Port Richey Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys

A spinal cord injury is one of the most serious and disabling injuries you can suffer. The effects of a spinal cord injury (SCI) can be severe and long-lasting. A person who suffers an SCI may lose sensation or movement in the extremities or become paralyzed.

People diagnosed with spinal cord injuries may require extensive and costly medical care, surgeries, and rehabilitation, and some of them may not be able to work or even walk again.

If you or your loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury because of someone else’s wrongdoing, recklessness, intentional conduct, or negligence, our Port Richey spinal cord injury lawyers at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers are committed to helping you get the compensation you deserve.

You can receive a free consultation with our experienced spinal cord injury lawyers by calling (727) 845-5972.

Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

There can be various causes of spinal cord injuries ranging from car accidents and assault to medical malpractice. Spinal cord injuries are almost always life-changing because they affect nearly every aspect of the injured person’s life.

Often, victims suffer spinal cord injuries due to negligence or wrongdoing on the part of other people.

Causes of spinal cord injuries include but are not limited to:

Since a spinal cord injury can dramatically impair the victim’s life, it is imperative to seek the legal counsel of a skilled attorney to help you pursue a claim and obtain the maximum compensation that you deserve.

Types of Spinal Cord Injury

Nearly 18,000 Americans sustain spinal cord injuries each year.

Those spinal cord injuries break down into:

  1. Complete. A person suffers a complete spinal cord injury when the nerves below the point of injury do not communicate with the brain anymore. As a result, the injured person will lose all ability to control movement below the injury, causing paraplegia (total paralysis).
  2. Incomplete. When a person suffers an incomplete spinal cord injury, the spinal cord can still send some signals to the brain, which means the victim does not have total paralysis or loss of sensation. The degree of movement that remains depends on the severity of the injury.
  3. Spinal contusion. The third type of spinal cord injury is a spinal contusion, also known as nerve damage. This injury results in a temporary disruption of nerve impulses. Typically, victims diagnosed with spinal contusion can recover faster than those who suffered a complete or incomplete SCI.

You should contact a skilled Port Richey spinal cord injury lawyer to pursue compensation on your behalf regardless of the type of SCI that you suffered.

Triplegia, Paraplegia, and Quadriplegia

Spinal cord injuries also include three subtypes:

  • Triplegia is used to describe the loss of motor function in three extremities: one of the arms and both legs.
  • Paraplegia refers to partial or complete paralysis of the lower half of the body.
  • Quadriplegia is the most severe type of spinal cord injury that refers to a paralysis of all four limbs.

Do not hesitate to contact a lawyer if you or your loved one was diagnosed with triplegia, paraplegia, or quadriplegia. You deserve to receive fair compensation for your losses and damages.

Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury

Some of the most common symptoms associated with spinal cord injuries include:

  • Loss of feeling or numbness in the legs, arms, or chest area
  • Complete or partial loss of movement
  • Complete or partial loss of function
  • Shock or disorientation
  • Muscle weakness or pain
  • Problems with balance and coordination
  • Loss of bowel and/or bladder control
  • Breathing problems

If you noticed any of these signs following a traumatic event, go to a hospital as soon as possible. Do not delay seeking medical attention if you experience symptoms of a spinal cord injury.

Diagnosis of a Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries are not always easy to diagnose. That is why it is not uncommon for doctors to misdiagnose or fail to diagnose SCIs promptly.

A delayed or missed diagnosis can result in complications and may impact a victim’s chance of recovery and survival. To accurately diagnose a patient’s spinal cord injury, doctors must conduct a proper physical exam and order appropriate diagnostic tests.

A doctor may order the following tests to make an accurate diagnosis of a spinal cord injury:

  • X-rays. Doctors may order an x-ray when they suspect that a person has suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of a traumatic event.
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scans. Medical professionals may also order a CT scan to take a more in-depth look at a patient’s health problems to identify injuries.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). MRIs play a critical role in diagnosing spinal cord injuries. An MRI may reveal specifics about an SCI, such as hemorrhage and soft tissue disruptions.

Treatment of Spinal Cord Injuries

In many cases, the treatment of a spinal cord injury consists of these stages:

  1. Check breathing. The first step in treating a victim’s spinal cord injury is to check their breathing. If a patient suffered an injury in the upper neck, their breathing might be interrupted. As a result, the patient may require the assistance of a breathing tube or ventilator to breathe.
  2. Stabilization. The doctors’ concern will be to stabilize the injured victim’s breathing, blood pressure, and spinal column.
  3. Immobilization. The patient may need immobilization to prevent further damage to the spine. Doctors may need to align the patient’s spine using traction.
  4. Prevent inflammation and swelling. During the treatment, doctors will take the necessary steps to minimize inflammation and swelling.
  5. Surgery. In many cases, patients may need to undergo surgery to remove bone fragments and restore the alignment of the vertebrae.
  6. Rehabilitation. After doctors stabilize a person’s condition following a spinal cord injury, they will require lengthy rehabilitation.
  7. Therapy. Most patients who suffered a spinal cord injury require therapy to restore their function and mobility to regain the ability to care for themselves and perform activities of daily living.

