Spinal Cord Injuries After a Serious Auto Accident in California
Everything that has to do with brain and spinal cord injuries is magnified: the suffering, the complexity of the medical interventions, the length of treatment and rehabilitation, the long-term effects, the costs, and the impact on the victim's life and family.
During this challenging time, you and your family must focus on your recovery while an experienced San Diego auto accident lawyer handles the complicated legal aspects of filing and defending your personal injury claim.
Overview of Spinal Cord Injuries from a San Diego Accident
A spinal cord injury typically occurs when the spine is subjected to blunt force trauma, a sudden blow to the vertebrae that dislocates or fractures one of the discs. When the disc material, bone fragments, or ligaments tear or bruise the tissue of the spinal cord, an injury occurs.
In most cases, vertebrae are compressed or fractured, mangling the nerve cell extensions responsible for sending and receiving messages and impulses from the brain to the rest of the body through the spinal cord.
In some instances, the spinal cord is severed completely, resulting in paralysis below the location of an injury and lack of sensation. In partial or incomplete injuries, the spinal cord can still relay messages in some form, with some sensory or motor function below the injury. In most cases of partial or complete injuries, survivors are subject to chronic pain, bladder and bowel dysfunction, and an increased risk of heart and respiratory complications.
Recent Statistics About Serious Back Injury Cases
Currently, according to one recent statistic, almost half a million people in the United States are living with a spinal cord injury and some degree of paralysis. Every year, another 10,000 people suffer a spinal cord injury.
Approximately four out of five of those injury victims are males between the ages of 16 and 20 (a young age group). Nearly half of whom were hurt in motor vehicle accidents — car accidents, truck crashes, motorcycle accidents, ATV wrecks, or the like.
Injuries from falls or items falling on persons constitute injuries in the statistics. Slightly more than 20 percent of spinal cord injuries are due to falls from heights, such as can happen in recreational accidents, construction site accidents, and faulty construction accidents, such as staircase or deck collapses.
The shoddy repair can be the main reason for this even happening to a person. Depending on the level of injury, the person may suffer paraplegia or quadriplegia, which can cause severe physical and emotional consequences.
Other Personal Injury Circumstances
Other injuries are included in this analysis. Less dramatic, though no less serious, fall-type accidents become more common after age 45 (the older we get, the more we have to be careful about — slip and fall accidents, trip-and-fall accidents. These can cause herniated discs, which cause lasting, severe pain that limits the injured person's activities and diminishes the quality of life. Approximately eight (8) percent of spinal cord injuries are the result of sports and rec accidents, often diving accidents, which commonly result in quadriplegia because it injures the cervical vertebrae (neck area).
To achieve maximum physical recovery, our San Diego, California, spinal cord/brain injury clients will have many medical and rehabilitation needs. All these needs can be tremendously costly, up to hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars over a lifetime. These damages need to be documented through proper diagnosis. Therefore, proper medical care and documentation are essential pairings.
The injured client will need therapy to relearn basic skills for independent living, and a child may require an educational assistant or extra educational services—age analysis factors into the child's spinal cord or brain injury cases. An adult may no longer be able to do the job he or she once held, and job retraining may be needed - sometimes, we need to retain a forensic accountant for our San Diego Spinal Cord Injury cases to prove this wage loss in court.
Effects of Treatment for a Spinal Cord Injury after a San Diego Accident
Emergency care for spinal cord injury has evolved in the past few years, allowing for more effective responses to spinal cord injuries when they are treated soon after the time of injury. Aggressive treatment options and innovative rehabilitation techniques have been proven to minimize the impact on the nervous system and restore certain limited functions.
A drug called methylprednisolone, a certain type of steroid, has been shown to reduce the damage to the nerves if administered within the first 8 hours after the spinal cord injury is sustained. In addition, physical therapy and skill-enriched activities focus on restoring function and learning to adapt to limited function. Psychological counseling is advised for emotional, psychological, and social support.
While you can still have a full life after your injury, these treatments can be expensive. For instance, respiratory problems plague those with serious spinal cord injuries - over 30% of victims with an injury to the neck will need sustained respiratory support, which can include costly devices and procedures.
How a San Diego Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Can Help
Spinal cord injuries often result in long-term or life-long changes and challenges for victims and their families. San Diego spinal cord injury lawyer Mark C. Blane understands the unique and complex challenges that impact victims and their personal injury claims.
California personal injury claims for spinal cord injuries require significant considerations that go beyond your immediate medical needs. Accepting a quick settlement will likely bar you from obtaining the compensation you need for your future care and wellness. An experienced San Diego spinal cord injury lawyer can explain all of your legal rights and help determine the full range of compensation you may be able to recover.
Types of California brain injury and spinal cord injury cases we handle: