According to the Well Florida Council, more than 800 people are hospitalized statewide throughout Florida each year as a result of spinal cord injuries (SCIs).
Assaults and acts of violence have long been among the leading causes of spinal cord injuries statewide. Assaults account for an estimated 8.5 percent of new spinal cord injuries in Florida. This is below the national average as reported by Mayo Clinic, which indicated approximately 15 percent of new spinal cord injuries happen because of acts of violence.
When a spinal cord injury occurs as a result of a violent act, it is important to determine who, if anyone, could be accountable for providing benefits and compensation to the victim. Spinal cord injuries are costly to treat and obtaining coverage for care can help to ensure a full array of medical services are available.
A person who perpetrates an act of violence that causes a spinal injury could be sued by the victim, and could face criminal charges. The violent individual, unfortunately, may not have insurance coverage or sufficient personal wealth to compensate a spinal cord injury victim. Identifying others who could face legal liability is important.
If an assault occurred in a store or other public property, the property owner could potentially be held responsible for the act of violence, if the property owner’s negligence in providing adequate security is found to be a cause of the injury. If the victim was working at the time of the act of violence, such as a retail worker who was shot in the spine during a robbery, workers’ compensation benefits could provide coverage. If the person who committed the assault was on-the-job, his or her employer could potentially be held liable.
A spinal cord injury attorney can provide assistance to a SCI victim in identifying all parties who could be held liable and in pursuing a civil case for personal injury damages after an act of violence causes harm to the spine.