Has a recent Los Angeles accident left you dealing with a life-changing spinal cord injury? You may be entitled to recover monetary compensation to help pay for costly medical bills and lost wages. Call the injury attorneys at Citywide Law Group to learn about how we can get you the money you need and deserve after your accident.
For the past 17 years, we have helped thousands of clients just like you recover millions in compensation for their injuries. In this time, we have successfully handled a variety of complex personal injury cases, including those for spinal cord injuries. We are confident that we can make sure that you are properly compensated for your life-changing spinal cord injury. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more.
What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
Statistics show that more than 12,500 people suffer spinal cord injuries each year. What exactly is a spinal cord injury? Your spinal cord is an incredibly complicated and important part of your body. It is comprised of nerves that control and affect every part of your body. When a signal is sent to a nerve, your spinal cord relays that information to your brain. A spinal cord injury occurs when your spinal column is damaged and you are left without sensation, feeling, or the ability to move a part of your body.
The type of symptoms and consequences you suffer will depend on which part of your spine has been damaged. The spine is divided into distinct regions: the cervical spinal cord, the thoracic spinal cord, the lumbar spinal cord, the sacral spine, and the coccygeal region. Each of these regions controls a different bodily function or movement.
If you suffer a spinal cord injury you may suffer from any of the following symptoms and consequences:
- Partial or complete paralysis;
- Paraplegia, which is the loss of movement in the bottom half of your body;
- Quadriplegia, which is the loss of movement in all of your limbs;
- Loss of speech or compromised speech patterns;
- Difficulty regulating normal bodily functions, including breathing and body temperature;
- Difficulty controlling your bladder and bowels;
- Loss of sensation and feeling;
- Infertility; and/or
- Chronic and excessive pain.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
You are at the greatest risk of suffering a spinal cord injury if you receive a sharp blow to the spine. Any time your spine and neck are not secured or protected, you are at risk of suffering a spinal cord injury. Some accidents are more likely than others to inflict this life-changing injury. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, the most commonly reported causes of spinal cord injuries include:
Liability for Your Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries can often be the result of another person’s wrongful conduct or negligence. When this is the case, you have the right to file a personal injury claim to recover damages from that at-fault party. Potentially liable parties for a spinal cord injury include:
- Motor vehicle drivers;
- Negligent third-parties;
- Business owners;
- The city of Los Angeles;
- Los Angeles County; and
- Product manufacturers.
Can you recover compensation for your spinal cord injury if you are partly to blame for your injury? Yes. If you suffer a spinal cord injury and are determined to be partly at-fault you can recover compensation. However, your ability to recover compensation will be limited. In California, you can only recover damages to the extent you were not responsible for your injury. So, if you are 30% at-fault for your injury, you can only recover 70% of your damages.
Statute of Limitations in Spinal Cord Injury Cases
The moment you sustain a spinal cord injury the statute of limitations will begin to run. The statute of limitations is a window of time after your injury in which you can file a personal claim for damages. If you do not file a claim before the statute of limitations expires, you will generally be barred from recovering much-needed compensation. In California, the statute of limitations for spinal cord injury cases is two years.
However, there are certain times when the statute of limitations can be extended. You may be able to file a claim outside of the traditional two-year period if:
- You are a minor at the time of your injury;
- The at-fault party is unavailable; and/or
- There is a reasonable delay in discovering your spinal cord injury.
Sometimes the government can be liable for your spinal cord injury. A different set of procedural rules exists if you want to name the government as a defendant in your personal injury claim. In order to recover compensation from the government, you must file an administrative claim within six months of your injury. The government will review this claim and either approve or deny your request. If your request is denied you will have an additional six months to file a civil claim for damages.
Spinal Cord Injury Damages
Spinal cord injuries have serious and devastating consequences for victims and their families. When your ability to move and act freely is compromised it can become difficult to do your job, care for your family, and even care for yourself. Filing a personal injury claim for damages can allow you be compensated for financial losses and the changes in your life.
Medical Expenses. Spinal cord injury victims who suffer a form of paralysis can expect to pay as much as $1 Million on medical care after an accident. In California, economic damages can be awarded to compensate victims for the medical costs and expenses related to their spinal cord injury. These costs can include hospitalization, spinal surgery, medical devices, and prescription medication.
Costs Related to Care. Sometimes you will need to travel to see a medical specialist or professional as part of your recovery. Economic damages can be awarded to compensate for the costs you incur while traveling to and from these visits.
Rehabilitation and Long-Term Care. When your body suffers a serious injury it may take a long time before you fully recover. In some cases, you may never fully recover. Economic damages can be awarded to compensate for the costs you incur for rehabilitation and long-term care. These costs can include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, in-home nursing care, modifications to the home, and even assisted living facility expenses.
Lost Wages and Reduced Earning Capacity. A serious injury to your spinal column may keep you out of work and limit your ability to do your job. Economic damages can be awarded to compensate you for the income you lose because of your spinal cord injury. This includes actual income lost at the present time and projected future losses.
Pain and Suffering. In addition to suffering physical injuries, you may also be traumatized by your accident. If your life is changed forever you may also become depressed. Spinal cord injuries also often result in chronic pain. Non-economic damages can be awarded to compensate for hard-to-value injuries. These can include pain and suffering, emotional distress, embarrassment, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys
Have you or someone you love recently suffered a spinal cord injury? The Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at CItywide Law Group can help you get the money you need to recover from your accident. While money may not be able to take away your pain or reverse your injury, it can help to reduce the financial pressure you face in the wake of your injury. Relieving this financial pressure is not only good for your wallet, but also your quality of life. You have the right to pursue compensation from the at-fault party, and our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys can help. Call us today to schedule a free consultation with our team.