If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury due to another’s negligence, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries. Our St. Petersburg spinal cord accident lawyers have years of experience helping accident victims obtain justice and fair compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Ensuring that the insurance company doesn’t try and prevent you from collecting compensation for your losses starts with seeking advice from an experienced spinal cord accident attorney.
At Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, we obtain the results our clients deserve. Read on to discover what our lawyers can do to help restore your state of health and financial circumstances, and reach out to discuss your specific rights and options.
Table of Contents
When the central nervous system in your spinal cord sustains damage, it constitutes a spinal cord injury. Your spinal cord’s central nervous system conducts signals between your brain and body. These signals control your body’s sensations and movements. When a spinal cord accident victim faces partial loss of their motor functions or total paralysis, these injuries can drastically alter their life circumstances.
Your spinal cord is composed of spinal disks, vertebrae, and nerves. When any part of your spine suffers harm in an accident, it can lead to lifelong effects. In severe cases, you may experience loss of sensation or motor function below the point of your injury. To obtain compensation for your injury, you must identify who or what was responsible.
Spinal cord injuries often result from:
- Auto accidents
- Slip and falls
- Sports injuries
- Surgical mishaps
- Workplace accidents
- Cancer or disease
- Violent acts
An incomplete spinal cord injury refers to a spinal cord injury where you still have some feeling or movement below the point of your injury. A complete spinal cord injury results in a total loss of function and sensation below the point of your injury. To determine where your injury has occurred on the spine, seek advice from a physician who can perform a physical examination or recognize the type of injury you’ve sustained based on its characteristic pattern of symptoms.
While some symptoms of a spinal cord injury may appear right away, other injuries only become noticeable over time. Like the brain, your spine cannot regrow new cells.
Common symptoms of a spinal cord injury may include:
- Pain in your neck, head, or back
- Loss of sensation in your extremities
- Loss of motor functions or coordination
- Partial or complete paralysis
Injuries to the spinal cord can sometimes be challenging to detect, and no two people will have the same experience with their injury. If you’re suffering from any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor for a full examination.
How will a spinal cord injury affect my life?
Many aspects of your life can feel the effects of a spinal cord injury. If you experience a complete spinal cord injury, your everyday routine may require costly changes. Experiencing complete or partial paralysis can make little things like running errands more difficult.
In some cases, a spinal cord injury can have lasting impacts on your life expectancy. With the right help and treatments, living with your spinal cord injury can be manageable. Unfortunately, maintaining these treatments is often costly, so seeking compensation for a spinal cord accident is essential.
How will a spinal cord injury affect my financial state?
Living with a life-altering or severe spinal injury is not only complicated, but without the proper care, it can become costly. Not to mention, the younger you are at the time of your injury, the more you will end up paying throughout your life. Continuous care for victims of a spinal cord injury that sustain severe injuries is typically more expensive than the cost of treatment for minor spinal cord injuries.
The cost of treating a spinal cord injury can be immense, especially if the accident is catastrophic and your injury is severe. Even with medical insurance, requiring long-term or permanent medical care can become a tremendous financial burden. If your injury happened because of another party’s negligence, you have a right to seek compensation for damages.
Compensation for a spinal cord injury may include:
- Loss of earning capacity
- General loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Mental distress
- Medical expenses
Let our lawyers review your legal options with you and help you hold the at-fault party responsible for your injury. Call our office or review our convenient online form to schedule a confidential case review with one of our attorneys.
Spinal cord injuries can happen at work
Lifting something the wrong way, taking a serious tumble, getting caught in between equipment, or even performing a repetitive motion can damage your spine. When your spinal cord becomes injured at work, there are two options you may explore for financial recovery. Filing a workers’ compensation claim is your first option and may result in payments for your medical bills and a portion of your gross weekly wages.
You do not need to prove negligence or liability with a workers’ comp claim, though the process is not always simple. If your spinal cord injury happened due to someone else’s negligence, a lawsuit may recover the compensation you need to pay for your treatments, mobility equipment, attendants, and home modifications.
Speak with one of our spinal cord injury lawyers before accepting a workers’ compensation settlement that will forfeit your right to pursue a claim against your employer.
Why should I hire a lawyer to represent my case?
You’re already suffering the consequences of another party’s negligent actions - why should you have to pay a lawyer when it wasn’t your fault? You deserve compensation for your injuries and have a right to go after the responsible party by filing a claim against them.
Giving your case the best chance at success starts with seeking advice from an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer. Insurance companies are in the business of convincing accident victims to settle for less than what their injury is worth. Your lawyer can provide you with details about how you can receive compensation and protect your rights against an insurance provider.
