One second you may be walking in Clearwater, minding your own business. The next thing you know, someone else’s negligence causes you to fall, twisting your back or tweaking your neck. Or perhaps you are driving in your car and then someone runs a red light, striking your vehicle. Maybe you are having a routine medical procedure, and you wake up with an entirely new set of aches and pains. No matter how your back or neck injury occurred, you deserve compensation for the financial and personal effects it has had on your life.
If you or a loved one has suffered a neck or back injury thanks to someone else’s negligence, the attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA in Clearwater have the experience and expertise to assist you with all aspects of your case. Contact us today at 833-552-7274 or visit us online at www.dolmanlaw.com to schedule a free consultation with our back and neck injury attorneys.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA Gets Results
The team at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA has an impressive history of securing results for individuals who have suffered back or neck injuries. Our recent successes include:
- $1.58 million settlement for an auto accident case resulting in two herniated discs that impinged our client’s spinal cord;
- $775,000 recovery for a father and son who were rear ended by a large truck at a stop light. Both father and son required treatment from spine specialists, and the father ultimately required surgery to resolve herniated discs in the lower back.
- $525,000 settlement for a car accident resulting in neck and back injuries to a spinal disc.
These results demonstrate the ability of our personal injury attorneys to secure appropriate compensation for our clients. While these cases only represent past results and don’t guarantee recovery for your case, our lawyers will bring all their attention and effort to support you. We will work with you to prepare a strategy for securing recovery for your injuries.
Understanding Neck and Back Injuries
An injury to any part of your body can disrupt your life and work. This is particularly true when discussing neck and back injuries. The neck and back are complicated and even a minor injury can have life altering consequences. These injuries are also very common. Approximately 80 percent of adults will experience a back injury at some point in their life. Americans will spend $50 billion annually treating back pain, and these injuries will cause more than 264 million lost days of work in a year.
Back injuries can be felt in a localized area or may be felt across the entire lower back, even radiating down into the legs and feet. Extreme symptoms like loss of bladder or bowel control or weakness in both legs indicate a need for immediate medical attention. “Back injury” is a general term that refers to a wide variety of possible injuries:
- Fractured vertebrae: Most common in the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, fractured vertebrae is a break in a part of the vertebrae. A twisting injury can result in a fracture or any time significant pressure is put on the back, such as during a fall. The bone may collapse in on itself and get pushed together. If the bone explodes into the tissue surrounding the spine, it can require surgery to repair.
- Ligament strain: If the back muscles are stretched too far, it can call tears in the muscles. This can result in bleeding into the muscle, causing swelling. A strain could cause a muscle spasm. A muscle spasm will cause your back to stiffen and create intense pain if you move against the tightened muscles.
- Disc damage: The discs in the spine separate the vertebral bones. Herniated discs are common injuries after accidents. They occur when the soft, inner portion of the disk pushes out from the hard, exterior shell. The material that leaks out can pinch or irritate nearby nerves. Car accidents or falling can compress the spine, leading to a herniated disc.
The neck serves a critical role in the body. It is part of the spine and encloses and protects the cervical spinal cord. In addition to localized neck pain, a neck injury is also signaled by referred pain in the arm or hand, shoulder pain, and headaches or dizziness. Common neck injuries include:
- Neck sprain: When a sudden movement overstretches a joint, it can cause a tear in the ligament. Neck sprains can cause pain, reduced flexibility, and swelling. While ice and rest may resolve some sprains, others will require more serious medical intervention. Neck sprains are one of the most common injuries resulting from a fall.
- Whiplash associated disorders: Whiplash is caused by a sudden movement of the head. Specifically, the head is hyperextended and then snapped backward quickly. Whiplash is a common injury in car accidents but can also result from a fall. While whiplash is commonly referred to as an injury, it is a better descriptor of an action that causes a neck sprain or, when more serious, damaged discs or joints.
- Herniated disc: Similar to back injuries, discs in the neck can also become herniated and irritate surrounding nerves.
- Neck fracture: When the cervical bone is broken, it is likely to destabilize the neck. Depending on the severity of the brake, a brace may be required. A severe fall can cause a neck fracture.
- Cervical dislocation: When a bone in the neck moves out of its natural position it can lead to instability in the spine. This dislocation is most likely to occur when the ligaments that hold the vertebrae in place are disrupted, including during a fall.
The obvious repercussions of neck and back injuries are the medical consequences, both physical and financial. Some less obvious effects include:
- Loss of productivity: The medical effects of neck and back injuries may limit your ability to perform or advance in your career.
