Florida Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
The spinal cord is your body’s link between the brain and the body. The vertebrae of the spinal column protect it. Spinal cord injuries are among the most traumatic a person can suffer.
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is the result of damage to the vertebrae, spinal column disks, ligaments or the spinal cord itself. Injury victims lose some level of function in one or more limbs or in larger portions of their body. More severe spinal cord injuries result in paralysis. Even less severe injuries can lead to chronic pain and significantly reduced quality of life.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says about 200,000 people are currently living with SCI in the U.S. In Florida, the Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program (BSCIP) says that from 2005 to 2008, there was an average of 683 new spinal cord injuries each year across the state. The BSCIP predicts that the annual rate of SCI will increase to 802 per year in 2015 and 959 by 2030.
The CDC and other organizations list motor vehicle accidents, falling accidents, violence and sports accidents as the leading causes of SCI. If another person’s negligence has caused a spinal cord injury, they can be held accountable for the injured party’s pain and suffering and financial losses.
Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, helps spinal cord injury victims injured in slip-and-fall accidents, car crashes and other accidents in locations across South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Fort Pierce, Jupiter, Palm Beach and Vero Beach. For a free consultation, call us today at our toll-free number or use our online contact form.
Common Spinal Cord Injuries
The Mayo Clinic defines spinal cord injury as damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal. The injury often causes permanent damage to the victim’s strength, sensation and other body functions below the site of the injury.
The severity of a spinal cord injury is described in terms of its “completeness.” A spinal cord injury is either:
- Complete, which means almost all feeling (sensory function) and ability to control movement (motor function) below the site of the spinal cord injury are lost.
- Incomplete, meaning some motor or sensory function below the area affected by the spinal cord injury is lost, but an appreciable amount remains. The degree of incomplete spinal cord injuries varies.
Paralysis, or the inability to move parts of the body, including organs, is called “paraplegia” if it affects the lower half of the body. Paralysis of body parts below the neck, including both arms and legs, is called “quadriplegia” or “tetraplegia.”
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injury
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Mayo Clinic, and Florida’s Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Program (BSCIP) agree on the most frequent causes of spinal cord injury:
- Car and motorcycle accidents – These accidents account for more than 40 percent of new spinal cord injuries every year, the Mayo Clinic says. The CDC says car accidents account for 46 percent of SCI.
- Falls – More than 25 percent of spinal cord injuries happen in falls, the Mayo Clinic says. The CDC says it is 22 percent. Every year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls, according to the CDC. Falls are the leading cause of death from injuries suffered in accidents among the elderly.
- Violence – The Mayo Clinic says up to 15 percent of spinal cord injuries are caused by violence, such as gunshot and knife wounds. The CDC says acts of violence cause 16 percent of SCI.
- Sports – While the Mayo Clinic attributes about 8 percent of spinal cord injuries to impact sports (football, basketball, hockey, etc.) or diving into shallow water, the CDC says sports cause 12 percent of SCI.
The CDC also says that “alcohol has been found to play a major factor in 25 percent of spinal cord injuries.”
Beyond the physical problems caused by spinal cord injury, long and difficult recoveries lead to high medical expenses and additional costs, including temporary or permanent loss of the ability to work for a living.
Moderate SCI may be resolved with medication and physical therapy. Patients with complete spinal cord injuries will likely require ongoing medication and physical therapy, plus personal assistive devices and/or in-home care. Families of those with severe spinal injuries may need to renovate their homes for wheelchair-bound or bed-ridden SCI patients.
Contact a Florida Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Today
A Florida spinal cord injury victim who was not at fault for an accident that caused their injury has a right to seek money for their pain and suffering, medical expenses and other losses. If you or a loved one has suffered SCI, or you have lost a family member after an accident that resulted in SCI, Florida spinal cord injury lawyer Philip DeBerard is on your side.
From our office in Stuart, Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, has obtained millions of dollars in compensation for accident victims throughout Florida, including Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and Vero Beach.
Schedule a free consultation about your case today by calling us at our toll-free number or completing our online contact form. We can get started on your case right away.
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