Guide By – Los Angeles Spinal Cord Injury Attorney
A spinal cord injury is one of the most devastating injuries a person can suffer. The Los Angeles spinal cord injury attorney at Cherepinskiy Law Firm is an expert at handling cases that involve spinal cord injuries. The spinal cord is responsible for many vital body functions; most notably, the use of upper and lower extremities.
Similarly to brain cells, spinal cord cells (neurons) do not regenerate and, once they are damaged, they cannot grow back. Therefore, a spinal cord injury — i.e. the damage to the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal (medically called “cauda equina” from “horse’s tail” in Latin) — frequently leads to permanent loss of strength, sensation and other body functions below the site of the injury. Those who have suffered a spinal cord injury may suddenly lose the ability to go to school, work, and live independently. Spinal cord injuries, and the associated permanent disabilities, place a severe physical and emotional toll on the victims whose lives are changed forever.
If someone’s negligence caused you or your loved one to suffer an injury to the spinal cord, multiple factors will guide you in deciding whether to seek compensation through a legal action. Some of these decision-making factors involve a comprehension of both (1) the difficulties and challenges of life after a spinal cord injury and (2) the legal rights against those whose negligence caused the spinal cord injury. If you make a decision to pursue a legal action, the Los Angeles spinal cord injury lawyer at Cherepinskiy Law Firm will provide zealous as well as caring and compassionate representation. This firm provides services throughout Southern California and will work tirelessly to obtain the best compensation.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Besides battle injuries and diseases (e.g. spina bifida and poliomyelitis), the following are common accidents that may cause a spinal cord injury:
- Car Accidents
- Uber & Lyft Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Construction Accidents
- Industrial Accidents
- Violations of Workplace Safety Standards
Other Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
- Medical Malpractice (e.g. a negligently performed surgery or an incorrectly prescribed medication)
- Birth injury
- Defective products
- Slip & Fall Accidents (and other Unsafe Premises incidents)
Anatomy of Spinal cord injuries
A person’s ability to control limbs (i.e. extremities) following a spinal cord injury is determined by two criteria: (1) the level of severity of the spinal cord injury and (2) the exact place on the spinal cord where the injury occurred. In medicine, the lowest segment of the spinal cord that is still functionally normal and uninjured is referred to as the “neurological level” of a spinal cord injury. The human spinal cord consists of four distinct sections (commonly referred to as “regions“):
- Lumbar; and
The cervical region (the neck area) is the highest, and the sacral region is the lowest section of the spinal cord. Typically, injuries in the higher regions of the spinal cord are associated with more severe impairment of the sensory and motor functions.
The term “completeness” is utilized to analyze the level of severity of a spinal cord injury, and it has the following two types:
1) Complete spinal cord injury – when a person loses all motor function (the ability to move) and all sensory function (the ability to feel) below the level of the injury; and
2) Incomplete spinal cord injury – when some sensory and motor functions below the injured spinal cord level are still retained.
Paralysis (quadriplegia and paraplegia) represents the most devastating consequence of a spinal cord injury.
Immediate Symptoms of Spinal Cord Injuries
Following an accident, some of the immediate signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury (and representing a medical emergency) are as follows:
- Twisted neck or back
- Loss of control of bowel or bladder
- Severe pressure or pain in the area of a person’s neck, back, or head
- Impaired breathing
- Impaired balance and ability to walk
- Tingling, numbness, or a complete loss of sensation in extremities (hands, fingers, feet, or toes)
- Weakness or paralysis involving any body part, especially extremities.
Long-Term Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries
Some of the long-term consequences of spinal cord injuries are as follows:
- Partial or complete loss of the ability to move
- Partial or complete sensory loss, which includes the ability to feel touch, heat and cold
- Loss of control over bladder and bowel functions
- Direct or radiating severe pain, which is caused by the damaged nerve cells along the spinal cord
- Respiratory impairment (i.e. difficulties with coughing or breathing)
- Impaired sexual function and fertility
- Spasms and increased reflex activities
The above list is not exhaustive. These as well as other long-term consequences of spinal cord injuries lead to the necessity for specialized full-time attendant care and equipment (such as hospital beds, lifts, and other home modifications), the cost of which can be very high and, in some cases, unaffordable. An adequate compensation is so necessary when caring for the victims of spinal cord injuries. Cherepinskiy Law Firm is the spinal cord injury lawyer Los Angeles residents can count on when they need assistance in receiving the much-needed compensation.
What Damages Can be Recovered in Spinal Cord Injury Cases?
Victims of spinal cord injuries can claim the following two main types of damages: Non-Economic and Economic damages. In some situations, those who have suffered a spinal cord injury may potentially seek Punitive Damages. For cases involving future care, the Los Angeles spinal cord injury attorney at Cherepinskiy Law Firm retains top expert physicians, life care planners, and economists to evaluate clients’ needs and present the best case on their behalf. A detailed discussion of the recoverable damages is included on the Personal Injury Damages page of this website.
Take Action! Promptly Contact a Los Angeles Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you believe someone’s negligence caused your or your loved one’s spinal cord injury, please call or fill out an electronic contact form today to request a free consultation. Cherepinskiy Law Firm, as the Los Angeles spinal cord injury attorney, will work tirelessly to make sure you are compensated for your injuries and losses.
This firm fights for clients throughout California, including Los Angeles, Orange County, as well as Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
Resources from Organizations:
American Spinal Injury Association: https://asia-spinalinjury.org/
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation: https://www.christopherreeve.org/
American Psychological Association (guideline regarding emotional recovery from disaster): http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/recovering-disasters.aspx