Spinal cord injuries are some of the most common, and most harmful, personal injuries that can occur in traumatic accidents. The spine consists of delicate vertebrae, ligaments, disks, and nerves. Sudden blows to any portion of the spinal cord can result in catastrophic injury. The spine is responsible for carrying messages from your brain to the body. Spinal cord injuries can interrupt this system, leading to paralysis and loss of feeling below the point of injury. Even “minor” spinal cord injuries can result in permanent back pain and disability. The Tampa spinal cord injury lawyer at Fiol Law Group may be able to obtain spinal cord injury victims’ compensation for their injuries.
Spinal Cord Injury Causes
Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are unfortunately quite common in the U.S. Recent statistics estimate at least 17,000 new SCIs each year. These don’t include people who die from spine injuries at the scene of the accident. Spine injuries can easily be catastrophic, causing permanent paralysis in victims. Those who survive SCIs typically never regain feeling or movement in the affected limbs. Knowing the most common causes of spine injuries can help you avoid risk factors, as well as determine when someone else could be liable for your injury.
Occupants in car accidents make up about 40% of all spinal injuries. Drivers are more at risk of SCIs than passengers, making up 86.8% of accident-related SCIs. The extreme forces involved in a vehicle collision can be too much for the spinal cord to handle. If the spine fractures, the health effects are typically permanent.
In some cases, it is not the kinetic forces of the crash that cause the spinal cord injury alone. A second factor, such as defective vehicle product, can contribute to damage to the spine. If a defective seat belt, air bag, or other component causes a spine injury, the victim could bring a claim against the product manufacturer.
Falls are the second-leading cause of SCI. Slip and fall accidents caused 5,406 male injuries and 1,262 female injuries in 2014. Bad falls can fracture the spinal cord or cause complete breaks. Falls are especially common in construction workplace accidents. The elderly are at risk of serious bone fractures in falls as well. Spine injuries from falls can be fatal depending on the severity of the injury. It is often the duty of the property owner to prevent falls, through proper premises maintenance. In a work setting, employers can prevent falls by equipping workers with personal fall protection devices.
Medical malpractice is a surprisingly common cause of spine injuries. Errors during surgery can lead to irreversible nerve damage in the spine. Although patients assume certain risks when they agree to operations, they do not assume the risk of negligence-related harms. If a surgeon is incompetent, unprepared, negligent, or does not communicate with his or her team, it can result in permanent and preventable spine injuries. Victims of medical malpractice may be able to sue the individual surgeon or the hospital.
Diving into pools or bodies of water that are too shallow can jar the head, neck, and back enough to cause a serious spinal cord fracture. It is the duty of the property owner to foresee the risk of people trying to dive into shallow pools and to post obvious warning signs not to dive. Failure to pose “No Diving” signs when a reasonable and prudent property owner would have, resulting in spine injuries, is negligence.
Acts of Violence
Gunshots and stab wounds can puncture the spinal cord and cause major injuries. Gunshots caused 4,163 male spine injuries and 572 female spine injuries in 2014. If an act of violence causes a spine injury, the victim can pursue damages through a civil claim against the perpetrator. If you suffer a spine injury in any kind of accident, seek help from an experienced Tampa personal injury lawyer right away.
Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuits
The most common causes of spinal cord injuries involve negligence. Acts of negligence such as failing to clean a spill in a grocery store, failing to post “No Diving” signs at a public pool, or driving while intoxicated can all cause catastrophic spinal cord injuries. Incidents like these are preventable with the proper care and attention. Negligence-related events that can lead to spinal cord injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Sports injuries
- Acts of violence
- Birth injuries
In each of these accident types, the victim can twist or jolt his or her spinal cord, leading to fractured, broken, or crushed vertebrae. Drivers, property owners, employers, doctors, and other parties bear certain responsibilities not to intentionally cause harm or cause harm through negligence. A breach in this duty, resulting in a devastating spinal cord injury, is the foundation for a personal injury lawsuit in Florida.
Spinal cord injuries that result from someone’s negligence deserve the attention of competent personal injury lawyers in Tampa Bay. Proving fault for a spinal cord injury comes down to the question of negligence. A plaintiff must have evidence that the defendant owed a duty of care, breached this duty, and that this breach caused the injury or damages in question. Spinal cord injury lawsuits can result in large settlements due to the serious and often permanent nature of the injury. Victims can receive compensation for their ongoing medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost quality of life.
Should You Sue for a Spinal Cord Injury?
Victims of spinal cord injuries often suffer permanent damages such as partial or full paralysis. They may never be able to return to work or live on their own. There is no cure for paralysis, although some people may recover some feeling and motion with physical therapy and rehabilitation. Spinal cord injuries are some of the worst types of damages the human body can sustain. If you’re suffering with the physical consequences of a spinal cord injury, the very least you deserve is to seek compensation from the at-fault party.
Spinal cord injury victims from negligence-related accidents don’t have to go through this alone. Fiol Law Group can help you identify the responsible party, file a claim, and navigate the Tampa Bay civil courts. We work on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t pay a cent unless we obtain compensation on your behalf. Our spinal injury attorneys understand Florida laws and know how to get the most from a settlement.
Contact a Tampa Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
Fiol Law Group is here for Tampa Bay residents who have suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury. We have years of experience in local courts defending the rights of injured victims and know what it takes to bring about a successful personal injury claim. If you or a loved one suffered an injury to the vertebrae in a car, premises liability, defective product, or workplace accident, contact us for a free consultation.