Spinal cord injuries in Jacksonville, especially those requiring a specialized spinal cord injury lawyer, can have lifelong and even life-threatening consequences for their victims. Whatever the cause and severity of your spinal cord injury, you’re entitled to financial compensation. As the trusted personal injury law firm in Jacksonville, Steinger, Greene & Feiner is ready to take on your spinal cord injury case. We won’t stop until you get the justice and compensation you deserve.
Understanding Spinal Cord Injuries
What They Are
The spinal cord is a series of nerves and cells that extend from the brain to the lower back. A spinal cord injury—which includes any kind of trauma to the spine that causes an unnatural twisting or pulling—can result in loss of muscle feeling and nerve feeling, which can be either temporary or permanent.
Spinal cord injuries are categorized as complete or incomplete.
No nerve communication takes place below the injury site, resulting in a loss of sensory or motor function.
Some messages are sent between the spinal cord and the brain, maintaining some sensory function and muscle activity below the injury site.
Spinal cord injuries can injure the spinal cord directly or the vertebrae surrounding it, which consists of bone and tissue. Some damage occurs at the moment of impact, while other damage can occur later when inflammation and swelling put pressure on the spinal cord. These injuries interrupt communication between the body and the brain, impacting one’s motor, reflex, and sensory functions. Depending on the location and extent of the damage, a spinal cord injury can cause long-term or lifelong disabilities. The higher on the spinal cord the damage occurs, the more serious the consequences.
While spinal cord injuries have many known causes, three types of accidents are most likely to cause them: auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, and slip-and-fall accidents.
Spinal cord injuries often result from sudden impact to the spine or surrounding vertebrae. That’s why auto accidents—whether caused by speeding, alcohol or drug use, poor road conditions, or inattention—cause the majority of spinal cord injuries. Whether a driver strikes a pedestrian or the driver of another vehicle, one wrong move can have lifelong consequences for the victim.
Similarly to auto accidents, motorcycle accidents often result from traveling at high speeds, operating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, operating in poor road conditions, and simply not paying attention. Motorcyclists have the added risk of being extremely vulnerable to their surroundings due to the open-air nature of the motorcycle. Motorcyclists who get in accidents with other vehicles are likely to suffer from spinal cord injuries.
Slip and Falls
Americans aged 65 and older are most likely to slip and fall. The impact of slipping and falling onto a hard surface can damage the spine. Older adults are also more likely to break bones when they fall because bone density decreases with age. That means even a small impact can have serious repercussions.
Other possible causes of a spinal cord injury include the following:
- An accident at work
- A surgical error
- A sports injury
- An act of violence
- An aviation accident
Spinal cord injuries can be life-altering and even life-threatening effects. They cause varying levels of disability, depending on what part of the vertebrae or spinal cord was injured and how much. Damage that occurs higher on the spinal cord is most likely to cause some form of paralysis. Paraplegia, for example, affects the legs and lower body, while tetraplegia or quadriplegia affects all limbs. Once damaged nerve cells die, the damage done is usually permanent. On the contrary, someone with little to no dead nerve cells can make a full recovery.
In addition to paralysis, spinal cord injuries can have the following effects:
- Numbness, tingling, or a loss of or changes in sensation in the extremities
- Pain or pressure in your head, neck, or back
- Loss of movement
- Weakness or inability to move any part of the body
- Unnatural positions of the spine or head
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Difficulty walking
- Difficulty breathing
- Inability to work
- Changes in sexual function
- Reduced independence
- Reduced quality of life
Why You Need a Jacksonville Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
You should hire a Jacksonville spinal cord injury lawyer as soon as possible after your accident to increase the chances of winning your case. Navigating spinal cord injury cases is difficult, especially if you have no experience.
