Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

 

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A spinal cord injury is catastrophic and can happen to anyone at any given point in time. Sadly, this type of injury is commonplace as a result of a car accident, motorcycle accident, or other types of traumatic incidents relating to personal injury. The effects of these injuries can be physically, mentally, and financially disastrous.

Dolman Law Group has successfully handled numerous spinal cord injury cases and represented those that suffer from paraplegia and quadriplegia as a result of spinal cord damage. We are a nationally recognized personal injury law firm that other law firms often refer to as their most significant, and complicated cases.

Our highly-qualified spinal cord injury lawyers will support you throughout the process of filing a claim. We are an experienced and award-winning personal injury law firm with the necessary financial resources to handle a cord injury case.

How a Spinal Cord Injury Impacts Your Body

An injury to the spinal cord can also result in damage to the fiber tracts that carry signals to and from the brain. In fact, if the damage to the spinal cord is severe; the spinal nerves below the injury may still get signals but they will not be able to communicate with the brain.

A severely injured spinal cord can result in permanent loss of sensation and strength below the site of injury and other long-term issues. If you or a loved one is a victim of a spinal cord injury due to the negligence exhibited by an individual or corporation, you do not have to deal with it alone.

Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury

  • Loss of feeling in the arms, chest, or legs
  • Loss of movement
  • Spasms and grossly exaggerated reflexes
  • Loss of bladder and bowel control
  • Muscle weakness or complete loss of function
  • Difficulty breathing that may require a ventilator
  • Loss or disruption of sexual function
  • Consistent burning pain due to nerve damage

Types of Spinal Cord Injuries

An acute spinal cord injury is often an unexpected event that can potentially result from an accident, no matter how minor. Many people don't know a lot about the specifics of spinal cord injuries until they or someone they love sustains one in an accident. There are many different ways your spinal cord can be injured, such as:

Complete Spinal Cord Injuries Can Lead to Catastrophic Losses

A complete spinal cord injury means the area below the injury can no longer communicate with the brain. Thus, the injury victim will completely lose motor and nerve function, as well as sensation and movement below the injury. There will be total paralysis below the injured area. This results in a condition called paraplegia.

Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries Can Partially Limit Function or Sensation

Some of the nervous system's signals can still be sent via the spinal cord to the brain with an incomplete spinal cord injury. Some degree of movement and sensation function can remain after a spinal cord injury although, the amount of movement is wholly dependent on the severity of the damage. This type of injury can be one of five categories:

Spinal Contusions/Nerve Damage Are Less Severe, But Still Serious

This is the most common type of spinal cord injury; it is usually temporary and has a quick recovery process. However, a spinal contusion can still be quite serious, as it is may be accompanied by swelling, bleeding, and pain. This can lead to additional nerve damage and heart issues.

Treatment of a Spinal Cord Injury

The first step of treating spinal cord injury is to check the victim's breathing. An injury to the spinal cord in the upper neck can interrupt breathing which may require the need of a ventilator or breathing tube.

The next step is the immobilization of the victim by using a backboard of the cervical collar to prevent any movement to the spine, which may cause further damage to the spine.

Emergency medical technicians will then limit medical care to the formation of a correct diagnosis. After a diagnosis is achieved, medical care could consist of a very high dosage of steroids. The goal here is to lessen swelling and inflammation, which can mitigate some of the damage to the spinal cord.

Spinal Cord Surgery – To Relieve Pressure & Stabilize the Spine

Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

Spinal cord injury victims will then be placed into traction or a cervical halo to prevent further injury by stabilizing the spine. The next step in spinal cord injury medical care is immediate surgery.

The purpose of spinal cord surgery is to relieve pressure on the spinal cord by removing fractured vertebral segments that could be compressing the cord.

The second goal of surgery on the spinal cord is to stabilize the spine via the use of rods, plates, and screws. The purpose is to hold all vertebral segments together until the bones have healed. After surgery, physical and occupational therapy is commenced to restore as much function as possible.

What Accidents Could Result in a Spinal Cord Injury?

According to the Miami Project, about 17,000 people living in the United States suffer from injuries to the spinal cord each year. Spinal cord injuries can dramatically impair your lifestyle. Our spinal injury attorneys are experienced with the different types of lawsuits that can stem from a spinal cord injury, most notably where motor vehicle accidents, defective products, and medical malpractice are concerned.

The following are some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries.

Car Accidents Can Result in Spinal Cord Injuries

Car accidents account for many spinal cord injury (SCI) cases. Although many of us take driving for granted, the truth is that it is a dangerous activity that has many risks. And it doesn't take a devastating accident to inflict an SCI on a driver or a rider—even seemingly minor collisions can result in spinal cord damage, such as that related to whiplash or airbag deployment.

