You could be facing millions of dollars over your lifetime to cover your medical bills after a spinal cord injury. If another party caused your injury, we can hold it accountable and recover the compensation you need. The attorneys at Anidjar & Levine have settled multiple full and partial paralysis cases and can help you with your personal injury claim.
What should I expect from the spinal cord injury process?
Under Florida law, you have four years from the date of the incident to file for compensation for your injuries. However, you should meet with one of our personal injury attorneys as soon as possible after your injury. When we first meet with a potential client suffering from a spinal cord injury, our goal is to find out more about who is responsible for the injuries in question. This involves:
Investigating the Incident
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistics Center (NSCISC), motor vehicle accidents, such as car, truck, or motorcycle crashes, are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. However, many other types of accidents can cause spinal cord injuries including:
- Slip and falls
- Construction accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Sports and other recreational activities
- Violent acts
To get the full story of how your injury occurred, we will ask you to describe the accident in detail. We may ask you a variety of questions about the accident including:
- Were there any witnesses?
- Where did the incident occur?
- How did the incident occur?
- Who do you believe is responsible for what happened?
- Do you believe you are partially responsible for the accident? (If you are, you can still recover damages, just a lesser amount. Under Florida’s comparative negligence law, victims partially liable for their own injuries can recover damages limited by the amount of liability. For example, if the court finds you are 40 percent negligent, you will receive 40 percent less in damages.)
- Are you able to work? Did you have to work less hours or change careers?
- What are your injuries and what is your treatment plan?
- What is your prognosis?
- Can we access your medical records to gather more information about your injuries?
Once we have your side of the story, we will conduct a thorough investigation to find out more details about the accident and start preparing your case for court. This will require us to:
- Collect surveillance video and photos of the scene
- Interview any eyewitnesses
- Consult with scientific experts to explain how the incident caused your injuries
- Research state statutes and other regulations to determine if the at-fault party violated any laws
- Review medical records
- Determine who is responsible for your injuries
Investigating the Injury
In addition to investigating the incident, we will research the injury itself. Generally, the most severe symptoms may experience a complete spinal injury closer to the brain where the High Cervical Nerves are located. Victims with injuries in this area may experience paralysis in their arms and legs and be unable to breathe on their own. Many victims are unable to take care of themselves and require around-the clock care for the rest of their lives.
We will consult with medical experts to discuss the severity of your injuries as well as the treatments you will require going forward. We may prepare these experts to testify on your behalf regarding the impact of these injuries on your life.
Proving Your Case
Once we collect all the evidence relating to your injury, we will be ready to file your claim against the at-fault party. To have a valid case, we must be able to prove that another party was negligent. Negligence requires we show:
- The defendant or defendants owed you a duty of care (e.g., motor vehicle drivers owe other travelers a duty to operate their vehicles in accordance with the law).
- The defendant/defendants breached the duty he owed you (e.g., a driver may breach his duty by speeding or otherwise violating a traffic law).
- The breach caused your injuries.
- You suffered injuries. (Medical records and testimony will help establish the severity of your spinal cord injuries.)
What can we help you recover?
Medical expenses for a severe spinal cord injury can end up costing families millions of dollars. These expenses might include:
- Speech therapy
- Mental health care
- Medical equipment
- At-home care
In many cases, the injury victim must take time off work, making it impossible to pay these bills or put food on the table. In addition to your past medical costs, you may also be concerned about future treatment expenses, as spinal injuries are often permanent. Our attorneys can help you recover damages to pay off your medical bills and make up for the wages you did not earn during your recovery.
In some cases, victims are unable to continue at the job they once had even after months of recovery. Some victims will never be able to work again in any capacity. The court will consider your past wages and award you damages based on your loss of future earning capacity.
Spinal cord injury victims suffer from much more than just physical pain. Many of them suffer emotionally after the incident and have difficulty accepting their new way of life post-injury. This can cause severe depression, anxiety, and an inability to enjoy life. The court will award damages for mental anguish, pain and suffering, and other noneconomic damages. To calculate these noneconomic damages, courts will consider many factors including type of injury, severity of injury, impact on everyday life, and medical prognosis.
Let Our Attorneys Assist You
If you are suffering with a spinal cord injury and wondering how you will possibly pay for it, do not suffer alone. Our attorneys are available to assist you with your claim and help you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact us at 800-747-3733 for a free, personalized consultation today.