This may include filing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages. Damages can cover the cost of your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. These resources are invaluable, especially when you are facing a lifetime of unexpected medical expenses.
A Tampa spinal cord injury lawyer at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers can help you navigate this process. Our attorneys have over 119 years of combined experience helping injured people. We can help you, too.
How Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help You After Suffering a Spinal Cord Injury in Tampa, FL
When someone experiences a spinal cord injury, it’s common for their life to change. You may be spending the majority of your time in doctor’s offices, in rehabilitation, or adjusting to your new normal. This can wear on you physically and emotionally.
When you hire Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers, we will take the added stress of a legal case off your plate. Our attorneys will handle every part of your legal case, from filing an insurance claim to pursuing a lawsuit.
- Calculating your damages
- Requesting and reviewing medical records
- Collecting evidence to support your case
- Hiring expert witnesses
- Finding out who is responsible
- Negotiating with insurance companies and/or the defendant
- Representing you in court
Call our law firm today to set up a free consultation with an experienced Tampa personal injury lawyer.
What Is a Spinal Cord Injury?
A spinal cord injury is damage to the spinal cord or nerves in the spinal cord.
The spinal cord is part of the nervous system, which connects the brain to the rest of our body. The brain sends commands through the spinal cord, like moving your arms or legs, and receives sensory information. Sensory information may include our sense of touch, reflexes, or pain.
When the spinal cord is injured, it can affect our brain’s ability to send and receive messages to/from the rest of our body. This can affect our strength, senses, and almost every bodily function.
In some cases, a spinal cord injury can heal, but often it is permanent. As a result, spinal cord injuries are among the most severe types of injuries because they can completely upend your life.
Signs and Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries
If you’ve been in some sort of accident, you may immediately notice that you have experienced trauma to your spine. However, sometimes the injury is more subtle or worsens over time.
If you suspect that you have damaged your spinal cord or are in danger of hurting it, you should immediately go to the doctor. This is not the time to delay or to take a wait-and-see approach.
The most common signs and symptoms of spinal cord injuries include:
- Loss of movement (paralysis)
- Loss of physical sensation (like touch)
- Inability to control your bladder
- Spasms and delayed or overactive reflexes
- Intense or shooting pain
- Pressure in your back or head
- Lack of coordination
- Weakness in your limbs
- Loss of bladder control
If you experience any of these symptoms, particularly after an accident, call a doctor or go to the emergency room.
Location of Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are divided into four different categories depending on where the injury happens. The categories include cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral injuries. Usually, the higher an injury in the spine, the more serious it is.
Cervical injuries happen at the top of your spine. These usually cause complete paralysis or issues with your arms and legs. This is often one of the most severe types of spinal cord injuries.
Thoracic injuries affect the chest areas. This can cause loss of function in your legs and also breathing in your chest. Lumbar and sacral injuries happen in your pelvis and hip area. These may affect your hips and legs but tend to be less serious than the other types of injuries.
Complete and Incomplete Spinal Cord Injuries
A complete spinal cord injury ends all functions below the site of the injury. This results in paralysis and loss of all voluntary functions. A complete spinal cord injury is the most severe.
An incomplete spinal cord injury allows for some voluntary movement, though it may be limited. Perhaps you can move a limb or finger or feel certain sensations but do not have complete control over your functions. This is also a severe type of injury, but the prognosis is better as more treatment options are available.
Spinal Cord Injury Statistics
Spinal cord injuries are fairly common. Each year, there are about 18,000 new spinal cord injuries in the United States. There are about 302,000 people currently living with a spinal cord injury. Men are significantly more likely to experience a spinal cord injury than women, accounting for 79% of the new cases.
Car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, but gun violence, falls, and sporting accidents also account for a large portion of them. Furthermore, the average cost of a spinal cord injury causing paraplegia is $68,739 per year. The average annual cost for the most severe spinal injuries is nearly $185,000.
This cost is significant considering that people who have a spinal cord injury are generally not able to work within a year after their injury, and only 31% are working 30 years after their injury. These statistics show that spinal cord injuries can completely change the trajectory of your life.
What Causes Most Spinal Cord Injuries?
Spinal cord injuries can happen in any type of accident.
In our experience, some of the most common causes include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Construction accidents
- Violence and assaults
- Slips and falls
- Pedestrian accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Medical malpractice
- Bike accidents
- Defective products
- Sporting and recreational accidents
Our lawyers can represent you no matter what caused the spinal cord injury. If you aren’t sure exactly how it happened, we can also investigate it on your behalf. This may include hiring experts and collecting evidence.
What Is My Tampa Spinal Cord Injury Case Worth?
The value of your spinal cord injury case will depend on the type of injury and its effect on your life. If you have a complete spinal cord injury that results in complete paralysis, you will probably receive more money than if you have an incomplete spinal cord injury.
The factors to consider include:
- The severity of your spinal cord injury
- The permanence and future prognosis
- The cost of your medical bills
- The impact of the injury on your work life
- The impact of the injury on your mental health and enjoyment of life
A Tampa spinal cord injury attorney can help you understand the value of your case. We can use this as a starting point for negotiations. It is helpful to have an idea of what you might be looking at once your case is over so that you can prepare accordingly.
What Happens If I Am Blamed For Causing My Spinal Cord Injury in Tampa, Florida?
Even when someone experiences a traumatic injury, it’s unfortunately pretty common for them to get blamed. If you are getting blamed by the defendant or an insurance company for causing your injury, you should talk with a lawyer.
Florida follows a modified comparative negligence law. That means you can recover money through a lawsuit even if you are partially responsible for the accident. However, if you are more than 50% at fault, you can’t recover anything.
That’s why it is important to speak with a Tampa personal injury attorney and minimize your blame. If you are found to be mostly responsible, you will be stuck with medical bills and unable to recover lost wages.
How Long Do I Have To File a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit in Florida?
The statute of limitations for a spinal cord injury lawsuit is the same as any other personal injury lawsuit. You typically have two years from the accident date or after discovering the injury to file your case.
Don’t wait until the last minute to hire a personal injury lawyer in Tampa, FL. They will need time to prepare your case. This might include filing an insurance claim before a lawsuit. You’ll want your lawyer to have adequate time to negotiate and try to resolve the case outside of court.
If you miss the deadline and rush your case, you may not get a chance to recover any compensation.
Call Our Tampa Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers To Set Up a Free Consultation
Spinal cord injuries are very serious. A Tampa spinal cord injury lawyer can help you navigate this process and get the compensation you deserve.
At Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers, we take these cases extremely seriously. Our lawyers will provide you with the highest quality of representation so that you can focus on healing and adjusting to your injury.