In a traffic collision or any other kind of accident scenario, damage to the vertebrae may cause a serious, long-term spinal cord injury. It’s one of the most serious injuries that an accident victim can sustain.
What are the long-term effects of serious spinal cord injuries? If you sustain a spinal cord injury because a negligent driver injures you, what are your rights? With the help of a Pasadena car accident law firm, can you be compensated for a spinal cord injury?
WHAT ARE THE NUMBERS REGARDING SPINAL CORD INJURIES?
First, some facts about spinal cord injuries compiled by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation:
– Over half of spinal cord injuries are in the neck region.
– A third of spinal cord injuries are in the upper back region.
– Eighty percent of spinal cord injury victims are men.
– Traffic collisions are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries.
Here in the U.S., about 12,000 spinal cord injuries are reported each year. Approximately 250,000 people in the U.S. are permanently disabled by a spinal cord injury.
CAN YOU RECOVER FROM A SPINAL CORD INJURY?
The severity of a spinal cord injury determines your chances for recovery. If you retain mobility and feeling below the injury site, your chances for a full recovery are good. If there’s no mobility or feeling whatsoever below the injury site, it’s possible that you may be permanently disabled.
If you have sustained a spinal cord injury in a traffic crash that was caused by another driver, you are entitled under California law to compensation for your lost wages, your current and future medical needs, and all other losses and damages arising from the accident and injury.
WHAT CAN A SPINAL CORD INJURY COST?
The victim of a severe spinal cord injury may require life-long care that will eventually cost several million dollars.
If you’re permanently disabled by a spinal cord injury, you will need to be reimbursed with the maximum compensation amount, and you’ll need to be represented by a sharp and experienced personal injury lawyer who knows what it takes to win that compensation on your behalf.
Immediately after you’ve been injured and you’ve been seen by a doctor, take your case to a skilled Pasadena personal injury attorney. Your lawyer will discuss your rights and your options – which may include filing a personal injury claim – after sustaining a spinal cord injury.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF A SPINAL CORD INJURY?
A spinal cord injury may be caused by an abrupt blow to the spine that compresses, fractures, or crushes one or more vertebrae. A spinal cord injury causes a reduction or a lack of sensation, a reduction or loss of mobility, and a reduction or loss of body functions below the injury site.
Disabling spinal cord injuries may result from nerve root or spinal cord compression, the shearing of a nerve, or the complete severing of the cord.
A spinal cord injury may not be immediately detected. It may emerge days or even weeks later due to swelling, inflammation, bleeding, and accumulation of fluid around the cord. That’s one reason why you must have a medical exam promptly after a traffic crash – even if you feel great.
WHY IS A PROMPT MEDICAL EXAM IMPERATIVE AFTER AN ACCIDENT?
After a traffic accident, the way to prevent additional spinal cord damage is quick, appropriate medical care and treatment. If you’ve suffered latent or hard-to-detect spinal cord damage, you will need the records from a medical exam if you choose subsequently to take legal action.
“Cervical radiculopathy” is damage to the nerves that occurs when nerve roots located near the cervical vertebrae are compressed. An injury to these nerve roots can cause sharp pain along the nerve pathway to a hand or an arm.
Severe spinal cord injuries can cause paraplegia or quadriplegia, but a minor back injury can also be difficult and costly. A less catastrophic back injury can make it tough to perform simple tasks, while even minor surgery and one night in the hospital can cost several thousand dollars.
WILL YOU NEED AN AUTO ACCIDENT LAW FIRM’S ASSISTANCE?
If you sustain a spinal cord injury because another driver was negligent, and if you file a personal injury claim against that driver, expect that driver’s auto insurance company to underestimate the compensation amount that you’ll require for surgeries, drugs, therapy, and additional treatment.
To acquire the full compensation that you’re entitled to, a spinal cord injury victim in Southern California will very much need the advice and representation that an experienced Pasadena personal injury attorney can provide.
If you are a spinal cord injury victim, you can learn more about spinal cord injuries and how others are dealing with these injuries. Organizations throughout Southern California offer resources and support to spinal cord injury victims and their loved ones.
HOW SHOULD YOU HANDLE THE OTHER DRIVER’S INSURANCE COMPANY?
Even if the prognosis for recovering from your spinal cord injury is good, you may be unable to return to work for months. In these circumstances, your medical expenses, lost wages, and other obligations can pile up fast.
Don’t be tempted to accept a quick settlement offer from a negligent driver’s auto insurance company – it’s probably a “low-ball” offer for an amount that’s far below what your injury claim is actually worth.
In fact, don’t sign any insurance paperwork after you’ve been injured and don’t make any formal statement to an insurance company. Refer all questions and calls to your personal injury lawyer. Your attorney will negotiate for the best possible settlement.
HOW ARE MOST PERSONAL INJURY CASES RESOLVED?
Most personal injury claims in California are settled out-of-court, so most spinal cord injury victims don’t even have to make a court appearance.
However, if an acceptable settlement offer isn’t forthcoming in private negotiations, your attorney may recommend taking your case to trial. Your attorney may even recommend bringing in a spinal cord injury authority as an expert witness to explain your injury to a jury.
Your first meeting with a personal injury lawyer is free, and there’s no obligation. You’ll learn more about your rights and legal options. If you take legal action, you’ll pay no attorney’s fee until – and unless – a settlement or a jury verdict is obtained on your behalf.
A severe spinal cord injury can catastrophically change your life, but a personal injury claim can help a spinal cord injury victim move positively and constructively into the future. If you are injured by a negligent driver in southern California, compensation is your right.