A spinal cord injury is devastating. It can change the course of your life forever. You may experience extreme emotional stress, on top of mounting medical and rehabilitation bills. If you or a loved one was recently involved in an accident and suffered a spinal cord injury as a result, you may be entitled to compensation for those injuries.
Whether an injury has been caused by a car accident, medical malpractice, slip and fall, or any other type of accident, it is very important to seek legal advice. This type of injury can take away the ability to work, socialize, and pay for necessary care.
Justin Weinstein understands how difficult these types of injuries and cases can be and is here to represent you and your loved ones.
Contact an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer for spinal cord injuries at 954-845-0505 today for a free consultation to discuss your claim.
When a spinal injury occurs, partial or full loss of motor control and immense pain are often a result. In severe cases, a person is paralyzed partially or fully. And, with the spinal cord being responsible for multiple body functions, including breathing, controlling your bladder, and moving your head, even a minor spinal cord injury can significantly change your quality of life.
Spinal cord injuries may arise from a number of different causes, but a few of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries in the United States include:
- Motor vehicle accidents - 38% of spinal cord injuries in 2015 were caused by a motor vehicle accident.
- Falls – Falls cause more than one-quarter of spinal cord injuries, and are most common in those over the age of 65.
- Acts of violence – Spinal cord injuries are often a result of violent encounters, including gunshot and knife wounds.
- Sports and recreation injuries - Athletic activities, such as impact sports and diving in shallow water, often cause spinal cord injuries.
- Alcohol - Alcohol use, particularly long-term alcohol abuse, can account for spinal cord injuries.
- Diseases - Cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis and inflammation of the spinal cord also can cause spinal cord injuries.
Common Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
There are many types of spinal cord injuries, some more severe than others. However, no matter the extent of your injury, if it results from another person or organization's negligence, a spinal cord injury attorney can help you. Even slight injuries can leave you with staggering medical bills, the need to take time off work, resulting in lost wages, and more.
A spinal cord injury occurs when either the cord itself or the nerves at the end of the spinal cord are damaged. Your injury may result in loss of movement, the inability to feel sensory objects, muscle spasms, extreme pain, weakness, poor coordination, loss of balance, difficulty breathing, and more. Spinal cord injuries are classified into two types: complete and incomplete.
Complete Spinal Cord Injury
A complete spinal cord injury occurs when you lose all feeling and motor function below the point where your spine sustains the injury. Complete spinal cord injuries may result in either paraplegia or quadriplegia.
Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury
An incomplete spinal cord injury means that you retain some ability to feel and move below the point of injury. Incomplete spinal cord injuries are less severe than those deemed "complete," but this does not mean you cannot receive compensation.
Your Legal Rights after a Spinal Cord Injury
Contact a spinal cord injury lawyer immediately to discuss your rights following an accident. Your attorney will help determine if there is enough proof to show that another party's negligence or failure to protect your safety caused your injury. They will inform you of what documentation to collect to support your claim and what actions to take.
After you suffer an injury, you retain the right to direct all correspondence from either another individual or an organization to your lawyer. Furthermore, you do not have to answer any questions from the opposing side's attorney without your lawyer present.
You also have the right to receive all copies of your medical records. You may have to file a formal request in writing with the treating physician or hospital; this is something a spinal cord injury lawyer can help you do.
Disability Rights and Discrimination
If you suffer permanent damage as the result of your injury and cannot work or function in daily life as you used to, you will likely become eligible to receive disability payments. Having an attorney on your side who can help you navigate the paperwork and properly file your claim will help you get the most amount of money.
Furthermore, unfortunately, those with severe spinal cord injuries are more likely to face discrimination in the workplace or school. These circumstances may warrant a lawsuit. A spinal cord injury attorney can provide you with direction if that is the route you need to take.
Additionally, if you have a child under the age of 18 who suffers a spinal cord injury, you have the right to file a claim or lawsuit on their behalf. Similarly, if you are now the caretaker and legal guardian of a loved one with a spinal cord injury and can no longer care for themselves, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit. Speak with a spinal cord injury attorney for a case evaluation to see your options.
Insurance coverage normally will not cover all expenses, including loss of income, which commonly stems from this traumatic injury. However, victims can file a personal injury claim to pursue compensation if another person or company is liable for the injury.
To prevail in such a claim, the injured person must prove that the other party acted negligently or by an act of omission. This can be accomplished using an experienced spinal cord injury lawyer like Justin Weinstein.
Why Hire a Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Suffering a spinal cord injury can change your entire life. If you can no longer work, physically care for your children, or require at-home care yourself, there will be a major adjustment period. While there are many medical costs up-front, the costs will likely only continue to rise over time.
If your injury results from another person's negligence, you should not be responsible for this bill. When you file a personal injury claim, your attorney will help you compile a list of costs. These will include the care you are currently receiving and estimated costs in the future. This will help determine the potential value of your case.
Pain and Suffering
You may also be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. Spinal cord injuries are a big deal, and you are likely in mental anguish. It is completely understandable. An experienced spinal cord injury attorney will know how to factor this amount into your settlement demand.
Strengthening Your Case
When you hire an attorney to represent you in a personal injury case you are showing insurance companies and the party you are suing that you will not stop fighting for your rights. A lawyer will help you gain expert medical testimony, which can significantly help your case. Additionally, they will help seek out any witnesses to the accident and get statements. All of these things can help you get the most out of your settlement.
Furthermore, having an attorney on your side gives you greater negotiation power when settling your claim. Often, an insurance company will try to pay you less than what you deserve. And another person's attorney will try to get the best settlement deal for their client.
For this reason, having an attorney who will not accept the first offer is essential. They will negotiate your case, and if you cannot reach an appropriate settlement negotiation, represent you at trial.
Florida spinal cord injury attorney Justin Weinstein understands that spinal injury victims struggle physically and mentally with their injuries. When a person or company's carelessness causes a spinal cord injury, they should be held responsible for their actions.
Justin Weinstein can help you navigate through the paperwork and legal requirements of filing a personal injury claim. With an experienced personal injury lawyer in Florida on your side, you can fight for the compensation you need to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and your pain and suffering.