Spinal Cord Injury Attorney in Big Pine Key30338 Overseas Highway, Unit 7
Big Pine Key, FL 33043
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Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers in Big Pine Key, FL
Spinal cord injuries are some of the most severe and life-changing injuries anyone can suffer after an accident. Statistics have shown that there are about 17, 000 spinal cord injuries in the United States annually. While some injury victims recover, some are never lucky.
If you or your loved one has suffered spinal cord injuries caused by someone else's actions, you may be eligible for compensation. However, keep in mind that SCIs are some of the most expensive injuries to treat. Therefore, you should not have to pay for these costs out of pocket when someone else can. That is where our spinal cord injury lawyers in Big Pine Key, FL, come in.
Not sure where to start with your claim? Contact us for a free case evaluation. We might be able to help you get the compensation you deserve after such an accident.
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What Causes Spinal Cord Injuries?
Some common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slips and falls
- Surgical errors
- Household accidents
- Sports-related injuries
- Violent acts, such as gunshot wounds
What Are Some Common Types of Spinal Cord Injuries?
Since the spinal cord has four key sections, these injuries are usually classified based on the exact affected area. These four sections include:
Lumbar: This is the area around your lower back. You will likely experience difficulty walking or even standing when you suffer injuries in your lumbar region. This injury is usually so painful, causing restlessness, especially at night.
Cervical: This is usually the most severe form of SCI. It occurs due to damage to the C1-C7 vertebrae located in the neck, leading to paralysis.
Sacral: This describes an injury to the area just above the tailbone. Victims of sacral injury usually experience pain in the buttocks, hips, thighs, and pelvis.
Thoracic: Occurs due to damage to the upper and middle back and causes damage to the abdomen, back, and chest.
It is also important to note that spinal cord injuries further fall into two more sub-subcategories, namely;
Incomplete spinal injury: As the name suggests, this injury causes partial damage to the spinal cord, resulting in pain, restricted motion, and numbness, among other complications.
Complete spinal cord injury: This term describes permanent damage to a certain section of the spinal cord. It could be any of the four sections mentioned above. As a result, the injured individual might develop permanent paralysis.
How Are Spinal Cord Injuries Treated?
Treatment for spinal cord injuries depends on the injury's severity and exact targeted area, among other factors. Some common spinal cord treatments include:
- Physical therapy to restore normal movement and physical strength
- Assistance with medication, eating, and using the bathroom, among other activities of daily living
- Living a precautionary lifestyle to prevent further injuries
- Taking medications to eliminate pain and prevent infections
- Surgery to repair damaged discs and other sections of the spine
- Therapy to deal with the pain, trauma, and stress associated with spinal cord injuries
If you or your loved one has suffered spinal cord injuries, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. The doctor will conduct several tests to determine the severity of the injury and how best to treat it. Failure to seek medical attention could aggravate the injury.
Who Is Responsible for My Injuries?
As discussed earlier, spinal cord injuries occur due to various reasons. If you suffered these injuries due to someone else's negligence, you should contact an experienced spinal cord injury attorney for further legal guidance.
The same applies if you contributed to the injury, whether partially or wholly. For example, let's say you were texting while driving and got into an accident. In that case, you may still be able to obtain treatment for your injuries if you file a claim with your car insurance provider. But you should not expect the insurance provider to process such a claim without a fight, which is another reason to contact an attorney. Again, experienced attorneys can help you identify the parties responsible for your injuries.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
The value of your case will depend on several factors, as discussed below:
Your contribution to the injury: If you were partly responsible for the accident that led to the injury, this could influence the amount you may be able to recover as compensation. Florida uses the pure comparative negligence legal doctrine, which allows the plaintiff to recover compensation even if they were 1% at fault for the accident. Therefore, even though you may still be able to recover compensation for your damages, the final amount will largely depend on your contribution to the accident.
The severity of your injuries: In most cases, the more severe your injuries, the higher the compensation. However, keep in mind that this concept is always subject to debate and scrutiny. For example, if you suffered permanent paralysis, you may be able to receive a higher settlement than a person whose injuries are temporary. That said, the following factors could also influence the amount you may be able to recover even if you suffered severe injuries:
- If you had pre-existing conditions
- If you recovered too quickly
- If you do not have a legal representative to fight for you
- If you did not seek medical attention after the injuries
How Can I Prove That I Suffered Spinal Cord Injuries?
