Spinal cord injuries can prove devastating and may even change an individual's life forever, affecting not only the ability to work and maintain relationships, but also to walk and live independently. If you suffered a spinal cord injury in an Orlando accident because of another person's wrongful, negligent, or intentional actions, you should seek justice for the harm you've sustained with our Orlando spinal cord injury lawyers.
An Orlando spinal cord injury attorney from Dolman Law Group is here for you, ready to provide the legal assistance you need and fight for fair compensation on your behalf. We offer free legal case consultations for accident victims living with spinal cord injuries and their families.
About Dolman Law Group
At Dolman Law Group, our award-winning Orlando injury attorneys have successfully argued complex injury cases all over Florida. We have earned a reputation for fighting vigorously on behalf of our injured clients. Our attorneys have litigated claims against powerful defendants, such as Walt Disney World, Hyatt, Marriott, Walmart, WaWa's Publix, Winn Dixie, and many car insurance carriers. We have the resources and the experience to take on even the most challenging claims.
We always strive to seek fair compensation in every case we take on while also providing the personal attention that every case deserves. Because of this dedication and drive, we have obtained millions of dollars on our clients' behalf in settlement awards and jury trial verdicts, including the following results:
- $3.85 million for a semi-truck accident resulting in brain damage and significant spinal cord injuries
- $1.58 million for a car accident resulting in two herniated disks impinging on the victim's spinal cord
While these results do not guarantee a similar outcome in your case, they do demonstrate our ability to seek and recover significant compensation for our clients based on serious back and spinal cord injuries. These injuries are expensive to treat and manage and can affect almost every aspect of the victim's life and their immediate family members' lives. We understand this and pursue appropriate compensation for our clients in every case we handle.
What does It Mean to Have a Spinal Cord Injury?
A spinal cord injury often results from damage to any part of the spinal cord or the nerves at the end of the spinal canal. These injuries often result from a sudden blow or cut to the spine because of disease or trauma. A spinal cord injury will often lead to a loss of function, strength, and sensation below the injury site.
However, more importantly, the spinal cord does not need to be severed for this loss of function to occur. An individual can still lose function, even with the spinal cord fully intact. This is more likely to cause an incomplete injury. However, this does not mean the symptoms, impairments, and complications are less complex and severe.
Sadly, doctors have not yet discovered a cure for this devastating injury. In some cases, assistive devices and rehabilitation can help individuals with spinal cord injuries lead independent and productive lives. In others, the individual could need help with everyday activities, mechanical feeding and ventilation, or even around-the-clock nursing care and observation.
Two Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Doctors generally divide spinal cord injuries into different types: complete and incomplete spinal cord trauma.
- Complete spinal cord injury: If an injured individual loses all sensory and motor functions below the spinal cord injury site, doctors refer to this injury as a complete injury. Generally, tetraplegia and paraplegia result from complete spinal cord injuries.
- Incomplete spinal cord injury: An incomplete spinal cord injury refers to partial damage to the spinal cord, which often impacts the ability to feel and move, depending on where the injury occurred on the spinal cord and its severity.
While those with incomplete injuries are more likely to recover abilities in general, in many cases, the practical differences between these two types of spinal cord trauma are minimal. Your doctor and therapists will discuss your injury and prognosis with you and can offer additional information about this.
Whether you suffered a complete or incomplete spinal cord injury will not affect your civil case much—but your prognosis, necessary treatment, rehabilitation, and recovery will.
The Different Levels of Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord consists of four different sections, including the sacral, lumbar, thoracic, and cervical sections. Each section protects a specific group of nerves that control the body. The effects of a spinal cord injury will often depend on where the injury occurs on the spinal cord. For example:
- A sacral injury: These injuries affect the pelvic organs, buttocks, hips, and the back of the thighs. Following this type of spinal cord trauma, victims generally still can walk.
- A lumbar injury: Individuals who suffer this type of spinal cord injury typically have issues with their hips and legs and may need a wheelchair or leg braces to get around.
- A thoracic injury: These injuries impact the mid-back, abdominal muscles, and upper chest. When individuals suffer this type of injury, they will often keep their hand and arm functions.
- A cervical injury: This specific injury constitutes the most severe type of spinal cord injury, as it affects the neck and head region, particularly above the shoulders.
Where the injury occurred along your spine can affect your financial recovery greatly because it determines your level of disability, the treatment and support you need, how long you may be in rehabilitation, and even whether you can return to your career. Those with cervical injuries generally require significantly more care, support, and medical equipment than someone with a lumbar or sacral injury.
Common Orlando Accidents Resulting in Spinal Cord Injuries
Although a spinal cord injury can develop for many reasons, some of the Orlando accidents that result in this type of trauma include:
- Falling from significant heights
- Acts of violence, including gunshot or knife wounds
- Automobile accidents, especially at Orlando's most dangerous intersections, including I-4 and 408 Interchange, W. Sand Lake Road and Universal Boulevard, and W. Par Street and Edgewater Drive
- Recreational and sporting activities, including boating or pool accidents
- Alcohol-related accidents
Common Spinal Cord Injury Complications
Spinal cord trauma can result in numerous symptoms and signs. If there is a risk of a spinal cord injury, first responders should be called, and the victim should be immobilized and taken for emergency medical assessment. This will ensure the quickest diagnosis and care with as little opportunity as possible for further injuries.
