Did you or a loved one recently suffer a spinal cord injury in St. Petersburg, FL? If so, the St. Petersburg spinal cord injury attorneys at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers can help. We provide a free, no-obligation consultation you can take advantage of to learn more about your legal rights and options.
With over 119 years of legal experience, you know you are in capable hands when you hire our legal team. We fight for fair compensation for our clients to help offset the costs of their future medical care and heightened financial needs. Contact us today, you can call (727) 314-5988 to begin the process of obtaining the compensation you need and deserve.
How Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Spinal Cord Injury in St. Petersburg
Since our founding, our St. Petersburg personal injury lawyers have provided dedicated legal advice and representation to accident victims throughout the Tampa Bay area. We have the knowledge and experience to navigate the claim process effectively.
Spinal cord injuries are often catastrophic, and the resulting legal claims can be significant. For these reasons, insurance companies may fight back to try to prevent you from recovering the compensation to help you move to the next chapter of your life. Insurance companies will do everything they can to minimize your payout. We help level the playing field by:
- Conducting an independent investigation into the accident and the parties responsible for it
- Gathering strong evidence to support your claim
- Working with expert witnesses who can accurately explain how your injury will affect you and your future to maximize your possible compensation
- Handling communication on your behalf with insurance companies, lawyers, and other parties
- Negotiating for fair compensation on your behalf
- Preparing our clients for depositions and conducting depositions on defendants and witnesses
- Taking your case to trial if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached
Contact us today in St. Petersburg, Florida, for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your potential legal claim.
How Common Are Spinal Cord Injuries?
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center reports that there are approximately 17,810 new spinal cord injury cases each year. There are currently about 294,000 Americans who are living with spinal cord injuries today.
Role of the Spinal Cord
To understand the impact of a spinal cord injury, it is important to understand its role and function within the human body. The spinal cord runs from the neck to the tailbone, approximately 18 inches in length. It is comprised of nerves that send signals from the brain to other parts of the body and the reverse. These nerves are surrounded by vertebrae.
Because of the important function the spinal cord serves, any damage to it can result in the loss of function. The part of the body beneath the point of injury can be impacted. Some spinal cord injuries can result in complete paralysis, while others may be temporary in nature.
What Types of Compensation Can I Recover in a St. Petersburg Spinal Cord Injury Claim?
The costs to treat a spinal cord injury can be astronomical. The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center reports that the first year of medical treatment can cost anywhere from $375,000 and $1,150,000. Each subsequent year can cost between $45,000 and $200,000, depending on the type of spinal cord injury.
The average initial hospital stay is for 11 days. About one-third of spinal cord injury victims require re-hospitalization at least once in the year following the injury. Spinal cord injury victims may require extensive medical treatment, including:
- Ambulatory care
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Mental health counseling
In addition to the significant medical expenses, spinal cord injury victims also lose expected income from work. Only 18% of spinal cord injury victims are able to work within a year of the spinal cord injury. The average cost of lost wages, fringe benefits, and lost productivity is about $77,000 per year.
Spinal cord injury victims may also have to make extensive modifications to their homes and vehicles to accommodate disabilities. A spinal cord injury claim can seek compensation for these and other financial losses caused by the accident.
For many spinal cord injury victims, it is a difficult adjustment from being healthy and gainfully employed to suffering a serious spinal cord injury. Their quality of life decreases, along with their life expectancy. In addition to the economic losses they directly suffer because of the accident, spinal cord injury victims can also recover compensation for these non-economic losses.
How Does Insurance Affect My St. Petersburg Spinal Cord Injury Case?
In many cases, there may be insurance coverage that covers the liable party’s actions, such as:
- Liability insurance to cover costs caused by a negligent driver
- Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to cover slips and falls at a private residence
- Corporate insurance or liability insurance to cover accidents that happen on business property
- Medical malpractice insurance to cover the costs caused by mistakes made by healthcare providers
- Products liability insurance to cover costs incurred because of defective products
- Workers’ compensation insurance to cover accidents that happen on the job
Because spinal cord injuries are so expensive to treat, it is important that we identify all applicable insurance policies that can help pay for your future anticipated costs. We can also explore options for filing a personal injury lawsuit against parties responsible for your injuries.
What Commonly Causes Spinal Cord Injuries?
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center says that the most common causes of spinal cord injuries are:
- Car accidents
- Slips and falls
- Acts of violence
- Recreational activities
While these are the most common causes of spinal cord injuries, any trauma to the spinal cord injury can result in serious injuries.
What Are the Different Types of Spinal Cord Injuries?
Spinal cord injuries are described as one of the following types:
- Complete – With complete spinal cord injuries, there is no feeling or function below the site of injury.
- Incomplete – An incomplete spinal cord injury results in the loss of some sensation or feeling. Therefore, a spinal cord injury victim with an incomplete injury may still be able to move or feel the portion of the body beneath the injury site.
The severity of a spinal cord injury depends on where the damage occurred. Generally, the higher on the spinal cord, the more severe the injury and the more dysfunction the victim will experience. Spinal cord injuries are classified according to where on the spine the injury occurred, as follows:
- Cervical – These injuries occur in the neck from C1 to C7. These injuries result in tetraplegia and paralysis.
- Thoracic – These injuries occur in the chest from T1 to T12. These injuries tend to affect the chest and legs, potentially resulting in paraplegia.
- Lumbar – These injuries occur in the lower back and pelvis from L1 to L5 and can result in the loss of bladder and bowel control.
- Sacral – These injuries run from the pelvis to the spinal column’s end in S1 to S5 and can result in the loss of bladder and bowel control, as well as the loss of sexual function.
If you have sustained trauma to the spinal cord, seek prompt medical attention to receive an accurate diagnosis and begin receiving the treatment you need.
What Are the Long-Term Consequences of Spinal Cord Injuries?
Spinal cord injuries can have a permanent and life-altering effect on accident victims. The potential prognosis depends on where the injury took place on the body and the damage’s severity. Some of the potential consequences of these injuries may include:
- Altered sensation
- Lack of mobility
- Loss of gross and fine motor function
- Loss of bowel and bladder function
- Involuntary muscle spasms
- Loss of fertility or sexual function
- Loss of strength in the limbs
Additionally, spinal cord injury victims are at a heightened risk of being re-hospitalized because of diseases in various systems of the body, including:
Our St. Petersburg spinal cord injury lawyers work closely with our clients to maximize the effectiveness of our legal services. We know the road ahead will be difficult, and we are here to help guide you through it.
How Long Do I Have To File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in Florida?
In Florida, you have just two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. If this deadline passes and you have not taken legal action, you can lose your chance to recover compensation from the courts.
Don’t delay, as there are exceptions in some cases. Contact an experienced St. Petersburg spinal cord injury attorney for help today.
Call Our St. Petersburg Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers for Your Free Case Review
If you recently sustained a spinal cord injury or have a loved one who did, the Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers is here to help. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation in which we can discuss your legal rights and options for pursuing fair compensation.
Contact us today to learn more and to speak with an experienced St. Petersburg spinal cord injury lawyer during your no-charge case review.