Personal Injury & Car Accident Attorneys Serving Fort Myers and Naples, Florida, as well as Atlanta, Georgia
An injury to the spinal column can change the course of your life. The nerves housed within the column are what allow your brain to communicate with your body. Trauma to that system can impair this communication. Vertebrae – the bones protecting the nerves – can also be broken or otherwise damaged. Lifelong paralysis may result.
If you think you may have a case against the person or other party who is ultimately responsible for your spinal cord injury, please call the experienced lawyers at the Kelleher Law offices in Naples, Fort Myers, Florida, or in our new offices in Atlanta, Georgia, at 833-546-3675.
Potential Long-Term Effects of a Spine Injury
Similar to a back or neck injury, spine trauma can cause excruciating pain. Your spine reaches from the base of your skull down to your tailbone. Injury at any point in the length of the spine can lead to serious problems, including:
- Partial paralysis
- Impaired bodily functions
- Loss of sense of touch
- Reduced quality of life
- Impaired respiratory function
- Recurring muscle, joint and/or nerve pain
- Depression and anxiety
The loss of motor control and loss of sensation that commonly result from spinal injuries is truly life-altering. Depending on the location and nature of the trauma, a victim may be paralyzed in the lower regions of their body, a condition called paraplegia. All four limbs of the body may be paralyzed, which is called quadriplegia.
These devastating injuries affect all aspects of a person's life. Serious emotional, mental, and psychological ramifications can stem from physical trauma.
- Sense of Loss: Suffering a spinal cord injury can take away your sense of independence and freedom. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy, particularly if you are no longer able to walk on your own. You may grieve the life you had prior to your injury, which can lead to depression and sometimes, feelings of despair.
- Anxiety and Depression: After the initial shock of injury wears off, you might start to worry about your future and what will happen to you. Not being able to do the things you used to do can lead to anxiety and depression, both of which can be as debilitating as the spinal cord injury itself.
- PSTD: Post-traumatic stress disorder is quite common when a traumatic injury happens. It is not uncommon to have nightmares about the incident and remain in a hypervigilant state.
- Loss of Body Positivity: Changes in your appearance and the use of a wheelchair or mobility aids can make you feel self-conscious. You may feel that you are not as attractive as you used to be.
What Causes Spinal Cord Injuries?
Spine injuries can of course be caused by things like sports accidents, assaults and certain diseases. At Kelleher Law, we work with people who have suffered this type of trauma as a result of someone else's negligence, or as a result of an on-the-job accident. Examples include:
According to Mayo Clinic, motor vehicle accidents – including motorcycle accidents – are the leading cause of spinal injuries. In fact, more than 35 percent of the spinal cord injuries that occur each year are caused by motor vehicle accidents.
In just about every crash, someone is ultimately at fault. This person's negligence, their carelessness, is what caused the accident and therefore caused the spinal cord injury. This person can be held accountable in an injury claim handled by our attorneys.
Who is Responsible for your Spinal Cord Injury
Depending on the cause of your injury, liable parties may include: An individual A Medical professional A corporation A government entity Liability must first be established to determine where fault should lie. This is best done through an investigation conducted by an experienced personal injury lawyer who has the resources and background to uncover all possible causes of your injury.
What Types of Evidence Can Be Collected in a Spinal Cord Injury Case?
Evidence that can be collected for a spinal cord injury case includes: Accident reports Witness statements Your personal account Medical records We will take time to investigate your accident and collect all of the evidence needed to build a strong case on your behalf.
This may include accident reconstruction, hiring expert witnesses, and working with trained medical professionals who can help determine the true cost of your injury.
When You Should Contact an Attorney After a Spinal Cord Injury
You should contact an attorney after any spinal cord injury sustained in an accident you did not cause. Even minor spinal cord injuries can have long-term and life-altering consequences. Once you accept an insurance settlement, you are no longer able to take legal action. It is always a good idea to consult with an attorney before accepting an offer from insurance to make sure you are not accepting less than you are due.
How Much Can I Potentially Collect for My Spinal Cord Injury?
Every personal injury claim is different. How much yours may be worth is something that can only be determined through direct knowledge of your case. Damages that may be sought in a spinal cord injury claim include economic damages, such as medical expenses; non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering; and punitive damages, which may be sought when an accident was caused by someone else’s inexcusable or reprehensible behavior. In the state of Florida, punitive damages in personal injury claims are capped at whichever is greater between three times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000.
There are no other damage cap laws that might limit the amount of money you can seek following spinal cord injury. The best way to learn what your claim may be worth is through a one-on-one consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Pursuing Compensation on Behalf of a Loved One
Parents of minor children who have been injured in an accident may file a claim on behalf of their child. Loved ones who have lost a family member following an accident may be able to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. However, under most circumstances, you will not be able to file suit on behalf of someone who is both alive and legally of age to file on their own. If you suspect you have a claim, use the contact form on this page or call our office to schedule a free case evaluation right away.
How Can I Get Paid for a Spinal Injury?
In a claim handled by our attorneys, we seek maximum compensation for you. We cannot guarantee a specific outcome, but we don't stop fighting until the best possible conclusion is reached. We work to recover money on your behalf for all of the ways the injury has affected your life. That might include compensation for:
- Hospital bills
- Emergency room bills
- Ongoing healthcare needs
- Physical rehabilitation costs
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Costs of assistive technology and medical equipment
The costs of living with spine trauma may go far beyond what the insurance company is offering you. You may require specialized healthcare for the indefinite future. In order to adapt to the effects of your injury, you may require a motorized wheelchair and accessibility modifications to your home. The attorneys at Kelleher Law work to pursue money on your behalf so that you can live a fulfilling life despite your injury, including getting the medical care you need.
Have you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury because of someone else's negligence? If you live in the Naples or Fort Myers, Florida area, or in Atlanta, Georgia, please call Kelleher Law at 833-546-3675 for a free case review.