Spinal Injuries & Car Crashes In Florida
Injuring one’s spinal cord is one of the most serious injuries that a person can sustain. If you have been injured in a crash and suffered spinal damage, your entire life may be changed. You may be able to receive compensation from the negligent party that helps cover your medical bills and other expenses, if you have an experienced attorney on your side that can help you to obtain it.
Statistics Show Links Between Crashes & Spinal Injuries
Statistics from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) estimate that there are approximately 17,810 new spinal injury cases per year, with a rough total estimation of 294,000 spinal injury sufferers at any one time in the United States. As many as 78 percent of all new spinal injury cases are male, and in recent years, the most new sufferers are people of color (mostly Black and Hispanic people). The most important thing to know is that vehicle crashes are the most frequent cause of spinal injuries, figuring in approximately 39 percent of those recorded by the NSCISC.
Vehicle crashes very often yield serious injuries, though the reasons are legion – examples may include speeding, substance abuse like driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and failure to obey the rules of the road like running stop signs or red lights. These reasons can be used in many cases to show that the driver who hit you breached the duty to exercise reasonable care (a duty that all motorists have, toward every other motorist on the road), which can be a big help toward establishing liability. A breach of duty is one of the components that a person has to establish in a negligence case.
Can You Sue?
The major question that you must ask yourself if you have sustained a spinal injury in a vehicle crash is simple: are you able to sue, or do you have to seek compensation from your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance? Florida is a no-fault state, meaning that normally, if someone is injured in an accident, they would not file a lawsuit against the other driver even if they were negligent – they would file a claim with their insurer. However, personal injury protection does not cover all of a person’s bills – Florida law states that PIP coverage must pay for 80 percent of “all reasonable expenses” for medically necessary procedures. That 20 percent can add up.
There is an exception to the no-fault statute, but it requires that your injuries be so severe that you have sustained the significant and permanent loss of a bodily function or a limb. If you have permanent injuries (as spinal injuries often are), you will generally be permitted to file suit against the person you believe was negligent. However, even if you have the right to sue, this does not mean that you will automatically prevail at trial. You need an experienced attorney to help protect your rights.
Call A Tampa Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Sustaining an injury to your spinal cord is a serious and potentially life-changing injury, and the sudden expenses of such an injury can cripple a family. If you have sustained a spinal cord injury, especially as a result of an automobile accident, you need to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The Tampa spine injury attorneys at the Rinaldo Law Group are happy to try and assist you; we understand the stakes are high. Contact our office today to speak to an attorney.