Many spinal cord injuries remain permanent, forcing victims into an uncertain situation. Some may be unable to walk, while others may never return to work. Spinal cord damage can alter a victim’s life completely, creating future uncertainty, financial problems, and, most importantly, constant physical and mental pain.
Ehline Law and our San Diego spinal injury attorneys have over 15 years of experience handling spinal injury claims and protecting the rights of victims in San Diego. Contact us to learn more about your rights as an injured victim and discuss your personal injury claim with legal experts.
Spinal Injury Statistics in the United States
The United Spinal Association, in a 2022 report, revealed that 17,700 people, on average, suffer from spinal cord injuries annually. 39% of all spinal cord injuries result from motor vehicle accidents, and 31% happen due to slip and fall accidents.
37% of all spinal injury patients suffer from depression following their accident, and most experience chronic pain daily. Around 80% of spinal cord injury victims will develop pressure sores, with 30% having multiple.
An estimated 65% to 78% have some muscle stiffening or Spasticity throughout their lives due to signals not reaching the brain, causing misfires.
Despite how far medical advancements have come, spinal cord injuries are the most complex to deal with, and in most cases, the injuries remain permanent.
Types of Spinal Cord Injuries
Generally, spinal cord injuries are divided into two major types:
- Incomplete spinal cord injury: Incomplete spinal cord injuries occur when the spinal cord is partially severed, but the ability to send and receive signals is not completely affected.
- Complete spinal cord injury: In complete spinal cord injuries, the entire spinal cord is severely affected, resulting in a loss of function below where the injury occurred.
Are Spinal Cord Injuries Fatal?
The spinal cord is responsible for sending and receiving signals to and from the brain to all parts of the body. The nerves in and around the spinal cord help send motor commands, send sensory information, and coordinate reflexes.
A severe spinal cord injury can send you into an extended vegetative stage, where the cerebrum, responsible for thoughts and bodily functions, stops functioning. In extreme cases, patients may require a ventilator and other medical devices to help with their bodily functions before they slowly die.
In cases that are not so severe, a patient may slowly improve over the next few months but will never return to normal. After a few months of recovery, it is unlikely that the patient may improve further and will have to live with their medical condition.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries in San Diego
The following are the leading causes of spinal injuries in the country:
- Automobile accidents
- Slip and falls
- Sports injuries
If you suffered spinal cord injuries due to another’s negligence, you should pursue legal action against the negligent party and hold them responsible for your loss.
How Much Does Spinal Injuries Cost in San Diego?
Depending on the severity of the injuries sustained, the medical professional may recommend initial treatment followed by multiple surgeries, rehabilitation and therapy, and long-term hospitalizations.
If you cannot walk after your accident, you will require a wheelchair and home modifications to help you live a somewhat “normal” life.
All of these expenses can add up to millions of dollars. According to Christopher & Dana Reeves Foundation, estimated lifetime costs can range between $1,217,226 and $5,162,152, depending on the severity of the injury and the victim’s age.
What Should You Do After a Spinal Injury Accident in San Diego?
Hiring an experienced San Diego spinal cord injury attorney is the best thing to do following your spinal injuries. Life can be even more challenging without securing compensation, which is why you need someone who can hold the responsible party accountable and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Insurance companies are not on your side, and after an accident, most injured victims end up settling for the first offer they receive, which puts them at a serious disadvantage. An experienced attorney understands your case’s value and will continue to negotiate until they feel the settlement amount is fair.
It is crucial to secure as much evidence and information at the accident scene as possible, but if you’re suffering from a serious spinal cord injury, you won’t be able to move. Ehline Law has the resources to thoroughly investigate your accident and gather the necessary evidence to build a trial-ready case.
What you need to do on your end is to ensure you attend all the medical appointments and follow your medical team’s treatment plan. It is also important to keep all the medical bills and records safe and maintain a journal where you note down details about your appointments, how the injuries have affected your life, and the pain and suffering you’re experiencing.
How Much Is Your Spinal Cord Injury Lawsuit Worth?
Every spinal cord injury is unique. It can be difficult to estimate the worth of your San Diego spinal cord injury lawsuit without properly investigating your accident and assessing your injuries.
An experienced San Diego spinal cord injury attorney can work with your medical team and other experts to determine the extent of the damages incurred and how much treatments may cost in the future.
A severe spinal injury can put you off work, resulting in lost wages, and it is important to determine whether you’ll be able to return to work or switch to another occupation. These details can have an impact on your spinal cord injury settlement.
Psychiatric evaluations and their input can go a long way toward understanding how the injury affects your life which is a key factor in assessing the value of your spinal cord injury claim.
Recoverable Damages in a Spinal Injury Claim
The following are some of the economic damages you may be able to recover in a spinal injury case:
- Medical treatment costs (includes surgery, rehabilitation, medication, and physical therapy costs)
- Lost income
- Assistive devices and home modifications
- Vehicle modifications
- Domestic help
- Property damage.
Besides economic damages, injured victims may also be able to recover non-economic damages in spinal cord injury cases, including pain and suffering, emotional distress, reduced quality of life, loss of companionship, and more.
In spinal injury cases involving serious gross negligence, the court may also award punitive damages to punish the defendant for their recklessness.
Injured victims must immediately reach out to skilled spinal cord injury lawyers as they only have two years to pursue personal injury claims after the spinal injury occurs. The statute of limitations is even shorter for injuries due to a government agency’s negligence. Failing to bring legal action within the time frame will bar you from recovering compensation.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Ehline Law
If you suffered serious spinal cord injuries due to someone else’s fault, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation, as you may be eligible for compensation.
Our experienced spinal cord injury lawyers can help investigate your accident, assess your damages, gather evidence, and pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party to recover the compensation you deserve.
You shouldn’t be the one bearing the physical, emotional, and financial burden arising from a spinal injury due to another’s fault. Ehline Law and our San Diego spine injury attorneys understand the pain and suffering a victim goes through, which is why we are ready to protect and fight for your rights tirelessly.
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