Long-Term Effects of a Spinal Cord Injury

A spinal cord injury is a life-altering event that can result in the patient’s complete or partial loss of sensation and movement in the legs and arms, making it difficult or impossible to perform essential functions and daily activities such as going to a bathroom.

One of the long-term effects of a spinal cord injury is that it may severely impact a victim’s earning capacity. If an SCI affects a patient’s ability to work, they may not be able to return to their pre-injury job and may need to acquire new job skills.

A spinal cord injury may also affect a person’s ability to enjoy life and have relationships, not to mention that the victim may deal with ongoing pain, emotional distress, and depression for years to come.

Damages You Might Recover for a Port Richey Spinal Cord Injury

If you suffered a Port Richey spinal cord injury because of someone else’s negligence, you might recover these damages through a settlement or lawsuit:

  • Medical expenses. You can seek compensation for any medical bills resulting from your spinal cord injury, including hospitalization, the cost of medical treatment, medication, hospital bills, doctor visits, rehabilitation, and physical therapy costs, home modifications, medical equipment (wheelchair), and many more.
  • Loss of income. Many people diagnosed with spinal cord injuries cannot return to work in the same capacity. When pursuing a personal injury claim, the claimant is entitled to compensation for any time spent away from work. The loss of income damages includes compensation for diminished earning capacity as well as lost wages, bonuses, and other employment benefits.
  • Pain and suffering. People living with a spinal cord injury experience many non-economic losses as well. Those losses include the loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and others. An experienced lawyer can help you calculate the appropriate settlement amount for your pain and suffering to recover maximum compensation.
  • Wrongful death. If your loved one suffered a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s negligence and the injury resulted in death, you and other surviving family members might be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit to recover damages from the negligent party.

A knowledgeable Port Richey spinal cord injury lawyer will help you identify all available damages in your case and determine how much money would be sufficient to compensate you for all your losses and damages.

What is the Claims Process When Seeking Compensation for a Spinal Cord Injury?

While the steps involved in the claims process may vary from one case to another, you can expect the following to happen when seeking compensation for your spinal cord injury:

  1. You will meet with an attorney. If you have been diagnosed with a spinal cord injury, it is advisable to contact a skilled attorney to explore your legal options. You will need to meet with a lawyer to discuss your case. At Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, our spinal cord injury lawyers offer a free, no-obligation consultation to accident victims.
  2. Your lawyer will prepare a notification letter on your behalf. The first step in seeking compensation for a spinal cord injury—or any other injury, for that matter—is to send a notification letter to your insurance company.
  3. Your lawyer will investigate your case and collect evidence. During this step, your attorney will conduct a thorough investigation and collect all available evidence to determine fault and establish the full extent of damages.
  4. You will wait until you reach a maximum medical improvement (MMI). In most personal injury cases, the injured party should wait until they reach an MMI before asking for compensation. MMI is the point at which your physician determines that your condition has stabilized.
  5. Your lawyer will draft a demand letter. Once you have reached your MMI and your lawyer determines the appropriate compensation for your losses and damages, he/she will prepare a demand letter.
  6. Your lawyer will negotiate a settlement. The next step in the claims process is to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. In most cases, insurance companies refuse to pay the amount stated in the demand letter, which is why you need a lawyer with excellent negotiation skills.
  7. You may settle or go to trial. If you and the insurance company arrive at a mutually acceptable settlement amount, you will settle your claim. If you cannot reach a settlement agreement, your case will proceed to trial.

Statistically speaking, the vast majority of personal injury claims (95 percent) settle pre-trial.

Why You Need a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer in Port Richey

If you live in Port Richey and have suffered a spinal cord injury because of someone else’s negligent conduct, recklessness, intentional acts, or other types of wrongdoing, you should speak with a Port Richey spinal cord injury lawyer right away.

You need a knowledgeable attorney to help you:

  1. Prove negligence in your spinal cord injury case
  2. Investigate your accident
  3. Collect evidence to prove the defendant’s fault
  4. Determine the extent of your damages and losses
  5. Calculate an appropriate settlement amount
  6. Negotiate with the insurance company to obtain fair compensation on your behalf
  7. Take your case to court and represent your best interests in front of a judge if no settlement is reached

It is difficult—and, in most cases, even impossible—to prepare a successful claim on your own, especially when you experience limited mobility and a great deal of pain. That is why you can benefit from being represented by a lawyer.