The Jacksonville spinal cord injury lawyers at Steinger, Greene & Feiner have what it takes to not only handle your case but ensure its success. Our team will take care of things like:
- Gathering sufficient evidence to prove your innocence and the defendant’s negligence
- Contacting specialists for expert medical advice
- Meeting filing deadlines
- Negotiating a fair settlement
- Representing you in court
What Sets Steinger, Greene & Feiner Apart
When it comes to seeking legal representation for your spinal cord injury case, you don’t just want any attorney. You want a spine injury lawyer who has experience handling these case types and a track record of winning them. After all, past success is a clear indicator of future success.
With more than 25 years of experience representing spinal cord injury victims and securing compensation for them, Steinger, Greene & Feiner is the name you can trust to handle your case. Take a look at the key benefits we offer.
We Fight for Maximum Compensation
If you’ve sustained a spinal cord injury, you’re likely up to your neck in bills for medical treatments, rehabilitation, prescription medication, and mobile assistance technology. You also might be unable to work due to paralysis, inhibiting you from earning a living for yourself and any family members.
Steinger, Greene & Feiner will make sure you get the compensation you need to cover these costs and protect your family’s financial future. You can rest easy knowing we’ll focus on collecting damages while you focus on your recovery.
We Make Communication Easy
Even with office locations in Jacksonville and throughout Florida, it might not be convenient for you to visit us in person. That’s why you have the option to handle your entire case virtually. You can communicate with our team online or over the phone to discuss your case and get the compensation you deserve.
Our Services Are Affordable
The aftermath of a spinal cord injury is costly. You can’t afford to pay for legal services on top of your existing expenses. At Steinger, Greene & Feiner, you don’t pay us a dime until we win your case. This approach ensures our team has your best interest at heart and that paying legal fees is one less thing for you to worry about during an already stressful time.
We’re Available 24/7
Questions and concerns are likely to arise outside of regular business hours. Rather than making you wait until the next business day to address these questions and concerns with us, our team is available 24/7. We want to help resolve your case as quickly as possible so you can move on with your life and put your accident behind you.
We Take a Personalized Approach
Every case is different, and every client’s needs vary. That’s why we take a personalized approach to every spinal cord injury case that comes across our desk. The first step is to schedule an initial case evaluation with our team. A Jacksonville spinal cord injury lawyer will sit down with you in person or speak with you over the phone to discuss the details of your case, explain your legal options, and make a game plan for the next steps.
Our Team Is Dedicated
Our clients are our top priority. When we handle your case, you can count on us to prioritize your needs every step of the way.
We Have Convenient Locations
If you’d rather handle your case in person, we’ve got you covered. You can meet with your attorney in any of our several Florida offices. Select a location below to learn more.
- Coral Gables
- Fort Lauderdale
- Fort Myers
- Port St. Lucie
- St. Petersburg
- West Palm Beach
Hear From Satisfied Clients
“From beginning to end, my attorney was so attentive and on top of every detail of the process. It isn’t something that you can do on your own, and Steinger, Greene, and Feiner is a great option. I hope I don’t need to but would definitely use them again. Very happy with my settlement, and as they say “I love my attorney!”
“This is one of the best attorneys I have ever used. They take care of you. They kept me informed on what they were doing and how they did it. To all who are looking for a good attorney, this is the one to use. You won’t regret it. They are the best. He will be my attorney from now on when I need him.”
“I had the best experience with my attorney, Josh. He was always available to answer any questions I had. He is kind and thoughtful and has the best personality, even if a question I had was silly. He always reassured me everything was going to be alright, and it was. I will be referring him and your law firm to anyone who needs an excellent personal injury attorney.”
The Legal Process Explained
Schedule an Initial Case Evaluation
The first step in the legal process is scheduling an initial case evaluation with our team. This is an opportunity to discuss your case with a skilled spinal cord injury attorney. Your attorney will review your case, explain your legal options, and make a plan with you regarding next steps. The initial case evaluation is free of charge and can be completed in person or over the phone.
Build a Strong Case
Building a strong case requires gathering sufficient evidence to support your claim. To ensure the success of your claim, you must prove two things.
