Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

May 7, 2024 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman

A spinal cord injury is catastrophic and can happen to anyone during many types of accidents. Sadly, spine injuries are commonplace as a result of car accidents, motorcycle crashes, or other types of traumatic incidents or falls that result in personal injury. When a back injury occurs, the effects of a damaged spine can be physically, mentally, and financially disastrous. A skilled spinal cord injury lawyer can help you recover financial compensation and find peace of mind by filing a spinal cord injury claim.

Dolman Law Group has successfully handled numerous spinal cord injury cases and represented injured people who suffer from paraplegia and quadriplegia as a result of spinal cord damage. We are a nationally recognized team of personal injury attorneys that other law firms often rely on to handle their most significant and complicated cases.

When you need a highly qualified spine injury lawyer, we will support you throughout the process of filing a personal injury claim. Our experienced and award-winning personal injury law firm has the necessary skills and financial resources to handle complicated spine injury cases.

A Skilled Injury Lawyer Must Know How a Spinal Cord Injury Impacts Your Body

A serious spinal cord injury may disrupt the nerve pathways that send and receive information from the brain. In cases of extensive damage, the nerves below the injury may still be active yet unable 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 someone else's negligence, you do not have to face your future alone. Reach out to our spinal cord injury attorneys today for a free consultation.

What Symptoms Can Spinal Cord Injury Victims Experience?

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

What Types of Injuries Can a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney at Dolman Law Group Handle?

An acute spinal cord injury is often an unexpected event. These accidents can result from seemingly minor trauma and yet have debilitating consequences. 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 seriously injured, including:

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 injured person will completely lose motor and nerve function, sensation, and movement below the injury. There will be total paralysis below the injured area, which results in a condition called paraplegia if the injury affects the cervical spine or quadriplegia if the lumbar spine is involved.

Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries Can Partially Limit Function or Sensation

Some of the nervous system's signals can still be sent via the spinal column 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 fall into one of five categories:

Spinal Contusions/Nerve Damage Are Less Severe But Still Serious

These ailments are the most common type of spinal cord injury; they are usually temporary and have a swift recovery timeline. However, a spinal contusion can still be quite serious, as it may be accompanied by swelling, bleeding, and pain. These symptoms can lead to additional nerve damage and heart issues.

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What Treatment Can You Expect for a Spinal Cord Injury?

Paramedics will likely begin treatment by checking a patient’s breathing. An injury to the spinal cord in the upper neck can interrupt breathing, which may require the need for a ventilator or breathing tube.

The following step is to immobilize the patient by utilizing a backboard and cervical collar to prevent movement that could further harm the spine. EMTs will then limit their treatments to figure out the exact 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.

In Severe Cases, Spinal Cord Surgery is Required 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 goal of spinal cord surgery is to alleviate the strain on the spinal cord by eliminating fractured vertebrae that could be putting pressure on 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.

How Do Spinal Cord Injuries Occur?

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 have experience handling 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 Lead to Spinal Cord Injuries (SCIs)

Car accidents account for many spinal cord injury (SCI) cases. Although many of us take driving for granted, the truth is it's 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. These accidents often go hand in hand with other catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injury.

So, who can be held responsible for injuries stemming from a car crash? It depends on the insurance laws in the state where the accident happened. For example, Florida is a "no-fault" state, meaning that the insurance claim process requires each driver's own personal insurance to pay for their medical bills and other economic losses. However, if a driver is negligent and causes another person's injuries (through intoxicated or careless driving, for example), they may be liable 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, the owner of the property 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 Can Lead to a Spinal Cord Injury Claim

Occasionally, a person visits a health provider or has surgery or a procedure for an injury or illness and somehow sustains additional injury 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 spinal injuries, including the following:

  • Failing to follow proper safety measures that cause 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 Other Physical Violence Can Damage the Spinal Cord

If a person injures you intentionally or due to gross negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses through a personal injury 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 your financial costs, 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 with extensive experience in SCI cases can help you navigate the complex legal process and work to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, regardless of which type of accident caused your injury.

Who Can Your Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Hold Liable for Your SCI?

Liability is determined by a process that requires a personal injury lawyer 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, or 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 severe spinal cord injury due to misconduct or negligence:

  • A negligent driver or employer of a driver who causes a motor vehicle accident
  • 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 property owner or landlord who fails to repair dangerous conditions, which then leads to injury
  • An emergency department physician misdiagnosing a broken back, resulting in paralysis when the person is moved improperly

What Damages Can a Spine Injury Lawyer Recover for You in a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit?

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

A plaintiff with a spinal cord injury case may also be able to collect non-economic damages. Florida law defines non-economic damages as “non-financial 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 consequences of a spinal cord injury can be long-lasting and severe, potentially leading to herniated discs, which require surgery, or paralysis of either the lower body or torso. 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 skilled spinal cord injury attorney will be able to review your records and receipts to formulate an estimation of the value of your past, present, and future losses.

Why You Should 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 from these injuries are particularly intense. Seeking compensation for these spinal cord injury damages can potentially be complicated. So, hiring a personal injury attorney is critically important.

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 that your case is taken seriously. The Dolman Law Group team understands what needs to be done, and we have the tools needed to maximize your chances of getting the money you deserve for spinal cord injury losses.

Why Should You Choose Dolman Law Group's Florida Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers?

Dolman Law Group is a nationally recognized and award-winning injury law firm. Our team has over 120 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. 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'll use our years of legal experience to help you through this difficult time. Legal deadlines will apply to your claim, so the sooner you reach out, 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 during a free consultation and case evaluation.

Our Mission: Recover Maximum Compensation for Injured Clients

Spinal cord damage can affect you for a lifetime. At Dolman Law Group, we prioritize pursuing maximum compensation for our clients' agony. 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 the treatment they receive throughout the process. We make it a practice to treat our injured clients as our number one priority. We keep 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 Spinal Injury Accidents

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

If you've sustained a serious back injury, you probably can't do anything immediately after your accident. However, if someone else can collect evidence at the scene of the accident, it will be extremely important to the success of your claim. The more evidence you have, the better, and we may be able to help gather evidence for you.

Here 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 related to your accident. 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?

Not all lawyers handle personal injury cases, and not all personal injury lawyers have the skills and experience to handle spine injury cases properly. At Dolman Law Group, our dedicated team of injury lawyers is led by two highly acclaimed Florida attorneys:

Matthew Dolman – Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

Matthew Dolman has served as lead counsel in over 1,000 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 12% of practicing lawyers have achieved this 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 can assist in case strategy and how we will thematically present the case at mediation and trial when necessary.

Dolman Law Group is Your Best Choice When You Need a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

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 addresses your physical, financial, and emotional losses. When you partner with Dolman Law Group, we will be by your side through every legal challenge you may face.

We are also fully capable of taking your personal injury lawsuit to trial if insurance companies are not willing to offer a settlement that recognizes your claim's worth. Our team will work tirelessly to provide you with the highest-quality service possible.

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

 

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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