also be awarded.
Pain and Suffering: When an individual suffers a spinal cord injury, they can experience lasting physical and emotional pain. These victims can receive monetary damages for this pain and suffering.
Steps to Follow If You Sustained Spinal Cord Injuries After an Accident
If you spinal cord injury is a medical emergency, it is important to immediately seek medical treatment. Medical treatment may include prescription medication, braces or traction to stabilize the spine, and surgery. Later treatment may include rehabilitation therapy. Additionally, you may have to utilize assistive devices to help you get around and perform daily tasks. If you are in an accident and you suspect that someone has a back or neck injury, remember these tips:
-Don’t move the injured person — permanent paralysis and other serious complications may result. Keep the person still.
-Call 911 or your local emergency medical assistance number
-Place heavy towels on both sides of the neck or hold the head and neck to prevent them from moving until an ambulance arrives
-Administer basic first aid, such as stopping any bleeding and making the person comfortable, without moving the head or neck
Contact our Miami Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys Today!
Spinal cord injury lawsuits usually involve more complex legal and medical issues than those in a typical injury case so, if you’re thinking about filing a lawsuit, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. If you or someone you care for faced a severe spine or back injury, it is important to choose the right law firm to represent you. Our spinal cord injury attorneys have experience handling cases in a variety of practice areas and are ready to help you with you recover the compensation you may be entitled to for your spinal cord injury. You need legal representation that you can trust to have your best interests at heart every step of the way. Our spinal cord injury lawyers have helped many individuals who suffered spinal injuries from motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents and defective products.
Frequently Asked Questions
Spinal cord injuries are in many cases permanent and life-changing injuries and victims deserve proper compensation that reflects that. For that reason, our Miami spinal cord personal injury attorneys will work to gain you more than just the typical compensation for medical bills or pain and suffering. Our personal injury law firm also pursues damages for your current and future healthcare expenses and rehabilitation costs.
If your spinal cord injury was caused by a defective product (faulty seat belts or airbags that made injuries sustained in a car accident much worse, for example), you may be entitled to compensation from the companies that designed, manufactured, and sold the product.
In Florida, spinal cord injury attorneys do not require that you pay attorneys’ fees out of pocket. Instead, the costs are paid through a contingency fee agreement, by which a lawyer will be paid an agreed-upon portion of your total personal injury settlement. If there is no award through settlement or after a trial judgment, the attorney will receive no payment. Contingent fee agreements are also subject to litigation costs and court fees. These can include the fee to file a lawsuit, expert witness fees, copying costs for medical records, and other such expenses.
The procedure, timing and outcome of a lawsuit will vary depending on the facts of the case, the type of claim and where the claim is being filed. If you have a personal injury matter, your lawyer will help you file a proper claim for damages in a timely manner.