Spine Injuries After Florida Car Accidents
There are several different potential causes for spinal injuries and vertebrae fractures, from falls to medical malpractice to violent crime. However, vehicle crashes are perhaps the most common events that lead to spinal injuries, especially in middle-aged and elderly adults. If you suffer a spinal injury after an auto accident in Florida, you may be able to seek compensation for the harm you have experienced, especially if you are able to show that the driver was negligent.
Recent Victims: POCs, Men, Middle-Aged
Data collected by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) shows that the estimated amount of people in the U.S. living with a spinal injury is approximately 294,000, though the margin for error may put the figure as high as 368,000. Roughly 17,810 new cases occur every year, and of those new injuries, almost four-fifths (78 percent) are male. Almost 40 percent of the new cases occur due to vehicle crashes, though falls are also responsible for a significant minority (about 32 percent). More people of color sustain spinal injuries than white people, with the average age of new sufferers rounding out around age 45.
Spinal injuries lead to one of three outcomes: full recovery, which is highly unlikely; an incomplete injury, or a complete injury. Incomplete paraplegia or tetraplegia (also known as quadriplegia) is when some neural function persists in the injured area, no matter how faint, while a complete injury means that no neural function of any kind is remaining. The data estimates that a majority of injuries sustained since 2015 have been incomplete tetraplegia, which is a serious enough injury to effectively alter the victim’s physical, financial, and emotional norms.
If you sustained a spinal injury after an auto accident on Florida roads, you should be aware that Florida is a no-fault state, which means only the most severe injuries warrant bringing suit in court. Under Florida law, someone may only file suit in court (as opposed to filing a claim with their insurer or the alleged responsible person’s insurer) if they have sustained either the “significant and permanent loss” of an important bodily function, permanent injury “within a degree of medical probability,” or significant scarring or disfigurement. Spinal injuries very often fit this mold, though not always.
If you are able to file suit, you must be able to show that the person’s actions breached the duty of reasonable care that every motorist owes to every other person on the road, and that their breach of duty was the sole cause of your injuries, with nothing else intervening. You may fear that you are too guilty of your own injuries to be able to file suit, but in Florida, you are able to sue even if you are partially responsible – if you are found partially liable, you may still receive a jury award, but it will be lowered by the amount of your percentage of fault (for example, 30 percent less if you are found 30 percent liable).
Contact A Winter Park Spinal Injury Attorney
A spine injury is a life-changing, frightening injury, and if you have experienced one, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side to guide you through the legal process. The Winter Park personal injury attorneys at the Hornsby Law Group have experience in these types of cases and will work hard to protect your rights in court. Call our offices today for a free consultation.