Spinal cord injuries can occur in many ways. Slip and fall accidents, sports injuries, car accidents, medical malpractice, and many other types of injuries can lead to spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord is one of the most delicate and vital areas of the body. In many cases, severe injuries can cause permanent impairment, paralysis, or even death. Injury victims and their families have the legal right to compensation for spinal cord injuries caused by the negligence of other people.
The experienced attorneys at the Dolman Law Group have decades of experience in protecting the rights of spinal cord injury victims. We hold negligent parties accountable for their actions to prevent them from injuring others and to secure the compensation that Florida law entitles victims.
Who Is Legally Responsible for Compensating a Spinal Cord Injury Victim?
A person whose negligence causes an injury is legally obligated to compensate the victim for those injuries and financial losses. Depending on the type of accident that caused the spinal cord injury, many parties may be responsible for compensating the victim:
- Household accidents: When a spinal cord injury is caused by a household accident—such as through burns, accidental poisoning, slips, or falls—the homeowner may face responsibility for compensating the victim. This is due to a legal doctrine known as premises liability. Homeowners owe a duty of care to guests whom they have invited onto their properties. In general, this duty requires that homeowners warn guests of any known (if hidden) dangers. This can include slick floors, aggressive pets, loose tiles or ceiling parts, or any other danger that might not be readily apparent to guests. Most homeowner insurance policies provide coverage for such claims. Victims will usually file claims with the homeowners’ insurance carriers rather than filing lawsuits directly against the homeowners.
- Slip and fall accidents: Premises liability can also apply when a spinal cord injury occurs due to a slip and fall accident in a public place or business. Patrons of retail stores, sporting and entertainment venues, restaurants, gas stations, and other locations frequently slip and fall. Like homeowners, managers and owners of these public venues also have a duty toward guests who enter their premises. Store owners, however, have an even higher duty of care than homeowners because they have invited the public onto their premises for the specific purpose of transacting business. Because of this, stores and public places have a legal duty to inspect the premises and make them safe for the public.
- Medical malpractice: Medical malpractice can cause—or worsen—spinal cord injuries. Due to the nature of spinal cord injuries, this occurs most often during procedures such as surgeries. Doctors owe patients a legal standard of care—that of acting as a reasonably prudent doctor of similar training and experience. A doctor who fails to meet this medical standard of care can face negligence allegations from an injured patient, who has the legal right to compensation from the doctor’s medical malpractice carrier.
- Car accidents: A driver whose negligence caused a collision is legally obligated to compensate any victims who were injured in the car accident. This is why insurance companies make initial determinations of which drivers were at fault for causing accidents. The at-fault driver’s liability insurance carrier is then contractually obligated to compensate victims for the resulting injuries and losses. In many cases, more than one driver may be liable for the collision, and liability is apportioned between the negligent drivers. This can lead to extensive negotiations with multiple insurance companies to determine who must compensate an injury victim.
How Do I Obtain Compensation From the Responsible Party?
The long and complicated process of actually receiving compensation for your spinal cord injury starts with determining who is legally responsible for your injury. This is particularly complicated when multiple persons or companies contributed to your injuries. Many times, the insurance companies will deny liability—particularly when they have someone else to blame.
Next, you must prove the value of your claim. This includes lost wages and decreased future earnings potential, medical bills and projected future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and any other financial losses that are directly attributable to your spinal cord injury. Insurance adjusters are highly trained in reducing the value of claims. Their job is to attack each component of a claim to pay as little as possible.
An experienced spinal cord injury law firm can help you through every step of this complicated process. A skilled lawyer will identify all parties who are legally responsible for causing your injury and fight to establish liability with insurance companies. An attorney will also support your claim with the right documentation, presented in the correct manner, to ensure a fair compensation offer. If an insurance adjuster still refuses to offer a fair settlement, an attorney will also file a lawsuit on your behalf, and litigate the claim as long as necessary. Sometimes, the mere act of filing a lawsuit is sufficient to get a fair settlement offer from an insurance company. In other cases, to obtain a judgment against the negligent party, the claim requires litigation through trial. An attorney will help you determine the best strategy for securing compensation.
Aggressive Representation From Our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers
Whether your spinal cord injury was caused by a car accident, workplace accident, medical malpractice, or other factors, you need an experienced spinal cord injury attorney who will aggressively defend your right to compensation for your losses. The Dolman Law Group has more than 46 years of experience in protecting the rights of injury victims in and around Clearwater, Florida. Injury victims across southern Florida trust our professional staff, comprehensive legal expertise, and superior customer service. Call (727) 451-6900 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with a personal injury attorney today.