Florida is a "no-fault" state, meaning that the insurance claim process involves each driver's own personal insurance paying for their medical bills and other economic losses. However, if a driver is negligent and causes another person's injuries (e.g., drunk or careless drivers), they may be liable in a legal case for additional damages, including those related to life quality and pain and suffering.

Injuries to the Spinal Cord May Stem From Slip and Fall Accidents

While anyone can incur an SCI from a slip and fall accident, unfortunately, the elderly are the most susceptible. Moreover, a fall that occurs during the senior years can have devastating effects on that individual's health and well-being. For example, if an SCI occurs due to a fall in a nursing home or other facility, that party may be legally liable for medical expenses and other damages incurred. 

Slip and fall accidents can also occur on the job, especially in industries like construction.  Spinal cord injuries can also result from a slip and fall accident on a property where a negligent owner has failed to maintain the premises for invitees.

Medical Malpractice is a Cause of Spinal Cord Injuries

Sometimes a person visits a health provider or has surgery or a procedure for an injury or illness and somehow sustains worse damage due to negligence or mistakes. This may constitute medical malpractice. A doctor or other medical professional can make any number of errors that could result in an SCI, including the following:

  • Failing to follow proper safety measures, leading to a fall
  • Failing to diagnose or treat a spinal infection, stroke, or tumor
  • Making an error during neurosurgery or orthopedic surgery
  • Making an error in administering a spinal anesthetic or block
  • Delaying surgical procedure
  • Contributing to a birth injury

Assault and Violence Can Damage the Spinal Cord

If a person injures you intentionally or due to gross negligence, you may be entitled to compensation if you file a legal claim. Such injuries include those sustained during fights, sexual assaults, gun or other weapon violence, etc. In addition to criminal charges, you may also be able to file a civil lawsuit to recover the cost of things like medical bills.

Other Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries

There are many other ways that an SCI can occur, including motorcycle and pedestrian accidents, boating accidents, sports injuries, and more. Hiring a personal injury lawyer specializing in SCI cases can help you navigate the complex legal process and work to ensure you receive the compensation for losses you deserve regardless of the reason for the injury.

Who Could Be Liable for an SCI?

Liability is determined by a process that requires a personal injury attorney to connect the links in the chain of causation. First, they must demonstrate that the accused party owed their client a duty of care.

This refers to the obligation one party has to act with a reasonable level of caution towards another. The plaintiff's lawyer must then show that the breach of this duty, of the act of negligence, led to the accident that caused their client's injuries and damages.

The following are some examples of parties who can cause SCIs due to misconduct or negligence:

  • A negligent driver or employer of a driver causing a traffic accident
  • A surgeon who injuries the spinal cord during a procedure or operation
  • A doctor who fails to enact immediate medical intervention when an x-ray or radiology imaging of a patient finds an infection, clots, or injury of the spinal cord
  • A landlord doesn't repair a hazardous condition in a building that causes a person to fall or get injured
  • An emergency department physician misdiagnosing a broken back, resulting in paralysis when the person is moved improperly

What Damages Can I Recover in a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit?

 Any settlement or judgment our spinal cord injury lawyers can obtain for you after an accident will help cover many expenses. In most personal injury lawsuits, damages will fall into one of two categories of compensatory damages. The most straightforward are economic damages, which have a set monetary value and typically come with receipts. For example, injured accident victims could likely recover economic damages for the cost of a wheelchair ramp being installed to make their home accessible.

Plaintiffs with spinal cord injuries may also be able to collect non-economic damages. Florida law defines non-economic damages as "nonfinancial losses that would not have occurred but for the injury giving rise to the cause of action". They usually pertain to emotional losses, such as pain and suffering or loss of consortium.

Examples of damages in a spinal cord injury lawsuit:

The pain and suffering from a spinal cord injury is often permanent. Significant spinal cord injuries may result in herniated discs, which require surgery, or even paralysis to either the lower body or above the waist. These injuries can have a significant impact on your ability to provide for your family, care for yourself, and maintain the quality of life you are used to. A capable spinal cord injury attorney will be able to review your records and receipts to calculate the value of your past, present, and future losses.

Why Should I Hire a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer?

Spinal cord injuries are some of the most severe injuries a person can suffer. As a result, the damages suffered because of spinal cord injuries are particularly intense. Seeking compensation for these spinal cord injury damages can potentially be complicated. So, hiring a personal injury attorney is useful.

A quality spinal cord injury lawyer will have the skills and resources necessary to help you deal with obstacles preventing you from getting the compensation you need for spinal cord damages. Since the damages are often very high in spinal cord injury lawsuits, insurance companies will pull out all the stops to fight a case. Lacking an attorney in this situation can put you in a very difficult place where the insurance company has all the power.

