Spinal Cord Injury
Demas Law Group, P.C., advises anyone who has sustained an injury in an accident to seek immediate medical treatment. Spinal cord injuries always require hospitalization, and if you decide to file a claim against the responsible party, it is very beneficial to have your injury documented by medical professionals from the very beginning. Medical treatment for spinal cord injuries is extremely complex and the strength of your case depends in part on keeping track of these voluminous medical records.If you believe someone is at fault for your accident, it’s important to document the accident as much as possible. If you are too injured to do this, have a family member or friend assist you. Get the names of anyone who may have caused the accident and any witnesses, included law enforcement officials who may have been present at the scene. Take pictures of your injuries and the accident scene. Write down all the details of the accident as soon as possible and call the experienced spinal cord injury lawyers at Demas Law Group, P.C.
Spinal cord injuries are classified in two ways: by the severity of the injury to the spinal cord itself and the result of that injury. These categories are listed below: Partial spinal cord injury: In these cases, the spinal cord suffers bruises, contusions, swelling and other trauma, but the spinal cord is not severed. Patients often partially or fully recover from partial spinal cord injuries when proper medical treatment is received. Complete spinal cord injury: in these cases, the spinal cord is cut into and in the most severe cases, completely severed. Complete spinal cord injuries always result in paralysis below the point of the injury. Currently there is no known treatment to repair a severed spinal cord.
Results of spinal cord injuries:
- Incomplete paraplegia: Generally, this results from a partial spinal cord injury to the area below the cervical vertebrae or neck and results in partial leg paralysis or immobility. Sensation and mobility of the area below the injury occurs, but it may exist on only one side of the body. Full recovery is possible in some cases.
- Complete paraplegia: This results from complete spinal cord injuries below the neck area where the spinal cord is cut or completely severed. Paralysis of both legs occurs, and while some symptoms can be alleviated by modern medical treatments, the injury cannot be repaired and is permanent.
- Incomplete tetraplegia/quadriplegia: This results from partial spinal cord injuries in the cervical vertebrae or neck area. Paralysis and/or loss of feeling occur on the arms and legs. Incomplete spinal injuries differ from one person to another because the amount of damage to each person’s nerve fibers is different. While the prognosis for recovery is not as high as incomplete paraplegia, people can and do partially recover from these injuries with proper medical treatment.
- Complete tetraplegia/quadriplegia: The spinal cord is partially or fully severed in the neck area and paralysis occurs on both arms and legs. Because autonomic functions such as breathing and heart rate are also affected, such injuries are often fatal. Currently, there is no treatment to repair a severed spinal cord and the injury is permanent.
Some of the most serious medical complications resulting from spinal cord injuries involve the function of the autonomic nervous system. They include:
- Bladder and bowel dysfunction
- Bony dysfunction
- Cardiovascular disease
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Heterotopic ossification (HO) and cysts
- Neuropathic spinal cord pain
- Osteoporosis and fractures
- Respiratory dysfunction, pneumonia, atelectasis (collapsed lung), aspiration, restrictive lung disease
- Loss of sexual function
- Postural (orthostatic) hypotension
- Vascular dysfunction
- Shortened lifespan
Anyone whose negligence causes your injury can be held responsible. Motor vehicle accidents account for nearly half of all spinal cord injuries, and if the other driver was negligent, they are legally responsible for compensating you for your injuries. Falling accidents are the second leading cause of spinal cord injuries, and if the fall was causes by a negligent property owner, the property owner is responsible. In cases of violent crime, the perpetrator may be liable for both criminal and civil damages. The spinal cord injury lawyers at Demas Law Group, P.C., can help determine who is responsible for causing your injury, and recover fair and full compensation for your damages.
California is a comparative damage state, so even if the defendant was partially negligent, you may still have a case. Settlements (or verdicts) in such cases are determined by the percent of fault attributed to the defendant. For example, if you’re found 25% percent at fault and the defendant is found 75% percent at fault and you win your case, your settlement will be approximately 75% percent of what it would have been if you had no fault at all.
Please see our General FAQs for answers to these and other questions:
- What can a lawyer do for me if I’ve suffered a spinal cord injury?
- How long do I have to file a claim after an accident that resulted in spinal cord injury?
- What can I be compensated for in a spinal cord injury case?
- How much will it cost me to hire a personal injury attorney?
Where can I find resources for spinal cord injury victims in Sacramento?
- The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation offers hope and inspiration to spinal cord injury victims: http://www.christopherreeve.org
- The National Spinal Cord Injury Association advocates for spinal cord injury victims: http://www.spinalcord.org/
- The Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center has excellent, easy-to-read information on spinal cord injuries http://www.spinalinjury.net/
This literature may be considered attorney advertising or an offer of professional services, according to rule 1-400 Rules of Professional Conduct by the State Bar of California. The information does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your potential legal matter.