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Tampa Spinal Cord Injury Attorney

Spinal Cord Injury Statistics

Approximately 250,000 people in the United States are currently living with spinal cord injuries. Each year, roughly 11,000 new injuries take place. The majority of those injured are male, and more than half of all injuries occur between the ages of 16 and 30. A spinal cord injury is life changing, often leaving the victim permanently disabled. Incurring a spinal cord injury is expensive. The average hospital stay following an injury lasts 15 days, with the average stay in rehabilitation lasting 44 days. All expenses over the first twelve months average $198,000. This number is far higher for quadriplegics than paraplegics. Over the lifetime of the victim, expenses may range from $428,000 to $1.35 million, depending on the injuries of the victim in question. There is little hope for individuals left paralyzed by spinal cord injuries. As such, these victims are entitled to compensation from those responsible for their pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has incurred a spinal cord injury, contact an experienced Tampa spinal cord attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will guide you through the process of filing a personal injury lawsuit, work closely with insurance companies, and fight for the compensation you deserve.

At Dennis A. Lopez & Associates, our team has decades of experience as a personal injury lawyer – and a track record of winning. Call our office for a free consultation at (813) 223-1977.

Types of Spinal Cord Injury

A severe spinal cord injury will almost always leave its victim paralyzed to some degree. If the injury is incomplete, the victim may retain some function, depending on the extent of the damage. If the injury is complete, the victim will lose all function – though some function may be regained through rehabilitation and physical therapy.

Types of incomplete and complete injuries include:

    • Anterior Cord Syndrome – When the front of the spinal cord is damaged. The patient may retain some sensation, but movement will be difficult.
    • Central Cord Syndrome – When the center of the cord is damaged. The patient may experience a loss of motor skills, paralysis of the arms, and partial impairment in the legs.
    • Tetraplegia – When the cervical spinal cord is damaged, leaving varying degrees of paralysis on all limbs. This condition, also known as quadriplegia, eliminates the ability to move below the site of the injury.
    • Paraplegia – When the thoracic spinal cord is damaged, removing sensation and movement from the lower half of the body.
    • Triplegia – When the spinal cord is not completely damaged. The victim may lose sensation or movement in one arm or both legs.

When injuries take place below the lumbar spinal cord, they rarely result in permanent paralysis or loss of sensation. However, they can result in nerve pain and reduce function in other areas of the body, such as the hips, bowel, and bladder.

Signs of Spinal Cord Injury

Following an accident, you should never move if you notice the signs of a spinal cord injury. Otherwise, you may risk further damage. These signs include:

  • Extreme Back Pain
  • The pressure in Back or Neck
  • Weakness and Incoordination
  • Numbness or Tingling
  • Loss of Bladder or Bowel Control
  • Impaired Breathing
  • Oddly Positioned or Twisted Neck or Back

Causes of Spinal Cord Injury

Since 2010, the distribution of spinal cord injury causes in the United States has changed drastically. As of 2015:

    • 37% of cases are caused by automobile accidents
    • 28% of cases are a result of violence
    • 21% of cases are caused by falls
    • 6% of cases are caused by sport-related accidents

You may be more likely to suffer a spinal cord injury if you are between the ages of 16 and 30, if you are male, if you engage in risky behavior (such as diving into shallow water or playing sports without safety gear), or have a bone disorder.

Contact an Experienced Tampa Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

In the state of Florida, all personal injury lawsuits must be filed within four years of the accident in question. If you let this window close, you can never receive compensation for your injuries. In cases of spinal cord injury, this loss is particularly prominent. No one deserves to suffer permanent paralysis because someone else was negligent or careless. If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury and would like to pursue compensation for your pain and suffering, contact our experienced team of attorneys at Dennis A. Lopez & Associates by calling (813) 223-1977. Our team is devoted to your case, fighting tooth and nail for the compensation you deserve.