Have You Suffered From A Spinal Cord Injury After a Car Accident? You Deserve Full and Fair Compensation!
California has some of the most dangerous cities for driving. Over 3,000 Californians die each year as a result of traffic accidents. And while some California car accidents might only result in minor damages, many more are often devastating.
Unfortunately, when a severe accident does occur, it can lead to heavy financial burdens, life-altering injuries, and even death. One such injury that can drastically impact a person’s life is a spinal cord injury.
Damage to the spinal cord often requires expensive treatments and ongoing care. In many cases, people who suffer from a spinal cord injury never fully recover, resulting in a loss of quality of life and an inability to work or perform certain activities.
Thus, the impact a spinal cord injury can have on a person’s life is often devastating and even traumatizing. People who suffer from these injuries not only have physical impairments but might also develop emotional trauma from the accident and their situation, such as PTSD and depression.
This is why it is crucial to work with an attorney when you file a personal injury claim. An injury claim can help you recover compensation, but victims are not always awarded the settlement they deserve. And if you suffer from a spinal cord injury, you deserve much more than what the average personal injury claim provides.
With an attorney on your side, you are more likely to win your case and prove to the insurance company or court that you deserve more than is typically awarded for your devastating and potentially catastrophic injury.
At Sally Morin, our compassionate team is dedicated to helping people who have been seriously injured in car accidents. We can help you secure a high-value settlement that is enough to cover your damages using our years of experience.
Don’t hesitate. Reach out to our legal team today for a free case evaluation.
What Kind of Accidents Cause Spinal Cord Injuries?
An estimated 294,000 people are living with spinal cord injuries in the United States, with over 17,000 new cases emerging each year. Unfortunately, even if a spinal cord injury does not lead to death, it can still drastically alter a person’s quality of life.
While a spinal cord injury can result from various kinds of incidents, motor vehicle collisions remain the number one cause year after year. And with California being one of the most dangerous states for car accidents, this means that a significant number of California residents likely suffer from spinal cord injuries.
As a whole, the breakdown of causes of spinal cord injuries are as follows:
- 38.6% Vehicle Accidents
- 32.2% Falls
- 14% Violence and Assault
- 7.8% Sporting Accidents
- 4.2% Medical/Surgical Errors
- 3.2% Other
California Car Accident Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are complicated; thus, there is no one specific type of spinal cord injury. Instead, the injury is broken down into multiple categories depending on what area of the spinal cord was affected and to what extent the spinal cord was damaged.
First, after a person suffers from a spinal cord injury, the injury will be classified in one of two ways:
- Complete. A complete spinal cord injury means the victim has lost all feeling and motor function below where the spinal cord is injured.
- Incomplete. An incomplete injury means the victim still has partial sensation or control below the area of the spinal cord that is affected.
After initial classification, the injury will be further identified based on the specific area that was damaged:
- Cervical – head and neck
- Thoracic – upper chest, mid-back, and abdomen
- Lumbar – lower back
- Sacral – pelvis and tailbone
Once a spinal cord injury is determined to be complete or incomplete, and the affected area is identified, it will then be further classified based on levels of severity concerning movement and sensation:
- Level C1-3 – total paralysis of the trunk, arms, and legs
- Level C4 – full-body paralysis with some neck and shoulder movement
- Level C5 – partial or total paralysis with some arm movement
- Level C6 – paralysis in hands, trunk, and legs
- Level C7/8 – paralysis of trunk and legs with greater arm and hand function
- Level T1-5 – lower trunk paralysis
- Level T6-12 – leg paralysis
- Level L1-S15 – partial paralysis in hips and legs with little to no control over bowel/bladder function
Signs You May Be Suffering From a Spinal Cord Injury After a Car Accident
The signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury can vary just as the injury itself can. Each person’s situation will be unique depending on the area that was affected and how severe the injury is. Still, there is a general list of symptoms that can indicate that a person is suffering from spinal cord damage:
- Loss of motor control
- Loss of sensation
- Loss of bowel/bladder control
- Body spasms
- Stinging and tingling sensations
- Sexual dysfunction
- Trouble breathing
- Numbness or weakness
- Severe pain in the head, neck, or back
- Trouble walking
- Loss of balance and coordination
Complications That Can Arise From Spinal Cord Injuries After an Accident
Spinal cord injuries should not be taken lightly. If you suspect you are suffering from a spinal cord injury after an accident, it is crucial that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. While some spinal cord injuries can be treated and potentially cured, the longer they go untreated, the more likely you are to sustain further damage, which can lead to complications. And even when a victim seeks emergency medical treatment, it is still possible for there to be permanent damage and life-long complications.
