Florida Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys
If you or your loved one has sustained a spinal cord injury (SCI) in a car accident or other type of accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may feel overwhelmed and be struggling physically and emotionally with the injury.
You will need all the financial resources at your disposal to cope with the effects of a spinal injury and move forward with a productive life. You need a compassionate and committed personal injury attorney to help you seek full compensation for your losses. You should not have to worry about unpaid medical bills. The spinal cord injury attorneys of Chiumento Dwyer Hertel Grant have been representing injured victims throughout Florida since 1973. With offices in Palm Coast and Ormond Beach, we are ready to discuss your back injury claim and the legal options available to you. Call (386) 753-3221 to speak with an attorney about your case. Contact us today for help.
What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
If you sustain an impact to your neck or back, the spinal vertebrae can fracture, shatter, dislocate or compress and injure the spinal cord, the bundle of nerves that passes through a canal in the center of the spinal column. Any type of blow to the spinal cord many interfere with the nerve impulses transmitted by the brain to other areas of the body and lead to permanent, partial or complete paralysis.
A person’s ability to control the movement of his or her arms and legs after an injury depends on the location and severity of the spinal cord injury. Numbness or loss of motor function may occur immediately or develop gradually as bleeding and swelling occur.
Spinal cord injuries are classified as either complete or incomplete depending on the loss of motor control and sensation.
Incomplete—An SCI survivor diagnosed with an incomplete spinal cord injury may have some sensation below the level of the injury and some function. There are varying degrees of incompleteness.
Complete—A patent with a complete spinal injury has an absence of feeling and motor function below the level of the injury.
Types of Spinal Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are potentially life-changing. Trauma to the spinal cord may cause partial paralysis affecting the lower torso and legs or complete paralysis causing loss of sensation and control of the arms and legs.
Paraplegia is the condition describing paralysis that involves loss of sensation in the torso and legs.
Quadriplegia describes paralysis involving both the arms and legs. A person may lose complete use of the arms and legs even if the spinal cord is not severed.
When a spinal cord injury occurs, it usually causes swelling. As the swelling starts to go down, the spinal cord injury survivor may regain some function.
The higher on the back the injury occurs, the greater loss of sensation and motor function the injury will have.
Cervical Spinal Cord Injury C1-C8
Injuries to the high cervical vertebrae (C1 to C4) are considered the most serious type of spinal cord injuries. Damage to the vertebrae of the neck may cause complete paralysis to the torso, arms, legs and affect the person’s ability to breathe without assistance. When both arms and legs are affected, the patient is described as having tetraplegia or quadriplegia. The patient will need assistance with all activities including eating, dressing, showering and getting in and out of bed.
Thoracic Spinal Cord Injury T1-T12
The T1 through T12 vertebrae extend from the base of the neck to the abdomen. Injuries in the mid-back area of the spine usually affect the legs and may cause loss of bladder control and sexual dysfunction.
Lumbar Spinal Cord Injury L1-L5
The L1 through L5 vertebrae are the larger bones in the lower back that support the weight of the torso. Injuries to the spinal cord in the lumbar area may cause loss of motor control in the legs, hips and bowels. The loss of sensory feeling and movement in the legs and lower torso is described as paraplegia.
Sacral Spinal Cord Injury S1-S5
Near the lower end of the spinal column, the sacrum is formed by five vertebrae fused together. It is positioned just above the tailbone. Damage to the sacrum can disrupt nerves that control the bladder, bowel and sex organs.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Many kinds of accidents and mishaps can lead to a spinal cord injury. There are about 17,500 new cases of SCI each year, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC).
Car accidents and motorcycle crashes cause about 40 percent of spinal cord injuries, the NSCISC said. Florida has a high number of motorcycle crashes because of the favorable year-round weather for riding.
Falls are another leading cause of trauma to the spinal cord, particularly among older adults. Because of Florida’s large population of seniors and retirees, falls are a prominent cause of SCIs in the state. If unsafe conditions on a commercial property contributed to a fall, the property owner may be liable for a spinal cord injury caused by the fall.
Sports and recreation activities including diving accidents account for approximately 10 percent of spinal cord injuries. A property owner may have liability for a spinal cord injury if the pool was not properly secured.
Violence involving gunshots and stab wounds are another recognized cause of spinal cord injury. A person who intentionally causes injury may be held liable for their conduct.
It is important to have a skilled spinal cord injury lawyer review the details of how your spinal cord injury occurred and determine if others may be held legally responsible for your injury. It does not cost anything to speak with one of our lawyers and receive a no-obligation case review.
Compensation for Back Injuries
Spinal cord injuries require a lengthy hospital stay followed by months of rehabilitation. Complications requiring readmittance to the hospital occur frequently. An SCI survivor may need the services of numerous health care providers during the recovery process. The costs of hospitalization and rehabilitation of a severe spinal cord injury can surpass $1 million in the first year after the accident, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center.
Over a lifetime, the costs of living with a spinal cord injury can be $4 million to $5 million depending on the age of the person with the SCI at the time of the accident and the severity of the injury.
A spinal cord injury survivor and his or her loved one will need to pursue all possible financial resources available to them. If your SCI was caused by the neglect or misconduct of another person or business in Florida such as a careless driver, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit and seek significant compensation. You may demand compensation for your current and future medical expenses, your lost wages, loss in future earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
Our attorneys at Chiumento Dwyer Hertel Grant have been helping SCI survivors and other injured people in Flagler and Volusia counties pursue compensation for personal injuries for more than 40 years. Was your injury caused by someone else’s carelessness or disregard for safety? If so, it is in your best interest to have a free consultation with a knowledgeable Florida injury attorney to understand your legal rights and options.
How a Florida SCI Attorney Can Help
We will thoroughly investigate your accident to determine what happened and identify all parties that may have liability for your spinal cord injury.
Our experienced SCI attorneys will work with medical experts and financial planners to estimate the present and future costs of your injury. Our goal is to make sure that your injury claim reflects the true extent of your losses including the costs of remodeling your home to accommodate a wheelchair if necessary.
We will pursue all available sources of insurance that may provide compensation to maximize the amount you recover. Our attorneys are respected in the Florida legal community. If you do not have an experienced injury attorney advocating for you, then insurance companies are likely to offer a settlement that is a fraction of the actual value of your losses.
Our spinal injury lawyers at Chiumento Dwyer Hertel Grant handle injury claims on a contingency fee basis. You do not have to be concerned about how to afford a lawyer or paying legal fees up front. You will not owe us a legal fee at all unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you through a negotiated insurance settlement or a jury award. That is our commitment to helping spinal injury survivors and their families have qualified legal representation. Call today to speak with a lawyer.