At the Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn, we represent Californians who have been injured in all types of accidents, including those who have suffered spinal cord injuries. We offer compassionate, skilled advocacy, working to right the injustices faced by many of our clients. When a person has suffered a catastrophic injury, such as a spinal cord injury, we fight to ensure that they obtain the best possible outcome so that they can get their lives back on track. To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation, contact us today at (310) 209-1600 or email@example.com.
How Spinal Cord Injuries May Occur
The spine runs from the base of the skull to the pelvis. It is made up of a series of bones (vertebrae) that are cushioned by discs that help to absorb shock. The spine is divided into 3 sections: the cervical spine, the thoracic spine and the lumbar spine.
Inside of the spine, the spinal cord consists of a bundle of nerve fibers that runs from the brain through a canal in the center of the spine. The spinal cord is covered by meninges and cerebrospinal fluid. The spinal nerves connect the brain with the body’s nerves, allowing it to send messages to and from the brain and the body.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, there are approximately 17,700 spinal cord injuries each year. These types of injuries happen in a number of ways, including:
- Construction accidents: falls from a ladder or scaffolding or even a slip and fall can lead to a spinal cord injury. Approximately 32% of all spinal cord injuries are related to falls.
- Motor vehicle accidents: the sudden force of a motor vehicle collision can cause significant damage to an individual’s spinal cord. 38% of all spinal cord injuries are related to motor vehicle accidents.
- Violence: gunshot wounds, battery, and other types of violence cause approximately 14% of spinal cord injuries.
- Sports accidents: injuries suffered during football and other sports contribute to the 8% of all spinal cord injuries caused by sports accidents.
- Medical/surgical accidents: different forms of medical malpractice, including problems during surgery, can cause damage to the spinal cord. Roughly 5% of all spinal cord injuries are related to medical or surgical accidents.
Given the function of the spinal cord, any type of injury to this bundle of nerves is potentially disabling. In many cases, an individual with a spinal cord injury may have no sensation below the injury site; this is known as a complete injury. If a person has sensation below the injury site, it is known as an incomplete injury. Symptoms of a spinal cord injury may include:
- Difficulty with balance and coordination
- Numbness, tingling and reduced sensitivity
- Difficult breathing and coughing
- Chronic pain
- Partial or complete paralysis
Given the potential for serious, life-threatening complications from spinal cord injuries, it is imperative that anyone who has suffered an injury to their back or neck seek medical treatment immediately.
Getting Compensation for a Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries often cause severe, long-term damage. In these situations, insurance companies may seek to minimize the amount that they have to pay out on a claim. A seasoned California spinal cord injury lawyer can advocate for you so that the settlement or award that you receive covers your losses more fully.
After an accident, you may be tempted to take the first offer made by the insurance company — particularly when your bills are adding up and you are unable to work. Doing so may leave you with a settlement that doesn’t come close to paying for your damages.
A skilled attorney will fight for your right to compensation that allows you to get your life back on track. By waiting until you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), your lawyer can make sure that you have a better idea of what your future medical costs will be. In this way, any settlement will reflect the true scope of your damages — rather than just an amount that the insurance company is willing to pay to close the case.
You may be entitled to past and future medical expenses, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering, among other damages. Once you have reached a stage where your medical condition will not improve any further — MMI — your doctor can draft a letter outlining your anticipated future medical needs. This can then serve as a basis for making a demand on the insurance company. By working with a lawyer rather than representing yourself, your interests will be protected — and you will be more likely to obtain a settlement that meets your needs.
How We Can Help
At the Law Offices of Michael A. Kahn, we understand that spinal cord injuries can be particularly devastating. We will stand by your side, advocating for your right to compensation throughout the process — and working to make sure that you get a settlement or award that meets your needs. Our firm won’t charge a fee unless we get a settlement or an award for you.
To learn more or to schedule a free initial consultation with a California spinal cord injury lawyer, contact us today at (310) 209-1600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.