A spinal cord injury (or back injury) is one of the most devastating injuries you can suffer in an accident. It has the potential to leave you confined to a wheelchair. Even a less serious injury can limit your mobility and leave you in great pain.
If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s negligence, you should get legal advice from a Tampa spinal cord injury attorney immediately so that you can get necessary compensation to help in your recovery.
Types of Accidents
All sorts of accidents can leave the victim dealing with spinal cord damage. One that is all too common is when a car goes out of control and crashes into a building or another vehicle at high speed. In such a case, it is important to conduct an extensive investigation of the crash scene, including taking photos.
Witnesses to motor vehicle collisions can sometimes disappear, or their memories can fade. That is why it is so important to get them on the record as soon as possible.
Many people become paralyzed because they dove into a swimming pool or a pond and struck their heads on the bottom, damaging their spinal cords. Anyone who operates a pool, whether public or private, has a duty to clearly mark the depth of the various levels of the pool so that these kinds of injuries do not occur.
Young people who play rough physical sports such as football can also suffer severe injuries. In these kinds of cases, it is important for the Tampa spinal cord injury attorney to determine whether the safety equipment provided was adequate and whether medical care was summoned promptly.
Medical malpractice is another potential cause of spinal cord damage. If something goes wrong during an operation because the surgeon did not show the level of care required by the profession, the patient is entitled to recover damages. Other potential causes of spinal cord injuries include gunshot wounds, slip-and-fall incidents, building collapses, and workplace accidents.
The medical care that victims need after spinal cord injuries from medical negligence can be costly. Sometimes, skilled surgeons can restore some or all functioning of the spinal cord, but such operations cost a lot of money and not always fully covered by insurance. In some cases, the victim of the accident may be left a paraplegic or quadriplegic. The cost of the medical care and rehabilitation required by a person in this situation can run into millions of dollars.
Impact of an Injury
Spinal cord injuries are life-altering events that can profoundly impact the victim’s lifestyle, their ability to perform day-to-day activities, and their capacity for earning a living.
A person’s family can be devastated by their loved one’s spinal cord injury. It may require them to become long-term caregivers for the person who has been hurt. They may not be able to enjoy the same activities with their loved one as before, and if they were dependent on that person’s income, they may find themselves struggling to make ends meet.
Treatment for spinal cord injuries often includes surgical intervention and/or long-term physical or occupational therapy. The expenses for spinal cord injuries are enormous, because these injuries can be complex and require extensive long-term treatment. After a person has sustained a spinal cord injury, they can expect a flood of medical bills for doctor’s visits, surgery, physical therapy, and medications. This often coincides with the victim being unable to work, so the financial hardship a person can experience after a spinal cord injury can be severe.
In Florida, derivative claims are available to spouses, children, parents, and family members of an individual who has been injured in an accident and suffered a spinal cord injury. Derivative claims allow individuals to be compensated not only for the day-to-day care of their loved one, but also for their loss of their companionship.
The family may be entitled to lost wages, lost ability to earn, potential pain and suffering of their own, and reimbursement of medical expenses and costs associated with caring for the victim of a spinal cord injury.
Some of the other damages that can be won in spinal cord injury cases include the following:
- Lost wages or other income
- Medical expenses
- Loss of consortium (the deprivation of the benefits of a family relationship, if your loved one was the person injured)
- Emotional distress
How a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Can Help
Victims must be prepared to offer documentation of how their lives have been affected by the accident – not just the medical costs themselves, but the effect on mobility, interactions with family, capacity to pursue a career, and general enjoyment of life. Experienced Tampa spinal cord injury lawyers will listen to your story and then get to work so you can get the compensation you are entitled to. Do not wait another day before getting the advice you need.
A person should seek an attorney who can advise them on present and pending circumstances, and the long-term economic and emotional ramifications for the injured person and their loved ones who may be caring for them. A skilled Tampa spinal cord injury lawyer will have the appropriate contacts to set up an annuity or some other financial arrangement that will cover the needs of the victim for the duration of their disability.