Richey Spinal Cord Injury CasePort Richey Spinal Cord Injury FAQ

If you have been diagnosed with a spinal cord injury following a traumatic event, read our FAQ section below to find out the answers to some of your questions. If you still have other questions, schedule a free consultation with our Port Richey spinal cord injury lawyers at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers.

What is a spinal cord injury?

The term “spinal cord injury” (SCI) refers to damage to the spinal cord as a result of trauma, such as a car accident, disease, or degeneration. In most cases, an SCI results in temporary or permanent and complete or incomplete loss of function, sensation, and movement.

The more severe the spinal cord injury, the more significant loss of function. Typically, a person diagnosed with tetraplegia or quadriplegia will suffer from a greater loss of function or mobility.

What’s the difference between a complete and incomplete spinal cord injury?

Generally, spinal cord injuries come in two types: complete and incomplete. The difference between these two types of SCIs is whether the spinal cord is partially or completely damaged.

  • In an incomplete SCI, some—but not all—nerve signals can still communicate along the spinal cord to the brain.
  • In a complete SCI, the brain no longer receives nerve signals from the rest of the body, resulting in paralysis below the point of injury.

Will I fully recover after a spinal cord injury?

Whether or not you can fully recover after a spinal cord injury depends on the severity of the injury and your recovery progress in the months following the traumatic event.

As a rule of thumb, if a patient is seeing improvement in the weeks and months after a spinal cord injury, they have a higher chance to fully recover.

In most cases, whether or not you can fully recover from your spinal cord injury depends on the effectiveness of your medical treatment, physical therapy, and rehabilitation, all of which cost quite a lot.

For this reason, it is imperative to obtain compensation for all your medical expenses and losses to be able to afford effective treatment and improve your chances for improvement.

What are the common causes of spinal cord injuries?

Most spinal cord injuries happen due to a traumatic blow to the spine. There is a wide range of situations in which this type of damage may occur. Statistics show that the most common causes of SCIs in the United States are:

  • Motor vehicle accidents, including car accidents—39.3 percent
  • Falls—31.8 percent
  • Violence—13.5 percent
  • Sports—8 percent
  • Medical-related—4.3 percent
  • Other—3.1 percent

Regardless of what caused your spinal cord injury, you should consult with a skilled attorney to discuss how you can seek compensation for the expenses and damages in your specific case.

Do spinal cord injuries affect other parts of the body?

Yes, a spinal cord injury may affect other body parts and body functions. An SCI may lead to:

A Port Richey spinal cord injury can take a toll on your life, which is why you should sue the person or entity whose negligence, intentional conduct, or other types of wrongdoing caused your injury to hold them liable for the resulting damages and losses.

How long will I stay in the hospital after a spinal cord injury?

Because a spinal cord injury is a life-threatening injury, you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you suspect that you suffered an SCI.

If a doctor confirms your spinal cord injury diagnosis, you will stay in the hospital for weeks or even months. Medical professionals will monitor your condition and administer the necessary diagnostic tests to identify the most effective type of treatment to help you recover faster.

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), the average length of stay in the hospital with an SCI is 11 days.

What costs stem from spinal cord injuries?

The cost of treatment depends on the severity of your spinal cord injury. The more severe the injury, the costlier the treatment.

According to the NSCISC, the average yearly expenses in the first year of treatment range from over $550,000 for paraplegia to more than $1.1 million for high tetraplegia. These expenses include living expenses and medical bills.

Estimated lifetime costs for a 25-year-old diagnosed with high tetraplegia exceed $5 million. For people living with paraplegia, estimated lifetime costs reach nearly $2.5 million.

In addition to these costs associated with the treatment of a spinal cord injury, the injured victim may experience:

  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Loss of income
  • Emotional distress
  • And many other consequential damages and losses

Because of the tremendous expenses associated with spinal cord injuries, it is critical to be represented by an experienced attorney to help you pursue compensation for all your expenses, loss, and damages.

Are spinal cord injuries permanent?

Yes, spinal cord injuries can be permanent, but not all of them are. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may experience temporary or permanent paralysis and loss of function, movement, and sensation.

However, with proper and timely treatment, therapy, and rehabilitation, you may be able to regain partial or complete control over the affected areas within months of treatment.

If a spinal cord injury goes untreated, it could result in permanent damage.

How can I increase my chances for improvement?

As mentioned earlier, a spinal cord injury can be life-altering. An SCI could take a toll on all aspects of your life if you suffered partial or complete paralysis. For this reason, you need to take all necessary steps to improve your chances for improvement.

In most cases, a patient will need access to extensive and costly medical treatment, rehabilitation, and therapy to regain their mobility, sensation, and function to be able to return to work and enjoy their life to the fullest.

It is critical to seek compensation from the negligent party to ensure that you have sufficient funds to pay for your ongoing treatment.

Can I seek compensation for my Port Richey spinal cord injury?

