Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale
The spine is an intricate part of the body, combining bone, cartilage, and nerves. When injured, these types of injuries can severely impair mobility and limit a victim’s daily life. In addition to pain and loss of mobility, the financial costs associated with spinal cord injuries can put a serious strain on families and loved ones. With ongoing rehabilitation and medical care, these costs can continue for years and even decades.
Paralysis is often associated with serious back injuries. Quadriplegia, for example, limits a victim’s mobility, taking away the use of both their legs and arms and typically requires a wheelchair for the rest of their lives. Simple tasks such as local travel, require specialized vehicles, and daily tasks that were once easy, such as bathing, require the help of someone who is trained to assist them. It’s not surprising then that lifetime costs for a person who sustained a serious spinal cord injury at the age of 25 might require $5 million worth of care over the course of their life.
If you were involved in an accident that resulted in a damaged spinal cord compensation for the injury may be available. In cases where someone else’s negligence caused an accident, that person may be responsible for the costs associated with long-term care. Talk with the Fort Lauderdale spinal cord injury law firm of Schlacter Law today to help evaluate a potential claim.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries in Fort Lauderdale
Because the spine stretches the entire length of the back, it is exceptionally vulnerable and can easily be injured. Typically, accidents that involve blunt force can do especially severe damage. Some common causes of back injuries include:
- Slip and falls
- Car, truck and other vehicle accidents
- Domestic violence and other types of assaults
- Medical procedures
- Defective products
- Worksite and other construction accidents
While many slip and fall accidents might not produce any serious injuries, it is all too easy for even a small fall to cause serious damage to the spinal cord. Older adults, in particular, are prone to spinal cord damage following a slip and fall accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 30 million adults over the age of 65 require treatment for a fall injury, and 20% of these injuries are serious. When a fall occurs, sharp objects such as chairs and other furniture can easily come in contact with the spine during the fall. If the force of the fall is strong enough it can cause serious damage and even paralysis.
Automobile accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. A study performed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) found that between 2004 and 2009, the chance of sustaining a spinal cord injury in a car accident was increasing, with the lumbosacral spine sustaining the most injuries. Most of these victims were the drivers, making up over 86% of spinal cord injuries. The study concluded that these types of injuries are increasing due to poor manufacturing standards for automobiles, inadequate safety measures and poorly designed roads.
Domestic violence and other assaults greatly contribute to spinal cord injuries. The World Health Organization found that a majority of these types of accidents are from preventable causes and victims of spinal cord injuries are between two and five times more like to die prematurely. In a large number of assaults, spinal cord trauma was actually not the result of the assault itself, but rather from a fall that was caused by the assault.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC), almost 5% of spinal cord injuries occurred from a failed medical procedure. Anytime surgery is required, there is a risk to adjacent organs, nerves, and bones. And with the spine extending the entire length of the back, it’s all too easy for a medical professional to make a mistake and injure the spine.
Any item manufactured and sold in the United States has the potential to cause an injury. From automobiles to exercise equipment, defective designs and defective manufacturing can result in a product that is unsafe. When these injuries affect the spine they can be especially debilitating.
Sports-related injuries account for almost 9% of spinal cord injuries. Amateur and professional athletes alike are prone to these types of injuries. According to the NCBI, the following sports cause the most spinal harm in athletes:
- Horseback riding
- Ice Hockey
- American football
Cervical injuries are the most common form of injury and are found most often in diving and American football. Additionally, thoracic and lumbosacral injuries are also common. When organized sports fail to ensure that their athletes’ spines are protected from injuries they may be responsible for the damages that result.
The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that workplace injuries make up a large share of spinal cord injuries. Nearly 50% of all workplace spinal cord injuries occurred on construction sites, and 78% of construction injuries were due to falls while working on the job. These types of injuries are easily preventable when care is taken to provide adequate safety equipment and sufficient safety procedures are established.
With each spinal cord injury comes a unique set of circumstances that led to that injury. It is important to consult a spinal cord injury attorney in Fort Lauderdale following an injury to help assess who might be responsible and assist in getting the compensation you need to be whole again.
Damages Available in Fort Lauderdale
It is important to identify the responsible party following an accident. Under the doctrine of personal injury negligence, the responsible party may be required to compensate an injured victim for any losses associated with the injury. There are three general types of damages available to a Fort Lauderdale victim, including:
- Economic damages
- Non-economic damages
- Punitive damages
Economic damages include the known costs of an injury. This might include medical bills, doctor’s bills, lost income, and any other known costs associated with a damaged spinal cord. Non-economic damages are typically the costs that are far more difficult to determine. This might include long-term rehabilitation, long-term medical care, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. Punitive damages attempt to prevent the same type of behavior from occurring again, and while rarely given, it exists to punish a defendant for behavior that is reckless.
To help determine the types and amounts of compensation available following an accident, be sure to talk with a spinal injury lawyer today. With years of experience handling these types of cases, you can be sure that the Fort Lauderdale spinal injury attorneys at Schlacter Law will fight hard to ensure that you get as much compensation as possible. Call today for a consultation.
How We Handle Cases
- Your attorney will aggressively investigate your case. Schlacter Law will compile all necessary evidence needed to maximize the value of your case. Which includes but is not limited to photographs, police reports, security camera footage, witness statements, medical bills and medical records.
- You will remain in constant contact with Schlacter Law about the progression of your case.
- Your attorney will present your case to the insurance company and will attempt to resolve your case before the case goes to court for maximum compensation.
- Your attorney will make every effort possible to resolve the case as quickly as possible for the most amount of money you may be entitled to. You will be actively involved in the negotiation process with your attorney. Schlacter Law understands that this is your one opportunity to get justice for your loss.
- If settlement negotiations are unsuccessful, Schlacter Law will be fully prepared to bring your case to court to fight for the justice you deserve.
- At no cost to you, Schlacter Law will hire any experts and professionals needed to maximize your recovery and present your case in the strongest form possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I contributed to my accident?
When an accident victim contributed to their injuries they may still be able to recover compensation. Comparative negligence would reduce any award by an amount equal to the percentage of fault that can be attributed to the victim. Florida follows this doctrine, and it allows a victim to recover some spinal cord compensation rather than be completely barred from getting any damages. Talk with a spinal cord lawyer today.
Do I have to file a lawsuit right away?
A lawsuit doesn’t need to be filed immediately. However, there are limits on how much time a claimant has to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations in Florida for personal injury negligence lawsuits is four years from the time of the accident. If the injury stems from a medical malpractice lawsuit the statute of limitations is only two years. It is important to talk with a Fort Lauderdale attorney about a spinal cord injury lawsuit sooner rather than later to prevent losing potential compensation.
What if I can’t afford to pay for an attorney?
Most personal injury lawyers will work for a contingency fee. This arrangement would pay the attorney a percentage of any compensation they can recover for you. Typically, this fee would be between 33.33% and 40% of any money they get on your behalf. This fee structure lets an attorney commence a claim without you having to pay anything to start.