Spinal cord injuries are some of the most traumatic and life-changing injuries that an individual can suffer from during an accident. This type of injury tends to be very severe and can turn a victim’s life upside down. When a spinal cord injury occurs due to the recklessness or negligence of another, the victim may be able to seek just compensation for damages suffered.
Obtaining the counsel of a skilled spinal cord injury attorney is crucial to getting damages needed to cover costs of current and future care. Present and future medical costs as well as lost earnings attributable to a spinal cord injury are a financial nightmare for someone suffering from this type of injury. Call the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today if you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury due to another person’s negligence. Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA can assist you in receiving compensation for your injuries and helping you get your life back together.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Most people only associate spinal cord injuries with horrible car accidents. Car accidents are one of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries; however, there are other accidents that can cause this type of injury. Some of these accidents include:
- Sports and recreation accidents
- Being struck by objects
- Construction accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Slip and falls
The short-term and long-term effects of a spinal cord injury can vary based on the type of accident a victim is in as well as the severity of the incident and the location of impact. Some long-lasting effects of spinal cord injuries include:
- Respiratory problems
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Loss of sensation and damage to the senses
- Changes in fertility
- Changes in sexual function and sexual sensitivity
- Pain and weakness in legs, arms, hands, and other parts of the body
Personal Injury Claim for Spinal Cord Injury
Most people who suffer from spinal cord injuries due to the careless actions of another pursue a personal injury claim based on a theory of negligence. In order to prove negligence, a victim must prove the following elements to a court:
- The defendant owed a legal duty of care to the victim under the circumstances;
- The defendant breached the duty that was owed to the victim; and
- The victim suffered damages as a result of the breach.
Florida follows the Modified Comparative Negligence Doctrine which states that a plaintiff can recover damages for an injury suffered in an accident even if a court finds that the plaintiff was partially at fault. The amount of damages that a plaintiff can recover will be reduced by the percentage of fault apportioned to the plaintiff. However, a plaintiff can recover in proportion to the defendants’ percentage of responsibility only if the plaintiff’s own share of responsibility is 50 percent or less.
For example, a plaintiff recovers damages of $100,000 for a spinal cord injury sustained in an accident, and a court determines that the plaintiff was 30% at fault for the accident. The plaintiff’s damages will then be reduced by $30,000, and the plaintiff will ultimately receive $70,000 as compensation. However, if the court determines that the plaintiff was more than 50% at fault for the accident, they will be barred from recovering anything at all.
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in the State of Florida is generally two years. This means that an injured person has two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim in court. If a victim’s family is bringing a wrongful death suit, the statute of limitations is also two years. Thus, a victim’s family has two years from the date of the victim’s death to file a wrongful death claim in court.
Compensation for Spinal Cord Injuries
It is important for victims of spinal cord injuries to seek just compensation for their injuries, especially if the victim is in need of long-term care. There are two types of damages that a victim can receive after suffering from a spinal cord injury: compensatory and punitive. The purpose of compensatory damages is to make the plaintiff “whole.” Compensatory damages are divided into two subcategories: monetary and nonmonetary. Some examples of monetary damages that a spinal cord injury victim can collect are:
- Present and future medical expenses
- Present and future earnings
- In-home assistance and renovations
- Property damage
Victims can also collect nonmonetary damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Some examples of nonmonetary damages include:
- Loss of enjoyment
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
If a court finds that a defendant’s behavior is intentional or particularly egregious and outrageous, it may choose to award punitive damages to the plaintiff. The purpose of punitive damages is to “throw the book” at the defendant so as to deter people from committing similar acts in the future. Florida limits the amount of punitive damages awarded in personal injury cases to three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded or $500,000, whichever is greater.
Call a Miami Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you love have sustained a spinal cord injury due to the carelessness, recklessness, or negligence of another, it is imperative that you consult an experienced personal injury attorney. Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA has access to the tools and resources that can assist you in receiving the compensation you deserve. Spinal cord injuries are devastating and life-changing. Do not suffer without being fairly compensated for the injuries you have suffered. Call Prosper Shaked today at (305) 694-2676 for a free consultation.