Port Richey Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

Under Florida personal injury law, you are entitled to compensation for your damages and losses if your injury is the result of someone else’s negligence.

A defendant is negligent when clear and convincing evidence shows that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable care and their negligent conduct caused the plaintiff’s injury and damages.

A common example of negligence is when a driver fails to follow traffic rules, which results in a car accident and the other driver’s spinal cord injury.

How to prove negligence when suing for a spinal cord injury?

If your spinal cord injury was the result of another person or entity’s negligence, you would need to establish the following four elements to sue the negligent party for your losses and damages:

  1. The defendant owed you a duty of care;
  2. There was a breach of the duty of care due to a negligent act or omission;
  3. The defendant’s breach was the primary cause of your spinal cord injury; and
  4. Your injury caused damages (e.g., medical expenses, lost wages, and others).

Your attorney will conduct a comprehensive investigation to help you prove the cause of action for negligence in your case.

What evidence do I need to prove my Port Richey spinal cord injury?

Proving the nature and extent of your spinal cord injury as well as its impact on your life is no easy task. For this reason, it is advisable to gather all available evidence to be able to prove your case.

Evidence that may be available to prove your SCI includes:

  • Photos from the accident scene
  • Security surveillance footage
  • Witness statements
  • Medical records documenting your spinal cord injury diagnosis and treatment
  • Copies of the police and accident reports, if available

Keep track of any evidence that may be relevant to your spinal cord injury case. Your lawyer can help you gather all available evidence to build a strong case and fight for the compensation to which you are entitled.

Who can be held liable for my Port Richey spinal cord injury?

Because there are many different causes of spinal cord injuries, liability depends on the specific circumstance surrounding the accident that resulted in an SCI. Let’s review two common scenarios:

In motor vehicle accidents, you can hold the other driver responsible for your injury if that driver is at fault for causing the crash.

If you sustain a spinal cord injury in a slip and fall accident, you could sue the owner of the property where the accident occurred if the owner was negligent.

It is vital to discuss your particular situation with a skilled attorney to identify liable parties and hold them responsible for your damages and losses.

Who is liable if I sustain a Port Richey spinal cord injury at work?

If you suffered a spinal cord injury in the course and scope of your employment, you might be able to obtain compensation through your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. However, workers’ compensation does not cover all of your losses and damages if you suffered injuries at work.

Workers’ compensation provides coverage for medical expenses and some of your lost wages. Under Fla. Stat. § 440.02, compensation for lost wages will be 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage.

If you receive workers’ compensation benefits, you cannot sue your employer to recover additional damages. However, you may still be able to file a personal injury claim against a third party if that third party contributed or caused your spinal cord injury at work.

Will my Port Richey spinal cord injury case go to court?

The vast majority of personal injury cases settle pre-trial. However, some cases do go to court. Whether or not your case will go to court depends on the insurer’s willingness to pay you what you deserve and the skills and experience of your lawyer.

Sometimes, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit to obtain full and fair compensation for your losses. You should consult with a knowledgeable lawyer to determine if you need to take your spinal cord injury case to court in your particular situation.

Do I need a Port Richey spinal cord injury lawyer?

You can benefit from hiring a knowledgeable lawyer if you have suffered a spinal cord injury because of another person’s negligence. An attorney will help you negotiate a fair and full settlement on your behalf while you focus on your treatment for higher chances of improvement.

If you do not have a lawyer on your side to handle the legal aspects of your claim, your hope of obtaining maximum compensation quickly decreases significantly.

When dealing with an insurance company, the insurer may delay the claims process, argue that you were partially at fault for your injury, or outright deny your claim. Your lawyer will protect your best interests and rights by handling all communications with the insurance company.

Even if you do not think that you need a spinal cord injury, you can take advantage of a free, no-obligation consultation with our attorneys at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers to discuss your case.

Why hire Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers?

Our reputable and experienced are ready to vigorously advocate for your rights if you sustained a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s negligent act or omission.

Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers have the resources and expertise you need to protect your best interests throughout the claims process. Our goal is to obtain maximum compensation on behalf of our clients, which is evident from our results and past cases.

We have recovered millions of dollars for victims diagnosed with spinal cord injuries. Our outstanding track record of success sets us apart from other law firms in Port Richey and other parts of Pasco County, FL. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not pay any fees until we obtain a favorable settlement or judgment in your case.

Contact a Port Richey Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

Nicolette Nicoletti Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer in Port Richey
Nicolette Nicoletti, Port Richey Spine Injury Lawyer.

Do not hesitate to consult with our results-driven and dedicated spinal cord injury lawyers at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers to discuss your particular case. Our attorneys offer a free consultation to prospective clients. We work with clients on a contingency fee basis, so you do not have to worry about paying us out of your own pocket while we work on your case.

Call (727) 845-5972 or visit our contact us page for a free consultation with our lawyers.