Why is a spinal cord injury often serious?
Spinal cord injuries often include damage to the nerves that run down the length of your spinal canal. Your brain and spinal cord make up your central nervous system, which is why a spinal cord injury is often considered serious. Damage or destruction of this complex system can prohibit your brain and body from communicating effectively and affect your coordination, movement, and sensation throughout the body.
How does someone rehab after a spinal cord injury?
Rehabilitation of the spine often involves physical therapy, conditioning, muscle strengthening, cardiovascular and respiratory exercises. The road to recovery is unique for anyone who sustains a spinal cord injury. How long the process takes will depend on the severity of your injury and how dedicated you are to working with an occupational therapist.
During the first year of your recovery, regular checkups with your doctor might be necessary. Rehabilitation and care for your spinal injury often continue for many years after the accident.
Will my spinal cord injury heal over time?
Damage to the spinal cord is often serious, resulting in significant swelling that typically causes some form of nerve injury. Getting the proper treatment for your injury is the best way to slow down the swelling and allow you to regain some of your motor functions. Victims of spinal cord injuries may recover motor functioning skills up to two years after the accident.
Who can I hold responsible for my injury?
Any negligent party can be responsible to the spinal cord injury victim. Vehicle drivers, product manufacturers, construction site operators are just some examples of potentially negligent parties that may be held accountable for your injury. Establishing liability for your injury is the key to building a successful case.
Why is it important to quickly investigate an accident that results in a spinal cord injury?
Because accidents that result in injuries to the spinal cord are often serious, it is essential to report the incident as soon as possible so an investigation can begin. An investigation of the accident may include examining the scene or witness interviews. The evidence collected in the investigation is essential to establish who was liable for the accident.
My injury and who was responsible are obvious. Will my attorney still need to retain experts to prove liability?
Because of the seriousness of spinal cord injuries, retaining experts to prove damages is recommended and almost always necessary in these types of cases. Our lawyers try to pin down fault as soon as possible after an accident. Liability experts like mechanical engineers, accident reconstruction experts, and metallurgists will all help establish who the responsible party was in your case.
While your injury may be apparent, the consequences of that injury won’t always be evident and the defendants often dispute this. We help our clients retain experts to testify to your injury’s medical effects and extent. Additionally, a life care expert or vocational rehabilitation coach can help paint a picture of what you might require in terms of future care treatment and testify to your loss of earning capacity, which you will need to cover your losses until your case settles.
Will my case settle or go to court?
Most spinal cord injury cases settle out of court, where negotiations resolve most claims. In some cases where there are extensive losses, a trial may be necessary to obtain the entire amount of compensation you need to recover properly. Having a knowledgeable lawyer at your side in these types of cases is invaluable. Our attorneys are ready to protect your rights in court if needed.
When does a spinal cord injury begin showing signs or symptoms?
Signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury are, in most cases, instantly. However, some indicators may not arise for a few days or even weeks after the accident. If you suspect that you’ve sustained a spinal cord injury, it is crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Receiving treatment immediately following the injury is the best way to ensure that it won’t become more serious.
What bodily changes can I experience after a spinal cord injury?
The seriousness of most spinal cord injuries often results in widespread bodily dysfunction. Depending on the level of your injury, you may lose control of your bladder or bowel movements if your brain cannot communicate with the rest of your body. Some victims of spinal cord injury report experiencing changes in skin sensation and may have difficulty sensing heat, cold, or distinguishing pressure.
If your injury is high on the spinal canal, it can result in respiratory system dysfunction and limit your control of the abdominal and chest muscles. Circulatory issues like high and low blood pressure might also arise and an increased risk of developing pulmonary embolism or blood clots. Changes to the body following a spinal cord injury often result in feelings of depression, loss of muscle tone, and impaired sexual health.
Why do I need to carry insurance coverage in a spinal cord injury case?
In most spinal cord injury claims, the person or entity responsible often doesn’t have the necessary assets to cover the enormous amount of potential damages these cases often incur. Having insurance in these cases is critical and will help you cover the cost of medical treatment until your case resolves.
Because spinal cord injury claims often require a high amount of compensation to cover the cost of medical treatment for injuries and damages, early investigation in these cases is essential to develop evidence against the responsible party or parties. Recovering damages from the liable party can happen through assets or insurance.
Don’t fall into debt trying to keep up with your medical expenses; reach out to one of our spinal cord injury lawyers who can help you recover the compensation you deserve. You can reach our St. Petersburg offices at (727) 845-5972 or you can write to us using our contact page. We are ready to help you no matter when someone injured you, so you can reach out to us 24/7.