Have you suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of an accident in Tampa, FL? Don’t let those responsible for your rising medical bills, lost wages, and suffering off the hook. Call Catania & Catania, P.A., and have our Tampa spinal cord injury lawyers help you fight to hold them accountable.
We’ll draw on our 120+ years of collective experience and leverage our resources to get you the compensation you deserve. We’ve been putting families in Tampa first since 1992, and we’re ready to stand up for you today.
How Catania & Catania, P.A., Can Help With Your Tampa Spinal Cord Injury Case
Damage to the spinal cord can cause excruciating pain, limit your ability to work, and fundamentally change the way your body works. While money won’t guarantee that you make a full recovery, it can certainly make life a lot easier. But, in order to get the full compensation you deserve, you’ll need an experienced Tampa injury lawyer in your corner.
Catania & Catania, P.A., has been a fierce advocate for spinal cord injury victims in Tampa for more than 29 years. Our legal team has successfully won $500 Million (and counting) on behalf of our clients. We’re ready to help you move forward and demand the financial justice you deserve.
When you hire our law firm, you can expect us to:
- Help you navigate this difficult time, providing the support and guidance you need as you’re asked to make important decisions about your case
- Bring in experts to help us investigate, build, and value your spinal cord injury case
- Handle all conversations and negotiations with other parties and their insurance providers
- Have our accomplished trial attorneys argue your case before a jury, if necessary.
Call our law office to get started with a case evaluation today. Your first consultation is free, and there’s no cost to you for our services unless we win your case. There’s no risk in asking for our help, so contact us now.
Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries
The spinal cord is an 18-inch cord that runs from the base of the skull to your tailbone. It contains nerves that send signals from the brain to the rest of your body. The nerves are surrounded by bones called vertebrae.
When your spinal cord is injured, the symptoms often show up in other parts of the body. Typically, any bodily function at or below the point of injury can be impacted by spinal cord damage.
There are four regions that make up the spinal cord: the cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral regions.
More specifically, the four segments include:
- The cervical spine, which is located in the neck and consists of vertebrae C1-C7
- The thoracic spine (T1-T12), located in the upper regions of the back
- The lumbar spine, or the lower back, which consists of vertebrae L1-L5
- The sacral spine (S1-S5), which is a triangle-like shape at the base of the spine
The severity of a spinal cord injury depends heavily on which vertebrae are damaged.
What Are the Different Types of Spinal Cord Injury?
Damage to the vertebrae and nerves in the spinal cord can be complete or incomplete. If the injury is “complete,” the victim loses the ability to move below the injury.
Beyond the initial classification, accident victims may experience any number of types of spinal cord injuries, including:
- Quadriplegia (paralysis from the neck down)
- Paraplegia (paralysis from the waist down)
- Triplegia (paralysis of three limbs)
- Hemiplegia (paralysis on one side of the body)
- Monoplegia (paralysis of a single limb)
- Nerve damage
- Herniated and bulging discs
- Compression fractures
Victims of incomplete spinal cord injuries retain some sensation below the point of injury, but may continue to experience problems.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries?
The symptoms of a spinal cord injury depend on which area of the spine was damaged. The severity of the damage will also influence the types of symptoms that can indicate you’ve been hurt.
Some common signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury include:
- Tingling, numbness, or loss of sensation
- Problems with motor function
- Uncontrollable spasms
- Difficulty breathing
- Serious pain in the head, neck or spine
- Difficulty controlling the bladder or bowels
It’s important to seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms after an accident.
What are the Long-Term Consequences of Spinal Cord Injuries?
Approximately 294,000 people are currently living with the consequences of spinal cord injuries in the U.S. About 17,810 new spinal cord injuries happen every year–each with its own set of long-term consequences.
The long-term consequences of a spinal cord injury depend upon which region of the spine was damaged, as follows:
Cervical Spinal Cord Damage
Cervical spinal cord injuries tend to be the most severe. Injuries suffered can include quadriplegia or tetraplegia (complete paralysis from the neck down).
