According to recent statistics from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, there are about 17,500 new spinal cord injury cases in the United States every year. Spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are often severe in nature and can significantly impact the victim's daily life. In fact, SCIs often increase the risk of developing secondary conditions, such as urinary tract infections, pressure ulcers, and chronic pain — all of which can be quite debilitating and sometimes even life-threatening.
If you believe that a negligent party's actions caused your spinal cord injury, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injury. Here at my firm, Tonya Stewart Law, I have extensive experience helping injured victims hold those responsible for their spinal cord injury accountable. As a skilled Florida personal injury attorney, I can investigate all of the surrounding facts of your case and help you explore all of your legal options to recover damages.
I will fight vigorously to protect your rights and help you pursue fair compensation that can cover any expenses related to your injuries, loss of enjoyment of life, lost income, and any additional pain and suffering. My firm — Tonya Stewart Law — proudly serves clients across Lake Wales and Lakeland, Florida, as well as the neighboring communities of Davenport, Winter Haven, and Haines City, Florida.
A spinal cord injury is an injury that affects a person's spine or causes damage to the spinal cord. The spinal cord sends messages from the brain to every part of the body. An injury to the spinal cord can cause physical trauma that can have devastating consequences all over the body. It may result in a total loss of mobility, bladder control issues, and other issues related to mobility and movement.
Some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
Motor vehicle accidents
A violent attack such as gunshot or stabbing
Sports and recreational injuries
Diving into shallow water and hitting the bottom
Trauma during a car accident
Falling from a high platform
Head or neck injuries from sporting events
Electrocution or electrical accidents
Some of the common signs and symptoms of spinal cord injuries include:
Loss of mobility
Inability to move the arms and legs
Loss or altered sensation or inability to feel touch, heat, and cold
Loss of bowel movement or bladder control
Inability to control your sexual functions
Pain or an intense stinging sensation
Spasms or intense reflex actions
Unnatural positioning of the head.
The long-term effects of a spinal cord injury depend on where the injury occurred in the spine. Medically, the spine is divided into different sections, with each area carrying its own level of risk for long-term effects:
This is the lowest region of the spine. It is located just directly above the tailbone. When this area is injured, the victim typically experiences issues in their thighs, hips, pelvis, and buttocks.
This is right above the sacral area. When this area is injured, the victim will experience issues in their hips and legs. It’s also common for injuries in the lumbar region to make it difficult to stand or walk.
This is the upper and middle section of the spine. When this area is injured, the victim can experience a number of different issues in their chest, abdomen, and back.
This is the topmost part of the spinal cord. An injury to this area is generally considered the most severe, as it can lead to paralysis.
The severity of the spinal cord injury is often referred to as "the completeness" of the injury. This means that the injury will typically be classified as either complete and incomplete.
Incomplete Spinal Injury: A spinal cord injury is considered incomplete if the victim still has some motor or sensory function below the affected area.
Complete Spinal Injury: A spinal cord injury is considered complete if the victim has totally lost all sensory and motor function below the spinal cord injury area.
Florida is considered a no-fault insurance state. This means that after an accident, your own insurance coverage can pay for medical expenses and other financial losses. However, you are also allowed to pursue a liability claim against the at-fault party if your injury qualifies as a "serious injury" under Florida law.
Since spinal cord injuries cause a "significant limitation of use of a body function or system," your injuries may qualify under the serious injury threshold. This means that you may be allowed to pursue damages against the at-fault party.
To recover damages, you need to prove negligence by showing the following elements:
The defendant owed you a duty of care
The defendant breached that duty of care
The defendant's breach of duty of care or negligent act caused your spinal cord injury
You suffered actual harm or bodily injuries.
The available damages that may be recovered from your spinal cord injury claim include:
Medical fees incurred
Physical and psychological therapy expenses
Costs for medical and adaptive devices
Loss of wages
Loss of earning capacity
Pain and suffering
Loss of enjoyment of life
Scarring and disfigurement
Loss of consortium
Spinal cord injuries are often devastating and can cause significant and long-lasting implications on your physical, financial, and mental well-being. Thankfully, you don't have to face these challenges on your own. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney will be a critical step that you can take to protect your rights and pursue the compensation that you need and deserve.
At Tonya Stewart Law, I am dedicated to providing experienced legal guidance and compassionate representation to spinal cord injury victims and their families. As your attorney, I will:
Fight vigorously to protect your rights and represent your best interests
Review every surrounding detail of your case and conduct an in-depth and private investigation into the circumstances that led to your accident
Gather and log all relevant information, pieces of evidence, and necessary documentation
Seek to prove fault and establish liability
Determine the full magnitude of your spinal cord injury and estimate case-value
Help negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company
Take additional legal action, if required
Using my extensive experience, I will work to hold the responsible parties accountable. I can help you file an injury claim and attempt to pursue fair financial compensation that can cover your medical expenses, lost income, loss of consortium, and any additional pain and suffering you have been forced to endure. Don’t face this challenge alone. Call or reach out to my office today to schedule your own free case consultation. Together, we can explore all of your legal options so you can begin pursuing the justice you deserve.
If you believe that a negligent party caused your spinal cord injury, you may be able to recover damages. Contact my firm — Tonya Stewart Law — today to schedule a one-on-one consultation. I will offer you the comprehensive legal guidance, support, and assistance you need during this difficult period. My firm proudly serves clients across Lake Wales and Lakeland, Florida, as well as the surrounding communities of Davenport, Winter Haven, and Haines City, Florida.