A spinal cord injury can forever change your life. Regardless of what led to the incident -– an act of negligence, a split-second accident, or a fall — the effects can be devastating. While it is possible to recover, most victims end up facing lifelong challenges.
Luckily, spinal cord injury victims are entitled to compensation if the cause of the incident was another party’s negligence. Filling a personal injury lawsuit will help you get the settlement you deserve for damages — including pain and suffering.
If you are a victim of a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s negligence, our personal injury lawyers at AttorneyJeff can help. Read on to learn more about getting fair compensation in California after a spinal cord injury.
The Different Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury happens when the bony structure around the cord is damaged by way of dislocation, compression, fractures, or burst. The leading cause of spinal cord injuries is trauma from shallow diving, falls, sports injuries, and vehicle accidents.
However, the spinal cord does not need to be severed for an individual to lose function. It can happen if the spinal cord is stretched, bruised, or crashed. Below are the different types of spinal cord injuries to give you a better understanding.
Cervical Spinal Cord Injury
The cervical area of the spinal cord controls functions of the arms, diaphragm, shoulders, hands, neck, and back of the head. Therefore, a cervical level injury may cause weakness or paralysis in both the legs and the arms. It may also lead to respiratory issues, sexual dysfunction, and loss of physical sensation.
Thoracic Spinal Cord Injury
This level of spinal cord injury leads to paraplegia — weakness or paralysis of the legs. However, hands and legs are not commonly affected. Most patients will also need a brace on the trunk to offer extra stability.
Lumbar Spinal Cord Injury
The lumbar area controls the functioning of the lower abdomen parts. An injury will lead to paralysis of the legs. Often, victims will require external stabilization or surgery.
Sacral Spinal Cord Injury
These injuries mainly lead to loss of bladder and bowel functions. However, some patients may experience sexual dysfunction as well. Often, sacral spinal cord injuries will lead to paralysis or weakness of the legs and hips.
Incomplete vs Complete Spinal Cord Injuries
You will come across these two terms when you are a victim of a spinal cord injury. An incomplete injury is when the cord can continue conveying messages from and to the brain. However, a complete injury occurs when there is a total lack of motor or sensory function.
How Much Compensation Can I Claim for a Spinal Cord Injury in California?
No spinal cord injury lawsuit is similar to another. Therefore, the amount of compensation will vary depending on several factors. These include the extent of the injury, events that led to the injury, expected medical bills, impact on your daily life, and expected recovery time. You may also be entitled to compensation for future opportunity costs due to the ongoing disability as a result of the accident.
It is vital to also understand the costs that are involved in a spinal cord injury. Before discussing compensation specifics with your attorney, take a closer look at potential medical costs that you may incur:
- Initial treatment costs
- Long-term medical expenses
- Caregiving expenses
- Alternative medical costs
- Medical consultations
- Physical therapy
- Prescription drugs
Does Severity of the Spinal Cord Injury Affect My Settlement?
Yes, the value of your settlement will come down to the severity of the spinal cord injury and its impact on the quality of your life. For starters, severe spinal cord injuries lead to higher medical bills than mild spinal cord injuries. You might also need additional help including physical therapy to re-learn daily tasks and regain some control.
As a rule of thumb, victims of spinal cord injury that become paralyzed should get more compensation than those that suffered from bulging discs. Whether or not you will need lifetime care will also impact the amount of compensation you receive greatly.
Filing a Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit in California
Victims of a spinal cord injury (SCI) in California need to file a lawsuit to receive compensation. It is a necessity considering the high cost of treatment and how difficult it can be to live with spinal cord injuries. According to The National Library of Medicine, SCI victims spend over $1,100,000 for complete injuries and $550,000 for incomplete injuries.
At AttorneyJeff, our personal injury lawyers will assist you to secure evidence to prove malicious intent and negligence. If you or your loved one was involved in a car accident that lead to a spinal cord injury, for example, our attorneys will prove the following:
- The spinal cord injury was primarily a result of the accident and not pre-existing conditions
- The car accident occurred as a direct result of the other driver’s negligence
- The incident was preventable if the at-fault driver had done things differently
Reach Out to a Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Today
At AttorneyJeff, we are dedicated to ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve for a spinal cord injury in California. Our team works with you to address your specific issues, thus creating a personalized approach to get you a fair settlement.
We take a personal approach because we believe you need to be heard. You are not just a bottom line or case number but a human being going through a traumatic experience. We know your spinal cord injury lawsuit is important to you, which makes it our number one priority.
Request a free case evaluation today to get the justice you deserve.
Spine Injury FAQs
Should I get a personal injury lawyer in California for my spinal cord injury?
Although it is not compulsory to have a personal injury lawyer handle your SCI lawsuit, it is advisable to have one. Insurance companies will aggressively defend the at-fault party, which makes it critical to find reliable and qualified legal services.
What are the treatment options for a spinal cord injury?
There is no method of regenerating nerve cells and reversing damage to the spinal cord. Therefore, patients undergo rehabilitation processes after they no longer need acute medical care.