Titusville Spine Injury Lawyer
We proudly fight for spine injury victims in Brevard County, Florida
Injuries to the spinal cord produce serious consequences ranging from long, painful recoveries to permanent disability, including paralysis. For these reasons, spine injuries represent one of the most serious types of personal injury cases. Extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, in-home nursing care, and perhaps lifelong accommodations for disabilities drive up the financial damages and hardships for victims. Due to the ongoing expenses that you might be facing, a lawsuit may be necessary to secure a settlement critical for your future care and quality of life. A Titusville spine injury lawyer can provide the support that you need to pursue all available financial resources after an accident.
Causes of spine injuries
A long column of bundled nerves forms the spinal cord protected within vertebrae. Blunt or crushing forces to the back or cuts to the spinal cord damage the nerve superhighway of the human body. This interrupts the brain’s ability to control bodily movements and functions.
Spine injuries most often result from:
- automobile accidents
- gunshot wounds
- athletic activities
- medical malpractice
- defective products
The extent of spinal damage determines how much mobility you may lose or other symptoms that you have to endure. Symptoms can include chronic pain, numbness, difficulty walking, difficulty breathing, loss of bladder control, partial or total paralysis, and loss of sexual function.
Cost of spinal cord injuries
As you are already discovering, the medical expenses since your accident are substantial. Loss of income compounds your financial difficulty. Although the costs of spinal cord injuries vary considerably, they can easily run into the six figures. A 2011 study by researchers at Northwestern University determined that spine injury victims incur an average of $523,089 in expenses in the first year after their accidents. Going forward, they face an annual average cost of $79,759 for the rest of their lives.
Common economic damages resulting from spine injuries:
- pain medications
- rehabilitation therapies
- motorized wheelchairs
- building ramps on houses
- other home modifications
- lost income
- lost future earning capacity
A specialist may be needed to calculate the effect of your injury on your future earnings. This calculation would take into account whether you have suffered a partial or total disability and your projected earnings if you had not been disabled. A personal injury attorney can connect you with specialists whose testimony can justify your financial claims.
Your case may also qualify for claims of noneconomic damages. This category of damages does not come with receipts like your medical bills. Pain and suffering and loss of consortium with a spouse or other family members are the two primary types of noneconomic damages. Serious spinal cord injuries can justify these noneconomic claims more often than other injuries because of the physical pain and anguish experienced by victims and the impact on familial relationships.
Exception to no-fault rules
Because car accidents are a major source of spine injuries, your case will likely involve car insurance. The no-fault auto insurance system in Florida typically directs accident victims to make claims upon their own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. All drivers need to carry a minimum of $10,000 in PIP coverage, but this is probably inadequate for recouping your financial losses after a spine injury.
In recognition of this fact, serious spine and back injuries frequently qualify as permanent injuries. The no-fault rules that normally call for PIP claims do not have to apply to permanent injuries. This makes possible a lawsuit that seeks financial damages beyond PIP coverage limits against the driver responsible for your accident.
Spine injury and medical malpractice
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center attributes 4.6 percent of spine injuries to medical malpractice. Although this is a relatively minor source of severe injury compared to falls and car accidents, such cases will likely involve complex legal issues.
A medical malpractice claim for your spine injury after a back or neck surgery would need to prove negligence. In medical cases, this requires presenting evidence that a surgeon or other health care professional failed to provide care according to accepted standards. A personal injury lawyer can locate independent medical professionals with the credentials to provide expert opinions about surgical mistakes and the seriousness of your injury.
Possible defenses against your claim
Even if you see negligence as the clear cause of your hardship, insurers facing your claim for damages will strive to limit your financial settlement. The responsible party may scrutinize the evidence about your accident looking for ways to assign some fault for your injuries to you. As a comparative negligence state, Florida allows for the reduction of financial damages in personal injury cases in accordance with the percentage of blame placed at your feet.
For example, if your car crash resulted from someone failing to yield the right of way to you, an insurer defending against your claim might argue that you were driving over the speed limit and therefore contributed to the crash. Legal representation could empower you to fight back against unreasonable accusations of fault. Even if the evidence suggests some fault lies with you, a knowledgeable lawyer could still protect your right to collect a fair share of damages from the other party.
Assumption of risk is another legal argument that arises in some cases. This argument cites a victim’s willingness to voluntarily engage in a dangerous activity, like bungee jumping or parasailing. However, the responsibility for poorly maintained equipment could still impose liability on the opposing party for failing to make reasonable efforts to avoid accidents.
Seek legal advice right away
Due to the long-term consequences and severity of many spinal injuries, compensation for accidents represents a vital source of financial security for victims. Representation from an attorney at Couture Law P.A. in Titusville, Florida, can prepare you to hold someone responsible for your accident. We can help you navigate this complex and high-stakes situation. We extend our compassion and diligent legal representation to all clients. Call our office today.