- A person or entity acted negligently or recklessly
- The negligence or recklessness directly resulted in your spinal cord injury
The following criteria must be met to establish negligence in a spinal cord injury case.
- Duty: The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- Breach: The defendant breached their duty of care to the plaintiff
- Causation: The defendant’s breach of duty directly caused the plaintiff’s spinal cord injury
- Damages: The plaintiff suffered a form of identifiable harm (physical, mental, emotional) as a result of their spinal cord injury
Here are key pieces of evidence you’ll need to meet the criteria described above.
- Photo and video evidence of the accident
- Medical bills and records
- Medical scans and test results
- A list of prescription medications
- A police or accident report
Negotiate a Fair Settlement
Before pursuing litigation, your attorney will try to negotiate a settlement with your insurance company and the at-fault party’s insurance company. Negotiating a settlement is ideal for victims who need money fast and don’t want to deal with lengthy court proceedings. The settlement process involves a series of offers and counteroffers. If a settlement is reached, you’ll receive the payment either in one lump sum or multiple installments.
One piece of advice we have is to never settle for the first settlement offer you receive. Insurance companies often use bad-faith tactics like lowballing to settle the case for the least amount possible. Unfortunately, this wouldn’t provide you with enough money to cover all accident-related costs. Your Jacksonville spinal cord injury lawyer will fight tooth and nail for the compensation you deserve.
Take Your Case to Court
If a settlement can’t be reached, we’ll take your case to court to secure maximum financial compensation. This process starts with filing a lawsuit against the defendant, which your attorney will handle for you. A judge and a jury will hear your case and determine whether the defendant’s actions caused your spinal cord injury and what damages you’re owed.
Our goal is to secure enough compensation to cover all past, current, and future accident-related expenses. One reason we encourage clients not to accept the first settlement offer is that negotiations often take place too early in the recovery process to know how much the spinal cord injury will impact their financial future. Whether you end up settling or pursuing litigation, be sure to account for all accident-related expenses so you’re not stuck paying costs out-of-pocket.
The amount of compensation you can obtain depends on various factors, including who caused the accident and the extent of the damages. Here are some of the damages compensation can cover.
Economic damages are monetary losses. Some common examples include the following:
- Emergency medical care
- Painkillers, antibiotics, and other prescription medications
- Physical, speech, and occupational therapy
- Lost wages and future earning potential
- Property damage
- At-home care
- Mobility assistance technology, like a wheelchair, wheelchair lifts, a wheelchair accessible vehicle, and entry ramps
- Mental health counseling
Non-economic damages are incalculable losses. Some common examples include the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Anxiety and depression
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
Florida limits the amount of compensation a plaintiff can receive for medical malpractice-induced pain and suffering to $500,000. However, there are no limits on allowable compensation for other case types.
1. How long does a spinal cord injury case take?
The length of a spinal cord injury case depends upon several factors, including the following:
- The severity of the injury
- Whether the plaintiff settles or pursues litigation
- The skill and expertise of the personal injury attorney handling the case
Our personal injury lawyers have the skills and resources required to settle your case as quickly as possible without sacrificing maximum compensation.
2. What if I’m partly at fault for the accident?
Florida is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning a plaintiff can seek compensation from a defendant even if they’re up to 50% at fault for the accident. If the plaintiff is 51% or more at fault for the accident, they cannot seek compensation.
3. How do you determine the value of my case?
Here are some factors that help us determine the value of your spinal cord injury case.
- The severity of your injuries
- The extent of your accident-related costs
- Your degree of fault
We’ll do everything in our power to secure maximum compensation on your behalf.
Secure Your Future with a Jacksonville Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer
Don’t wait to get the compensation you need to treat and recover from your spinal cord injury. Contact Steinger, Greene & Feiner today to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our Jacksonville, Florida, attorneys. We’ll fight for your rights every step of the way.