All injuries to the nervous system are very delicate. But the physical and emotional harm from spine injuries devastates families. Most parents find themselves broke under the weight of the expenses.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center:
- 12,000 spinal cord cases get reported yearly.
- At least 270,000 people have a permanent back injury.
- 39.2% of spine injuries are due to auto collisions.
- Treating a 25-year-old person with a severe lifelong injury averages over $4.5 million (Source).
Also, rehab runs costly for a family with no employed wage earner. Plus, a spinal care specialist isn’t cheap. As noted, auto accidents are the primary reason for back injuries. This remains true in this country and Europe today. (Also shown by recent statistics.) Other major causes of spinal cord injuries come from work-related accidents.
Categories include sports, falling off of ledges, ladders, and gunshots. Children suffer spine injuries jumping into shallow swimming pools or hot tubs. Defective products like car seatbacks, or seat belts can fail. And that single snap a spine.
Spinal Cord Injury Compensation is Our Specialty.
Our spinal cord injury lawyers practice law in Los Angeles, San Bernardino County, and all over Southern California.
Ehline is expert at using abstract legal theories to resolve specific conflicts. And this is how we advance client interests. The role of our lawyers remains to protect victims of severe injuries in all jurisdictions.
The goal is winning clients money damages. In fact, Ehline Law Firm has won millions in verdicts and settlements. For example, in the case of Doe versus Doe, we won $8.7 million for a spinal cord injury victim. In that case, the client suffered respiratory problems. That client had spinal fusion surgery after a motorcycle accident.
Table of Contents:
Some Spinal Cord Injury Verdicts and Settlements.
- Doe v. Doe $8,700,000
- Stein v. City of Los Angeles $1,000,000
- Hemsley v. Davis $750,000
- Pineda v. Anderson, et al. $365,000
Spine Injury Diagnosis
Doctors call a spinal cord injury an “SCI.” Any damage to the spine that changes its function is an SCI. So getting diagnosed right away remains vital to your health.
Changes include loss of sensation, muscle function, or autonomic function. Loss of control of limbs and organs could happen at the spine lesion. Injuries can occur at any level of the spine and at any time.
Classifications of Spine Injuries:
Spine injuries fall into two parts.
- Complete injury. Characterized by total loss of sensation and muscle function.
- Incomplete injury. This means some nervous signals can travel through the wounded area of the cord.
Location and extent of spine damage determine the symptoms. A wide range is possible. Some feel pain. Others numbness. Some feel both, or descend into paralysis. Others suffer incontinence. The patient’s prognosis can be full or partial recovery. But in bad wrecks, tetraplegia or paraplegia may result. And so far, these stay permanent.
Spinal Cord Therapy.
Loss of spinal cord function can make people very vulnerable to financial ruin and mounting medical bills. You don’t want to be in this fight alone. Spinal cord injuries may need long-term physical therapy. Also, occupational therapy could be part of the rehab process.
Spinal Cord Research.
All of this interferes daily living activities. But hope exists for the future. New research and treatments include prolotherapy, PRP, and stem cells. But some off labels use of Human Growth Hormone is underway. Even wearable robotic exoskeletons are under experiment. And lab engineered materials for tissue support have seen great promise.
- Spinal Cord Defined.
The spinal cord forms the cord of nervous tissue. It extends from the brain lengthwise along the back in the vertebral canal. It gives off the pairs of spinal nerves. Neural circuits carry impulses to and from the brain. It serves as a center for initiating and coordinating reflexive acts.
The spinal cord also supports cells. The brain and spine compose central nervous system (CNS). The spine mainly transmits neural signals from the brain. It lets the body perform day to day tasks. These include walking, breathing and talking.
If damaged, it can fail as a conduit for motor, sensory and reflex information. If transmissions fail, permanent disabilities present themselves. Paraplegia and quadriplegia remain at the high end. Whiplash presents itself at the low end. At the mid-range, people may suffer foot drop, or partial limb use. Others suffer issues with incontinence.
