If you or a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury, the attorneys of Wilshire Law Firm want to express our sincere wishes for your speedy and complete recovery. If that spinal cord injury was to any extent due to the negligence of others, or if an insurance company does not want to adequately compensate your losses, the legal services of our personal injury attorneys can ensure those parties uphold their obligations to restore your financial circumstances and long-term health.
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 can cause whiplash and 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
- 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.
Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer in California: Symptoms & Warnings
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.
California Spinal Cord Injury Attorney: Consequences & Concerns
Imagine you’re working on a construction site, when, suddenly, the scaffolding you’re standing on collapses. You fall and hit the ground, hard. You wake up in the hospital. The doctor tells you that you have suffered a spinal cord injury during your construction injury accident. You don’t feel your legs.
Currently, 250,000 Americans have spinal cord injuries, and this number grows every year. The most common reasons for spinal injuries? Vehicular and falls like the one described above.1 People sustaining such injuries may have done so through no fault of their own! The consequence: a potentially shorter life span and millions spent on treatments.
How does a spinal injury affect your life?
Spinal injuries can affect many aspects of your life. Hobbies you once loved may be impossible to participate in. Everyday routines are forever disrupted. Changes need to be made to accommodate your injury. Little things like making coffee or running errands are more difficult to do or, in more severe cases, impossible. A spinal injury can also have lasting impacts on your life expectancy!
The University of Alabama released a study showing how much one’s life expectancy can drop because of a spinal cord injury. Their research revealed a correlation between the severity of a spinal cord injury and a person’s life expectancy. As you can see from the chart, the group who experienced “motor functional at any level AI5 D) were least affected. Their average life span dropped by 5.2 years. Requiring a ventilator dropped a person’s life expectancy, on average, by a striking 33.7 years!
Life expectancies drop for different reasons. Newsmax Health list the following as reasons contributing to lower life-expectancies of quadriplegics:
- Difficulty breathing
- Impaired digestion
- Loss of motor and sensory control
But with the right help and treatments, you can live well beyond the average. Unfortunately, maintaining such treatments are costly, averaging somewhere in the millions.
How does a spinal injury affect your finances?
Without the proper care, living with a severe and life-altering spinal injury is not only difficult, but costly in terms of your life and finances. As you saw from the previous section, a spinal injury can lower your life expectancy. The best way to combat this is to obtain the necessary care, but it’s going to cost a lot of money. The University of Alabama has released a report showing how much of a drain a spinal injury can be on individuals and families. For example, those who suffered impairments to their motor functions at any level can expect to spend the least amount, which is still well over a million dollars.
For more severe injuries causing a person to become paraplegic or tetraplegic, costs rise substantially because treatments and continuous care are expensive. The younger you are at the time of your injury, the more you will be expected to pay throughout your life. Take, for instance, a 25-year-old who is a high tetraplegic. On average, their lifetime costs for treatments and maintaining care for their condition amounts to 4,789,384 dollars. Spending the required amount of money necessary for your condition is expensive and could easily cause someone to fall into debt. You can fight this! Seek a personal injury lawyer who will recover the compensation you deserve.
What can you do?
When you have suffered from a spinal cord injury, due to no fault of your own, you deserve compensation. Not only has your injury impacted your life, but, potentially, how long your life could be. Why should you have to pay what may be well over a million dollars when it wasn’t your fault? You’re already suffering the consequences because of a companies’, doctor’s, or driver’s reckless/negligent actions. You shouldn’t also fall into debt for their actions, too.
You have the right to go after the ones responsible by filing a claim against them. When you do, you can look for compensation covering the costs of your injuries, future costs of your injuries, and pain and suffering. A lawyer can provide additional details as to how you can be compensated. Wilshire Law Firm’s personal injury lawyers want to fight for you! Call for a free consultation today at 1-866-703-5073.
What Compensation Is Available for Spinal Cord Injury Victims in California?
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
Spinal Cord Injury Attorney California: Recovering Damages in a Paralysis Lawsuit
When a person suffers complete or partial paralysis as a result of an accident, it’s not enough for the at-fault party to simply say, “Sorry.” There are no words that can make up for the loss of control of one’s own body, the loss of the ability to perform everyday tasks, the loss of financial stability, the loss of livelihood, the loss of happiness itself … With no known cure in sight, paralysis remains to this day an irreversible condition, a heavy burden victims, and their families, must carry for the rest of their lives.
Have you or someone you love been paralyzed due to the negligent and/or reckless actions of another party? You have the right to pursue damages in a personal injury claim or lawsuit. While money is no substitute for a complete cure, monetary compensation can at least alleviate the financial woes that follow paralysis. It is highly advised that you work with an attorney who is experienced in these matters. Only with the right legal help can you fully recover your losses.
Paralysis victims are entitled to a long list of damages available to them in a personal injury claim or lawsuit, including the following:
- Costs of medical treatment, medication, and ongoing rehabilitation
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Costs of medical devices or equipment such as wheelchairs, ramps, and modifications to your home or vehicles
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Diminishment in quality of life
Prior to finalizing your legal action, it is essential to have an attorney evaluate your case and the full extent of your damages. Make sure that all past, present, AND future damages receive proper consideration.
Also, don’t forget about the deadline, or statute of limitations. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, you may have anywhere from a few months to a couple of years to file your claim. This is why you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you don’t lose the ability to pursue compensation for your paralysis damages.
Why You Need an Experienced Lawyer to Represent You
Remember, only a trusted lawyer can protect your right to full and fair compensation, not your friends or family (although their support is vital to your mental and emotional recovery), and most definitely NOT the insurance claims adjuster. At Wilshire Law Firm, our renowned legal team is comprised of compassionate professionals who treat clients like family. If you want an attorney who is willing to do whatever it takes to get you optimal recovery, look no further. Call us at (866) 703-5073 today for a FREE case evaluation.
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 (877) 544-0852 or fill out our online contact form to get started with your free case consultation.