How a Spinal Injury from a Car Accident can Change Your Life

November 3, 2016 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
How a Spinal Injury from a Car Accident can Change Your Life

Spinal cord injuries1 are an extremely serious type of injury that occur when physical trauma affects the spinal column. Often referred to as SCIs, these injuries often affect the brain's ability to communicate with the rest of the body, which can cause serious problems for victims. The tremendous physical forces involved in many car accidents are more than capable of causing spinal cord injuries, and some victims never fully recover from a SCI caused by an auto accident. In the most serious cases, victims are unable to live independently and require around-the-clock medical care.

Two Categories of Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal injuries fall into one of two broad categories: complete and incomplete. In an incomplete spinal cord injury, victims retain some sensory and motor function below the site of the injury. In a complete spinal cord injury, there is no motor or sensory function below the site of the injury. In the current state of modern medicine, most complete spinal cord injuries are considered irreversible, rendering victims paralyzed below the site of the injury. There is a reason to be optimistic, however, as recent research2 has shown promise for those with complete spinal cord injuries.

Determining Losses in a Spinal Cord Injury Case

Not surprisingly, many spinal cord injury victims sustain substantial losses as a result of their injury. These losses can be economic or noneconomic and often include the following:

  • Significant medical expenses
  • The cost of ongoing care
  • The cost of medical devices
  • Lost income
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Property damage
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering

Keep in mind that you should not simply take an insurance company's first offer when it comes to a spinal cord injury or accept their determination about what you case is worth. If you have sustained a SCI in an accident, it is imperative that you speak to an attorney.

How Do I Know if I Can Recover for my Spinal Cord Injury?

As is the case with any other type of accidental injury, whether you will be able to recover for your losses depends on whether your accident was caused by someone else's legal negligence. Negligence occurs when a person fails to use the degree of care that would ordinarily be used by a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances. In addition, a person can be negligent as a matter of law if he or she violates a law that is designed to keep others safe. Some of the more common ways that a driver can negligently cause a serious car accident include the following:


Distracted driving

Following too closely

Failure to yield

Impaired driving

 Failure to adequately maintain a vehicle

 Aggressive driving

 Ignoring stop signs or stoplights

 Changing lanes without signaling

 Driving the wrong way on a one-way road

You Are Not Necessarily at Fault for Your Single-Vehicle Accident

Do not assume that the fact that there were no other drivers involved in your accident means that your accident was your fault. Single-vehicle accidents could potentially be caused by poor road design or maintenance on the part of the agency or private party who is responsible for the roadway on which you were traveling when the accident occurred. Examples of the kinds of road hazards that could potentially cause an accident include potholes, improper drainage, inadequate signage, missing or faded lane markings, improperly graded turns or overgrown vegetation. Importantly, if you think that you may have a claim based on poor road design or maintenance on a public road, you should be aware that time that you have to file a claim is very limited. For this reason, you should call an attorney immediately.

Your single-vehicle accident could also have been caused by issues with the vehicle you were driving. If your accident was caused by a defect in the way a vehicle was designed, manufactured, or marketed, you may be able to recover compensation from the vehicle's manufacturer or the party that sold you the vehicle. Common vehicle defects that can cause accidents include faulty brakes, issues with steering, cruise control defects, and design flaws that make vehicles inherently unstable.

Call a Clearwater Car Accident Law Firm Today to Schedule a Free Consultation

If you have sustained a spinal cord injury in an accident caused by the negligence of another person, there is a very good chance that you are legally entitled to significant financial recovery. Even mild SCIs are a serious matter that can result in significant losses, and serious SCIs can leave victims completely paralyzed below the site of the injury. The Clearwater auto accident attorneys of the Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA are dedicated to helping injured victims recover and strive to get out clients the largest settlement or award possible. To discuss your case with an experienced attorney, call our office today at 727-451-6900.

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765

(727) 451-6900




Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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