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Like brain injuries, spinal cord injuries are considered catastrophic injuries as they often entail permanent and life-changing damages. Unlike many other tissues in the body, the spinal cord does not have the ability to heal itself after suffering wounds. Spinal injuries can cause serious physical and psychological trauma, making them some of the most devastating injuries a victim can experience.
The San Bernardino spinal cord injury attorneys at DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo in San Bernardino is committed to helping spinal injury victims through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We thoroughly investigate each case so that we can secure the best possible outcome for every client we assist. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
The spinal cord is a thick bundle of nerves that, along with the brain, make up the central nervous system. Protected by the vertebral column, the cord runs down the back from the base of the brain. Branching off from the cord are several smaller nerves that flow out to the body’s extremities. This network of nerves is responsible for creating unconscious reflexes, conscious movements, and sensations. When the spinal cord suffers damage, the brain loses connectivity with certain parts of the body. Damage higher up on the spinal cord causes more severe symptoms.
Spinal injuries affect people in different ways, depending on the type of injury and the placement on the spine. Common symptoms of spinal injuries include:
In a few cases, the spinal cord may only suffer partial damage or become pinched between vertebrae, and some individuals may completely recover over time. In other cases, however, symptoms are permanent.
Spinal cord injuries can occur in a wide variety of ways. Data available from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) examines the most common causes of spinal cord injuries annually. Since 2015, the most common causes of all spinal cord injuries across the country include the following (with percentages):
Any type of vehicle accident can lead to a spinal cord injury, including accidents involving traditional vehicles, as well as those involving commercial trucks, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. Falls can include slip and fall incidents as well as falls from heights. Violence typically refers to gunshot wounds but can also include physical assaults. Sports incidents commonly lead to spinal cord injuries, particularly high contact sports such as football, cheerleading, and rugby.
It is imperative for individuals to understand how much a spinal cord injury truly costs. When examining these costs, the first step is looking at medical expenses. According to the NSCISC, medical costs for spinal cord injury vary depending on the level of injury that occurs. For example, a spinal cord injury that leads to complete paralysis in all extremities can cost more than $1.1 million for the first year of medical care alone, with each subsequent year leading to around $200,000 worth of medical care.
On the lowest end of medical costs are spinal cord injuries that allow various types of functionality throughout the body, but this still leads to more than $375,000 worth of first-year medical expenses and $45,000 worth of medical care for each subsequent year.
However, medical costs are not the only type of expenses that spinal cord injury victims and their families have to deal with. In the best-case scenario, a spinal cord injury victim is able to return to work but at a job that pays less compensation. A worst-case scenario, which is much more common, is that a spinal cord injury victim is unable to work at all and they lose the income needed to support themselves and their families. This lifetime of lost wages must be accounted for when it comes to compensation for a spinal cord injury.
However, perhaps nothing compares to how a spinal cord injury affects a person emotionally and psychologically. Regardless of the level of spinal cord injury, there are going to be ways that a person’s life changes. This can include an inability to perform day-to-day activities and hobbies. These types of injuries can prevent parents from interacting with their children and prevent child victims from living full lives.
Often overlooked when it comes to talking about spinal cord injuries and their costs is how families are affected. First and foremost, family members have to watch their loved ones suffer after the injury. This is incredibly hard on families, particularly on children and spouses. Additionally, family members themselves will experience significant emotional and psychological suffering if they can no longer interact with their loved ones in the same way.
In many cases, families not only have to deal with the last income of the spinal cord injury victim but also their own lost income if they have to leave a job to become caregivers. This is a double impact on a family’s total losses.
Spinal cord injury victims may be able to recover various types of compensation for their losses. Above, we reviewed many of the expenses spinal cord injury victims are likely to incur. Our attorneys work diligently to recover both economic and non-economic losses for clients and their families. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
There is no set amount of compensation paid to San Bernardino spinal cord injury victims. Rather, the total amount of compensation victims and families receive through an insurance settlement or as a result of a personal injury jury verdict will vary depending on certain circumstances in factors. This includes:
The attorneys at DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo take spinal cord injury claims in San Bernardino on a contingency fee basis. This means that clients will not have to pay any legal fees until we recover the compensation they need for their spinal cord injury losses. If we do not win the case, our clients do not pay anything in legal fees. Additionally, clients will not have to pay any upfront costs related to their case. We handle all of that on behalf of every client that we assist.
The right treatment team can make a significant difference in a patient’s prognosis. While medical professionals cannot repair severed spinal cords, they have made advancements in spinal injury treatments. Your physician may recommend surgery, physical therapy, medication, or treatments for primary conditions that may cause or worsen spinal cord damage.
If you or a loved one has suffered a severe spinal injury on the job or because someone else was acting carelessly, you deserve access to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and diminished quality of life. Pursuing a legal claim against the person or parties responsible can’t undo the harm a spinal injury causes, but it can improve your ability to cope in the aftermath.
In addition to helping our clients with insurance claims and initial lawsuits, we also develop long-term relationships with clients who experience catastrophic injuries. Unfortunately, some may face further legal concerns as they learn to cope with their new condition. We represent clients who struggle collecting benefits or damages, with unfortunate acts of medical malpractice, and those who experience other complications after an initial case settlement. Every attorney at DiMarco | Araujo | Montevideo is committed to helping our clients through medical treatment, insurance struggles, and case settlement or litigation.
Our personal injury lawyers in San Bernardino carefully investigate each claim to determine all causes and liability factors before we recommend the best course of action. During a free initial consultation, we can help clients determine if moving forward with legal assistance makes sense. For more information about how we can help you through this difficult time, call our office in San Bernardino at (909) 436-4610 or contact us online for a free consultation.