We live in a fast-paced modern world that’s full of technological and medical wonders. Unfortunately, that world is also full of dangers. Car accidents, acts of violence, and falls are all harrowing reminders of the types of damage that could be waiting just around the next bend for each of us. Car accidents are particularly high. There are over 5,000,000 car accidents that occur in the United States that injure millions and kill tens of thousands of people every single year. Vehicle collisions account for a breathtaking 42.1% of spinal cord injuries, with falling down accounting for 26.7%, and violent acts at 15.1%. These types of injuries can leave people paralyzed from the waist down or even fully quadriplegic.
These injuries can and do happen to anyone, even innocent people who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. When they do happen, it’s heartbreaking and life-altering, which is why we at Shapiro Goldman Babboni & Walsh are determined to bring the victims of such injuries due compensation.
It’s important that if you or one of your loved ones has been the victim of a spinal injury that you contact us immediately. We’ve had plenty of experience with personal injury law in Florida. Having something like this happen to you raises a ton of questions, so let’s take a look at what you need to know.
Why should I work with an attorney?
Spinal cord damage is one of the most life-changing injuries someone can have. There’s often-times a loss of motor skills or even complete paralysis. In addition to that, many spinal cord injuries occur when the victim is on the job, and many of those who have been injured will lose their employment and ability to provide for themselves. Most victims of a spinal cord injury are employed at the time of their accident, but within just a year that number dwindles to only around 1 out of 10 people being employed.
Contacting an attorney will help you get the compensation you need to cover not just your medical bills, but the money you’ve lost because of the inability to work. It’s important to act fast, though. There’s a statute of limitations in place that gives you a deadline to submit a lawsuit for personal injury.
How are spinal cord injury cases different?
There are all sorts of ways to receive a spinal cord injury. Many of those cases require different things to show exactly how you became a victim. Generally speaking, there are two major types of cases: strict liability, where you’re due compensation because of a mishap, and negligence.
With negligence, your attorney will need to show three things.
Duty of Care – This is used in a number of different ways, but generally means that the defendant has a duty of care to abide by when operating in a capacity that could cause harm to others.
Breach in Duty – This is what occurs when that duty of care is neglected.
Causation – To show negligence, it’s important to prove that the defendant’s breach in duty is what directly caused you to be injured.
These terms can seem a bit abstract on their own, so let’s review some common types of cases.
As stated above, vehicular accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries in the United States. Most car accident cases revolve around proving negligence. Your attorney will need to show how the defendant had owed you a duty of care on the road, that this duty was breached in some capacity, and that you suffered an injury which was caused directly because of that breach.
What exactly does duty of care mean in this instance? Motorists have a duty of care to act responsibly and exercise caution while driving in order to prevent harm to others who share the road. Breaching that duty means that the driver was acting irresponsibly or even maliciously and caused you to be injured as a result. If this sort of incident occurs, then the aggrieved party can be entitled to recover compensation to pay for their losses that were a result of the injury. To prove this, attorneys will collect evidence that’s important for your claim.
Sometimes it’s not the fault of the other driver that you crashed, and sometimes there isn’t even another driver at all. Even if you were the lone party in a car accident, it’s still important to contact an attorney. Your crash could have been a direct result of a manufacturing defect in the car itself.
When a product defect causes injury, it can entitle the victim to compensation from the manufacturer in the form of a product liability lawsuit. Car companies can be held to strict liability for defective products, even without proof of negligence. In this case, your attorney would need to show that the defect actually exists and it caused you to receive an injury. Keep in mind that if you got your car used then strict liability might not be a viable course to take, but the company could still be found negligent.
To show that the defect was a result of negligence on the part of the car company, your attorney will need to prove that they had a duty of care to produce safe cars but they didn’t. This is another example of a breach of duty. They’ll also need to show that the injuries you received were a result of that breach.
While it’s true that car accidents are the source of a large portion of spinal cord injuries, they are certainly not the only thing that causes them. Medical malpractice is another common way to receive such a debilitating injury. If you think you might have been injured by a medical professional then you may be able to file a claim for negligence against them.
Like in the above examples with cars, your attorney will need to show that the doctor had a duty of care to provide you with a good medical procedure and that you received an injury because they breached that duty. This can happen very often, as doctors are just as prone to mistakes and lapses in attention as anybody else. These sorts of occurrences can be very difficult to prove, which is why you need a good attorney to prove causation. They’ll need to show that the doctor’s negligent action was a direct cause of your injury. Evidence can be gathered in a number of different ways.
Using Medical Tech and Experts to Prove a Case
As many of these cases rely on your attorney showing that there was a breach in duty of care, it’s imperative that good evidence be collected. This type of evidence can be difficult to collect on your own, particularly if you’ve been gravely injured, which is another benefit to using an attorney. They have proper channels set up that’ll allow them to collect evidence quickly and easily while you’re resting.
Attorneys will know what type of evidence needs to be collected, regardless of whether it’s a malpractice, car accident, product liability case, or whatever else.
For medical malpractice cases, they’ll employ Medical techs to help gather and examine evidence. There are several things they’ll collect.
- Medical Documents
- Interviews with witnesses
- The background information on the surgeon
- The notes on that specific procedure
In addition to that, they’ll consult with medical malpractice experts that’ll show exactly how that surgeon neglected and breached their duty of care.
Product liability cases are similar, but the attorney will collect and examine different types of things.
- The individual manufacturing parts
- The manufacturing process
- Proof that shows that the defect would have caused your specific injury
Your attorney will have access to industry experts that can determine what went wrong and how that defect would have caused your injuries.
Let’s take a look at some common evidence that’s collected and reviewed for car accident cases.
- Crime scene evaluation
- Traffic footage
- Documents from insurance companies
- Witness interviews
There are many car accident experts available for your attorney to consult with, including professionals that specialize in car accident recreation.
The above are just some common things that are collected, but each individual case is going to be different from the others.
How Is Compensation Calculated?
Payment in personal injury cases are generally set in place to award damages to the victim in order to bring them back to their original condition. Spinal cord injury cases can be a bit different, as they often result in complete changes in lifestyles and ongoing rehabilitation. It’s common for spinal cord injury cases to go much further than simply reimbursing the initial medical costs. Let’s take a closer look at exactly what’s considered when compensation is being calculated.
- First aid
- Ambulance costs
- Emergency room costs
- Medical coverage costs
- Further medication and rehabilitation
- Damage caused from pain and suffering
- Therapy expenses
These are just a few examples that are common in spinal cord injury cases, but every case is different and has its own details that are carefully considered. Contact us at Shapiro Goldman Babboni & Walsh for more specific information if you’ve been the victim of a spinal cord injury.
Why should I choose your law firm?
We at Shapiro Goldman Babboni & Walsh are committed to bringing victims their due compensation. We realize how life-altering a spinal cord injury can be. Such injuries are truly devastating. We have a team of highly trained professionals that have over a century of combined experience. We have a large base of specialists that include reconstructionists, rehabilitative counselors, forensic engineers, as well as other professionals. We can’t make a spinal cord injury disappear, but we’ll make sure to get you the compensation you deserve.