Failure to understand the common conventions and procedures of these cases can lead to mistakes that can harm your case and reduce the compensation you can potentially receive. An experienced lawyer can level the playing field and ensure that you are not taken advantage of, and your case is taken seriously. They can provide you with the insight and tools necessary to give your case the best chance possible at securing fair compensation to cover spinal cord injury damages.

Why Should I Hire Dolman Law Group's Florida Personal Injury Lawyers?

Dolman Law Group is a nationally recognized and award-winning injury law firm. Our team has over 115 years of combined experience as Florida personal injury lawyers. Our serious and catastrophic injury law firm has handled over 10,000 personal injury cases and claims as of March 1, 2021. We maintain offices on both coasts with locations in Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, Bradenton, North Miami Beach, Doral, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, and Boca Raton.

Dolman Law Group has the substantial financial resources and experience to handle the most significant and complicated catastrophic injury cases. We have successfully handled lawsuits against corporate giants like Target, Walt Disney World, Walmart, Bloomin Brands (owner of Outback Steakhouse and Bonefish Grill), Publix, and practically every auto insurance company.

At Dolman Law Group, we have years of legal practice under our belt to best help you through this difficult juncture. Time limitations do apply; the sooner you file your claim, the better. Spinal cord injury claims often result in a complex litigation process. Thus, it is vital to know all the facts. Let us review your case and provide you with a free consultation and case evaluation.

Dolman Law Group Recovers Maximum Compensation for Injured Clients

Spinal cord damage is the type of injury that affects you for a lifetime. At Dolman Law Group, we make it a priority to pursue maximum compensation for our clients for the agony they had to endure. We have recovered millions of dollars worth of damages for our injured clients, including a recent 1.5 million dollar settlement involving a spinal cord injury.

Former clients of Dolman Law Group appreciate not just the results we achieve, but also the treatment they receive throughout the process. We make it a practice to treat our injured clients' needs are our number one priority. We keep in close communication with our clients and don't pressure them to settle for inadequate settlement offers.

After suffering from an accident resulting in a spinal cord injury, the last thing that should be on your mind is trying to navigate your medical expenses and legal process on your own. We are here to help. Our experienced team will do everything in our power to negotiate a fair settlement.  

FAQs About Spinal Cord Injuries and Serious Spinal Cord Accidents

Should I try to collect evidence from the accident, and if so what type of documentation is helpful?

Collecting any evidence you can at the scene of the accident will be extremely important when it comes to the success of your claim. The more evidence you have, the better, however, anything is better than nothing. Below are a few examples of beneficial evidence:

  • Photographs of the incident or accident scene (such as damaged vehicles or a wet floor)
  • Traffic or security camera footage
  • Vehicle plate number
  • Photograph of the driver's license
  • Witness testimony

Can I still get compensation if my spinal cord injury happened at work? 

After being injured in an accident on the job, you may be wondering "Will I be able to continue working and provide for my family if I suffer from a spinal cord injury while at work?" Through what is known as workers' compensation, you will be provided benefits for things such as lost wages and medical bills you might incur. While the use of workers' compensation does not allow you to sue your employer, it does allow you to sue any third-party who might have caused your injury through their negligence.

What qualifications do your spinal cord injury lawyers have?

Matthew Dolman – Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

Matthew Dolman has served as lead counsel in over 1000 Florida lawsuits and has specifically litigated hundreds of claims in Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tampa, New Port Richey, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale. He is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for settlement or verdicts in excess of $1 Million and $2 Million, respectively. Matt has been selected on multiple occasions as a “Florida Legal Elite” by fellow Florida attorneys. Less than 1.5% of practicing lawyers have achieved said honor. Similarly, he has been selected by his colleagues as a “Florida Super Lawyer,” which is another prominent distinction.

Stanley Gipe – Florida Spinal Cord Injury Attorney

Stanley Gipe is a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, which qualifies him as an expert in trial practice. Stan has served as the first chair in an ever-growing number of jury trials. He heads the firm's litigation department and maintains involvement in every last lawsuit our firm files. Even when he is not lead counsel, Stan will assist in setting up case strategy and how we will thematically present the case at mediation and trial when necessary.

Dolman Law Group Can Help With Your Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit

The spinal cord injury lawyers of Dolman Law Group have a reputation as dedicated advocates. We will go above and beyond to secure maximum compensation that acknowledges your physical, financial, and emotional losses. Dolman Law Group will be by your side every step of the way.

This includes taking your personal injury lawsuit to trial if insurance companies are not willing to offer a settlement that recognizes what your claim is worth. Our team will work tirelessly to provide you with the highest quality of service.

We have experience handling many types of spinal cord injury cases and personal injury lawsuits. These are injuries and cases that not every law firm has experience handling. For a free case evaluation and consultation, call us today at (727) 451-6900 or contact us through our website.

Matthew Dolman

Clearwater Personal Injury and Insurance Attorney

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 represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess or $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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