Los Angeles Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
Los Angeles Spinal Cord Injury Attorney Will Protect Your Interests
Spinal cord injuries are typically life changing, not only for the person with the injury, but for their loved ones as well. These types of injuries can occur in a variety of ways, including car accidents, sports injuries, or medical malpractice. In many situations, spinal cord injuries are severe and can result in permanent damage or paralysis, or even death.
If you or a loved one sustained a spinal cord injury due to someone else’s negligence, hiring a Los Angeles spinal cord injury attorney is highly recommended. Below you will find helpful information on spinal cord injuries and how an experienced attorney can help. If you want someone to review your case or that of a family member, please contact the Dolan Law Firm today. There is no obligation or charge for us to review your case.
Classifying Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are classified based on the severity of the injury, criteria for which includes loss of feeling (sensory) and movement (motor function):
- Complete: If all your feeling is gone and you are unable to move below the spinal cord injury, it’s said to be complete.
- Incomplete: If there is some movement or feeling below the injured area, it’s considered incomplete.
“Complete” is the most serious type of spinal injury, and indicates that the entire width of the spine in a particular area was damaged. “Incomplete” injuries indicate some functional limitations, often more noticeable on one side of the body.
The Location of the Spinal Cord Injury Can Make a Huge Difference
The spinal cord is divided into cervical, thoracic, and lumbar vertebrae. The higher up the spine the spinal cord injury occurs, the more serious it tends to be.
- Cervical: The cervical spine includes your neck and contains the closest vertebrae to your brain. If one of the cervical nerves is injured, you’ll typically see the most serious side effects possible, including total loss of mobility.
- Thoracic: These vertebrae are located below the cervical ones. Injuries here can be serious, but do not necessarily cause complete loss of mobility.
- Lumbar: The lumbar spine is the lowest part, and injuries here can also involve the sacral nerves. These injuries can cause serious side effects, but usually no permanent paralysis or inability to walk.
Treatment for Spinal Cord Injuries
After a car accident, there will be swelling around the spinal cord. As the swelling dissipates, the nerves may start working on their own again. Some injured parties may exhibit involuntary movements, like twitching. Twitching or spasms are not a sign the person is improving. Response times will vary, and getting immediate medical care is important in helping to reduce long-term side effects.
- Medication: Doctors will prescribe corticosteroids that can help reduce swelling and the risk of damage to the spinal cord. Corticosteroids should be started as soon as possible after an injury in order to prevent total destruction of the spinal nerves.
- Surgery: Serious injuries, especially to the cervical spine, will typically require surgery. A common procedure is decompression laminectomy, which removes tissue or fluid that may be pressing on the cord. Sources of compression like a bony fragment or hematoma can be removed, or swelling can be reduced, before any permanent damage occurs. Herniated discs or spinal stenosis are two common conditions that cause the buildup.
- Traction: Bed rest is not uncommon with spinal cord injuries, and a doctor may recommend traction to immobilize the spine. This is done using metal braces that are implanted in the skull and attached to the body by a harness or traction weights.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy or other types of rehabilitation are often required once the acute injury has been resolved. The rehabilitation period may be mild, or more aggressive if the patient is required to learn how to live with a permanent disability.
Determining Legal Responsibility for a Spinal Cord Injury
Determining the party responsible for someone’s spinal cord injury is crucial because it establishes legal liability and a duty to compensate the victim for their injuries and financial losses. What this determination will look like depends on what type of accident resulted in the injury and how many people were involved.
- Car Accidents: A driver who is negligent and causes an auto accident has a legal duty to compensate those who were injured. If there are multiple negligent parties, liability will be apportioned between the at-fault parties.
- Slip and Fall Accidents: If someone slips and falls due to a hazardous condition on someone else’s property, the owner has a duty to reimburse the plaintiff for injuries sustained. This includes retail stores, restaurants, grocery stores, sports venues, etc. Municipalities also have the same duty under premises liability if the fall occurred while in a public place like a school, hospital, or courthouse.
- Medical Malpractice: Unfortunately, medical treatment designed to improve someone’s condition can cause additional damage or worsen existing spinal cord injuries if a medical provider is negligent.
How Do You Obtain Compensation for a Spinal Cord Injury?
Before you can collect for your damages, you need to start by determining who was legally responsible. This is where the use of a Los Angeles spinal cord injury attorney is so important. Your attorney will help establish liability and provide evidence of who was responsible for your injuries. Most insurance companies try to deny claims, especially if there are multiple parties involved and they can try to point the finger at another person.
In addition to proving liability, you have to prove what your claim is worth. An attorney can help you determine a figure of your economic damages, including current medical expenses, lost earnings, and what your projected medical expenses and future earnings losses are. In addition, your attorney will help establish a figure that addresses your pain and suffering, which is known as non-economic damages.
Let an Aggressive Spinal Cord Injury Attorney in Los Angeles Fight for a Fair Settlement
An experienced Los Angeles spinal cord injury attorney can help you through each step of this complex and emotionally difficult process. Your attorney will handle the claim from the onset through filing a lawsuit and litigating the matter for as long as it takes to reach a settlement.
Whether your spinal cord injury was caused by a slip and fall, a car accident, or medical malpractice, call the Dolan Law Firm today. Contact us through our online contact form or call us and let us evaluate your case. There is no obligation or cost to you for this consultation.