- Depression: Depression is a common side effect of a back or neck injury. In addition to the pain caused by the injury, the disruption to the individual’s work, social life, and sleep can lead to anxiety, stress, and depression.
- Weight gain: The inability to exercise and additional loss of mobility associated with a neck or back injury can cause weight gain and loss of muscle.
No matter what type of back or neck injury you are suffering from, the person responsible should take accountability and financial responsibility for their actions.
Determining Who Is at Fault
To secure full recovery for your injuries, it will be important to establish that one or more other parties acted negligently or willfully to cause your accident. Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA will work with you to gather facts and evidence to establish a strong case against the parties responsible for your injuries.
Many back and neck injuries are sustained during a fall. If your fall occurred on someone else’s property, you may seek recovery from the property owner. If the fall occurred at a business, the property owner is required to maintain the property in reasonably safe conditions. If they failed to do so, they may be at fault. On a private property, the owner must warn guests about dangerous conditions that are not obvious.
If you were involved in a car accident or were a pedestrian injured by a vehicle, negligent actions by the other driver may have contributed to the accident. Potential negligence actions include speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, or violating traffic laws.
Healthcare Providers and Facilities
If your back or neck injury was caused or made worse through the actions of a medical professional, the professional or medical facility may be responsible. Any time a doctor deviates from a recognized standard of care, there is an argument that the professional acted negligently.
If you were injured at work due to unsafe work conditions or failure to provide reasonable safety accommodations, your employer may be responsible for your injuries. To recover from your employer, you will need to understand your workers’ compensation benefits.
Recovering for Back and Neck Injuries
A back or neck injury can take a toll on all aspects of your life. As you are evaluating what compensation you deserve, it is important to take each of these effects into consideration. Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can help you consider all areas for recovery to ensure you are appropriately compensated.
Common damages resulting from back and neck injuries include:
- Medical expenses: Back and neck injuries can result in huge medical bills. In addition to emergency transportation, hospital stays, and doctors’ bills, diagnosing the exact cause of pain can require intense testing, including MRIs and CAT scans. These damages should also include the costs of future medical care, assistive devices like wheelchairs, and long-term rehabilitation.
- Loss of income: If you missed work because of the accident or will miss work in the future, you should seek recovery for lost salary and wages. Your future earnings may also be affected. If your injuries limit your ability to perform job duties, take on new responsibilities, or to work full time, you are entitled to compensation for lost earning potential.
- Property damage: If your property was damaged, you should seek recovery for repair or replacement of the damaged property. These damages are common in car accident cases where the vehicle is damaged or destroyed but property could also be damaged in a fall.
- Pain and suffering and emotional distress: You may recover money for pain and suffering or emotional trauma that is a result of your injuries. This is particularly important for back and neck injuries given that depression is commonly associated with these injuries.
- Loss of enjoyment: If your injuries keep you from participating in activities that you previously enjoyed, you may receive compensation for these losses. For example, if you were an avid soccer player but can no longer play, this would be a basis for recovery.
- Loss of consortium: Your friends or family members may also recover if the injuries have affected their relationship with the victim, including an intimate physical relationship.
- Punitive damages: Punitive damages are not intended to compensate for any specific injury but instead to punish egregious behavior by the defendant. Florida only allows for punitive damages for grossly negligent or intentional acts.
You may feel strongly that the other party should compensate you for your losses. Unfortunately, the other party may do everything in their power to avoid paying their fair share. Be sure you don’t delay in bringing your claim. State statutes provide timelines in which lawsuits must be filed. In Florida, most tort claims must be brought within four years of the injury. Medical malpractice claims must be brought within two years. If you don’t bring your action within these time frames, the other party will attempt to dismiss your case with no recovery.
The other party may also argue that they weren’t negligent or that you were at least partially at fault for your injuries. They may allege that you acted negligently or that you failed to seek prompt medical attention. Be wary of accepting any settlement offer. An initial settlement is likely to be much less than what you deserve. Our lawyers can work with you to establish your lack of negligence and to evaluate any settlement offer.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA Is Here to Help
If you or a loved one has suffered from a back or neck injury in the Clearwater area, the experienced attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA are here to help. With our commitment to personal service and accessibility, we will work with you to develop a comprehensive plan for recovery for your injuries. This will include exploring the unique facts of your case, uncovering evidence to establish the fault of the other party, and leveraging our extensive experience in calculating your damages.
We are proud to offer a free consultation to prospective clients: Contact us today at 833-552-7274 or through our website for your free consultation.
800 N Belcher Rd
Clearwater, FL 33765