Those who suffer from spinal cord injuries can suffer long-term complications such as:
- Complete loss of bowel and bladder control
- Circulatory issues, which can cause swelling, pulmonary embolisms, deep vein thrombosis, and spikes in blood pressure
- Respiratory issues, which can affect breathing and lead to lung problems
- Loss of skin sensation, such as the ability to feel hot, cold, or pressure
- Development of skin sores from being unable to move
- Muscle atrophy
- Low bone density
- Loss of sexual function and fertility issues
- Chronic pain
How a Spinal Cord Injury Can Affect Your Life
As a whole, spinal cord injuries can severely impact your finances, physical health, mental health, and relationships. Not only are initial treatments and surgeries for spinal cord injuries expensive, but a person suffering from spinal cord damage may also require expensive long-term care. And because the injury can severely affect physical abilities, it can also result in the inability to work and earn an income.
Physically, a spinal cord injury can affect your daily life in so many ways. Simple tasks and activities you were once able to easily enjoy might now be inaccessible to you. And while some people can regain some mobility and strength with the help of rehabilitation and physical therapy, others who are more severely impacted might not have much mobility at all.
The trauma of being injured so severely and having to live with limitations can also have a significant impact on your mental health. Many people who suffer from spinal cord damage can struggle to come to terms with their new situation and can develop symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
Spinal cord injuries can also affect your personal relationships. Romantic relationships can struggle due to the loss of sexual function, or they may simply fall apart because one partner cannot handle the stress of caring for the injured victim or dealing with their potential depression and negative moods. This can also impact friendships and family, such as siblings, parents, or children.
How is Fault Determined for a Spinal Cord Injury After a California Car Accident?
After an accident, many factors can play a role in how your case will turn out and in determining who was at fault. California is a comparative negligence state, which means fault can be split among multiple parties, including you as the injured victim. So if you file a personal injury claim and share in the liability, your compensation will be reduced based on your percentage of fault.
Factors that can help determine fault and play a role in your accident case can include:
- The location of where the accident and injury occurred
- Which laws were broken, if any
- Police reports
- Civilian witness testimonies
- Expert witness testimonies
- Evidence of damaged vehicles or equipment that was involved
- Available video footage from people, homes, and businesses
- Photographic evidence taken at the scene with a camera or cell phone
Seeking Compensation for Your California Spinal Cord Car Accident Injury
When a personal injury claim is initially filed, there is no way to determine how much the victim will recover. This is because each situation is unique and personal injuries are not awarded set amounts. Instead, similar to determining fault, various factors will play a part in how much money you will receive in the settlement.
These factors, which are also known as damages, will help insurance companies or the court determine how much a victim deserves to be awarded. Such damages include:
- Medical expenses, such as initial treatments, medications, support and assistance, equipment and devices, and the cost of ongoing care
- Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity if the victim is out of work while recovering and potentially unable to return to work in the future
- Cost of lost or damaged property, such as car repairs
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of consortium
What to Do After a California Car Accident Spinal Cord Injury?
Following an accident that results in a spinal cord injury, there are six main things you should do as a victim to build a strong case and ensure you get the compensation you deserve:
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
The sooner you get your injuries checked out, the better. Immediate medical attention is crucial to your health and wellbeing, but you will also need medical evidence to show proof of your injuries to support your case.
The evidence provided in a personal injury case after an accident is vital. You will need as much evidence as possible to prove what happened and who was at fault. This can include:
- Photos of the accident scene as a whole
- Photos of injuries
- Photos of car damage
- Photos or car marks on the road and other road conditions that may have contributed to the accident
- Video footage of the accident
- Witness statements and contact information
File a Claim
After the accident, you will want to contact your insurance company to get a claim started as soon as possible. However, you should be mindful not to say anything that could be used against you, such as admitting fault. It’s best to just focus on the basics, such as name, contact information, and the basics of what happened.
Avoid Posting on Social Media
While some people generally use social media to stay connected with friends and loved ones, it is a bad idea to post openly about your accident and what happened. Anything you say or post could be used against you by the guilty party’s insurance company.
Don’t Give Recorded Statements
It is fairly common for insurance companies to use tactics to convince injured victims into giving up information that could be used against them. They are always looking for ways to deny claims or reduce settlement amounts. So no matter what an insurance adjuster says to you, do not allow them to record your conversations, do not admit to fault or apologize, and do not downplay your injuries.
Hire a California Personal Injury Attorney
After an accident, it is always best to consult with an attorney before talking to insurance companies or anyone else. Beyond sharing the basics, there is a lot that could be used against you if you are not careful, and it’s also easy for other mistakes to be made that can negatively affect your claim.
With an attorney on your side, however, they can guide you through the process to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible. They will help you file your claim, gather evidence, handle paperwork, and instruct you on how to speak with those involved.
Overall, working with an attorney means you are more likely to win your case and get the settlement you deserve.
Contact a Qualified California Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers can handle the complicated legal issues involved in your claim so that you can put all of your focus and energy on recovering from your injuries. With a trustworthy, experienced personal injury attorney by your side, there is no reason to worry and stress about your situation.
We Handle Your Personal Injury Claim So You Can Focus on Your Life
After a spinal cord injury in a car accident, consult with the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation or call 833-SALLY-SF.