These types of injuries can also result in:
- Respiratory problems
- Difficulty speaking
- Difficulty with bladder and bowel function
- Loss of sexual function
If the lower parts of the cervical spine are damaged, it’s possible that the victim will retain some control over the shoulders and biceps. Individuals with C-7 injuries may even be able to straighten their arms but experience problems with using the hands and fingers.
Generally speaking, serious cervical spinal cord injury victims can require a lifetime of care. In the most severe cases, the victim may require a ventilator to breathe or a permanent wheelchair.
Thoracic Spinal Cord Damage
Victims of severe thoracic spinal cord damage can experience paralysis in the legs and torso. Paraplegia can also cause loss of bladder and bowel function, as well as changes in sexual function.
Lumbar Spinal Cord Damage
The vertebrae in the lumbar spine tend to be more sturdy. However, victims often experience loss of feeling in the legs and hips. They may also experience difficulty with bladder and bowel control.
Sacral Spinal Cord Damage
Damage to the sacral spine is much rarer than other types of spinal cord injury. However, victims can suffer problems with sexual function, as well as bladder and bowel control.
Spinal cord injuries can be difficult regardless of their severity. If you’re unable to come to us, we’d be more than happy to arrange a time to visit you at home, at work, or in the hospital.
What Causes Most Spinal Cord Injuries?
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center keeps records of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries.
Most spinal cord injuries occur because of:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Recreational accidents
Many spinal cord injuries classify as personal injuries, entitling the victim to compensation. Injury victims may be entitled to compensation after:
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bus accidents
- Uber or Lyft accidents
- Boating accidents
- Construction accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Defective products
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
If you were seriously hurt, don’t hesitate to consult a personal injury attorney. You may be entitled to substantial compensation.
What is My Spinal Cord Injury Case Worth?
It depends. Typically, the more severe the trauma to your spine, the higher a related injury case will be worth.
Important factors in the valuation process include:
- The level of your injury on the spinal column
- The type of spinal cord injury you’ve sustained
- How your injury has or will affect your ability to work
- How your injury has or will affect your ability to function and perform day-to-day tasks
- How you’ve been affected emotionally as a result of your spine injury
Our Tampa spine injury attorneys take a comprehensive approach to every case we handle. For spine injury cases, this includes working with spine injury specialists and medical professionals. They can offer guidance and insight that helps us position our clients to maximize their financial recoveries.
What Compensation Can I Recover for My Spinal Cord Injuries?
There are a few different types of damages available to spinal cord injury victims. Under Florida personal injury laws, you’re entitled to compensation for your economic losses and non-economic losses.
Economic damages help you pay the bills after an accident. Some spinal cord injuries never fully heal–so it’s important to recover compensation to cover both your past and future expenses.
Examples of economic damages available to spinal cord injury victims include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Future medical expenses
- Diminished future earning capacity
- Physical therapy
- Rehabilitative care
- Long-term care
- Medical devices, including wheelchairs and walkers
- In-home modifications
- In-home aides
- Modifications to your vehicle
- And more
You’re also entitled to recover non-economic damages to account for all of the non-financial losses a serious injury will cause.
Some common examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Anxiety and depression
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of your independence
- Loss of consortium
Punitive damages may also be available if the defendant acted intentionally or was grossly negligent.
How Long Do I Have to File a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit in Florida?
Most spinal cord injury victims have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit under Florida state law. Victims of medical malpractice have only two years to take legal action.
These time limits are called the statute of limitations. It’s important to take action before the deadline. You may not be able to get the money you need if you miss the relevant time period.
Contact a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Have you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury in Tampa? Our Tampa personal injury lawyers can protect your right to fair compensation.
Our lawyers at Catania & Catania, P.A. have over 28 years of experience. We’ve proven ourselves time and time again–and we’ve won over $500 million in compensation for our injured clients.
Are you interested in exploring your legal rights after an accident or injury? Call a Tampa personal injury lawyer to schedule a free consultation today.