Orange County Spinal Cord Injury Attorneys
Damage to the spinal cord is among the most debilitating injuries an accident victim can suffer. It can result in partial or complete paralysis, with life-altering consequences. If you have suffered a spinal cord injury because of someone else’s negligence, it is essential to your future to pursue full and fair compensation for your injuries.
For diagnostic purposes, the spinal cord is divided into four different sections:
- Cervical (neck)
- Thoracic (from the base of the neck to the abdomen)
- Lumbar (lower back)
- Sacral (triangular-shaped bone at the bottom of the spine)
Each section of the spine protects different groups of nerves controlling different areas of the body. The type and severity of a spinal cord injury can depend on what part of the spine was injured and how severe the damage was.
Injury to the spinal cord is classified into two different types: complete and incomplete.
- Complete spinal cord injuries cause permanent damage and complete loss of sensation and motor control in the affected area. Paraplegia and tetraplegia (also known as quadriplegia) are the results of complete spinal cord injuries.
- Incomplete spinal cord injuries involve partial damage to the spinal cord, causing a partial loss of feeling and movement in the affected area. The severity of an incomplete spinal cord injury can vary widely.
In addition to paralysis, a spinal cord injury can cause many complications, including:
- Bladder control problems
- Bowel control problems
- Lack of skin sensation and greater susceptibility to pressure sores
- Circulatory problems, such as low blood pressure and swelling of the extremities
- Respiratory issues
- Loss of muscle tone or spasticity (uncontrolled motion of the muscles)
- Weight loss and muscle atrophy
- Loss of sexual fertility and function
- Muscle, joint, and nerve pain
Spinal cord injuries can result from any type of trauma that damages the vertebrae, ligaments, or discs of the spinal column or the spinal cord itself. It can stem from a sudden blow to the spine that dislocates, crushes, compresses, or fractures one or more vertebrae. Penetrating wounds, such as knife and gunshot wounds, can also cause a spinal cord injury. After a traumatic injury, additional damage can result from bleeding, swelling, inflammation, and accumulation of fluids in and around the spinal cord.
The most common causes of spinal cord injuries in the U.S. include the following, as stated by the Mayo Clinic:
- Motor vehicle accidents: Car accidents and motorcycle accidents are the leading causes of spinal cord injuries. They account for nearly half of all new spinal cord injuries every year.
- Falls: For people age 65 and older, falls are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. In all age groups, falls account for approximately 31% of all spinal cord injuries.
- Acts of violence: More than 13% of spinal cord injuries are the result of violent assaults, many of which involve gunshot wounds or knife wounds.
- Sports injuries: Impact sports and other athletic activities and diving in shallow water account for approximately 10% of all spinal cord injuries.
- Alcohol consumption: Alcohol use is a factor in approximately one in every four cases of spinal cord injuries.
- Diseases: The spinal cord can be injured by cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, or inflammation.
After serious spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis, it is crucial to recover the maximum compensation available to cover your future medical expenses and needs. You may be facing ongoing medical treatment, loss of earning capacity, diminished quality of life, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. Our experienced Orange County personal injury lawyers can:
- Investigate your accident or injuries to determine fault and liability
- Collect and preserve evidence to support your claim
- Construct a strong case based on the facts
- Asses the full extent of your losses
- Negotiate skillfully with insurance companies on your behalf
- Fight for the compensation you deserve in court, if necessary
At Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, our Orange County personal injury attorneys have more than 40 years of experience. We have recovered hundreds of millions in settlements and verdicts for our clients. If you have sustained a spinal cord injury through the negligence or wrongdoing of another, call us at (949) 752-7474 to find out how we can help.
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