Fort Lauderdale Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Fort Lauderdale spinal cord injury lawyers have handled many of cases and know spinal cord injuries can take many forms, depending upon where the damage happened in the complex network of nerves. The damage can be life changing, and treatment, especially surgery, is expensive.
If the injury was caused by an accident, the injured person may have a legal route to pay for medical and therapeutic treatments and other expenses. Experienced personal injury attorneys offer a free, no-obligation consultation to determine the strength of the case and work on a contingency basis. That means they are paid from the awarded damages if they win the case, but are not paid if the case is lost.
Types of Spine Injuries
If the spinal cord is severed, the injury is classified as catastrophic, defined in Florida law as a “permanent impairment,” and in medical terms as “complete.” A partially severed spinal cord is said to be “incomplete” and treatment may allow some function, but may still be permanent. Most of these injuries, 36.6 percent, happen in automotive wrecks, and 28.5 percent in falling. Some 12,000 new cases are generated every year from those and other causes.
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center reports that long-term medical and therapeutic care can cost from $1.07 million to $4.5 million over a lifetime. The only way an average family can afford that is to sue for damages with the help of a Fort Lauderdale spinal cord injury lawyer.
Personal Injury Laws Regarding Spinal Cord Injuries
Personal injuries are adjudicated in Florida using the state’s comparative negligence law. Negligence is defined in legal terms as conduct falling below what a reasonable person would do in a similar situation. Under comparative negligence, all parties who have some fault in causing an accident must bear some financial responsibility. Therefore, damages incurred by those at fault are reduced by the percentage of fault assessed. For example, a person who is 10 percent at fault may only claim 90 percent of damages if they trip and fall. Individuals should speak with a Fort Lauderdale spinal cord injury lawyer for a better understanding of how these laws may affect an individual’s case.
To prove negligence the injured person must show that the defendant had a duty of care toward the injured person not to cause harm or property damage. A deed that violates a duty of care is a breach and that breach caused the accident, or foreseeable consequences (proximate cause), resulting in actual damages. These are the five elements that comprise negligence law. If negligence is proven, damages are intended to make the injured person “whole” again, at least financially.
The damages are:
- Medical and therapeutic expenses, including equipment
- Loss of present and future income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
Help from an Attorney
In Florida, a personal injury lawsuit must be filed within four years, but if the defendant is a city, county, or state government, the statute of limitations is three years. A Ft Lauderdale spinal cord injury lawyer must prove the case beginning with evidence showing a duty of care, which is accomplished using physical, testimonial, and documentary evidence.
The spinal cord injury lawyer will investigate the accident scene to prove duty, develop the testimony by deposing everyone involved in the accident and witnesses, and gather all bills related to the injury to prove damages. In highly technical medical cases an expert witness, a person who is accomplished in a particular subject, may be necessary to prove the case and to rebut the defense’s argument. As many civil cases are settled, the Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer will assertively negotiate with the defendant’s insurance carrier to reach a satisfactory amount.