Common indications that you have suffered a spinal cord injury include:
- An inability to move
- A loss of bladder and bowel control
- An altered sensation or a loss of sensation, including the ability to feel touch, cold, or heat
- An exaggerated reflex or significant spasms
- Changes in sexual sensitivity, fertility, and sexual function
- Difficulty breathing or clearing secretions from the lungs
- Intense pain that results from damage to the nerve fibers in the spinal cord
- Mental health issues, such as significant anxiety or depression
- Wellness and fitness problems
If you experience any of the following emergency symptoms after the accident, seek immediate medical help:
- Paralysis or incoordination in any part of the body
- Extreme pressure or pain in the head, back, or neck
- Loss of sensation or numbness in the hands, toes, fingers, or feet
- Difficulty walking and balancing
- Difficulty breathing
- An oddly twisted back or neck
Time Limitations to Bring an Injury Claim Following an Orlando Spinal Cord Injury Accident
If you want to bring an injury claim following an Orlando spinal cord injury accident, you need to be aware that you only have a certain amount of time to do so. The statute of limitations dictates the maximum time you have to file a suit following an alleged offense. If you do not bring this lawsuit within that allotted deadline, you may lose your right to pursue compensation for your losses and injuries.
In Florida, the statute of limitations to bring an injury claim following a spinal cord injury accident provides injured individuals with four years from the injury date to file a claim. However, the law may shorten or extend this time, depending on the various statute of limitations exceptions.
If you've suffered harm in an Orlando spinal cord injury accident, don't wait. Reach out to a spinal cord injury accident lawyer, such as those at Dolman Law Group, as soon as possible, and have our lawyers figure out exactly how much time you have to file your case.
Compensation Available in an Orlando Spinal Cord Injury Accident Lawsuit
Following an Orlando spinal cord injury accident, you may pursue damages for your harm and losses. In Florida, these damages include:
Economic Damages: These damages include the verifiable and easily measurable losses that result from an accident, such as:
- Past, present, and future medical bills, including doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, emergency services, prescription medications, and medical assistive devices
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- Rehabilitative therapy, such as occupational and physical therapy
- At-home nursing care
- Personal property repair expenses
- Household replacement services, including childcare or home cleaning services
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Non-Economic Damages: These damages refer to the subjective losses that often prove more difficult to calculate. They may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional and mental anguish
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of a limb
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of reputation
- Loss of consortium
Punitive Damages: Compared to other damages that compensate the victim for their harm and losses, punitive damages depend on the defendant's actions. The court only awards these damages to punish the defendant for wrongful and egregious actions and deter others from committing similar actions. In Florida, victims can only obtain punitive damages if they can provide clear and convincing evidence that the defendant's gross negligence or intentional misconduct caused the injury.
Actions to Take Following an Orlando Spinal Cord Injury Accident
Following an Orlando spinal cord injury accident, you need to take action. Taking the following steps will not only help keep you safe, but also protect your legal rights. Following a spinal cord injury accident, you should do the following:
Contact the Authorities
After the spinal cord injury accident, you need to contact 911 immediately. This constitutes the quickest way to alert the authorities, including emergency medical personnel, that you need help. Once the police arrive, they can investigate the incident and jot down their findings in their police report. If you decide to pursue legal action, this report can provide valuable information regarding what happened.
Gather Evidence From the Scene
Even though it may prove difficult following a spinal cord injury accident, if you can, try to take videos and pictures of the scene, including your visible injuries, the weather conditions, the vehicles involved, the dangerous conditions that caused your accident, and any other evidence that can help show what occurred. You can also ask a witness to help you do this if necessary.
Obtain Witness Information
If people at the scene saw what happened, get their names and numbers. Their statements can provide useful information regarding the incident and back up your claim.
See a Doctor Immediately
Even if you believe you do not need medical help, you should still see a doctor. Spinal cord injuries can often take days to manifest, yet the longer you wait, the more serious this injury can become. Additionally, these doctors can document everything they learn about your injury in their medical report, providing you with evidence of a direct connection between your spinal cord injury and the accident.
Get Legal Assistance Following an Orlando Spinal Cord Injury Accident
If you have suffered harm in an Orlando spinal cord injury accident, you have the right to hire a lawyer to help you. At Dolman Law Group, our spinal cord injury attorneys stand ready to fight on your behalf and seek the compensation you require. Once retained, our lawyers can:
- Evaluate your legal claim, go over your legal options, and answer all the questions and concerns you have after your accident
- Investigate your Orlando spinal cord injury accident and gather the evidence required to prove fault and damages
- Tackle all the negotiations and discussions with the other side, including the insurance company, and fight for a fair settlement offer
- Bring in experts, such as accident reconstructionists and doctors, to substantiate your claim
- Take your case to trial, if required, and pursue fair damages on your behalf
Whether we can negotiate a settlement with the insurance company representing the liable party or need to sue them in civil court and present evidence for a verdict and award in your favor, our team can take care of all aspects of your spinal cord injury legal case. We want you to focus on your healing, rehabilitation, and recovery during this critical time. We will take care of the rest.
If you or a family member suffered a spinal cord injury in an Orlando accident, do not wait any longer to seek legal help. Contact Dolman Law Group today for a free case review, and let our spinal cord injury attorneys show you how we can get you the legal help you need and fight for justice and compensation on your behalf.
During your free case review, you can discuss the details of your accident and ask questions about your legal options.