Andre G. Raikhelson
The spinal cord is the center of the nervous system, controlling all motion, from flexing a thumb to bowel movements. When it is injured, the damage can be catastrophic and the financial expense in excess of $1 million the first year and as much as $200,000 in subsequent years.
Those who suffered this injury at the hand of another person or an entity need the help of a Florida spinal cord injury lawyer to access the legal system to sue for damages. A knowledgeable catastrophic injury attorney can help an individual recover the compensation they deserve.
SPINAL CORD INJURIES
These injuries have many different causes and are defined in two broad categories, incomplete and complete. Incomplete injury occurs if the cord is partially severed with some function retained. Complete injury involves a severed cord which eliminates function, though with physical therapy it may be possible to achieve some function.
The injury causes varying degrees of paralysis, trouble breathing, frequent infections, chronic pain, changes in mood or personality, and loss of libido and fertility, among several other symptoms. If an individual exhibits these symptoms as the result of an injury due to negligence, they should consult a Florida spinal cord injury lawyer.
Negligence is legally defined as failing to adhere to the legal obligation to use reasonable care in taking an action, or not acting, that results in harm or property damage to another person.
Florida uses the comparative negligence standard to assess who is at fault in an accident and limits the damages by the percentage of fault. For example, a person who is determined to be 80 percent at fault can only claim 20 percent of damages.
Negligence is proven by meeting these elements that comprise negligence law.
- Duty of care is the obligation to act in a manner that a reasonably prudent person would in similar circumstances
- Breach is violating duty of care by acting or failing to act
- Causation is that the breach caused or contributed to the accident
- Damages is a monetary claim for injury or property loss that happened
Certain damages are allowed to compensate the injured person if another person or entity is proven negligent.
- All medical and therapeutic treatments and any equipment used
- Loss of current and future income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Property damage
Punitive damages are meant to punish the offending party if the negligent act was horrendous. Florida law allows four years from the date of the event to begin legal action, called a statute of limitations. If the person’s condition is deteriorating, the deadline may be extended a second four years. Missing the deadline means the injured person cannot bring a lawsuit for this case.
EXERCISING LEGAL RIGHTS
Florida spinal cord injury lawyers may be well-versed in this area of law and serve injured individuals with compassion, understanding, and patience. Attorneys are staunch advocates for those who have suffered such a severe injury as the case moves through the legal system.
A Florida spinal cord injury attorney begins preparing the case by thoroughly investigating the accident and collecting physical, documentary, and testimonial evidence to use at trial. In spinal injury cases the services of an expert witness may be needed to testify about the injury. In cases in which the injured person dies, the case is filed as a wrongful death suit.
HOW A FLORIDA SPINAL CORD INJURY ATTORNEY CAN HELP
Many civil cases never reach the courtroom because the litigants settle the case among themselves. Your Florida spinal cord injury lawyer can aggressively negotiate with the insurance carrier to reach a fair settlement that is satisfactory to you.