Los Angeles Spinal Injury Lawyers
Helping California spinal cord injury (SCI) and paralysis victims and their families
Sustaining a serious life-threatening injury can be one of the most horrifying experiences a person can go through emotionally, physically, and mentally. Not only does such an experience alter the life of the victim, but it also creates traumatic changes for the victim’s family members. Spinal cord injuries can be especially challenging, and almost always involve high medical bills and loss of income, along with immediate and permanent lifestyle changes.
The Los Angeles spine injury attorneys of McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP have been protecting the rights of the catastrophically injured for more than 30 years. Our experienced trial attorneys have secured millions of dollars for our clients, including:
- What is a spinal cord injury (SCI)?
- How is an SCI categorized?
- What is the relationship between an SCI and paralysis?
- What are the common causes of spinal cord injuries?
- What makes spinal cord injury cases different from other injury cases?
- Who is liable for my Los Angeles spinal cord injury?
- Do you have a spinal cord injury lawyer near me?
Serious injuries to the spinal cord can result in paralysis and even death. Spinal cord injury is caused by trauma to the spine, and depending on the area, can damage nerve roots. According to the National Institutes of Health:
“A spinal cord injury (SCI) is damage to the tight bundle of cells and nerves that sends and receives signals from the brain to and from the rest of the body. SCI can be caused by direct injury to the spinal cord itself or from damage to the tissue and bones (vertebrae) that surround the spinal cord. This damage can result in temporary or permanent changes in sensation, movement, strength, and body functions below the site of injury. Some injuries that cause little or no cell death may allow for an almost complete recovery while those that occur higher on the spinal cord and are more serious can cause paralysis in most of the body. Motor vehicle accidents and catastrophic falls are the most common causes of SCI in the United States.”
Symptoms may vary but can include pain, paralysis, quadriplegia, paraplegia, and incontinence. Other symptoms include:
- Numbness, tingling, or a loss of or changes in sensation in the hands and feet
- Paralysis – may be immediate or may develop as bleeding and swelling affect the spinal cord
- Pain/pressure in the head, neck, or back
- Inability to move different body parts
- Unnatural spine and head positions
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Difficulty breathing
- Changes in sexual function
Spinal cord injuries are either complete or incomplete. A complete injury is one where all feeling and motor function is lost from the point of the injury and below. An incomplete injury allows for some retention of function and feeling.
The Cleveland Clinic reports that approximately one in every 50 Americans (5.4 million people) are living with some form of paralysis.
Paralysis is generally categorized in four ways:
- Monoplegia: affecting one limb
- Hemiplegia: affecting one side of the body (arm, leg, face, etc.)
- Paraplegia: affecting the legs, pelvic organs, and some or all of the trunk of the body
- Quadriplegia or tetraplegia: affecting all four limbs and the torso
Paralysis affects more than just your ability to move your body; it also affects your internal organs. This is why some people with quadriplegia may need a respirator to breathe, and why many people living with paralysis are rendered incontinent. Because medications often cause constipation, fecal impaction can be common and can prove deadly if it is not treated in a timely manner.
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center estimates there are almost 300,000 people living with SCI in the United States, and that there are approximately 18,000 new SCI cases each year.
The leading causes of spinal cord injuries in 2021 were as follows:
- Auto accidents 37.7%
- Falls 31.4%
- Acts of violence 15.3%
- Sports 8.3%
- Medical/Surgical 3.7%
- Other 3.6%
Other causes of spinal cord injuries include:
- Worksite injuries
- Diving into shallow water
- Crushing injuries
- Physical labor
This list does not include every spinal cord injury cause, but encompasses common accidents and events that cause SCIs.
Spinal cord injury cases are complex because SCIs are catastrophic injuries. These cases typically involve filing claims against numerous defendants who played a role in your injury, and coordinating multiple medical disciplines.
They are also incredibly expensive injuries. The estimated lifetime costs for a person with paralysis are millions of dollars, not including the loss of wages or loss of health benefits. When our personal injury lawyers take on a spinal cord injury case, we need to assess your lifetime costs, so we can pursue a just amount for damages, including:
- Costly medical bills for hospital stays, medications, surgeries, medical devices, and ongoing therapies
- Costs associated with assistive technologies, including wheelchairs, ramps, and computer software
- Loss of wages and future earning potential
- Loss of health benefits and other out-of-pocket expenses
- Constant pain and/or discomfort
- Inability to sustain the same quality of life as before the incident
- Overwhelming anxiety, stress, and depression
- Physical, psychological, and emotional issues
If you or a loved one has suffered a severe injury to the spinal cord, receiving the proper legal advice from a spinal cord injury lawyer can help you navigate through the difficult process. There may be multiple parties held liable if you think your injury was due to negligence, or intentional or unintentional harm.
Oftentimes, spinal cord injuries are caused by negligence. This could involve a negligent driver who struck your vehicle or a manufacturer who made a product that injured you. No matter the exact circumstances, you’ll have to prove that the person or company you’re suing bears legal responsibility for your injuries.
In the case of a car accident, for example, you can sue the other driver and go after his or her insurance company. In the case of a defective product, you may have a case against the manufacturer of the product or any of its parts, or against the store where you purchased the product.
We understand that spinal cord injury victims may have difficulty coming to our Westwood office located at 10866 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 1400. We do make arrangements to see clients at their homes or healthcare facilities. We also conduct online video conversations, through Zoom for example.
The Los Angeles spinal cord injury lawyers of McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP are prepared to aggressively represent your best interests. Since 1993, our experienced serious injury lawyers have fought on behalf of SCI victims and their families throughout California. We have the resources needed to handle your claim.
Contact our Los Angeles spinal cord injury attorneys today
A spinal cord injury can be life-changing, You will need experts with compassion to help you and your family during this difficult time. The Los Angeles law firm of McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP can guide you through the lengthy paperwork and insurance claims, and provide a clear understanding of your rights. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, or call us, and begin putting the pieces of your life back together.