Spinal cord injuries can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and have a significant impact on your future. If you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation. At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we understand how traumatic an injury to the spine can be, and we will work tirelessly to make sure you get the damages you deserve.
What Damages Can I Recover After a Spinal Cord Injury?
After a spinal cord injury, it is likely that you will undergo numerous treatments during the recovery process. You may also require home modifications and additional assistance in your day-to-day life. These costs can add up quickly; the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) estimates that first-year expenses alone can range from about $375,000 to over $1 million.
Damages can support you through your injury’s initial expenses and lifetime financial burdens. You can recover compensation for any of the following:
- Steroid injections
- Prescriptions and pain medications
- Extended hospital stays
- At-home attendant care
- Physical therapy and rehabilitative services
- Wheelchairs or other mobility devices
- Chair lifts, ramps, access devices for the shower and kitchen, and other home modifications
You can also recover compensation for the time your injury keeps you out of work. This could be the time you took off for doctor’s appointments or to recover from surgery. Compensation can also include lost earning capacity if you needed to work less hours, take a lesser-paying job, or retire completely.
The NSCISC estimates the indirect costs of spinal cord injuries, including lost income and productivity, are over $77,000 annually as of 2019. The estimates in your case may be different but depend on your injury and the unique factors of your life.
How Our Lawyers Determine What You Need
While research and statistics like those provided by the NSCISC are helpful in illustrating the general impact of spinal cord injuries, we don’t want you to receive general compensation; we want you to receive specific compensation that meets your needs.
Not only do we gather documents and work with experts (such as your doctor and vocational experts) to determine the value of your claim, but we also analyze what makes your losses unique to your situation. That could include looking at your:
- Career and whether you can continue in your field
- Relationships and how the injury has negatively impacted them
- Hobbies and whether you can continue them
- Medical history and how it interacts with your new condition
- Whether you can continue to support your family
- Your mental health and what psychological trauma the injury has caused
Some of these issues lie on a spectrum. For instance, your injury may have required you to completely change careers, or it could have reduced the hours you could work. We go over the specifics with you and with experts to ensure your losses aren’t undervalued.
For a free legal consultation with a spinal cord injury lawyer serving Fort Myers, 800-747-3733
Filing a Claim with the Insurance Company
To recover compensation, we must file a claim with the insurance company. However, with whom we file depends on how you sustained your injury. If you suffered your injury in a car accident, we will file with the other driver’s auto insurer. If you suffered harm in a slip and fall, we will file with the other party’s business or homeowner’s insurance.
The insurance company will thoroughly investigate your claim and may make you a settlement offer. As it investigates, the adjuster on your case will do whatever they can to avoid paying you what you deserve. They may:
- Trick you into incriminating yourself in a recorded statement
- Use surveillance footage of your activities post-accident to downplay the severity of your injuries
- Comb through your social media postings to try to argue you aren’t as hurt as you claim
- Pressure you into accepting a settlement before you’ve secured legal help
- Deliberately drag out the process, hoping you will settle for less or drop the claim
- Claim that you were at fault for the injury or that another party is liable instead
As your attorneys, it is our job to protect you from these tricks by becoming the point of contact for the insurer and providing the adjuster with any information they need to complete their investigation as quickly as possible. We can also keep adjusters on their toes by pushing them to respond promptly and by countering their attempts to undervalue your case.
How We Build Your Claim
It is also our responsibility to build the strongest case possible after a Fort Myers accident. To recover compensation, our spinal cord injury attorneys must:
- Establish the other party owed you a duty of care – For example, store owners owe customers a duty to reasonably maintain the property in a safe condition. If we have evidence showing that the party owned the property, that will likely be enough to establish duty.
- Prove the other party was negligent by breaching the duty owed to you – We can establish negligence by introducing local laws into evidence to show the other party violated the law or by introducing police reports, witness testimony, photo evidence, and other documentation to show there was a breach.
- Connect the breach of duty to your injuries – In addition to proving there was a breach of duty, we will need to show that your spinal cord injuries would not have occurred if the party had not breached its duty to you. For example, if we have an accident reconstructionist and physician testify in court, she can estimate the speed the negligent party’s vehicle was traveling at the time of the crash and establish causation.
- Present your injuries – Medical reports and expert testimony can show the severity of your injuries, the treatments you will need, and other details. Employment records and pay stubs can quantify your lost wages.
We will also carefully evaluate all settlement offers and determine whether the amount offered is enough to cover past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity.
Even after hours of negotiations, insurers may still be unwilling to pay you the damages you deserve. At that point, we may benefit from filing a lawsuit.
Fort MyersSpinal Cord Injury Lawyer Near Me 800-747-3733
Filing a Lawsuit in Court
Because spinal cord injuries are generally severe and long-lasting, it is especially important for spinal cord injury victims to receive fair compensation after an accident. If the insurer refuses to make you a fair offer, we will bring your case in front of a judge.
Your Deadline for Filing
In Florida, you generally have four years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit (Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a)). We don’t waste this time. In addition to using that window to negotiate with insurance adjusters and hopefully settle out of court, we also utilize that time to:
- Allow you to reach a “new normal” that will highlight what financial support you will need in the future
- Track down and preserve evidence, such as witness statements, expert testimony, and medical records
- Investigate the liable party, as well as identify other possible forms of negligence
- Determine if there are any exceptions to the statute of limitations in your case
Some cases have a shorter window to file. Others can be tolled due to certain circumstances, such as when the person responsible cannot be found. For example, if you were injured in a hit-and-run or if the liable party fled the state, we could explore pausing the statute of limitations.
Our spinal cord injury lawyers can discuss the time frame of your Fort Myers case, including how long we have to file and what we’ll do during that time. Since the time can be short, don’t delay in getting more information!
How We Build Your Lawsuit
Once we decide to file a lawsuit against the parties responsible for your injuries (defendants), we will start preparing your case for trial. Because we handle all litigation in-house, it will save time and money. And, because we gather the evidence we need for a lawsuit during the claims process, we create a smooth transition into a lawsuit.
To make the process feel even smoother, we:
- Offer you access to your lawyer’s phone number
- Remain responsive and accessible
- Provide regular updates without needing to be asked
- Help schedule appointments and connect you with experts
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Call Us Today to Recover Compensation for Your Spinal Cord Injury
If your claim or lawsuit is successful, you will recover damages based on the severity of your injuries and how the injuries will impact your future. Many spinal injury victims will recover both economic (e.g., medical costs, lost wages) and non-economic (e.g., pain and suffering, mental anguish) damages.
The legal system also recognizes that the families of the victim may be suffering. As a result, the judge may award damages to your spouse for loss of companionship or services.
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine knows how frustrating and devastating it can be to know that your injuries were completely preventable. We hold negligent drivers, property owners, and employers in Fort Myers liable for their mistakes and the pain they cause accident victims and their families. Contact our firm for a free consultation and find out more about what we can do for you and your loved ones.
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