Costa Mesa Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys
An accident or injury that causes damage to the spinal cord often has life-altering consequences for the victim. It can result in paralysis, disability, and the need for long-term medical care and support for every aspect of daily living. The incidence of spinal cord injury in the U.S. is approximately 17,730 new cases each year, as reported by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC).
Spinal injuries are serious, and can impact you for the rest of your life, whether that’s in never ending medical debt or a lowered quality of life. Either way, you shouldn’t be left in shambles because someone else made a poor decision. We at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie have seen what spinal cord injuries can do to a person. We pride ourselves on fighting for those who need us most. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.
Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injury in the U.S., as reported by the Mayo Clinic. After age 65, this type of injury is most often caused by falls. Other common causes include acts of violence, such as knife or gunshot wounds, and sports injuries from impact sports or diving in shallow water.
A severe spinal cord injury can, and often does, lead to paralysis. This means you are unable to move parts of your body. The spine carries nerves that feed directly into the brain, and carry out all signals and commands. A spinal injury can severe those nerves, and make it impossible for the brain to tell the rest of the body what to do. There are different classifications for paralysis, as what parts of your body become paralyzed depends on which area of your spine was injured. Depending on the level of the injury, paralysis may be referred to as:
- Paraplegia: Paralysis affects all or part of the trunk, the pelvic organs, and the legs.
- Tetraplegia: The arms, hands, trunk, pelvic organs, and legs are affected by paralysis. Tetraplegia is also called quadriplegia.
The severity of the injury is called completeness and classified as follows:
- Incomplete: There is some motor or sensory function below the level of the damage. Degrees of incomplete spinal cord injury vary.
- Complete: All feeling, and motor functions are lost below the level of the injury.
NSCISC reports that healthcare costs and living expenses for spinal cord injury victims vary widely, depending on a variety of factors, including the severity and level of the injury. Not including any indirect costs, such as loss of wages, benefits, or earning potential, estimated healthcare costs and living expenses for spinal injury victims are as follows:
- High tetraplegia: $1,129,302 first year; $196,107 each subsequent year
- Low tetraplegia: $816,019 first year; $120,303 each subsequent year
- Paraplegia: $550,381 first year; $72,909 each subsequent year
- Motor functional at any level: $368,562 first year; $44,766 each subsequent year
Estimated lifetime costs for medical and living expenses range from $1,674,012 to $5,010,748 for a person who is injured at age 25 and from $1,181,564 to $2,753,822 for a person who suffers spinal cord injury at age 50.
When you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to file a claim and receive compensation, or damages, for those injuries. Damages can come in the form of economic compensation, such as with medical bills, attendant care expenses, loss of income, and loss of earning capacity. You can also file a calm for noneconomic losses, which may include, but are not limited to, pain and suffering, lowered quality of life, and emotional distress. There are also some cases where punitive damages, which are designed to punish the defendant and deter similar actions in the future, can be recovered.
It is essential to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after the accident that caused a spinal cord injury. Your accident must be investigated quickly and thoroughly to obtain and preserve evidence supporting your case. The investigation should include an examination of the accident scene, interviews with witnesses, and gathering of reports from investigating agencies, such as the police. Any vehicles or equipment involved in the accident should not be repaired but maintained as they were post-accident. This investigation is crucial to establish fault and liability.
Our firm was officially founded in 1974. Our Orange County personal injury attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie have more than 40 years of experience and success in personal injury law. We have won hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our clients. We will begin planning your case from the initial meeting and keep you fully informed, in real time, of the status. There are no time limits or restrictions on the free consultation we offer. Call us at (949) 752-7474 for a team of dedicated legal advocates if you have suffered a serious injury in Costa Mesa.
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