The best way to prove that you suffered spinal cord injuries is to obtain medical records confirming your injuries. This explains why it is always important to seek medical attention immediately after the injury. When you visit a doctor, they will conduct several tests to determine the kind of injuries you suffered and their severity.
The doctor will then create a medical report detailing the injuries you sustained and any other relevant information. You should obtain a copy of this report for future reference. If you do not have the report, your attorney can help you obtain it from the healthcare provider you visited.
What Are Some Possible Defenses in a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit?
The other party will likely defend themselves when you file a spinal cord injury lawsuit. First, these injuries are usually serious, which is why they involve huge settlements. Knowing that they stand to lose a lot of money if they do not fight back, the defense will likely bring the best attorneys they can come across to fight for them. And when they do, they will probably use the following defenses against you:
You had a pre-existing condition: They could claim that your SCI did not occur due to the defendant's negligence. Instead, it stemmed from a condition you had before the injury.
You contributed to the injury: Keep in mind that since Florida is a pure contributory negligence state, this defense could help lower your settlement. While the main goal of such a defense is to prevent you from recovering anything, reducing your settlement is still a victory for the defendant.
You knew the risks involved: This defense alleges that you willfully participated in an activity you were fully aware of its risks. For example, the defense could use this claim if you suffered SCIs while skiing.
These are just some examples of common defenses against such claims. The exact defenses will also depend on the specifics of your case.
What if My PIP Insurance Is Not Enough to Cover My Medical Expenses?
Since spinal cord injuries usually require expensive treatment, it is not surprising that your PIP insurance might not be enough to cover your medical bills. In that case, you may still be able to get the medical attention you need at no cost to you.
In Florida, when you exhaust your PIP insurance, you can file a claim with the other party's insurance provider if they were at fault for the accident. That is just one of the many ways to obtain additional funding for your medical bills.
Your attorney might also explore other forms of insurance you have. For example, they will want to know whether you have private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, or any other form of coverage.
If you do not have any medical insurance, the attorney will take a deeper look at the circumstances of your case. For example, suppose you got into an accident while driving a rental car. If you purchased insurance when you rented the car, it might cover your medical expenses.
The bottom line is that you have many options to explore if your PIP coverage is insufficient to settle your medical bills. However, you may not know more about these options unless you consult an experienced attorney.
Why Should I Contact a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney?
Contacting an attorney significantly increases your understanding of SCI and how the law protects you in such cases. But that is not the only reason you should consider hiring a spinal cord injury lawyer in Big Pine Key.
A seasoned SCI lawyer can:
- Evaluate your case to determine whether you have the legal grounds to sue
- Investigate your case to determine liability
- Collect crucial evidence to support your claim
- Help you get the treatment you need after the injury
- Assess the damages you suffered due to the injury and place a dollar value on them
- File an SCI claim with the insurance company
- Negotiate a reasonable settlement on your behalf
- File a lawsuit if the other party refuses to settle
How Can Morgan and Morgan Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys in Big Pine Key Help?
Working with the best attorneys is important when you have a case as serious as an SCI claim. That is where Morgan and Morgan comes in to offer the legal representation you need to hold the other party accountable for their actions and secure the compensation you deserve after the injury.
Firstly, Morgan and Morgan is the largest personal injury law firm in the United States. This alone should send a strong warning to the other party that you take your claim seriously and will not settle for less than what you deserve. After all, that is what our attorneys are known for.
Secondly, our attorneys can help you navigate complex legal processes in your journey to compensation. Bear in mind that the other party will likely use the defenses we mentioned above, or any other, to blame you for the injuries. And when they do that, it will be up to you to prove them wrong and convince the judge or jury that you deserve compensation for your injuries.
But you should not worry about that when you have Morgan and Morgan attorneys on your team. We will devise the right legal strategy to handle your case and fight for your rights. Since we have been serving clients in the Big Pine Key area and the entire state for over three decades, you can count on us when you need attorneys who understand the local regulations and how they apply to your specific situation.
Lastly, we have the resources to fight for you because we know how complex such cases can become. The last thing you want is an attorney or law firm that will settle for anything just because they can no longer afford to pursue the case further. Having Morgan and Morgan by your side means you do not have to worry about obtaining legal resources to fight for your rights. We come well-equipped with everything we need to fight for you.
But that will also require a small effort on your side. And it all starts by filling out our free, no-obligation case evaluation form.