The spinal column attaches at the neck. It connects the brain to all nerves, from the lower part of the back to the tailbone.
The spine primarily groups into 3 parts:
- Lumbar – These vertebrae support allow movement and hold up the body. In human anatomy, these are the larger parts of the spinal column. They compose five vertebrae amid the rib cage and pelvis. Unlike the cervical spine, they lack foramen transversarium in the transverse process. Also, the lumbar lacks body side facets. In chart notes, physicians label these parts L1 at the top section, and L5 as the last.
- Thoracic – The thoracic spine vertebral column centers in the mid to lower back.
- Cervical – Travels from the brain stem area into nerve branches of your limbs and organs. It sends and receives signals to your body. The cervical spine carries electrical signals to the entire body. Nerves pressed down and compressed may cause a person to become paralyzed and lose sensation.
These types of injuries could take any form. Simple accidents rarely result in these ailments. It usually takes a sharp bump or strike. This could tear, dislocate, or compress the nerves of the spine. Because of this, signals to the nerves to could malfunction.
The supple, pliable material in the spinal cord becomes compressed with the right types of forces. It may even degenerate during a jarring incident itself. Doctors call herniated disc injuries ruptured discs.
Other names include bulging discs and disc protrusions. The g-forces may cause the discs to shift out of place violently. This can result in a condition known as a “slipped” disc or “herniation.”
The higher up the base of the neck the damage, the worse the symptoms. This area can become dull and afflicted with paralysis. This nerve compression can be painful. It could cut off pain receptors entirely. It may increase the risk of skin burns. Some dulled sensory injuries like this can even lead to the need to surgically fuse the bones together.
This is known as spinal fusion surgery. What we do is help victims with locating doctors and in diagnosing these ailments. And as seen above, we have won huge money for these types of injuries.
Common back trauma includes the effects of pressure on the spinal nerves. So bulging disc injuries can cause constant back, leg, neck, and shoulder pain.
Right after the accident a victim’s body produces adrenaline. This can cause a feeling of euphoria that covers up the extent of the injuries. This natural human response makes us able to fight or move to flight but can confuse the situation. After the adrenaline wears off, victim face severe pain.
Typically the pain radiates into their backs, feet, legs, hands. It may also lead to other parts of the body. A situation like this make things worse. So get checked out by a doctor from the start.
X-Rays are only capable of taking a photo of hard tissue. So they can see some issues. For example, they can spot a cervical lordosis. So spotting whiplash, or similar modality is no problem. But Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or CT scans can see damaged tissue. This makes it superior in detecting spine injuries. Our attorneys make sure you have access to the best imaging systems.
Taking an Ambulance to the Hospital.
This is one of the top steps after a severe injury. An ambulance can take you to the hospital for X-rays, Cat scans, MRIs, and other tests. This assures you are checked out and stabilized. Many crash victims fail to seek treatment or hire an attorney.
Insurance company attorneys take advantage of these victims. They’ll say the injuries are faked. They try anything to reduce or eliminate payments!
Our expertise in and out of the courtroom sets us apart. Our trial attorneys, like Gary Dordick, can take the case to court. We try our best to avoid trials. Clients want the maximum recovery with no judge or jury.
Ehline’s personal injury attorneys compile evidence, and conduct discovery. Then we read, review, and create a synopsis of medical records and reports. The firm also uses the Physician’s Desk Reference constantly. Our knowledge of law and medicine makes us viable experts. So we have the means to back your claim. Last, we don’t get paid a dime unless you win your case.
What is My Spinal Cord Injury Worth?
If a person suffers a form of paralysis, he or she will require a custom tailored devices. So they may need wheelchair lifts or special urinals. They may need a specialized van or bus and could need to modify their home to make it ADA compliant.
If a developing minor, the victim will outgrow the equipment. And replacements will need to be purchased. This can result in runaway expenses and could bankrupt families.
Affording these costs if another’s fault is a tough pill to swallow. The right counsel can prove who caused this accident or injury. After that, we can hold them accountable.
