While any accident can have a person’s life turned upside down, the diagnosis of a spinal cord injury is particularly tragic and devastating for the victim and their family.
The spinal cord is a complex organization of nerve cells that are responsible for all of the body’s movement and sensation and a small amount of damage or encroachment of the spinal column has catastrophic results.
How Common are Spinal Cord Injuries?
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC)estimates the 17,000 people suffer spinal cord injuries in the United States each year. Although spinal cord damage could happen to anyone, 80% of the victims are men.
The leading causes of spinal cord injuries are motor vehicle accidents (38%) and falls (30%). Spinal cord injuries often result in permanent impairments. According to the NSCISC, as many as 350,000 Americans are currently living with the after-effects of spinal cord damage.
Spinal Cord Injuries: Important Terms You Should Know
- Cervical Spine: Referring to the top portion of spine, the cervical spine makes up the neck bones. In total, there are seven cervical vertebrae.
- Thoracic Spine: The thoracic spine secures ribs and spans between the cervical spine and the lumbar spine. There are 12 thoracic vertebrae.
- Lumbar Spine: Making up the lower back, the lumbar spine consists of either five or six vertebrae, depending on the person.
- MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a technique that uses radio waves, magnets, and computing power to produce detailed images of the human body and is particularly useful in scanning soft tissues, such as the intervertebral discs that serve as shock absorbers between vertebrae.
- CT Scan: A computerized tomography (CT) scan is made up of hundreds of x-ray measurements to produce more advanced images. Medical professionals can use CT scans to identify compression of the spinal cord.
- ASIA Impairment Scale: Created by the American Spinal Cord Association (ASIA), the ASIA Impairment Scale is a formalized system that doctors use to describe the extent and severity of a spinal cord injury.
Protecting Your Rights After a Catastrophic Accident
Spinal cord injury caused by a “collectible” defendant are rare. Most often the party responsible for the injury does not have the resources or sufficient insurance to pay for all the damage they have caused.
As a result, most spinal cord injuries never see a courtroom, with two exceptions: 1. Injuries caused by a corporate defendant and 2. Bad faith cases in which an insurance company refuses to pay its policy limits when at the outset, such as our $10,100,000 judgment for Rasheed Hilson as a result of Amica Insurance refusal to pay a $50,000 policy and the $4,500,000 settlement paid to George Liu by Allstate during trial, following its refusal to pay a $30,000 policy before suit was filed.
Cases that are heard by juries in addition to presenting evidence to prove liability require detailed testimony on damages. The testimony of treating doctors, neurosurgeons, neurologists, physiatrists, vocational rehabilitation specialists, lifecare planners and economists are essential.
As patients often require ongoing medical care, physical therapy, psychological counseling, rehabilitative services and in many cases daily nursing care to support the Activities of Daily Living or ADLs which include bathing, dressing, toileting, and food preparation.
In virtually every spinal cord injury lawsuit there is a major disagreement over who should provide long-term nursing care. The best choice is for care to be purchased through a nursing agency that takes responsibility for hiring, training, processing payroll, substitutions, vacations, holidays, and weekend replacement. Defendants routinely prefer families to contract with helpers on an individual basis because it is less expensive, shifting the administrative cost of supervising and managing care providers to family members.
In addition to the cost of future care, survivors are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, loss of the ability to work and earn a living, plus loss of the enjoyment of life.
Injured victims need an attorney who has the skills and experience to present the complex evidence the survivors require. At Alexander Law Group, LLP, our catastrophic injury attorneys are leaders in maximizing compensation for clients and their families. We are ready to hit the ground running and fight aggressively to hold defendants and insurance companies accountable with the most powerful evidence we can muster. Our client reviews and are record of success are the best evaluation of our skills in major injury lawsuits.
Call California Spinal Cord Lawyers for Immediate Help
Alexander Law Group, LLP attorneys are available to answer questions and share our knowledge of the law and the results of our research and experience. Our goal as personal injury lawyers is to make a difference for our clients. Every day we deal with a range of health and safety issues that most people do not encounter until after an injury occurs. As safety lawyers we are committed to providing our clients and the public with information for safer and healthier living. Call 888-777-1776 or contact us online to schedule a consultation to see how we can help you.