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Wilshire Law Firm » Practice Areas » Los Angeles Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

Los Angeles Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer

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A spinal cord injury, or SCI, can have a dramatic effect on the lives of victims and their families. SCIs can be extremely debilitating injuries, resulting in nerve damage, loss of feeling in extremities, loss of motor function, and, conceivably, paraplegia or quadriplegia. These injuries often result in permanent, lifelong disabilities that require intensive short-term medical care, physical therapy, and other ongoing treatments.

The costs associated with caring for SCI patients can be exorbitant. If you or a loved one suffered an SCI as a result of another party’s negligent actions, you may be entitled to compensation to aid in your recovery. Victims suffering from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or an SCI caused by the negligence of others will require spinal cord injury lawyers with the unique qualifications and experience necessary to obtain fair and just compensation. The spinal cord injury attorneys at Wilshire Law Firm have the extensive knowledge and expertise to help victims and their families receive full and fair compensation for all of their expenses and suffering. Our goal is to help victims and their families through every step of the recovery process and ensure that they receive the help that they need.

What are the Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?

There are currently over 250,000 Americans living with a spinal cord injury, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. In total, an average of roughly 20,000 new SCI cases occur each year. The leading causes of these spinal cord injuries are as follows:

  • Vehicle Accidents, which account for more than one-third of all cases of SCI;
  • Falls and Workplace Accidents contribute to nearly one-third of SCI cases;
  • Acts of Violence (primarily gunshot wounds) are another common cause;
  • Sports Injuries are the next-leading cause; finally,
  • Medical or Surgical Errors make up about five percent of all SCI cases

These figures include fractures, dislocations, contusions, compressed vertebrae, or any other damage to the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, or coccygeal sections of the spine.

What are the Symptoms of a Spinal Cord Injury?

Like the human brain, the spine cannot regrow cells. That’s why it’s important to remember that while some symptoms of a spinal cord injury may appear immediately, others will only become noticeable over time. Some of the common symptoms of a spinal cord injury include:

  • Numbness of extremities
  • Pain or weakness in the neck, head, or back
  • Loss of coordination or motor functions
  • Tingling or loss of sensation in the hands, fingers, feet, or toes
  • Partial or complete paralysis over any part of the body

No two people who suffer a spinal cord injury will have the same experience. In fact, injuries to the spine can sometimes be difficult to detect. If a victim is suffering from any of these symptoms, a full examination by trained medical professionals should be promptly sought out.

What Types of Spinal Cord Injuries are there?

There are two different types of spinal cord injuries: Complete and Incomplete. Incomplete SCI refers to a spinal cord injury in which some feeling or movement is still evident below the point of injury, whereas a complete spinal cord injury is characterized by a total loss of function below the point of injury.

Incomplete injuries can vary widely in their extent and severity, with the location of the injury typically having a major impact on the resulting symptoms. With an incomplete SCI, the most likely complications are:

  • Anterior Cord Syndrome, which indicates damage to the front of the spinal cord and typically results in impaired movement, touch, pain, and temperature sensations below the injury;
  • Central Cord Syndrome, which occurs when the center of the spinal cord is damaged. This leads to a loss of function in the arms, but some leg movement is preserved;
  • Posterior Cord Syndrome is distinguished by damage happening to the back of the spinal cord, and leads to poor coordination;
  • Brown-Sequard Syndrome is the result of one side of the spinal cord being damaged but not the other. One side of the body will have a loss of movement but preserved sensation, while the other side of the body will have a loss of sensation but preserved movement

Doctors performing a physical examination can often recognize where on the spine an injury has occurred based on its characteristic pattern of symptoms. There are five sections that form the anatomy of the spinal cord:

  • Cervical (neck)
  • Thoracic (chest)
  • Lumbar (lower back)
  • Sacral (pelvis)
  • Coccygeal (tailbone)

Depending on which of these sections a spinal cord injury occurs at, different types of paralysis can result when there is a complete spinal cord injury. For example, Quadriplegia (also referred to as Tetraplegia), which is when all four limbs lose function, ensues when there is a complete SCI at the cervical section of the spine. Meanwhile, Paraplegia, or the loss of function in the legs, is the product of an SCI occurring in the thoracic, lumbar, or sacral sections of the spinal cord.

What Compensation is Available for Spinal Cord Injury Victims?

A severe injury to the spinal cord can be catastrophic, requiring long-term or permanent medical care. The costs to treat a spinal cord injury are immense, and even with medical insurance, a great financial burden can be placed on victims and their families. If a victim’s spinal cord injury was caused by the negligence or maliciousness of another party, they have a right to recover damages and hold that party responsible. The compensation available for spinal cord injury victims includes:

  • Medical costs
  • Lost wages and benefits
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Emotional and mental distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Due to the complexities of the legal system, it is important to hire an experienced spinal cord injury attorney to represent you and ensure you receive full compensation. The personal injury lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm have extensive knowledge and expertise in spinal cord injury litigation and can help victims secure fair and just compensation for their expenses and suffering. Our attorneys have represented numerous clients with catastrophic injuries, understand the short and long-term consequences of spinal cord injuries, and will treat you with sincere compassion and concern.

If you or someone you know has suffered a spinal cord injury, contact the Wilshire Law Firm today at (800) 522-7274 or fill out our online contact form to get started with your free case consultation.

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