So now they are on the hook for the money. Now they have to pay for your medical bills, future treatment, rehab, and lost wages. They may also need to cover the loss of your future earning capacity, pain, and suffering. They could even have to pay punitive damages.
Insurance companies try to trick jury pools into thinking newer cars prevent serious injuries. These companies hope to prevent a victim from receiving full compensation. They fail to mention that modern cars cause the force of the impact to transfer to the car occupants.
Many spinal cord injuries need long-term physical therapy. Occupational therapy remains part of the repair process. All of this interferes daily living activities. And all of this translates into money damages.
The Fight for Stronger Vehicle Bumpers.
Ironically, it is the insurance industry who led the fight to make bumpers stronger. They did this to avoid paying property damage claims for bumpers. They fought to eliminate the crumple zone. With this gone, the forces travel into the passengers.
No longer is there this crumple zone that helps stop or mitigate the impact’s inertia. Insurance companies now persist that most all motor vehicle rear-end accidents are too minor (“fender benders”) for payouts or even fraud.
They now insist the visible damage won’t support the damages claimed. Insurance companies may accuse the victim of failing to treat their injuries properly. It is a no win situation for a person to take on alone.
These types of accidents cause thousands of injuries every year. A severe back injury means lost work and lost future income. And it also causes unseen future issues such as loss of mobility and obesity.
Spinal Cord Resources.
- United Spinal Association’s Spinal Cord Injury Resource Center: Guidance – Answers – Peer Support – Community – Resources.
- American Spinal Injury Association: The premier North American organization in the field of Spinal Cord Injury Care, Education, and Research.
- Spinal Cord Injuries Clinical Research Trials | CenterWatch: A listing of Spinal Cord Injuries medical research trials. They actively recruit patient volunteers. Click on the closest city. Find detailed research study info in your area.
- Spinal Cord Injury Research Program, Congressional Directed: Helps with complex neurotraumatic wounds affecting military service members serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Government Programs | Spinal Cord Injury Resources: Girlshealth.gov was created in 2002 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Helps find and access government programs.
- Travis Roy Foundation | Spinal Cord Injury Grants & Research: The Travis Roy Foundation. Dedicated to enhancing the life of spinal cord injury (SCI) victims. Helps families with grants & funding research.
- Disability Research – Right to Know: Funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.
Sadness and depression fall on families with spine injuries. Some people never adjust. Loved ones are victims too. But help is out there.
As seen above, research, grants, and legal help are a click away. Spinal cord injury education is essential.
Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC is a successful nationwide law firm. We lead the way in lobbying for better consumer protections. We have achieved landmark verdicts and settlements.
For example, in the case of Doe v. Doe, partner Michael Ehline and staff won an $8.7 million settlement. A motorcyclist we helped was forced to undergo a spinal fusion surgery. He was in an unfortunate automobile accident that threw him from his bike. The victim, in that case, came close to becoming a quadriplegic.
Our partners and staff fight for windfall results. And we thrive at complex cases that many lawyers reject. No matter the medical or legal problem, we can help.
Lawyers from Ehline Law Firm are proven, pathfinders. Our lawyers are community leaders. And we all participate in educational peer organizations. These include Personal Injury Warriors International, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, and Circle of Legal Trust.
Attorney Michael Ehline has taken a national leadership role. He has written treatises on cruise ship and aviation disasters. Michael speaks regularly before his peers on a wide range of trial strategies. So if you want a proven industry leader, you call (213) 596-9642.
Irene Perdomo edits for JNLAEM, an online consumer rights journal. Our personal injury attorneys have won over $100 million in results. Going it alone without a certified attorney can be the end of your case. Only the finest injury attorneys can help. Ehline Law Firm of Los Angeles can assist you through this tough time. Call us today for a no-pressure consultation at no charge at 888-400-9721.
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Spinal Cord Injury Attorney’s Disclaimer. The spine cord injury legal information on www.ehlinelaw.com is no substitute for legal advice. This info forms no attorney-client relationship. We make no promises of success in your case. Last, until a signed retainer exists, we are not your attorney.