Just as the brain, the spinal cord cannot grow back as other body tissues can. This is quite unfortunate considering that the spinal cord controls some of the most essential bodily functions, which might be gone forever following a spinal cord injury. Victims are often left with lifelong or permanent disabilities, ranging from simple foot movements to complete paralysis from the neck down.
Victims with the most severe of injuries will require multiple surgeries, long-term therapy, and even round-the-clock care. Many medical insurance covers might not be able to afford the best possible treatments. However, if the accident was caused by the malicious or negligent actions of another party, victims have the right to sue and hold the party responsible for their injuries.
This is where a Victorville spinal cord injury lawyer comes in. Kevin Crockett of the Crockett Law Group has recovered millions of dollars for catastrophic injury victims. You can rely on our firm to get you the justice and compensation you and your family deserve. Call us today at (800) 900-9393 to schedule a free consultation with a Victorville personal injury lawyer.
How Much Are Spinal Cord Injuries Worth?
Spinal cord injury refers to damage to any part of the spine or nerves. Damage to the delicate spinal cord often leads to a permanent impact on motor function and loss of sensation below the point of injury. As such, these kinds of injuries will affect almost every aspect of the person’s life. Based on just how permanent these injuries are, courts usually award significant compensation to the victims who deserve compensation.
The following are some of the damages that the victims can recover compensation for:
Past and Future Medical Expenses
These typically include the medical and hospital bills related to the injury, medical equipment like wheelchairs, surgical costs, rehabilitation costs, along with home and vehicle modifications to accommodate a permanent disability.
Loss of Enjoyment and Quality of Life
This is one poignant area of interest in spinal cord injury cases as some victims will suffer permanent paralysis. It is difficult to calculate a dollar amount on these life-changing losses, but California courts will use certain calculations to come up with an appropriate figure for each case.
Emotional Distress and Suffering
These are often present in the face and eyes of the victim. In many cases, the individual has to learn how to live with permanent motor function disabilities as well as other lifestyle changes. The emotional damages can be severe in such cases.
Wrongful Death Damages
Keep in mind that some people never leave the hospital following an accident that results in a spinal cord injury. When someone survives the initial trauma, they face a higher risk of early mortality. Life expectancy for people living with spinal injuries is much lower than those without. Mortality rates are much higher the first year after the injury, especially when there are neurological impairments involved.
The common causes of death surrounding spinal injury victims include septicemia, pneumonia, urinary/digestive diseases, and accidents. In case a loved one passed on due to complications of a spinal cord injury, reach out to us for help with a wrongful death claim.
What Are the Most Common Forms of Spinal Injuries?
Spinal cord injuries exhibit many symptoms. The most catastrophic of which involve paralysis and can be categorized as follows:
- Quadriplegia: Entails losing movement on all four limbs. In many cases, this affects the chest muscles and the patient will have to use a breathing machine.
- Paraplegia: Loss of movement and sensation in both legs.
- Triplegia: Loss of movement in one arm and both legs.
Patients that are critically injured might need 24/7 care for the rest of their lives, while others will be able to lead an independent life, usually with some level of support. Keep in mind that medical costs add up beyond medical care – things like home care, vocational training, special equipment, and psychological counseling will all be necessary.
Why Should You See a Doctor Right Away After a Back Injury?
Sometimes, spinal cord injuries aren’t apparent immediately after an accident. You might have been in a small fender-bender and discounted your injuries. Without prompt treatment, you could worsen your condition. The following are some of the symptoms that could indicate a spinal cord injury:
- Extreme neck or back pain
- Numbness in your toes or fingers
- Lack of control of bladder or bowels
- Changes in your sexual function
- Difficulty breathing
What Are Some of the Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries?
Some of the most common causes of spinal cord injuries include:
Spinal cord injuries may result from a number of accidents not only in the workplace but also in out-of-office work-related tasks. In many cases, spinal cord injuries will be a result of sudden impacts or traumatic events.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Nearly one out of three spinal cord injuries occur in a car accident. This figure includes the motorists that are struck by other drivers and commercial trucks. Pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists also suffer these injuries following a crash. However, spinal cord injuries are more common in accidents where the vehicle rolls during the crash.
Another common factor in spinal cord injuries is slip and fall accidents. Trips, slips, and falls can lead to spinal damage when you land on your neck, head, or back. Falling from a significant height is a common cause of these injuries.
Recreational or Sporting Accidents
Sporting accidents often cause spinal cord injuries. This is especially true for some sports like football. Even sports that aren’t known to be as violent, such as basketball, could lead to spinal injuries when the player lands in the wrong way.
Some spinal injuries can be a result of violent assaults. Physical assault may lead to neck or head injuries that ultimately injure the spine. Spinal injuries are also quite common in shootings as well.
What Can I Expect to Recover if I Have a Spinal Cord Injury?
Spinal cord injury cases fall under personal injury cases, which means that you are eligible to be compensated in three areas:
- All the necessary and reasonable medical costs, including the past, present, and future expenses
- Lost income as a direct result of the injury
- Pain and suffering
For catastrophic injuries, we always try to account for future medical expenses to ensure that you are well covered throughout your life. In cases involving younger clients or someone who became entirely disabled, we will structure the recovery such that the money won’t be spent at once. This is referred to as structured settlement, and it helps to protect the interest of the client through a special needs trust.
How Different Are Spinal Cord Injury Cases From Other Personal Injury Cases?
For most other accidents, you can easily recover after the injury. Spinal cord injuries tend to be different in the sense that the injuries will result in long-term health issues that will require long-term care. This means facing a lifetime of costs.
People with spinal injuries can go on to lead amazing lives. They can participate in games and marathons, go back to work, start families, and even attend college. More and more research is breaking ground on regenerative therapy. Reach out to us and let our attorneys set you or your loved one up for a chance at a productive life.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Spinal Cord Injury Claim?
There are always time limits for filing personal injury cases. In California, the statute of limitation for personal injury cases, including spinal cord injury claims, is two years. However, some municipalities and other cases have shorter exceptions. However, it’s always advisable to seek legal help as soon as possible to give you better chances of receiving the maximum amount of compensation available for your case.
What About Spinal Cord Injuries That Happen at Work?
Employees who suffer spinal injuries in the workplace are often entitled to receive financial compensation and benefits. While this is covered under workers’ compensation plans, the amount of compensation will often be limited to medical expenses and the amount of time spent away from work.
Alternatively, a personal injury lawyer who specializes in spinal cord injuries that happen in workplace accidents can evaluate your claim to figure out if any additional third parties can be held accountable for your injuries.
Talk to a Victorville Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Today
At the Crockett Law Group, we take spinal cord injury cases very seriously, and we understand the devastation that the victims and their families might be experiencing. Since the spinal cord is expensive to treat and it often robs the victim of their career, these cases often have a great financial burden. Most victims will require intensive short-term care, with most needing ongoing treatment and physical therapy from a spinal care specialist.
Spinal cord injury cases are complicated. There is also too much at stake to risk working with a lawyer who can’t effectively handle your case. At the Crockett Law Group, we are confident in our ability to represent clients who suffered spinal cord injuries under the negligence of another person. Combining our experience with vast resources and a reputation for success, our team of legal experts can carefully review your case and help you establish who can be held liable for your losses.
If you or your loved one suffered a spinal cord injury, get in touch with our law firm at (800) 900-9393 to schedule a free case evaluation with our lawyers.