Spinal cord injuries suffered in a traumatic event can be devastating, affecting everything from your sense of independence to mobility. The ensuing paralysis that may follow from an injury of this magnitude may force family members or friends to adjust their lifestyles in order to support their loved one as advocates for resources or caregivers.
After a paralysis injury, it is important to take stock of your legal options, as well as consider reaching out to a catastrophic injury attorney for help acting on those opportunities. A skilled St. Augustine spinal cord injury lawyer who is experienced in litigating spinal cord injury cases could be a strong ally in your fight for justice and accountability.
Legal Considerations in a Spinal Cord Injury Case
Any person who caused or contributed to a spinal cord injury may be held liable for that injury, including careless drivers, manufacturers and suppliers of a defective product, medical practitioners, and property owners. In order to obtain compensation from a spinal cord injury, an injured plaintiff must prove they sustained their injuries directly from the incident in question and that the defendant(s) is directly responsible for causing those injuries through their own negligence.
Alternatively, the plaintiff may not need to prove intentional harm or negligent behavior in cases involving strict liability. For example, an instance of a defective or dangerous product might constitute strict liability if the plaintiff can prove that their spinal cord injury resulted from using the product as it was intended. Either way, St. Augustine spinal cord injury attorneys could work with plaintiffs to take all relevant factors into consideration when filing their case.
Deadlines for Filing a Lawsuit
A statute of limitations defines the amount of time an injured victim has to file a civil claim. In Florida, the statute of limitations for a spinal cord injury lawsuit is four years from the date of the accident. However, there are certain circumstances that could extend the time allowed for filing a claim.
For example, a lawsuit may still be filed later than this deadline if an injury occurred after a specific incident but still occurred directly because of it. In the same vein, if a victim’s condition declines significantly while they under medical care, the actual deadline for their case may extend up to four years after the date of diagnosis.
Recoverable Damages in a Spinal Cord Injury Case
If an accident victim decides to file a lawsuit against an allegedly liable party, they may be able to recover damages as a result. Compensatory damages are meant to “right the wrong,” meaning they are designed to reimburse or make up for the injuries and losses sustained by the victim.
There are two main categories of civil damages: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages can be calculated from objective documents and records and may include medical expenses, lost wages, and necessary in-home assistance and renovations.
Non-economic damages do not have a quantifiable value attached and include intangible losses such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress. They may also include “loss of consortium,” or damages family members suffer due to loss of comfort and care from the injured plaintiff.
Finally, if gross negligence or malicious conduct played a role in the accident, the court may award punitive damages to the victim in order to punish the wrongdoer for their reckless disregard of the plaintiff’s rights and indifference to the rights and safety of others. A spinal cord injury lawyer in St. Augustine could help a prospective plaintiff determine what kinds of damages they may be eligible to recover and how much in compensation those damages could equate to.
How a St. Augustine Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Could Help
A spinal cord injury can rob you of your sense of control. When you rely on others for your care, that core sense of independence can be eroded even further. Fortunately, with the assistance of an experienced St. Augustine spinal cord injury lawyer, you could have a better understanding of your legal rights and options and take proactive steps on the road to recovery. Call today to learn more.